ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 29, 2021)–A dominant figure over the course, George Krikorian’s homebred Mucho Unusual is back to defend her title in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes as seven older fillies and mares go a mile and one eighth over the Santa Anita lawn.
A soon-to-be 6-year-old California-bred mare by Mucho Macho Man out of Krikorian’s Unusual Heat mare Not Unusual, Mucho Unusual, a Grade I winner and four-time overall graded stakes winner for trainer Tim Yakteen, is a remarkable 12-6-3-3 over the local turf and sports a 22-8-5-4 overall mark with earnings of $933,415.
Idle since prevailing by a nose at 3-5 in a mile and one eighth allowance here on Oct. 30, Mucho Unusual will be reunited with John Velazquez who guided her to her Robert J. Frankel victory five starts back.
Trainer Richard Baltas is well-armed with a pair of distaffers, LNJ Foxwoods’ improving Luck and Calvin Nguyen’s English-bred Bodhicitta.
A 4-year-old filly by Kitten’s Joy, Luck was two for four in France at marathon distances prior to taking her U.S. debut for Baltas going a mile and one sixteenth on turf in a first condition allowance Aug. 7 at Del Mar. Subsequently second, beaten a head in her last two races, the Grade I Rodeo Drive at a mile and one quarter on turf here Oct. 2 and in the Grade III Red Carpet Handicap at 1 3/8 miles on grass Nov. 25 at Del Mar, Luck has been knocking on the door and will hope to barrel through with Flavien Prat back aboard for the third consecutive time on Saturday.
Winless in her last six starts, the most recent a sixth place finish in the Grade I Matriarch at one mile on turf Nov. 28, Bodhicitta will hope to be flying from off the pace under Kent Desormeaux.
THE GRADE III ROBERT J. FRANKEL STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 8 of 10 Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT
- Bodhicitta–Kent Desormeaux–121
- Mucho Unusual–John Velazquez–123
- England’s Rose–Victor Espinoza–123
- Moraz–Juan Hernandez–121
- Sloane Garden–Kyle Frey–121
- Global Brand–Umberto Rispoli–121
- Luck–Flavien Prat–121
Special early first post time for a 10-race card including four graded stakes, is at 12 noon. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Mucho Unusual (Santa Anita Photo)