Rocket Fuel
ABR Sweepstakes
Please provide a valid email address.
Close

Blog - RACING

Paynter's remarkable recovery was complete when he won an allowance race (above) in June. (Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire)

While the East Coast is having its last weekend of major Breeders’ Cup prep races, the West Coast is gearing up for the 2013 World Championships with its own Super Saturday card at Santa Anita Park, including five Grade 1 events.

Between West Coast regulars and horses shipping in for one prep race at the host track before the Nov. 1-2 Breeders’ Cup event, the racing action at Santa Anita looks to be outstanding.

The $250,000 Awesome Again stakes may have a handful of unknowns but there’s little doubt the top two storylines come from Paynter and Mucho Macho Man.

Paynter returns to Santa Anita after finishing last in a sloppy Woodward Stakes. The colt looks to regain the Grade 1 form he showed when winning the Haskell Invitational Stakes last year before suffering a life-threatening illness. Showing the courage and determination that allowed him to survive his sickness, Paynter came back to win an allowance in June before losing by a head to Kettle Corn in the San Diego Handicap. If Paynter can pull off a win in the Awesome Again, it would just add to the fairytale that his career has become.

Mucho Macho Man also gives fans plenty of reason to root for him through his trainer Kathy Ritvo.

Ritvo is celebrating the 5-year anniversary of a successful heart transplant by preparing Mucho Macho Man for another run at the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Mucho Macho Man, who finished second in the Classic last year, has finished third in both his starts this summer after taking a break from racing during the spring. If the 5-year-old horse can return to the back class he showed at four, he probably is the one to beat in this field.

RITVO WITH MUCHO MACHO MAN IN THIS 2011 FILE PHOTO

MMM-Ritvo Inside

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Turf Grade 1 winner Jeranimo makes his first start on the dirt in the 1 1/8-mile Awesome Again, although he does have wins on the main track at Santa Anita before it was changed from a synthetic surface back to dirt. He will be joined by Liaison and Golden Ticket as past Grade 1 winners looking to return to the winner’s circle at the highest level.

The Awesome Again is one of five stakes on the card that is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” series and offers the winner a guaranteed starting spot in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The $250,000 Zenyatta Stakes has attracted a strong group of fillies but perhaps none stronger on this track than Beholder. Last year’s champion 2-year-old filly returned to the races earlier this month after a summer break to easily win the Torrey Pines Stakes while looking like she was out for a morning stroll. She has only finished off the board once in her career, that loss coming in her debut in June of 2012. Beholder has four wins – three in Grade 1 races, including the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and this year’s Santa Anita Oaks – in five starts on the main track at Santa Anita.

BEHOLDER WINNING SANTA ANITA OAKS

Beholder Inside

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

However, the victory isn’t guaranteed for the Spendthrift Farm-owned filly as she is taking on multiple Grade 1 winners, including Joyful Victory.

Joyful Victory has won three of her four starts this year, including a Grade 1 win on this track in March. In all of her wins this year, no one has been able to get within four lengths of her with her only loss coming at Belmont Park.

Champion trainer Todd Pletcher ships in Authenticity for this race. New York-based, Authenticity finished second to Royal Delta in the Personal Ensign Stakes a month ago. She looks to add to her three victories this year and win her first Grade 1 in the Zenyatta.

The Zenyatta winner will earn an automatic starting spot in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Also on the full docket for Saturday is the $250,000 Chandelier Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles. The field features some of the best fillies on the West Coast, including Fascinating, the 2-year-old half-sister of Grade 1 winner Bodemeister.

SUPER SATURDAY: GET IN THE GAME

The Chandelier winner earns a place in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

The ladies take to the turf for the first graded stakes race of the day on the grass in the 1 ¼-mile $250,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes. The race is the final “Win and You’re In” event for Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf hopefuls and is run on the same course as the Breeders’ Cup event.

In the final graded stakes race before the Zenyatta and Awesome Again, the 2-year-old males get a chance in the FrontRunner Stakes. The race will go a long way in sorting out who is the top 2-year-old in California. Tamarando looks to prove that his Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity win wasn’t a fluke against 10 other opponents vying for a starting spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. 

