Santa Anita Stable Notes Saturday, March 11, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN
SATURDAY, MARCH 11, 2023
• D’AMATO PAIR HAS UPSET CHANCE IN SUNDAY’S GIII SANTA ANA • NATIONAL TREASURE RETURNS TO TRAINING AFTER SETBACK • 3 SANTA ANITA FILLIES LISTED IN KENTUCKY OAKS FUTURE WAGER • COAST-TO-COAST PICK 5 RETURNS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY • SATURDAY’S TURF RACES MOVED TO DIRT
D’AMATO PAIR HAS UPSET CHANCE IN SUNDAY’S GIII SANTA ANA Phil D’Amato leads all trainers at the Classic Meet with 22 wins and his nine stakes wins are just one shy of the leader in that category, Bob Baffert. On Sunday, D’Amato will look to add to those totals when he sends out the Irish-breds Buzz of New York and Annaghlasa for their stakes debuts in the Grade III Santa Ana at 1 ¼ miles on turf.
Buzz of New York returns just seven days after winning a second-level allowance here going a flat mile on turf. The 5-year-old Toronado mare is in the best form of her career with two wins and three runner-ups in her last five starts. While D’Amato isn’t known for running horses on such short notice, he said multiple factors led to the decision to enter.
“She didn’t run too hard in that last race. She won very easily,” D’Amato noted of Buzz of New York’s 1 ½-length victory last Sunday. “The distance of the (Santa Ana) seemed like it would be ideal for her and I don’t think the race came up super tough. After weighing all three of factors, we decided to wheel back and take a shot.”
Buzz of New York and Annaghlasa are part of a nine-horse field in the Santa Ana, which is led by the top-three finishers in the 1 ½-mile Astra Stakes here Jan. 21. Australia Mia, who finished third as the favorite in the Astra for trainer Michael McCarthy, is the slight 3-1 favorite on the Santa Ana morning line. Astra runner-up Queen Ofthe Temple is the 7-2 second choice while the upset winner in the Astra, Duvet Day also for McCarthy, is the 4-1 co-third choice.
Annaghlasa will get a graded-stakes test for D’Amato despite still being eligible for a first-level allowance. In her 5-year-old bow on Jan. 28, a one-mile allowance on turf, she finished third behind well-regarded stablemate Kitty Kitana and runner-up Honey Jar, who came back last Sunday to win at the level for McCarthy.
“We always thought she could be a stakes kind of filly,” D’Amato said of Annaghlasa. “She has tactical speed, and again, this race didn’t come up super tough. We decided to take a shot and see if we can make her a stakes winner or stakes place.”
Annaghlasa, who drew the rail, will be ridden by Ramon Vazquez for the third straight race. Buzz of New York won last weekend under Juan Hernandez, Santa Anita’s leading rider. With Hernandez electing to stay on Queen Ofthe Temple in the Santa Ana, Buzz of New York will be ridden for the first time by Umberto Rispoli.
With rain soaking Santa Anita this week, the turf course on Sunday figures to be something less than firm. Both Annaghlasa and Buzz of New York have only raced on firm turf since arriving in the U.S., but D’Amato is hopeful their international pedigrees will suit the footing.
“These horses that come from Europe, I think they’re accustomed to running on tracks with some give to it. I don’t think it will be an issue,” said D’Amato, who on Saturday turned 47.
The Santa Ana goes as Sunday’s seventh race on a nine-race card with a scheduled post time of 3:29 p.m. The field in post position order: Annaghlasa, Ramon Vazquez (6-1); Queen Ofthe Temple, Juan Hernandez (7-2); Australia Mia, Frankie Dettori (3-1); Ascendancy, Luis Contreras (12-1); Duvet Day, Kazushi Kimura (4-1); Myfavoritedaughter, Joe Bravo (12-1); Buzz of New York, Umberto Rispoli (6-1); Harper’s Gallop, John Velazquez (15-1); Ballet Dancing, Flavien Prat (4-1).
