Kopion Tops G3 Santa Ynez

January 4, 2024

Kopion gallops Dec. 7 (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Box

ARCADIA, Calif.— Richard Mandella’s impressive first-time maiden winner Kopion heads Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ynez Stakes as five sophomore fillies go seven furlongs over the Santa Anita main track.

A chestnut filly by Mandella’s star-crossed graded stakes winning Omaha Beach, Kopion, who settled nicely early, rallied wide for an emphatic 3 ¾ length maiden score going 6 ½ furlongs on Nov. 26 at Del Mar under Flavien Prat, who rides her back on Sunday.

A $270,000 Keeneland September Yearling, Kopion, who earned a Santa Ynez-top Beyer Speed Figure of 83, is out of the Victory Gallop mare Galloping Ami and is owned by Spendthrift Farm, LLC. Off at 1-5 in her debut, she looms a standout in the Santa Ynez.

Peter Eurton’s Tambo, who earned a career best 78 Beyer in finishing second by a nose to repeat winner Nothing Like You going seven furlongs in the ungraded Desi Arnaz on Nov. 18, has solid credentials and will be ridden back by a red-hot Antonio Fresu.

A maiden $80,000 claiming winner going 5 ½ furlongs in her second start July 28, Tambo, who is by the Medaglia d’Oro stallion Enticed, was second, beaten three quarters of a length two starts back in her lone Santa Anita start, the six furlong Anoakia Stakes on Oct. 21.

Purchased out of the March OBS 2-year-old in Training Sale for $70,000, Tambo, who is out of the Flatter mare Flatter Me First, is owned by SAF Racing, Neil Haymes, James McFadden and William Strauss. She now has a win and three seconds, two of them in stakes, from five starts.

Fourth, beaten 6 ¼ lengths in the Desi Arnaz on Nov. 18, Doug O’Neill’s Don’t Bring Crazy, a restricted maiden $40,000 claiming winner two starts back here on Nov. 2, will be ridden for the first time by Juan Hernandez in what will be her seventh career start.

Off at 13-1 in the seven furlong Arnaz, Don’t Bring Crazy, who is owned by Great Friends Stables, LLC and Mark Davis, most recently drilled a half mile in a sizzling 47 flat on Dec. 29—second best of 101 moves at the distance.


Race 8 of 9 Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT

  1. Kopion—Flavien Prat—120
  2. Tambo—Antonio Fresu—120
  3. Bossy Bruin Gal—J.G. Torrealba—120
  4. Petit Filet—Kazushi Kimura—120
  5. Don’t Bring Crazy—Juan Hernandez—120

First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12 noon with admission gates opening at 10 a.m.

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