Whatmakessammyrun tops full field in GII Joe Hernandez 

December 29, 2022

Benoit Photo

Race Honors The Memory Of The Original Voice Of Santa Anita

Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Box

ARCADIA, Calif.—Santa Anita will honor the memory of the man who so artfully presented racing at The Great Race Place from its inception on Dec. 25, 1934, until shortly before his passing in February of 1972 on Saturday as a wide-open field of 11 3-year-olds and up will go about 6 ½ furlongs down the Camino Real Turf Course in the Grade II, $250,000 Joe Hernandez Stakes.

Rating top billing is the Mark Glatt-trained Whatmakessammyrun, who in his only try down the one-of-a-king hillside course, was a three-quarter length winner of the Grade II Eddie D Stakes two starts back on Oct. 1. Most recently second going five furlongs on turf at Del Mar in the ungraded Stormy Liberal, Whatmakessammyrun is better suited to the longer distance of the Hernandez and should be plenty tough with Joe Bravo riding back

A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by We Miss Artie, Whatmakessammyrun was unbeaten in a pair of six-furlong turf sprints out of Santa Anita’s turf chute at age three, highlighted by a 3 ¾ length romp in the ungraded Desert Code Stakes nine starts back on June 6, 2021.

Owned by Sterling Racing, LLC, Whatmakessammyrun is 16-4-3-2 overall, with all of his placings coming on grass.  Campaigned three seasons in New York, Florida, Kentucky and Southern California, he has earnings of $324,570.

Second, beaten three quarters of a length by the top selection in the Grade II Eddie D two starts back, Richard Mandella’s Lane Way comes off a solid neck win in a hillside allowance Nov. 6 and is thus one for two over the course.

Owned by MyRacehorse, Lane Way, a 5-year-old gelding by Into Mischief, has two wins and three second place finishes from his last five starts, all turf sprints.  With Mike Smith back aboard in the Hernandez, Lane Way can press or stalk the early pace as he’s shown ample versatility in 11 turf starts.

With an overall mark of 15-3-5-5, Lane Way has earnings of $257,560

Trainer Leonard Powell’s Air Force Red looms very dangerous as well, as he enters the Hernandez as a fresh commodity, having posted a 1 ¾ length win going one mile on turf here in the restricted Lure Stakes on Oct. 29 with Juan Hernandez, who will be back aboard on Saturday. 

Fifth, beaten 2 ¾ lengths in the Grade II Eddie D by Whatmakessammyrun, Air Force Red, a bay ridgling by Air Force Blue, has two wins from three tries down the hillside turf.  Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Janet Golightly, Air Force Red has four wins from nine starts and has earnings of $204,140.

With Frankie Dettori engaged to ride, classy comebacker Hit the Road will no doubt command a good deal of attention as he tries the hillside layout for the first time.  A game neck winner of the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf) here five starts back on March 26, 2021, Hit the Road, a 5-year-old full horse by More Than Ready, has been idle since finishing eighth in the Grade I Pegasus World Cup Invitational Turf going a mile and one eighth at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 29

Owned by D K Racing, LLC, Radley Equine, Inc., Taste of Victory Stables, Tony Maslowski and Dave Odmark, Hit the Road, who has four stakes victories and an overall mark of 13-6-0-2, will hope to be rolling late in what could be a short rehearsal for a return to Gulfstream on Jan. 28.

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

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