Santa Anita Stakes Preview

Horse Racing Radar
Frisco Bash
Frisco Bash is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Thursday, April 22, 2021

This Saturday at The Great Race Place, we've got two stakes races in store: The $100K Crystal Water and $200K Santa Margarita. Be sure to tune in early because the first stakes race is actually run on race one, with a Post Time of 1:00 PM PT. Let's preview the action.

The $100K Crystal Water Stakes — 1 mile, Turf, Cal Breds or California Sired, Four-years-old and upward. Post Time is 1:00 PM PT.

A field of six horses are set to run a mile over the Santa Anita lawn. Prominent among them is the Philip D'Amato trainee, ACCLIMATE, who will break from post two. He enters off a fourth-place finish in last month's San Luis Rey Stakes (G3), which is a one mile and one-half contest. He'll run four furlongs shorter for this event, though he's no stranger to this trip. From 2018 to 2019, he was highly competitive at the one mile distance, winning several Allowance races at Santa Anita, while producing some of his higher speed figures. He's fit and ready. Last week, he delivered a sharp 5F workout, going 1:00.2 as the 3rd fastest of 36 at that distance, indicating his good fitness. 

NORTH COUNTY GUY from the rail is also in the mix. He comes off of two consecutive wins at Santa Anita for trainer Richard Baltas. The 6-year-old turned in a sharp 4F workout going 48.20, the 5th fastest of 28 at that distance, showing he's tuned up for his second start off almost seven week's rest. Note that he defeated ACCLIMATE two races back, but it was going a furlong longer than this assignment.

BRANDOTHEBARTENDER is worth a look. The 8-year-old gelding won the 6F Sensational Star at Santa Anita for trainer Craig Dollase, earning an Equibase Speed Figure of 110 for the effort. He's had success over this trip, and will try to avenge his loss to NORTH COUNTY GUY in the Unusual Heat Turf Classic.

Rounding out the field are DESMOND DOSS, IRISH HEATWAVE, and PRODIGAL SON.

The $200K Santa Margarita Stakes (G2) — 1 1/8 miles, Dirt, Fillies and Mares, Four-year-olds and upward. Post Time is 4:30 PM PT.

HARVEST MOON will try to improve off her 4th place showing in the Beholder Mile. It was her comeback race in over four months, so we can expect an improved effort. She's a Grade 2 winner over this surface, and will carry the high weight of 122 pounds — which is two pounds more than all four of her rivals. She had a productive 2020 campaign, winning four consecutive races, with two of them being graded. She ambitiously stepped up in company for the Breeder's Cup Distaff, which was her only start outside of California. She finished a respectable fourth.

Out of all the defeated Beholder Mile participants, AS TIME GOES BY ran the best. Though she was no match for SWISS SKYDIVER, that's certainly nothing to be embarrassed about. She earned a 106 Equibase Speed Figure for the runner-up effort. She is bred to welcome longer distances, and should do well in her stretch out for trainer Bob Baffert. In preparation for this race, she worked a sharp 5F in 59:40, the 3rd fastest of 72 at that distance. 

CLOCKSTRIKESTWELVE for trainer Jonathan Wong won five consecutive races before finishing 6th in the Beholder Mile. In prepartion for a rebound effort, she delivered a sharp 5F workout going 1:00.40, the second fastest of 59 works at that distance, at Golden Gate Park.

Completing the field are: THIS TEA and PHAROAH'S HEART.

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