Tag Archives: Santa Anita

Songbird Wires Chandelier Stakes

Songbird Wires Chandelier Stakes

The Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes was practically a walkover for Songbird. She went gate-to-wire easily thanks in part to a pre-race scratch of Pretty N Cool. That left Songbird as the lone speed and she did the rest.

Songbird broke right out of the starting gate and went to the lead. She was followed by Jade Princess in second, Halo Darlin in third, and Land Over Sea in fourth. Yodelsong and Vieja Luna sat together in fifth and sixth, respectively. Sheeza Milky Way was seventh early and Right There was last of eight after a slow break and she was also rank. It seemed as if Right There was going to be pulled up on the first turn, but she kept on running.

Songbird faced no pace pressure on the lead on the backstretch and into the far turn. Land Over Sea began to move up entering the far turn while Jade Princess was ridden hard to stay with her. The rest of the field was not a threat as they turned for home.

The lead began to dwindle for Songbird, but she had not been pushed. As they straightened for home, Songbird was sent to put an advantage on Land Over Sea and she pulled away for a 4 1/2 length victory. Land Over Sea finished second, but it was nearly 10 lengths back to Right There in third. It was almost another 6 lengths back to fourth place finisher Vieja Luna.

The remaining order of finish was Jade Princess, Halo Darlin, Sheeza Milky Way, and Yodelsong. The entire chart can be found here courtesy of Equibase.

Songbird ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.79. She was ridden by Mike Smith and is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. She went off as the 1-5 favorite, paid $2.40 to win, $2.20 to place, and $2.10 to show.

Songbird also earned 10 points towards the Kentucky Oaks Points Leaderboard, which will determine the fillies that start in the 2016 Kentucky Oaks. Land Over Sea earned four points, Right There received two points, and Vieja Luna received one point.

The Road to the Kentucky Oaks will continue next weekend. There will be one on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday across North America.

Nyquist Survives In FrontRunner

Nyquist Survives In FrontRunner

Nyquist had to survive a run from Swipe in the stretch, but also had to survive him after the Grade 1 FrontRunner in the form of an inquiry. He was successful in both, as he won his fourth straight race to being his career and also made it back-to-back Grade 1 victories.

Go Long went to the lead from the rail, but he was trailed closely by Nyquist and Mt Veeder. Blameitonthelaw was also close in fourth while further back was Swipe, Hollywood Don, Rare Candy, and On Fire was in last by 10 lengths.

Go Long continued to lead on the backstretch with Nyquist and Mt Veeder close in tow, but Blameitonthelaw and Swipe also started to get closer. Behind them were Hollywood Don and Rare Candy while On Fire continued to be well at the back of the field.

Nyquist went to the lead on the far turn along with Mt Veeder, as Go Long was clearly done. Swipe started to move up as well and took over the rail position entering the stretch. Nyquist was able to hold off Swipe, who really had no excuse for not passing the winner. Those two were well clear of Hollywood Don in third by 5 3/4 lengths.

The rest of the field in order of finish was Rare Candy, Blameitonthelaw, Mt Veeder, Go Long, and On Fire. The stewards inquired about the stretch run between Nyquist and Swipe, but determined there was nothing affecting the order of finish. A full chart can be found here via Equibase.

Nyquist is a two year colt by Uncle Mo out of the Forestry mare Seeking Gabrielle. He was ridden Mario Gutierrez and trained by Doug O’Neill. He ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.89 and paid $3.00 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.10 to show.

Nyquist received 10 points towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard for his victory. Swipe received four points, Hollywood Don received 2 points, and Rare Candy earned 1 point.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby continues next weekend with three races. Two will be run on Saturday and one will take place on Sunday.

2015 FrontRunner Stakes Preview

2015 FrontRunner Stakes Preview

The Road to the 2016 Kentucky Derby makes its second stop on Saturday, September 26 at Santa Anita. The Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes will be front and center for the 2 year old males.

The FrontRunner Stakes will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the main dirt track with a purse of $300,000. The winner will receive 10 points towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard while second, third, and fourth will receive 4 points, 2 points, and 1 point, respectively.

Post time is scheduled for 5:30 PM Eastern Time and the race is carded as the fifth race of a 11 races. Free past performances can be found here by going to Saturday, September 26 and race 5. The entires have been listed in the table below.

Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line Odds
1Go LongFernando PerezKeith Desormeaux20-1
2On FireGary StevensSimon Callaghan12-1
3BlameitonthelawTyler BazeJohn Sadler5-1
4NyquistMario GutierrezDoug O'Neill6-5
5Hollywood DonBrice BlancPeter Miller4-1
6Rare CandyJoseph TalamoDavid Hofmans15-1
7SwipeKent DesormeauxKeith Desormeaux5-1
8Mt VeederMartin GarciaBob Baffert6-1

1. Go Long – He started his career from the dreaded rail spot in his debut and had a decent effort. He showed speed and tired to finish fourth by 4 3/4 lengths. He went to the lead again in his second start and had plenty of company, but was able to pull away near the wire for a 3/4 length victory. In his last start, he went long, but on the grass at one mile in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf. It was a dull effort where he sat well of the pace before passing tiring horses and finished sixth. The return to dirt will help, but he has to step up in a big way to contend in this spot.

2. On Fire – In his debut going 6 furlongs, he went to contend for the lead shortly after the break, but was no match for the top two. He did, however, hang on for third and lost by 5 1/4 lengths. He was given more distance in his second race going a mile. He had a wide trip for most of the race and prompted the pace three wide on the backstretch and far turn. He took the lead in the stretch, but had to hold on for the win by a half-length. The connections are appealing, but he too will have to run better in this spot to contend for the win honors.

3. Blameitonthelaw – He began his career at Del Mar going 5.5 furlongs where he got a wonderful trip behind the leaders. He was able to pull away in that one to win by 4 1/4 lengths before taking on Grade 1 competition in the Del Mar Futurity. In that race, he had a similar trip behind the leaders while wide. However, he was no match for the to two and he finished third by eight. Both of those horses he lost to return here (Nyquist and Swipe). He will have to get better in this spot, which he could with is pedigree and the blinkers going on. He has a good chance of hitting the board.

4. Nyquist – We arrive at the favorite for this race, a colt who has done little wrong. He won his debut in a game effort by a head before waiting for graded stakes competition at Del Mar. His second race was in the Grade 2 Best Pal where he improved dramatically with a 5 1/4 length win while pressing the pace. His latest race was the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity where he battled for the lead and then had a nice bid entering the stretch to win by 3 3/4 lengths. He has not raced at two turns, but being by Uncle Mo, it should not be an issue. He is the deserving favorite and is the one to beat.

5. Hollywood Don – He began his career going a mile on the turf, but had a slow start and then was wide for most of the running of the race. He made no impact on the race late, as he finished seventh by 4 1/4 lengths. He came back in his second start to go gate-to-wire in an impressive race where he set fast fractions early on and was tracked all the way around the turf course. His last race was the Del Mar Juvenile Turf at one mile where he employed a new winning tactic. He sat over four lengths off the lead in the first two calls, but made his move on the far turn. He went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths for his second victory in a row. He has not raced on dirt and clearly has an affinity for turf. He has a running style that will help, but he will need to be more competitive to have a chance to win though he could hit the board.

6. Rare Candy – He started his career in New York with a five furlong turf dash at Belmont. He took a while to get going, but closed determinedly to finish only three quarters of a length back in second. He was then shipped to California where he was sent a mile on the turf in another maiden race. He went gate-to-wire that day in a game performance where he won by 2 1/4 lengths after setting comfortable fractions. He then took on stakes competition in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf, but was outrun early. He made a solid rally in the lane and just missed third place. He has had some really good works on the Santa Anita main track, but the question is can he be good enough?

7. Swipe – He is the most experienced horse in this race with five starts. His first start was in May at 4.5 furlongs where he broke poorly, but rallied strongly to finish second by 2 1/4 lengths. His second start was in the Tremont, but he could not rally again and finished third by 4 1/4 lengths. He broke his maiden in his third start in the Summer Juvenile Championship with a driving finish to win by a head. His next two starts were at Del Mar where he finished second both times to the favorite, Nyquist. He is out of Birdstone so the two turns is not an issue. He is a top candidate to round out the exacta.

8. Mt Veeder – He debuted at Del Mar going 5.5 furlongs where he dueled on the lead before pulling away to win by 2 1/4 lengths. He stepped up into stakes competition where he went gate-to-wire and won by 4 3/4 lengths. He has not raced beyond six furlongs, but he is by Ghostzapper so two turns should not be a big issue. He is probably going to try and wire the field again and has a solid chance here.


