Anisette Makes It a G1 Hat Trick in Gamely

May 28, 2024

Anisette kicks off her 2024 campaign in style (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Santa Anita Press Box

ARCADIA, Calif.— Following a six-month layoff Anisette and jockey Umberto Rispoli edged eastern invader Olivia Maralda to earn her third Grade I win in Monday’s $300,000 Gamely Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf on Monday at Santa Anita.

Anisette (5-2) settled in mid-pack behind run-off leader Ruby Nell (5-2), who was all alone while setting fractions of 24.09, 47.57 and 1:11.69 under Edwin Maldonado. Ruby Nell led until the top of the stretch when both Anisette and Olivia Maralda, under Flavien Prat, rushed past on her outside.

Anisette proved to be going the best, as she crossed the wire a half-length ahead of William Walden-trained Olivia Maralda.

Trained by Leonard Powell, Anisette won in a final time of 1:46.90. Olivia Maralda finished a length in front of third-place finisher Forever After All (17-1), who shipped from Kentucky for trainer Brendan Walsh.

A 4-year-old Awtaad filly, Anisette hadn’t started since winning the 1 ¼-mile GI American Oaks Dec. 26 at Santa Anita for owner Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. Last year she also won the GI Del Mar Oaks and GII San Clemente ad Del Mar. She is now 10: 6-3-0 with $786,871 in earnings.

Anisette, who was the second choice with $754 fewer dollars in the win pool than Ruby Nell, paid $7.60, $3.60 and $2.60. Olivia Maralda returned $6.00 and $3.40 and Forever After All, ridden by Juan Hernandez, returned $6.60.

GRADE I, $300,000 GAMELY STAKES QUOTES

A Grade 1 visit to the winner’s circle (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

JOCKEY QUOTES

UMBERTO RISPOLI, ANISETTE, WINNER : “I went to see her after she was on rest, and she looked like she had gained weight. She is tiny, but you could see that she gained some of the weight. I think it was a very good work from Leo and the barn to get her ready for a Grade I after coming back off a layoff and at a mile an eighth. I don’t really think it was the distance she likes, but I think today she won because she is much the best filly. It’s hard to say (what distance she prefers) because I really like her going at a mile be cause if they get away from you she can have a really good turn of foot. When I passed the leaders ahead and took off, she got in front and started to wait for the other horses. I said,’ No, you don’t do that today’. When she felt that other filly come aside to her she just kept on going. I think it was a great effort.  My thought was to get a good break, because once you break on the dirt it could get tricky, most of the horses they stumble. We were a little bit crowed but…I had to ride her like she was the best filly in the race.  I had a dream trip.”

TRAINER QUOTES

LEONARD POWELL, ANISETTE, WINNER: “I was very happy with the first part of the race. I got a bit worried when Ruby Nell got the separation with the field, but I was very happy that the field caught up with Ruby Nell early. I could see that Umberto was biding his time and he had a lot of confidence in her, and she got the job done. At the quarter pole I thought if she makes it, she is a champion.”

NOTES: The winning owner is Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.

@jonathanstettin with another winner for @AmWager customer as Creative Courage surges back to take GP6

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