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Dortmund with Martin Garcia aboard after winning the Santa Anita Derby
The major California prep race for the Triple Crown is the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1) for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles over the Santa Anita main track just 4 weeks before the Run for the Roses, and worth 100 points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Conditions were excellent at the historic Arcadia oval, with 38,647 fans enjoying sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 80's. A short field of 6 went to post on Saturday, with undefeated Dortmund sent off as the 3-5 favorite off wins in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) and the San Felipe (G2). In to challenge him included 7-2 second choice Prospect Park, second in the San Felipe, and 9-2 third choice Bolo, third in the San Felipe after winning the Eddie Logan.
Dortmund leads down the stretch
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Dortmund Garcia 3.20 2.40 2.10 2 One Lucky Dane Bejarano 4.80 2.80 4 Bolo Smith 3.00 Winning Time: 1:47.52 $2 Exacta 1-2 6.70 $1 Trifecta 1-2-4 17.70 $1 Superfecta 1-2-4-5 26.00
Left: Dortmund in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Bob Baffert said, "The feeling is like we've been here before; just enjoy the moment because the next race (Kentucky Derby) is going to be the one. It's good to see this horse just really developing the way he has from his first start. I just love the way he ran today. When we bought him, he looked like a really good horse, but he was just a big horse, and sometimes they don't turn out. He's a big, long-legged horse. When he made the lead and when he gets by himself like that, he'll idle on you a little bit, so he had to keep going." Owner Kaleem Shah added, "To be going to the Kentucky Derby with an undefeated horse like this and to be compared to horses like Seattle Slew and Smarty Jones is just amazing."
Right: Dortmund in the post parade. Winning jockey Martin Garcia said, "He was really comfortable. The main thing for me today was to break well and put him in a good position. Even though he's won all his races, he's still learning. He can play around a bit but when someone comes to him, or I ask him to go, he becomes push-button and he just takes off. I never had the chance to ride American Pharoah except in his first time out. But American Pharoah just drags me in the morning; wherever you want to go, however far you want to go, he drags you there. Dortmund, just gallops along, but he isn't aggressive about it. They're different in that way but they're both very good horses."
Left: Second place finisher One Lucky Dane in the post parade. Jockey Rafael Bejarano said, I put him right behind with the speed, but the winner was just the best. He was much the best. My horse was still running to the end. My horse ran really good, really good. He surprised me today. He made a good move at the end. This will help a lot in the (Kentucky) Derby. I think this horse can run all day. He's still learning. He's a big horse, good-sized for two turns. I think this race will be a lot of help."
Right: Third place finisher Bolo in the paddock. Jockey Mike Smith said, "We didn't win today, but the good thing is that we know how talented he is on the grass. So we'll just have to regroup and start our campaign back on grass. We couldn't have had a better trip – it was perfect. We went three wide, but I was fine with it. I just didn't have the horse to go with him. He just struggled with the surface."
The $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks (G1) featured a field of seven 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles with the winner earning 100 Road to the Kentucky Oaks points. Santa Ysabel (G3) winner Stellar Wind was sent off as the 6-5 favorite over 7-2 second choice Luminance, undefeated in 2 allowance starts, and 6-1 third choice Curlin's Fox, second in the China Doll last out.
Luminance and 12-1 Glory dueled on the front end through fractions of 22.91, 46.34, and 1:10.76 while stalked by Curlin's Fox. On the far turn, Stellar Wind, last for 5/8 mile, came out 3 wide and quickly got to the front through 1 mile in 1:36.63. Kept to task by Victor Espinoza, Stellar Wind drew off to win by 5 1/4 lengths over Luminance in 1:43.26. It was another 3 lengths back to 7-1 Wild at Heart third.
Results Chart from DRF.
Left: Stellar Wind in the winner's circle. Winning owner Kosta Hronis said, "We've always attended this track growing up and to come to Derby Day and watch these special races and to be part of it was really amazing. And to win it; once we saw she was going to win the race, I just stood up and I was in awe that we could be part of it. She looked good all the way around. She looked comfortable. I knew if she didn't get caught in traffic and she was sitting out it would be great. If you keep the best horse out of trouble, that's a good sign and Victor kept her out of trouble. I thought we maybe moved a little bit too early, but she's a really talented filly. She wasn't going to be caught today."
Right: Stellar Wind returns after the race. Winning jockey Victor Espinoza said, "I knew they were going to slow down on the front so I didn't want to be stuck in behind horses. Sometimes it's better to go a little wide and then they're running free. Today, I rode her a little bit more because I think she needs a good race before going into the Kentucky Oaks. Her last race was too easy for her. I wanted a harder race for her today. I think she's a Kentucky Oaks filly. I have confidence because she can do anything. That's what I like about her. I can put her inside, I can swing her to the outside, I can go wide and it's still OK. She's such a big filly, with such a long stride that it's easy for her."
