Santa Anita offers up five Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races on Saturday’s 11-race card on the second day of the meeting, which was delayed a week.
With just over a month until the Breeders’ Cup, we have plenty of star power making their final starts before the two-day championship event being held without spectators this year at Keeneland on Nov. 6-7.
The Santa Anita meeting was delayed a week as wildfires raged thought the west, with opening day on Friday with no spectators in attendance due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over the first three days of the meet the track will host a dozen stakes, 10 of them graded and five that earn the winners a free ticket to the Breeders’ Cup.
Let’s take a look at the Breeders’ Cup Challenge races::
The Chandelier is a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and drew a compact field of five. The race is the third on the 11-race card. The highly regarded Bob Baffert trainee Princess Noor is the 2-5 morning line favorite.
The filly won the Del Mar Debutante (G1) by 6 ½ lengths in her last outing. Victor Espinoza has the call and will break from the rail.
The Speakeasy is ungraded but serves as a “Win and You’re In’ for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1).
Nine two-year-olds will go 5 ½ furlongs on turf led by Commander Khai (3-1) who was a good looking maiden winner in his second career start for the Baltas barn.
Wesley Ward sends out Amanzi Yimpilo (7-2) who was third in the Bolton Landing at Saratoga in her last outing and takes on the boys for the first time.
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$300,000 Rodeo Drive
Seven fillies and mares go to the post in this 1 ¼ mile test on turf, the winner earning a fee expenses paid trip to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).
The Richard Baltas trained Lady Prancealot is the 2-1 morning line favorite. The filly was beaten a neck in the John C. Mabee (G2) at Del Mar in her last start. She won the American Oaks (G1) over the Santa Anita turf last December. Baltas also will saddle Bodhicitta (5-2) who won the Yellow Ribbon Handicap (G2).
$300,000 Awesome Again
A prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the two main contenders in this race have already earned berths in that race. Maximum Security is the 3-5 morning line favorite and won the “Win and You’re In” Pacific Classic (G1) in his last outing.
His stablemate Improbable (8-5) is coming off a win in the Whitney (G1) and makes his last prep before likely heading to Keeneland.
The two met in the Kentucky Derby (G1) last year where Maximum Security crossed the wire first while under the care of the now indicted Jason Servis and was disqualified for interference. Improbable was the betting favorite, crossing the wire fifth and placed fourth thanks to the disqualification.
The $300,000 American Pharoah serves as a qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, with the Bob Baffert trained Spielberg the likely favorite as the Hall of Fame trainer geos for a record 10th win in the race, which was formerly called the Norfolk and Frontrunner.
Let’s head out to Santa Anita for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Santa Anita Race 8 The American Pharoah (G1) Post time 4:12 PT
5 Spielberg 3-1
4 Notable Exception 7-2
2 Rombauer 8-1
6 Get Her Number 7-2
This colt can give Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his 10th win in this race. The $1 million Keeneland purchase is still a maiden but has shown plenty of promise. He was second in his debut at 4-5, then ran second in the Del Mar Futurity (G1), both times beaten by Dr. Schivel. The colt should get better going long. He is by Union Rags out of a Smart Strike mare. Saez picks up the call and he has two sharp works on the morning tab since his last effort. The barn is 24% winners moving runners from sprint to route and this guy may be tough to catch if able to shake loose early.
The colt broke his maiden over the polytrack at Arlington Park in his debut and ships to the west coast from Keeneland where he is stabled. Interesting choice as he could have run in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland on Oct. 3, that race also a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race. The colt showed good early speed and drew clear easily to win by 5 ¼ lengths going seven furlongs. He is bred to go long, by Street Sense out of a A.P. Indy mare that has dropped three other winners including stakes winner Tatters to Riches ($135,460). This guy is in good hands with former Doug O’Neill trainee Jack Sisterton
The Mike McCarthy trainee makes his first start on dirt after two starts on turf to start his career. He made a good late rally to get up and break his maiden in his debut at Del Mar going a mile on turf. He then was sixth in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf where she was bumped and had to steady at the break and was only beaten two lengths for the top spot. His pedigree leans more toward dirt, by Twirling Candy out of a Cowboy Cal mare. The barn is 20% winners moving runners from turf to dirt. He gets a jock upgrade to Mike Smith and is going to be a decent price in this spot.
WIN: Spielberg to win at 2-1 or better.
EXACTA: 4,5 / 2,4,5 and 5 / 2,4,6,7