ARCADIA, Calif. —Never better at age five, William Sims’ speedy Leggs Galore will hope to make every pole a winning one as she heads a field of 11 older fillies and mares going one mile on turf in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita.
Long gone in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint at about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course Jan. 15, a race she took by 2 ¼ lengths, California-bred Leggs Galore, a four-time stakes winner, will be seeking her first graded win at a distance at which she has a win and a second place finish from three tries.
Trained by Phil D’Amato, Leggs Galore was given recovery time following a fourth place finish in the one mile turf Solana Beach Stakes two starts back on Aug. 15 and she’s come back to the races in top form, evidenced by her 95 Beyer Speed Figure in her Jan. 15 romp.
With classy fellow Cal-bred Mucho Unusual and others in a talent-laden field, Leggs Galore will hope to get into a steady rhythm heading up the backside under regular rider Ricky Gonzalez, who has been aboard for all seven of her wins.
Out of the Indian Charlie mare Cashing Tickets, Leggs Galore is a 5-year-old mare by 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern who brings a 12-7-1-0 mark and earnings of $440,208 to the Buena Vista.
Class personified, George Krikorian’s homebred Mucho Unusual, a Grade I winner with earnings of $945,415, shortens up out of a third place finish going a mile and one eighth on turf in the Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes Jan. 1 and with four wins, a second and three thirds from nine tries at one mile on turf, will plenty tough to beat in what will be her 24th career start.
A 6-year-old mare by Mucho Macho Man out of the Unusual Heat mare Not Unusual, Mucho Unusual was a close second in last year’s Buena Vista and with John Velazquez riding her back, could certainly go as the post time favorite. With an enviable Santa Anita turf record of 13-6-3-4, she’s trained by Tim Yakteen and is 23-8-5-5 overall.
Idle since Nov. 6 for trainer Richard Baltas, Grade I stakes winning Going to Vegas looms a major danger with Flavien Prat set to ride. Owned by Abbodanza Racing, LLC, Medallion Racing and MyRacehorse, this 5-year-old mare by Goldencents has proven to be a tremendous claim, as she was haltered 14 starts back on June 12, 2020 for $50,000.
Idle since well beaten in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf going 1 3/8 miles at Del Mar, Going to Vegas entered the Breeders’ Cup on a three-race win streak, taking a second condition allowance four starts back on July 16, the Grade II John C. Mabee Stakes on Sept. 4 and the Grade I Rodeo Drive here two starts back on Oct. 2. Although she’s shortening up in distance, she’s 10-3-3-2 at one mile on turf and with an overall mark of 23-7-8-2, she has earnings of $634,151.
Yet another California-bred, Harris Farms’ late running homebred Closing Remarks, rates strong consideration on Saturday. Trained by Carla Gaines and graded stakes placed on three occasions, she comes off a big come from behind turf allowance win going a mile and one eighth on Jan. 17 and could prove dangerous late with Joe Bravo riding back on Saturday.
Based in New Mexico throughout most of 2021, B4 Farms’ Canoodling, in her second start for Mike Puype, got away with dawdling front-running fractions en route to a 22-1 upset in the Grade III Megahertz at one mile on turf Jan. 29 under New Mexico-based rider Roimes Chirinos, who rides back in the Buena Vista.
Barring a mishap at the gate however, Canoodling, who was allowed to saunter along through Megahertz fractions of 25.20, 49.80 and 1:14.40, will be nowhere near the pole position on Saturday, as Leggs Galore figures to be dictating terms in much faster fashion.
A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Pioneerof the Nile out of the Harlan’s Holiday mare Miz Kella, Canoodling, a three-time stakes winner, was sold for $180,000 as a Keeneland September Yearling. With an overall mark of 14-7-1-2, she has earnings of $278,023.
Lightly raced, D’Amato’s Tony Ann has won her last three races, all on turf, and will shorten up off neck victory going a mile and one eighth in a second condition allowance on Jan. 21. A six furlong turf maiden winner three starts back on Oct. 17, Tony Ann may try to press her stablemate Leggs Galore early.
Owned by Alex Venneri Racing, Inc. and Anthony Fanticola, Tony Ann is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Cairo Prince, out of the In Excess mare Never Ever and was also bred by Venneri Racing.
In what will be her first stakes appearance, Tony Ann, who will be ridden for the fourth consecutive time by Umberto Rispoli, has three wins from five starts.
THE GRADE II BUENA VISTA WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 5 of 11 Approximate post time 2 p.m. PT
Closing Remarks—Joe Bravo–120
Tony Ann—Umberto Rispoli—120
Keeper of Time—Mike Smith—120
Leggs Galore—Ricardo Gonzalez—120
Fast Jet Court—Juan Hernandez—122
Avenue de France—Drayden Van Dyke—120
Going to Vegas—Flavien Prat–124
Mucho Unusual—John Velazquez—120
Early first post time for an 11-race card on Saturday is at 12 noon with admission gates opening at 10 a.m.
Santa Anita Press Office
Photo:Leggs Galore/Benoit Photo