NATIONAL TREASURE BACK IN LIGHT TRAINING AFTER MINOR SETBACK National Treasure has returned to light training after being scratched as the morning-line favorite in last Saturday’s Grade II San Felipe due to a bruised foot.
Tom Ryan, managing partner of National Treasure’s extensive ownership group, said in a Twitter post Friday that the connections are “very pleased with the progress he’s made.
“Looking to get him back on the work tab when the latest weather system clears out,” Ryan said.
National Treasure ended last season running third in the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland. The Quality Road colt, who cost $500,000 at auction as a yearling, was third again when making his sophomore bow in the Grade III Sham here on Jan. 8. Both those efforts came while trained by Bob Baffert. Last month, National Treasure was transferred to trainer Tim Yakteen.
The hope is National Treasure can have one more start in a Kentucky Derby prep to accrue the necessary qualifying points to run in the 1 ¼-mile classic at Churchill Downs. That could potentially come in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 8. Yakteen said earlier this week he would wait until National Treasure has a work before deciding where he runs next.
THREE SANTA ANITA FILLIES LISTED IN KENTUCKY OAKS FUTURE WAGER The one and only Kentucky Oaks Future Wager is this weekend and of the 39 individual fillies listed in the pari-mutuel pool, three are based at Santa Anita and all are longshots.
Listed at 40-1 on the morning line are both And Tell Me Nolies and Justique, while Blessed Touch is 50-1. All three exit last Sunday’s Grade III Santa Ysabel at Santa Anita.
And Tell Me Nolies returned from a four-month layoff to finish second in the Santa Ysabel for trainer Peter Miller. Last year, the Arrogate filly won both the Grade I Del Mar Debutante and Grade II Chandelier and was eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Blessed Touch set the pace in the 1 1/16-mile Santa Ysabel before being overtaken in the stretch by the winner, Faiza, and runner-up And Tell Me Nolies. Trained by Tim Yakteen, Blessed Touch, a daughter of Girvin, was a $140,000 auction purchase last year.
Justique ran an even fourth in the Santa Ysabel. The stakes-winning daughter of Triple Crown winner Justify is trained by John Shirreffs.
The 8-1 morning-line favorite in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager is Wonder Wheel, last year’s champion 2-year-old filly for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse. Wonder Wheel made her sophomore bow in the Feb. 11 Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and was beaten a neck as the odds-on favorite.
The Kentucky Oaks Future Wager closes at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
COAST-TO-COAST PICK 5 RETURNS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY The Coast-to-Coast Pick 5, which is a $1 minimum wager with a player-friendly 15 percent takeout, is being offered both Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday, the Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 features two races from Santa Anita and three from Gulfstream Park. The sequence begins with the ninth race from Gulfstream Park, a 1 1/16-mile allowance on turf with an overflow of field of 15. Also included from Gulfstream is the 10th race, an allowance sprint on dirt, and the featured Captiva Island Stakes for female turf sprinters. Rounding out the sequence is the fourth race from Santa Anita, a maiden turf sprint for 3-year-old fillies, and the Grade III San Carlos that goes as the fifth at Santa Anita.
Sunday’s Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 is an all-turf affair that kicks off at 1:07 PT. The sequence consists of the eighth and 10th races from Gulfstream Park, the third and fifth races from Santa Anita, plus the featured Grade III Santa Ana, which goes as the seventh, serving as the anchor leg. Field size on Sunday averages just over 10 starters per race before scratches.
FINISH LINES: All four turf races scheduled for Saturday have been moved to the main track due to recent rain…Horseplayer Troy Erkenbrack will be Tom Quigley’s featured handicapping guest Sunday on the Santa Anita simulcast feed starting at 11:20...There is a $38,950.31 Rainbow 6 carryover entering Saturday’s card…Entering Saturday, favorites have won at 33.71 percent clip at the Classic Meet.