Three Grade 1 Races Highlight Saturday Action at Santa Anita

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

March 8th, 2018

If you enjoy stakes-packed days of racing, you want won’t to miss the exciting race card that Santa Anita has put together for Saturday, March 10th.

Five of the eleven races are stakes events and four of them are graded stakes, with the $600,000 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) and the $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes (gr. I) leading the way. In the Santa Anita Handicap, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will send out the talented duo of Hoppertunity and Mubtaahij in search of his sixth win in the race, while in Kilroe Mile, the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) winner World Approval will seek to add yet another Grade 1 win to his record.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. One of the best races of the day is the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), a Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race offering 50 Derby qualifications points to the winner. The race promises to be a tremendous matchup between McKinzie, winner of the Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (gr. I), and Bolt d’Oro, who romped to victory in the FrontRunner Stakes (gr. I) last year. The two colts are among the early Derby favorites and figure to dominate the wagering in the San Felipe, though they’ll be joined by last month’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) 1-2 finishers Lombo and Ayacara, as well as the impressive San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) winner Kanthaka.

The $400,000 Triple Bend Stakes (gr. I) drew a small field of just six starters, but as a Grade 1 event the six-furlong sprint could have Breeders’ Cup implications and warrants a close look. Giant Expectations, winner of the Pat O’Brien Stakes (gr. II) going seven furlongs last summer, would be among the main contenders but is cross-entered in the Santa Anita Handicap. Should he scratch from the Triple Bend, then the gate-to-wire Malibu Stakes (gr. I) winner City of Light looms as the horse to beat in his four-year-old debut, with Malibu runner-up Edwards Going Left and the unbeaten up-and-comer Captain Scotty being others to consider.

Rounding out the day’s stakes action is the $75,000 China Doll Stakes, in which twelve three-year-old fillies will travel a mile over the turf course. Californiagoldrush is 2-for-2 thus far for trainer Neil Drysdale and looks ready to step up in his stakes debut, though she’ll have to be sharp to defeat the likes of Blue Norther Stakes winner Ippodami’s Girl and Sweet Life Stakes runner-up Ms Bad Behavior, who bring proven form against quality competition into the China Doll.

Post time for the first race of the day is 3:00 p.m. Eastern.