A wide open field of 10 go nine furlongs on turf in Sunday’s feature at Santa Anita, the $100,000 Robert J. Frankel (G3).
The race is named after the Hall of Fame trainer who lost his battle with cancer in 2009. Frankel won the Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer five times in his career.
The Tim Yakteem trained Mucho Unusual is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The filly was outrun in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) in her last outing where she checked in 12th at 66-1. She won the Rodeo Drive (G1) over the Santa Anita turf at 1 ¼ miles in her previous outing.
Chad Brown, who went work for Frankel as an assistant trainer in 2002 before going on to become one of the top trainers in the world is sending out Miss Teheran (5-1) who was fifth in the Forever Together at Aqueduct in his last outing.
I landed on another New York shipper in Altea (5-1), who was preciously trained by Brown. The mare makes her first start this afternoon since landing with trainer Michael McCarthy.
The mare was sixth in the Athenia (G3) at Belmont Park in her last start on Oct. 25. McCarthy also saddles Riderforthecause (3-1), who was fourth in the E.P. Taylor (G1) at Woodbine in her last outing.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday is now available. The report includes my nine strongest plays from Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita.
Let’s head out to Santa Anita for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Santa Anita Race 9 The Robert J. Frankel G3 (3:51 PT)
5 Altea 5-1
10 Mucho Unusual 5-2
1 Riderforthecause 3-1
4 Miss Teheran 5-1
The five-year-old mare makes her first start here for the McCarthy barn who takes over from Chad Brown. She is winless in seven starts this year but has put in a few solid efforts including coming out on the wrong ends of three photos. Last out in the Athenia (G3) at Belmont Park she stalked the early pace and did not have enough punch left late in a sixth-place finish. The fourth-place finisher and the winner came back to run one-two in the Forever Together on Nov. 27 at Aqueduct. Two back our top pick tracked the early pace and finished gamely to miss by just a neck in the Violet at Monmouth Park. She has four local drills since the barn switch and worth another look in just her second career start at nine furlongs.
This filly was not a threat after a wide trip in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) where she checked in 12th at 66-1. She took the field gate to wire to win the Rodeo Drive (G1) two back over the grass here at 1 1/4 miles. The runner up in that race was Maximum Rate, who came back to win the Goldikova (G2) in her next outing on Oct. 25. Johnny V picks up the call here and she figures to bounce back with the class relief. She has done some of her best running here. In addition to her win two back she was a good third in the Gamely (G1) back in May and ran second in the American Oaks (G1) here last December.
This gal also makes her first start since landing with McCarthy. This gal won the Canadian (G2) two back at Woodbine going nine furlongs. She was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the E.P. Taylor (G1) last out where she stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a fourth-place finish, beaten 2 3/4 lengths. The Taylor did not come up a s tough as in it usually does. Five have exited that race to run back and none landed in the exacta. She is returning off a 2 1/2 month break here and picks up Rispoli. She can be a threat here if she runs a back to her win two back.
WIN: Altea to win at 7-2 or better.
EXACTA: 5 / 1,4,9,10 and 5,10 / 1,5,10