$250,000 Chandelier Stakes

Race 5, post time 6 p.m. ET

2-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 miles (dirt)

PP

Horse

Jockey

Weight

Trainer

1

Fascinating (VA)

Rafael Bejarano

122

Bob Baffert

2

Colonel Joan (KY)

Garrett Gomez

122

Eoin Harty

3

Antiquity (KY)

Victor Espinoza

122

John Sadler

4

Harlington's Rose (CA)

Corey Nakatani

122

Steve Knapp

5

Awesome Baby (KY)

Martin Garcia

122

Bob Baffert

6

Belle of the Fleet (KY)

Joe Talamo

122

Dan Hendricks

7

Secret Compass (KY)

Rosie Napravnik

122

Bob Baffert

8

She's a Tiger (KY)

Gary Stevens

122

Jeff Bonde

$250,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes

Race 6, post time 6:34 p.m. ET

3-year-olds and older, fillies and mares, 1 1/4 miles (turf)

PP

Horse

Jockey

Weight

Trainer

1

Topic (KY)

Joe Talamo

116

Neil Drysdale

2

Lady of Shamrock (KY)

Garrett Gomez

119

John Sadler

3

Tiz Flirtatious (CA)

Julien Leparoux

121

Marty Jones

4

My Gi Gi (KY)

Rafael Bejarano

119

Peter Eurton

5

Starstruck (IRE)

Rosie Napravnik

119

Larry Jones

6

Vionnet (KY)

Victor Espinoza

119

Richard Mandella

7

Marketing Mix (ON)

Gary Stevens

124

Tom Proctor

$250,000 FrontRunner Stakes

Race 7, 7 p.m. ET

2-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles (dirt)

PP

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

1

Ontology (KY)

Corey Nakatani

Simon Callaghan

2

Schoolofhardrocks (KY)

Victor Espinoza

David Hofmans

3

Even Echo (KY)

Felipe Martinez

Myung Kwon Cho

4

Can the Man (KY)

Martin Garcia

Bob Baffert

5

Roundupthelute (KY)

Garrett Gomez

Bob Baffert

6

Tamarando (CA)

Julien Leparoux

Jerry Hollendorfer

7

Dance With Fate (FL)

Rafael Bejarano

Peter Eurton

8

Better Bet (CA)

Alberto Delgado

Mike Harrington

9

Bond Holder (VA)

Mario Gutierrez

Doug O'Neill

10

Test Ride (KY)

Edwin Maldonado

Michael Pender

11

Flat Gone (KY)

Brice Blanc 

 Keith Desormeaux

$250,000 Zenyatta Stakes

Race 9, post time 8 p.m. ET

3-year-old and older, fillies and mares, 1 1/16 miles (dirt)

PP

Horse

Jockey

Weight

Trainer

1

Great Hot (BRZ)

Chantal Sutherland-Kruse

119

A.C. Avila

2

Via Villaggio (KY)

Corey Nakatani

119

Jerry Hollendorfer

3

Beholder (KY)

Gary Stevens

121

Richard Mandella

4

Include Me Out (KY)

Joe Talamo

119

Ron Ellis

5

Flashy American (KY)

Julien Leparoux

119

Ken McPeek

6

Authenticity (KY)

Martin Garcia

119

Todd Pletcher

7

Joyful Victory (ON)

Rosie Napravnik

121

Larry Jones

8

More Chocolate (KY)

Rafael Bejarano

119

John Sadler

$250,000 Awesome Again Stakes

Race 10, 8:30 p.m. ET

3-year-olds and older, 1 1/8 miles (dirt)

PP

Horse

Jockey

Weight

Trainer

1

Liaison (KY)

Rafael Bejarano

119

Bob Baffert

2

Golden Ticket (KY)

Joe Talamo

119

Ken McPeek

3

Soi Phet (CA)

Irving Orozco

119

Leonard Powell

4

Jeranimo (FL)

Corey Nakatani

124

Michael Pender

5

You Know I Know (KY)

Julien Leparoux

119

John Sadler

6

Take Control (KY)

Rosie Napravnik

119

Bob Baffert

7

Paynter (KY)

Martin Garcia

119

Bob Baffert

8

Chief Havoc (KY)

Garrett Gomez

116

Peter Miller

9

Summer Hit (CA)

Edwin Maldonado

119

Jerry Hollendorfer

10

Mucho Macho Man (FL)

Gary Stevens

119

Kathy Ritvo

 

Image Description

Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Melissa Bauer-Herzog was born and raised in Vancouver, Wash. where she grew up riding horses in all-around events. After graduating from West Texas A&M with a B.S. in Mass Communication she spent the summer of 2012 interning at the United States Equestrian Federation and working at the Paulick Report. Melissa joined America’s Best Racing in December 2012 while interning with Three Chimneys Farm in their marketing communications division.

Image Description

Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Melissa Bauer-Herzog was born and raised in Vancouver, Wash. where she grew up riding horses in all-around events. After graduating from West Texas A&M with a B.S. in Mass Communication she spent the summer of 2012 interning at the United States Equestrian Federation and working at the Paulick Report. Melissa joined America’s Best Racing in December 2012 while interning with Three Chimneys Farm in their marketing communications division.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Sponsors & Partners

  • FoxSports1
  • NBC Sports
  • Logo 6
  • Saratoga
  • Santa Anita
  • CBS Sports
  • Monmouth
  • Keeneland
  • Gulfstream Park
  • Del Mar
  • Belmont Park
  • Arlington Park
  • OwnerView