#4 Nyquist is the clear favorite here and is decisively the one to beat. He should be able to rate off the speed, which makes him incredibly dangerous, but he will be a short price. #8 Mt Veeder will be going to the lead and could be good enough to make this a very good race. #7 Swipe has been consistent in his career never missing the board, but has not beat Nyquist in the previous two races. #3 Blameitonthelaw is going both long and getting blinkers on, which could improve his chances while #5 Hollywood Don could take a liking to dirt though he will probably have short odds.

Top selection – #4 Nyquist

2nd selection – #8 Mt Veeder

3rd selection – #7 Swipe

4th selection – #3 Blameitonthelaw

A recap of the Grade 1 FrontRunner will be posted on Saturday so be sure to come back and check it out.

2015 Chandelier Stakes Preview

2015 Chandelier Stakes Preview

The second race on the long Road to the 2016 Kentucky Oaks will take place on Saturday, September 26. The Grade 1 Chandelier will be held for 2 year old fillies.

The Chandelier will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track at Santa Anita with a purse of $300,000. As part of the 2016 Kentucky Oaks prep schedule, the race will award points to the top four finishers that will help determine the starters for the 2016 Kentucky Oaks.

The winner will receive 10 points, second place will receive 4 points, third place will receive 2 points, and fourth place will receive 1 point.

Post time for the Chandelier is scheduled for 7 PM Eastern Time and is carded as the eight race on an eleven race program at Santa Anita. Free past performances can be found here by going to Saturday, September 26 and going to race 8 at Santa Anita. The entries have been provided in the table below.

Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line Odds
1Pretty N CoolMartin GarciaBob Baffert4-1
2Halo DarlinTyler BazeMike Puype12-1
3Vieja LunaJuan LeyvaGustavo Amaya15-1
4YodelsongFernando PerezMike Harrington20-1
5SongbirdMike SmithJerry Hollendorfer3-5
6Sheeza Milky WayRafael BejaranoPeter Eurton12-1
7Land Over SeaMario GutierrezDoug O'Neill9-2
8Jade PrincessVictor EspinozaBob Baffert9-2
9Right ThereKent DesormeauxKeith Desormeaux20-1

1. Pretty N Cool – She is the first of two fillies entered here for trainer Bob Baffert. She broke well in her debut, went to the lead, and put away her competition in the slop to win by 4 1/2 lengths going five furlongs. Next out, she faced the Grade 2 Sorrento field going 6.5 furlongs. She was rated that day off the speed, but the outcome was the same with a winning move on the turn to win by 2 3/4 lengths. She fought for the lead in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante, but ultimately was second best by 5 1/4 lengths to Songbird, who also returns in this race. The stretch out to 8.5 furlongs should not be an issue, but she may find herself going head to head again with Songbird for much of this race. She is a major factor in this race.

2. Halo Darlin – She has only one start in her career and it was a nice performance. She faced fellow California maidens at Del Mar early in September. She broke well, sat off the pace in fifth while wide, and then came wide into the stretch. She was able to pull away that day in the stretch to win by five lengths. She will be moving way up in class and also has to tackle two turns for the first time in her career. She will be solid odds, but needs much more to win here.

3. Vieja Luna – She has made all her career starts in Florida at Gulfstream prior to this race. She debuted in the Cassidy Stakes where she broke awkwardly and made a modest rally to grab fourth, but was beaten 11 lengths. She broke better in her second start, but was content to run in last early on before going very wide on the far turn. She was unable to sustain that rally as she finish third by five lengths. She finally broke her maiden in her third start at Gulfstream. She broke well again, sat much closer to the pace, made her move on the far turn, and took over in the stretch to win by 9 1/4 lengths in the slop. She will be trying a route distance and two turns for the first time as well as shipping to a new circuit. She will need a major boost in her running to have a chance in this race.

4. Yodelsong – In her debut at Del Mar on July 31, it appeared she wanted to be on the lead or pressing it, but she ended up getting the perfect trip behind the trio of dueling leaders. She went wide leaving the far turn and entering the stretch while pulling away to win by 6 1/2 lengths. Next up was the Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes at Del Mar on September 7 with far different results. She went a mile on the turf and got another good trip in the middle of the pack on the rail. However, she gave way on the far turn and finished eighth by 5 3/4 lengths. It is difficult to tell if she did not like the turf, the distance, or the competition and this spot is not much easier. A big effort is needed for her to contend.

