Princess Noor- Benoit Photo
While the Awesome Again may get top billing, there are four other Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races Saturday at Santa Anita, with the $300,000 American Pharoah (G1) offering a starting berth into the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance(G1), while the $300,000 Rodeo Drive (G1) Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, G1), $200,000 Chandelier (G2) (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, G1), and $100,000 Speakeasy (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint) also serve as automatic qualifiers.
The American Pharoah, run at 1 1/16 miles, is led by SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Golconda Stables, Siena Farm, and Robert E. Masterson’s SPIELBERG, who will look for his first career victory for trainer Bob Baffert.
The 2-year-old son of Union Rags was second on debut at Del Mar in August and then second in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) Sept. 7,and figures to improve a great deal as he’ll try two turns for the first time. Pam and Marty Wygod’s homebred WASPIRANT, another son of Union Rags, got two turns in his second start and broke through with a maiden win at Del Mar Aug. 29 for trainer John Shirreffs.
Others include WESTON, who won Del Mar’s Best Pal (G2) in August but was a distant third in the Runhappy Del Mar Futurity(G1), and NOTABLE EXCEPTION, an impressive Arlington Park debut winner.The Rodeo Drive, at 1 ¼ miles,has seven entered in a race that could sort out the Southern California filly and mare turf ranks. Calvin Nguyen’s BODHICITTA (GB), a 4-year-old daughter of Showcasing (GB), won Del Mar’s Yellow Ribbon (G2) Aug. 8 for trainer Richard Baltas, while Slam Dunk Racing and James Branham’s MAXIM RATE, a 4-year-old daughter of Exchange Rate, won Del Mar’s Aug. 16 CTT and TOC Stakes for trainer Simon Callaghan.
LADY PRANCELOT, winner of the last year’s American Oaks (G1) and second by a neck in the Sept. 5 John C.Mabee (G2) at Del Mar, along with stakes-placed runners CATCH THE EYE, MUCHO UNUSUAL and PRETTY POINT, have also been entered.The Chandelier, at 1 1/16 miles, could have the strongest favorite of the weekend, as Zedan Racing Stables’ PRINCESS NOOR, who has been 3-5 in both starts for Baffert, will likely be as short as 1-5 when she tries two turns for the first time.
The 2-year-old daughter of Not This Time easily won her debut at Del Mar in August then dominated the Sept. 6 Del Mar Debutante (G1) by 6 ½ lengths. Princess Noor, who cost $1.35 million at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training 2020, would further her status as the favorite for the Juvenile Fillies with another easy win. Princess Noor will face MAKE MISCHIEF, VARDA, ILLUMINATION, MISS COSTA RICA, and VARDA.
The Speakeasy, at 5 ½ furlongs, drew nine runners for an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2): THE GREAT ONE, NO PEDIGREE, BASQUE MAN, COMMANDER KHAI, AMANZI YIMPILO (IRE), FURY KAP, WYFIRE,WINDY CITY RED AND FEATHERS (IRE).