A field of eight fillies and mares will line up on Saturday in the $300,000 Vanity (G1) at Santa Anita including multiple graded stakes winners Grace Hall and Let Faith Arise.
The Vanity is the eighth race on the nine-race card that also features the $400,000 Shoemaker Mile (G1), which is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) coming up this fall at Santa Anita.
Grace Hall is making her second start since coming back off an injury, and seeking her first win since 2012. She catches a solid field that includes Adoration (G3) winner Let Faith Arise, Santa Maria (G2) winner Iotapa and Santa Monica (G2) victress Scherzinger.
The Shoemaker Mile drew a strong field of seven led by Obviously, who won the American Stakes (G3) in his last outing by 5 ¼ lengths and has won 10 of his 19 career starts. The Phillip D’Amato trainee is the 9-5 morning line favorite.
His main foe will be Winning Prize (5-2) who won the Arcadia (G2) and the Frank KIlroe (G1) in his last two outings.
Churchill Downs is offering up five graded stakes on Saturday night including the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) which drew a field that includes Will Take Charge, Revolutionary, Departing, Mylute and Golden Ticket.
The “Downs After Dark” program includes the $100,000 Matt Winn (G3), $200,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) and the $100,000 Regret (G3).
With Churchill Downs raising their takeout for this meeting, I will probably pass on wagering on the races, but will include my selections in Saturday’s Best Plays Report since the races will have Breeders’ Cup ramifications.
The Foster ‘Cap is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race for the $5 million Classic (G1).
Let’s head out to Santa Anita for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Santa Anita Race 8 The Vanity (G1) Post time 4:30 ET
3 Grace Hall 5-2
4 Let Faith Arise 2-1
2 Magic Union 8-1
1 Iotapa 4-1
Grace Hall ships west for the Bill Mott barn as she makes her second start off a 13-month layoff after having a long beak due to an injured foot. She came back in a tough spot in the Ruffian (G2) at Belmont Park and ran a solid second to Fiftyshadesofhay, beaten ¾ of a length for the top spot. Her lone try over the main track here was the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (G1) facing older for the first time but she checked in fourth.
She ran two big numbers that year, a 102 Beyer winning the Indiana Oaks (G2) and earning a career top 105 winning the Delaware Oaks (G2). She has worked sharply since her last outing and the fact that the barn ships here to Santa Anita sure looks like a good sign this gal is ready to fire a big one second off the bench. Mott is 26% winners (with a +ROI) with runners making their second start off a +180 day layoff. She is getting five pounds form our second choice.
Let Faith Arise beat a couple of these last out in a game win in the Adoration (G3) last out over the surface at 1 1/16 miles. She as the Santa margarita (G1) three back at today’s nine furlongs and two back ran fourth behind Close Hatches, who came back to beat Beholder and Princess of Sylmar in the Ogden Phipps (G1) last Saturday.
The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee has landed in the exacta in all four trips over the main track here and owns a solid pace profile throughout. She is going to be tough her but this is a talented group she faces so I don’t want to see much less than her 2-1 morning line.
Magic Union may offer some value in the exotics if one of the top two fails to fire. The filly ran well in a runner up finish behind Close Hatches in the Azeri (G2) at Oaklawn Park and ha a rough trip last out in a fourth place finish in the La Troien (G1) at Churchill Downs. She was bumped coming out of the gate, had to steady in traffic on the first turn, tracked the early pace and did not have enough punch left in the stretch.
If the John Sadler trainee can run back to her effort in Hot Springs two back, she has a shot of being in the mix here at a decent enough price.
WIN: Grace Hall to win at 5-2 or better.
EXACTA: 3,4 / 1,2,3,4
TRIFECTA: 3,4 / 1,2,3,4 / 1,2,3,4,6
Get selections for all of the U.S. based Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races from now to Oct. 9 and Michael Dempsey’s 2-Day Breeders’ Cup Report.
Michael’s two day Breeders’ Cup Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race on the two-day championship event from Santa Anita Park on Oct. 31- Nov. 1.