Weekend Lineup Presented By Del Mar Ship & Win: Grade 1 Triple For Memorial Day At Santa Anita - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Weekend Lineup Presented By Del Mar Ship & Win: Grade 1 Triple For Memorial Day At Santa Anita

Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

Monday's card at Santa Anita Park features a trio of Grade 1 races, one of which is a “Win and You're In” offering a fees-paid berth to this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships.

Also on Monday, a total of 96 horses are entered for Memorial Day's special 10-race all New York-bred card at Belmont Park to celebrate the best of New York racing for the annual Big Apple Showcase Day.

Though not available for simulcasting, Monday's Lone Star Park program features six stakes races offering $1.2 million in purses. The day's featured event is the $400,000 Steve Sexton Mile (Grade 3), named for the Lone Star Park general manager and vice president who died in 2016 at 57. Silver Prospector, who finished third in this race in 2021 and won it a year ago, returns for another swing at Lone Star's richest Thoroughbred event.


5:26 p.m. – $225,000 Keertana Stakes at Churchill Downs

Grade 3 winner Sparkle Blue headlines a field of 12 filly and mare turf marathoners that entered Saturday's $225,000 Keertana Stakes (Listed) at Churchill Downs. Trained by Graham Motion, Sparkle Blue recorded the most prominent victory of her nine-race stand three starts ago when she defeated California Angel by 2 ½ lengths in the Valley View (G3) at Keeneland. The daughter of Hard Spun capped her 3-year-old season with a narrow third-place finish behind Rhea Moon and School Dance in the American Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita.

Chief among Sparkle Blue's competition is Sinfiltre. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Sinfiltre won her last two starts, a 1 3/16-mile maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park over the Tapeta surface and a 1 ½-mile first-level allowance contest on turf at Keeneland. Jockey Luis Saez has the riding assignment from post 4.

Other talented fillies and mares in the Keertana include three last-out Keeneland allowance winners: Lovely Princess; Miss Yearwood; and Quality Star.

Keertana Entries

7:44 p.m. – Grade 2 Triple Bend Stakes at Santa Anita

The lightly raced 5-year-old Spirit of Makena, a head shy of being unbeaten in four starts for trainer George Papaprodromou, heads a field of seven older horses going seven furlongs. Unbeaten in two starts at Santa Anita this year, a six furlong allowance on Feb. 11 and most recently, the Grade 3 San Carlos Stakes at seven panels on March 11, Spirit of Makena, a full horse by Ghostzapper, will be ridden for the third consecutive time by Joe Bravo.

A troubled second to world class sprinter Dr. Schivel in a six furlong classified allowance here on May 13, Peter Miller's 9-year-old gelding C Z Rocket returns on two weeks notice and with a star-studded resume that includes three graded stakes wins and earnings of $2,008,441, he has to be considered the class of the field.

A colt who showed tremendous promise as a newly turned 3-year-old, bagging victories in Santa Anita's G2 San Vicente Stakes Jan. 29 and San Felipe Stakes on March 5, 2022, Richard Mandella's Forbidden Kingdom has been winless in five subsequent starts, with his lone out this year coming in the G3 San Carlos, a race in which he finished second by 1 ½ lengths to Spirit of Makena.

Triple Bend Entries


4:22 p.m. – Grade 3 Winning Colors Stakes at Churchill Downs

Multiple Grade 1 winner Echo Zulu headlines a field of six filly and mare sprinters that were entered for the Memorial Day feature.

Campaigned by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Echo Zulu was the Champion 2-year-old Filly in 2021 following victories in the Spinaway (G1), Frizzette (G1) and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). As a 3-year-old, Asmussen kept Echo Zulu on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks where she was victorious in the TwinSpires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) prior to her fourth-place effort in the Lognines Kentucky Oaks (G1).

The daughter of Gun Runner went to the sidelines following the Oaks but returned in the seven-furlong Dogwood Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs where she easily defeated four rivals by 5 ¼ lengths. Asmussen kept Echo Zulu around one turn in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) and was the runner-up to Goodnight Olive.