Left: Second place finisher Luminance returns after the race. Jockey Martin Garcia said, "My horse was pretty fresh, and she broke really sharp. She was in a good position, and she made a move, but the winner just ran by me. She was very impressive. She ran well. She'll be ready for next time. I didn't think the pace was that fast."
Right: Third place finisher Wild at Heart in the post parade. The 7-1 shot tracked the leaders in 3rd under Flavien Prat but failed to rally, finishing third beaten 8 1/4 lengths. The Richard Mandella trainee improved her record to 1 win, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 4 starts, earning $104,400 for owner Ramona Bass.
The $150,000 Providencia Stakes (G3) featured three-year-old fillies going 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Entrechat was sent off as the 8-5 favorite in the field of 12 off a maiden win in her second start. In to challenge her included 7-2 second choice Prize Exhibit, an allowance winner last out after finishing fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), and 7-1 Spanish Queen off her debut win.
Jockey Joe Talamo sent 17-1 Spirit of Xian to the lead first time by and she set fractions of 23.40, 47.07, and 1:11.50 while stalked by 13-1 Lady Zuzu and Spanish Queen. At the top of the lane, Spirit of Xian opened up a 1 1/2 length lead on Spanish Queen through 1 mile in 1:35.97. Spanish Queen closed the gap but Spirit of Xian held on to win by a neck in 1:48.10 over the firm course. It was another 1/2 length back to Entrechat third.
Results Chart from DRF.
Left: Spirit of Xian in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Richard Mandella said, "You could see, she meant to be on the lead, and Joe did a great job. I was lacking confidence, and I told Joe, ‘If you're not sure she can get the last 1/4, get off and run yourself.' He didn't have to."
Right: Spirit of Xian returns after the race. Winning jockey Joe Talamo said, "I had a lot of horse today. Coming off that sprint race in her last out, she really showed a lot of speed the whole way today. When she got to the front, she relaxed nicely and all the credit has to go to Mr. Mandella. You don't see too many fillies going from a 6 1/2 race to winning a 1 1/8 mile turf race in their next out. He gave me enough horse to work with today."
Left: Second place finisher Spanish Queen in the walking ring before the race. The 7-1 shot tracked the pace in third uner Brice Blanc then closed to get second beaten a head. The Richard Baltas trainee improved her record to 1 win and 1 second in 2 starts earning $63,600 for owner-breeders Harry Bederian, Jack Nakkashian, and Harout Kamberian.
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Entrechat returns after the race. Jockey Flavien Prat said, "We had a good trip. It was the first time at this distance, so it was a little bit tough. I think she needs to get more experience, she was a little bit green, so for her this was a good race."
The $200,000 Evening Jewel Stakes featured a field of 9 California-bred 3-year-old fillies sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track. 6-1 Bad Ju Ju and 24-1 Grand Yodeler dueled through fractions of 22.26 and 45.91. At the top of the lane Grand Yodeler opened up a 2 1/2 length lead by 8-1 Sheer Pleasure rallied from 11th to win by 3/4 length in 1:17.09. It was another 4 1/4 lengths back to 10-1 Ashley's Sassy third, while 5-2 favorite Jenna's Faith checked in 6th.
Winning trainer Phil D'Amato said, "Tyler got her out there, swung her wide and she just launched. It was vindication for the last race. I think the longer, the better with this filly. She has a lot of upside to her. I didn't know if we were going to get there. I know from training her that she gets stronger as the race gets longer. She was picking up steam and we nailed her at the very end."
Results Chart from DRF.
Kicking off the stakes action on Saturday, a field of 8 California-bred 3-year-olds sprinted 6 1/2 furlongs in the $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes. 7-2 Richard's Boy dueled with even-money favorite Gimme Da Lute through fractions of 22.13 and 44.77. Entering the stretch Gimme Da Lute took command, getting 3/4 in 1:08.36, and drawing off to win by 5 1/4 lengths over 3-1 Grazen Sky in 1:14.64. It was another 1/2 length back to Richard's Boy third.
Winning trainer Bob Baffert said, "First time I ran him, I completely had forgotten that he was a Cal-bred. Somebody forgot to give me that memo, so here we are. We have different options with him. He'll determine where we run next. He was working great. We're looking for bigger and better things." Jockey Martin Garcia added, "It was easy today. He's been learning. The last two times he ran he was a baby. He's still a baby but he's more mature now and I was just cruising with him. When I asked him to go he just took off."
Results Chart from DRF.
For the nightcap, a field of 11 older horses went 1 mile on the turf in the $75,000 Thunder Road Stakes. 9-2 Pure Tactics set the pace of 22.55, 46.85, and 1:11.05 while pressed by 97-1 Fleet Eagle. Pure Tactics continued to lead through 7/8 in 1:22.83, but tired late, as 5-1 Talco outfinished 6-5 favorite Winning Prize by a head in 1:34.26. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to Pure Tactics third.
Winning trainer John Sadler said, "Good day at the office. It's why we work so hard. This was rewarding, a lot of fun. He needs to get a good turf trip. I think he's a good miler. He's got a nice turn of foot."
Results Chart from DRF.
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