5. Songbird – The clear and overwhelming favorite here began at Del Mar in a maiden special weight race. The rail did not cause her any trouble as she broke like a shot and ran away from the field to win by 6 1/2 lengths. Up next was the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and she had to fight with fellow entrant Pretty N Cool for much of that race. She was able to put her away and win by 5 1/4 lengths in the end. It appears that those two will battle once again on the front end and history favors her again in this race.

6. Sheeza Milky Way – She is the only maiden in this race. She began at Los Alamitos where she tried to stalk the pace three wide, but could not hang on for third as she finished fourth by two lengths in a five horse field. Her second start was on turf at a mile at Del Mar where she tried stalking the pace again. She had a decent rally in the stretch, but was no match for the top two. She finished third by 4 1/2 lengths, but was well clear of the rest of the field by 5 1/4 lengths to fourth. Her latest start was the Juvenile Fillies Turf and once again she tried a come from behind tactic. She was very wide entering the stretch, but once again could not close fast enough, finishing fourth by three lengths. It is hard to endorse her in this spot especially with the top two fillies holding a massive edge on her.

7. Land Over Sea – She debuted in the same race as Sheeza Milky Way at Los Alamitos. She too sat off the pace, made a nice move on the rail, and finished second by 1 3/4 lengths. Her second start came on the turf course at Del Mar where she sat in the middle of the pack off the pace and then exploded on the turn and into the stretch for a 3 3/4 lengths win. Her latest race was in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante back on dirt at 7 furlongs. It was another off the pace effort as she came very wide into the stretch, but could not pull in the top two. She finished third by six lengths. We know she can rate, likes the dirt, and distance, but she was well beaten by Songbird in the last. If she can get the top two to take each other out on the front end, she could make some noise.

8. Jade Princess – Her debut, simply put, was a disaster. She was bumped at the break on top of it being a slow break and then found herself near the rear of the field. She came out wide in the stretch, but was never a threat finishing fifth by 16 lengths. Her second start was the complete opposite. She broke much better, found herself wide for most of the running, but still up close to the leaders. She began move up on the far turn and pulled away from the field in the stretch to win by 5 1/4 lengths. If she can run off the pace again in this race, she has a solid chance to upset the top two horses.

9. Right There – She made her debut at Santa Anita in May with a solid run late to finish second by 3 1/2 lengths. The second race for her was even better in the Landaluce. She a bit slow, but made a great run on the turn and into the stretch to break her maiden by 4 3/4 lengths. Her last two races were the same with poor results. She broke slow both times, but could not produce a run in the stretch and finished fourth in the stretch. She should appreciate the two turns and could be better suited for this distance at a nice price. Interesting angles on this one despite the previous two poor performances.


This race will go through #5 Songbird, who is 2 for 2 in her career. She will have to contend with #1 Pretty N Cool on the front end, but the top choice here is #8 Jade Princess. She will be able to rate off the those two horses and go by them in the stretch. #5 Songbird has shown the ability to put away other speed horses including #1 Pretty N Cool. For fourth, #7 Land Over Sea could easily close for fourth while #9 Right There is a nice price play underneath in the exotics.

Top selection – #8 Jade Princess

2nd selection – #5 Songbird

3rd selection – #1 Pretty N Cool

4th selection – #9 Right There

Check back on Saturday night for a recap of the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes.

Dortmund Destroys Santa Anita Derby

Dortmund was dominant in his Santa Anita Derby win (Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire)
Dortmund was dominant in his Santa Anita Derby win (Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire)

Dortmund Destroys Santa Anita Derby

Dortmund remains a perfect six for six in his career after his dominating effort in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. He easily strolled home to a 4 1/4 lengths win over fellow stablemate One Lucky Dane.

Dortmund was intent on getting the lead early despite a bit of a stumble out of the gate and he had to work for the lead with an opening quarter mile in 22.46. One Lucky Dane was there as well and Cross the Line pressed him from third. Bad Read Sanchez held the rail in fourth, Prospect Park was fifth, and Bolo was last of six. The trailing trio were at least 2 1/2 lengths behind the leaders leaving them in very good position.

Dortmund slowed the race down to 46.36 for the opening half-mile as he held the lead over One Lucky Dane and Cross the Line. Bolo was wide in fourth, Prospect Park was fifth, and Bad Read Sanchez was sixth.

Entering the stretch, Dortmund opened up on the field by 4 lengths and maintained that margin until the finish line. One Lucky Dane held his spot in second as Bolo and Prospect Park were unable to close for a better finish. Cross the Line was fifth and Bad Read Sanchez was sixth. The full chart can be found here at Equibase.

