Winner To Receive 100 Kentucky Oaks Qualifying Points
ARCADIA, Calif. —Fresh off of double digit scores in her last two races, Michael Lund Petersen’s Adare Manor looms a short priced favorite versus four rivals in Saturday’s Grade II, $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks at a mile and one sixteenth.
A pivotal race for those trying to get qualifying points to the Grade I Kentucky Oaks, the Santa Anita Oaks will provide the winner with 100 Oaks qualifying points, with 40, 20 and 10 points going to the second through fourth place finishers.
A 12 length gate to wire maiden winner at one mile on Jan. 7, Adare Manor pressed the early pace en route to a resounding 13 length win at 2-5 in the Grade III Las Virgenes Stakes at the same distance on Feb. 6. Trained by recently suspended Bob Baffert through her first four starts, she’ll be saddled for the first time by Tim Yakteen on Saturday with sights fully set on the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs May 6.
An odds-on favorite in three out of her four starts, Adare Manor, a filly by Uncle Mo out of the Giant Gizmo mare Brooklynsway, was purchased out of a 2-year-old in training sale for $375,000. With two wins and a second place finish, she has earnings of $176,600.
Stablemate Under the Stars, a fast finishing second as the even money favorite in the Grade III Santa Ysabel Stakes going 1 1/16 miles March 6, will also be transitioning from Baffert to Yakteen and appears to be the likely second choice in the Oaks while ridden for the first time by Mike Smith.
A front-running winner of the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes at seven furlongs two starts back on Jan. 8, Under the Stars will undoubtably be forwardly placed in what will be her second try at a route of ground. A bay filly by Pioneerof the Nile out of the Storm Cat mare Untouched Talent, Under the Stars is owned by Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor. With an overall mark of 5-2-1-2, she has earnings of $190,520.
A one mile maiden special weight winner going one mile in her second start Aug. 26 at Del Mar, Arizona-bred Desert Dawn was subsequently third in the Grade II Chandelier Stakes at 1 1/16 miles here on Oct. 1 and was distanced in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 5 at 42-1.
Trained by Phil D’Amato and owned by her breeders, H and E Ranch, Inc., Desert Dawn was a creditable fourth, beaten 3 ¾ lengths by top filly Eda in the Grade I Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos Dec. 4 and in her lone start this year, was fourth, beaten 5 ¼ lengths by Eda in the Grade III Santa Ysabel on March 6. With a recent race under her belt Desert Dawn, a bay filly by Cupid out of the Honour and Glory mare Ashley’s Glory, will hope to improve enough to be competitive against the top two. THE GRADE II SANTA ANITA OAKS WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 4 of 12 Approximate post time 1:30 p.m. PT
- Desert Dawn—Umberto Rispoli—124
- Ain’t Easy—Juan Hernandez–124
- Under the Stars—Mike Smith—124
- Micro Share—Victor Espinoza—124
- Adare Manor—John Velazquez–124
Special early first post time for a 12-race card on Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Day this Saturday is at 12 noon with admission gates opening at 10 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com.
Santa Anita Press Release