Echo Zulu's Winning Colors rivals include Boone Family Trust and Tillema Family Trust's multiple stakes winner Marissa's Lady and Jacks or Better Farm's speedy Florida-bred stakes winner Spirit Wind.

Winning Colors Entries

6:00 p.m. – Grade 1 Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita Park

Queen Goddess will take aim at a second Grade 1 win for trainer Michael McCarthy when she takes on six rivals going 1 1/8 miles on turf. The mare won the G3 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Gulfstream Park in her 5-year-old bow Jan. 28 then returned to be sixth when sent to Keeneland for the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley on April 15. She will be ridden by eastern-based jockey Luis Saez, who comes to town after being aboard for both the Jenny Wiley and Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

The chief rivals to Queen Goddess look to be Macadamia and Quattroelle, who have split a pair of decisions when running 1-2 in their two most recent starts.

In the G3 Wilshire at a mile on turf here April 30, Macadamia beat Quattroelle by a length to earn her first stakes victory for top turf trainer Phil D'Amato, who also has School Dance entered in the Gamely. Owned by R Unicorn Stable, Macadamia is a 5-year-old mare by Hat Trick.

Prior to coming up a length short in the Wilshire, Quattroelle had reeled off consecutive graded-stakes wins for trainer Jeff Mullins. She beat Macadamia by a half-length here March 4 in the G2 Buena Vista and prior to that won the G3 Megahertz, both going a mile on turf. Owned by Red Baron's Barn and Rancho Temescal, Quattroelle has a record of 5-4-4 in 16 starts with $432,772 in earnings.

Gamely Entries

7:00 p.m. – Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita Park

One of three talented turf runners from the Phil D'Amato barn, Gold Phoenix heads a field of 11 for this “Win and You're In” race offering a fees-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Mile to be run over the same grass course this Nov. 4. A game neck winner over the course of the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile on March 4, Gold Phoenix was most recently fourth, beaten 2 ½ lengths by repeat winner Offlee Naughty as the 8-5 favorite going a mile and one quarter on turf in the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Stakes April 8.

D'Amato's other two Shoe Mile entrants, fellow Irish-breds Hong Kong Harry and Balnikov, both enter the race in top form, with Hong Kong Harry toting a stronger resume. Off at 7-2 in the prestigious Grade 1 Old Forester Turf Classic on Derby Day at Churchill Downs, Hong Kong Harry rallied gamely to finish second by 3 ¾ lengths and returns to a course over which he's got three wins from four tries.

Bob Baffert's Du Jour, most recently fourth as the favorite going one mile on turf here in the Grade 3 American Stakes April 2, rallied to be second by a neck to Gold Phoenix two starts back in the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile and is a stout contender with eastern-based Luis Saez taking over for the first time.

Shoemaker Mile Entries

7:30 p.m. – Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup at Santa Anita Park

Bob Baffert sends out the potent one-two combination of Defunded and Country Grammer as a field of six 3-year-olds and up were entered to go the American classic distance of 1 1/4 miles on dirt in a race inaugurated at Hollywood Park in 1938. Seabiscuit won that first Gold Cup under George Woolf, and the race's roster of winners includes the likes of  Citation, Swaps, Round Table, three-time winner Native Diver, Ack Ack, Affirmed, Cigar, Skip Away, and three-time winner Lava Man.

Country Grammer, who won the Gold Cup in 2021, is one of eight winners saddled by Baffert, who is tied with the most Gold Cup winners with Charles Whittingham.

The 6-year-old Country Grammer is back from a trip to the Middle East, where he finished second in the G1 Saudi Cup Feb. 25 and seventh in the G1 Dubai World Cup. Defunded, a 5-year-old Dialed In gelding, comes off a sharp victory in the G2 Californian at Santa Anita on April 22,  when he earned a career best Beyer Speed Figure of 102. Defunded finished second to There Goes Harvard in the 2022 Gold Cup after setting the pace.

Gold Cup Entries

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