Dortmund is by Big Brown (a Kentucky Derby winner himself) out of the Tale of the Cat mare Josephina. He was ridden by Martin Garcia and is trained by Bob Baffert. He paid $3.20 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.10 to show.

Dortmund earned 100 points for his victory bringing his total up to 170 points on the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. One Lucky Dane earned his first 40 points, Bolo earned 20 points to bring his total up to 30, and Prospect Park earned 10 points to bring his total up to 30 points as well.

The final weekend of the Road to the Kentucky Derby will be next weekend. The Grade 1 Arkansas Derby and Grade 3 Lexington Stakes will be held next weekend as a last chance to make the Kentucky Derby field.

2015 Santa Anita Derby Preview

2015 Santa Anita Derby Preview

The final Road to the Kentucky Derby on Saturday will be the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. A small field of six horses will compete for $1,000,000 in the one mile and one eighth race.

Both the Grade 1 Wood Memorial from Aqueduct and Grade 1 Blue Grass from Keeneland will be determined by the time the Santa Anita Derby goes off.

The winner of this race will receive 100 points towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. Second place will receive 40 points, third place will receive 20 points, and fourth place will receive 10 points.

Post time for the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby is scheduled for 6:30 PM Eastern Time and is the eighth of 11 races on the card at Santa Anita on Saturday. Free past performances for the Santa Anita Derby can be found here.

1. Dortmund (3-5 Morning Line) – The favorite has the rail for this race and he is clearly deserving of the low price. He is 5 for 5 in his career and won his stakes debut in a thrilling finish by a head in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity. He then had to hold off a game Firing Line in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes 6 weeks later on February 7. Dortmund had no trouble in his last race going gate-to-wire while easily winning the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes. He will be very tough to beat in this race.

2. One Lucky Dane (5-1 ML) – Trainer Bob Baffert also saddles the heavy favorite to the inside. He ran third in his debut at Del Mar and then ran second by half a length in his next start. He crushed his foes in his third start by 9 1/2 lengths. Baffert was high enough on him after the maiden win to enter him in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He had a bit of trouble, but was never a factor finishing sixth by 9 1/2 lengths. After more than a three month break, he came back on March 19 to crush an optional claiming race by 9 3/4 lengths. He most likely will not threaten his stablemate to the inside, but he could hit the board.

3. Cross The Line (15-1 ML) – He has run only at Golden Gate prior to this race. He ran second and third in his first two starts before breaking his maiden by 4 1/2 lengths at a mile in his third start. He followed that up with another victory Cal Derby by 1 3/4 lengths. He was then entered in the Grade 3 El Camino Derby where he ran a good second to Metaboss. He will still need to put forth a big effort to have a chance to hit the board.

4. Bolo (4-1 ML) – He finished fifth in his debut at one mile on the turf before breaking his maiden in his second start at a mile and a sixteenth by 2 3/4 lengths. He then made it back-to-back wins by crushing the Eddie Logan Stakes competition by 4 1/2 lengths. A break of over two months led to him being placed in the Grade 2 San Felipe on dirt. He ran very well in his only dirt start finishing 1 3/4 lengths behind Dortmund while falling to third late. He certainly figures to have a chance underneath here once again.

5. Prospect Park (7-2 ML) – He needed four starts to break his maiden, but he did so by a neck. He then went into an optional claimer where he made it two wins in a row by dusting the field with a 5 1/4 length win. Last time out, he too ran in the Grade 2 San Felipe and had no chance of threatening Dortmund, but did get up for second. He would not be a surprise if he finished second again.

6. Bad Read Sanchez (30-1 ML) – The longest shot in the race has not raced since August. He broke his maiden in his debut at Santa Anita in June of 2014 by 10 lengths and was then sent to a listed stakes race at Los Alamitos. He ran a very good second and then ran a solid third in the Grade 2 Best Pal at Del Mar. He has decent works coming in, but he will probably need this race.


#1 Dortmund is the best horse on paper and will probably improve his record to 6 for 6 lifetime. The race for second will come down to #2 One Lucky Dane, #4 Bolo, and #5 Prospect Park. #5 Prospect Park seems most likely to finish second while #4 Bolo could improve in his second start on dirt and #2 One Lucky Dane certainly has talent to make an impact here.

1. Dortmund

2. Prospect Park

3. One Lucky Dane

A recap of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby will be posted on Saturday night.