We've got a big three-day weekend of racing coming up at the Great Race Place. Seven graded stakes races are in store. Let's preview the probable fields, per Horse Racing Nation.
The Charles Whittingham Stakes (G2) — 1 1/4 miles, Turf, Three-year-olds and upward.
UNITED aims for a second win in a row for trainer Richard Mandella. The son of GIANTS CAUSEWAY was last seen winning the San Luis Rey Stakes (G3) last month and will be making his second start off his layoff. He won this event in 2020 and finished second in 2019. RED KING finished 5th last time out going longer in the Hollywood Turf Cup. That was his comeback race so he should be sharper in this second race back. He's a grade 3 winner over this track and surface, and has not missed a beat in his training for Philip D'Amato. CROSSFIREHURRICANE makes his U.S. Debut for trainer Michael McCarthy. Has not run since September 2020 but has been training consistently at Santa Anita.
The Triple Bend (G2) — 7 furlongs, Dirt, Four-year-olds and upward.
FLAGSTAFF comes off a hard-fought win in the Churchill Down Stakes (G1) and has strung together two graded stakes victories in a row for John Sadler. He finished fourth in this event last year but will try to redeem that effort. SHOOTERS SHOOT comes off a solid win in a seven furlong Allowance OC race for trainer Peter Eurton. He rallied from off the pace despite a three-wide trip and will hope to have a hot pace here to close into. EIGHT RINGS will make his first start in almost ten months for trainer Bob Baffert. He's a Grade 1 winner over this track and surface and will try to find the winner's circle for the first time since September 2019. He's sharp as a tack though; peep his 5F bullet work on May 21st, going 59.40 as the fastest of 29 workouts at that distance.
The Daytona Stakes (G3) — 6.5 furlongs, Turf, Four-year-olds and upward.
GREGORIAN CHANT from the Philip D'Amato barn seeks his fourth consecutive win. He achieved his top speed figure last time out. The son of GREGORIAN put in a sharp 5F workout on May 24th, going 58.80 as the 2nd fastest of 10 works at that distance. NEXT SHARES will cut back in distance for trainer Richard Baltas. The 8-year-old gelding has been accustomed to facing tougher and will try to have a bigger impact at this level. STUBBINS was third in this event last year, which earned him his current top speed figure. He's got two wins over this Santa Anita turf.
Summertime Oaks (G2) — 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, Fillies, Three-year-olds.
SOOTHSAY hails from the Richard Mandella stable and will go for her third consecutive victory. She was last seen winning the Santa Anita Oaks (G2), CRAZY BEAUTIFUL makes her West Coast debut for trainer Kenneth McPeek. She was no match in the Kentucky Oaks last time out but will try to rebound off that effort here. She fired a 5F bullet work, going 59.00 as the fastest of 40 workouts at that distance. LI'L TOOTSIE is also making her West Coast debut for trainer Tom Amoss. The TAPITURE filly has a win over this distance and won't have to chase the likes of TRAVEL COLUMN and CLARIERE in a route race, as she had to two starts back.
The Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) — 1 1/4 miles, Dirt, Three-year-olds and upward.
EXPRESS TRAIN from the John Shirreffs barn looks tough. He's hit the board in all of his last four races, and in his most recent effort, the Oaklawn Handicap (G2), he earned his top speed figure to date. RUSHIE was last seen running second in last month's Oaklawn Mile Stakes. He fired a 5F bullet work on May 22nd to indicate his readiness, going 59:00 as the fastest of 59 works at that distance. ROYAL SHIP earned his highest speed figure last time out when he won the Californian Stakes (G2). The son of MIDSHIPMAN will stretch out another furlong for trainer Richard Mandella.
The Gamely Stakes (G1) — 1 ? miles, Turf, Three-year-olds and upward.
JULIET FOXTROT makes her Santa Anita debut for trainer Brad Cox. She won the Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1) last time out and will be making her second start of the season. GOING TO VEGAS will be stepping up to tougher competition for trainer Richard Baltas. The daughter of GOLDENCENTS comes off a win in the Santa Ana Stakes (G3). KEEPER OFTHE STARS took on the boys last time in the San Francisco Mile Stakes (G3) and ran very well to be second. She'll be making her third start off a layoff here and note that she is the defending champion of this race, having won the Gamely Stakes (G1) in 2020 while earning a 115 ESF in the effort.
The Shoemaker Mile (G1) — 1 mile, Turf, Three-year-olds and upward.
SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT has been running lights out. He tied his top speed figure last time out when he finished third in Turf Classic Stakes (G1) on Derby Weekend. He has not failed to hit the board in all five of his last starts, which were all either Grade 1 or Grade 2 races. WHISPER NOT is going for his third consecutive win for trainer Richard Baltas. He delivered last time out in the San Francisco Mile Stakes (G3) as the $1.40 to win favorite. RESTRAINEDVENGENCE for trainer Val Brinkerhoff also ran in the San Francisco Mile Stakes last time out, but finished third as the third betting choice. He's been training consistently ever since.
Source: Equibase, Horse Racing Nation