ARCADIA, Calif.—Desert Dawn, the unlikely winner of the Grade II Santa Anita Oaks who went on to run a solid third at 50-1 in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks, returns to Santa Anita on Sunday and heads a field of seven sophomore fillies going a mile and one sixteenth in the Grade II, $200,000 Summertime Oaks.
Owned and bred in Arizona by H and E Ranch, Inc., Desert Dawn, who crafted a lofty 90 Beyer Speed Figure in Kentucky on May 6, is conditioned by Santa Anita’s leading trainer Phil D’Amato, who seeks his league-leading 16th Winter/Spring stakes win.
Off at 14-1 in the 1 1/16 mile Santa Anita Oaks, Desert Dawn rallied turning for home and outdueled heavily favored Adare Manor to prevail by a neck under Umberto Rispoli, who will be aboard for the fourth consecutive time on Sunday. A bay filly by Cupid out of the Honour and Glory mare Ashley’s Glory, Desert Dawn is easily the leading money earner in the field with $492,150 from an overall mark of 8-2-0-3.
A runaway maiden winner in her first try at two turns, the John Shirreffs-trained Lady T will likely try to employ similar front-running tactics in what will be her first graded stakes assignment.
A $235,000 Keeneland September Yearling, Lady T shot out of the gate and in a race that seemingly just pitted her against the clock, she rolled to a 14 ½ length score in her one mile maiden win here on May 15 as the 1-5 favorite, earning a career-best 86 Beyer.
By Into Mischief out of the Malibu Moon mare Red Carpet Miss, Lady T made her debut going 5 ½ furlongs at Del Mar Sept. 5, a race in which she rallied to be second, beaten a nose at 11-1. Subsequently second to repeat stakes winner Eda in the six furlong Anoakia Stakes here on Oct. 24, she put it all together in her maiden victory under regular rider Victor Espinoza.
Owned by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jerry Moss and his wife Tina, Lady T is 6-1-4-0 with earnings of $102,800.
A winner of the Grade II, seven furlong Santa Ynez Stakes three starts back on Jan. 8, Under the Stars stumbled badly leaving the gate in the Grade II Santa Anita Oaks on April 9 and gets the first-time services of leading rider Juan Hernandez.
Classy Under the Stars, originally conditioned by the now-suspended Bob Baffert, will be making her second start for Tim Yakteen. Off at 7-2 in the Oaks here on April 9, Under the Stars was shuffled back to last in the run to the Club House turn and was never a factor thereafter in a race in which her heavily favored former stablemate Adare Manor finished second by a neck to Desert Dawn.
A solid second, beaten a half length as the even money favorite two starts back in the Grade III Santa Ysabel at 1 1/16 miles, Under the Stars, who is owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, is 6-2-1-2 with earnings of $214,520.
Lightly raced Ganadora, a $1 million Keeneland September Yearling, will be trying two turns and stakes company for the first time and looms extremely dangerous in her third start with Abel Cedillo up for the first time.
Ridden to consecutive 6 ½ furlong sprint victories by Juan Hernandez on Feb. 26 and April 10, Ganadora, who was originally trained by Bob Baffert, has been training a proverbial hole in the wind for Sean McCarthy, who sent her out to a gutty nose allowance score in her second start.
A filly by Quality Road out of the Ghostzapper mare Beloveda, Ganadora is owned by Baoma Corp.
Trained by Michael McCarthy, Empire Gal will also be stretching out in what will be her third start. An impressive 2 ¼ length first-out maiden winner going 6 ½ furlongs at Del Mar Nov. 20, she came back as the 9-5 favorite in the ungraded Angel’s Flight Stakes going seven furlongs here on May 8 and finished third by five lengths behind multiple stakes winner Elm Drive after stumbling at the break.
A Florida-bred filly by Empire Maker out of the Tapit mare Double Tapped, Empire Gal will be ridden for the first time by Ramon Vazquez, as Victor Espinoza sticks with Lady T. Owned by Bridlewood Farm and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Empire Gal should appreciate the added distance of the Summertime Oaks.
THE GRADE II SUMMERTIME OAKS WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 9 of 10 Approximate post time 5 p.m. PT
- Desert Dawn—Umberto Rispoli—124
- Ganadora—Abel Cedillo—120
- Bicameral—Ricardo Gonzalez—120
- Kirstenbosch—Tyler Baze—120
- Empire Gal—Ramon Vazquez—120
- Under the Stars—Juan Hernandez—120
- Lady T—Victor Espinoza–120
First post time for a 10-race card on Sunday is at 1 p.m.
Santa Anita Park Press Release
Photo: Desert Dawn, (Benoit)