February 27, 2021

Kalypso faces four in Las Virgenes; Acclimate, Hembree highlight Santa Anita undercard stakes

Kalypso
Kalypso wins the Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) © BENOIT PHOTO

Las Virgenes S. – Santa Anita Race 3 (4 p.m. ET)

Santa Ynez S. (G2) winner Kalypso will try to add another Kentucky Oaks qualifier, the  $200,000 Las Virgenes S. (G3), to her ledger on Saturday at Santa Anita. The Brody’s Cause filly heads a nice field of five entered for the mile test.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Kalypso earned her first career win in the Anoakia S. at Santa Anita last fall. The chestnut followed with a runner-up in the Starlet S. (G1), and Kalypso was prominent from the start posting a comfortable 1 3/4-length decision in the seven-furlong Santa Ynez. Joel Rosario rides.

The Las Virgenes will award points on a 10-4-2-1 scale as part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series.

Moraz, who exits an 11-length maiden romp in her second start, is one of three promising last-out maiden winners. Michael McCarthy trains the daughter of Empire Maker, and Umberto Rispoli retains the mount.

Moonlight d’Oro recorded the top last-out Brisnet Speed rating (94) when graduating at Los Alamitos in her third outing for Richard Mandella, and Flavien Prat will be up on the Medaglia d’Oro filly. Honor America figures to show speed after leading wire-to-wire in her second outing, and Juan Hernandez guides the Into Mischief filly for Shelbe Ruis.

Santa Ynez third Brilliant Cut is also entered.

San Marcos S. – Santa Anita Race 4 (4:30 p.m. ET)

Multiple graded winner Acclimate looks like the one to catch in the $200,000 San Marcos S. (G2). The seven-year-old gelding tops a field of six in the 1 1/4-mile turf affair.

Winner of the Del Mar H. (G2) and San Juan Capistrano S. (G3) in 2019, Acclimate returned from nearly a 13-month layoff with a close fourth in the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) in late November. He missed by 1 1/2 lengths when third in the restricted Turf Classic S. on Jan. 16, and Tyler Baze will ride the California-bred for Phil d’Amato.

Cleopatra’s Strike and Oscar Dominguez, second and third in last year’s San Marcos, are also part of the mix. Irish import Masteroffoxhounds will make his U.S. stakes debut for Richard Baltas after rolling to a 4 1/4-length allowance score at Del Mar in late November. Rosario picks up the assignment.

Thunder Road S. – Santa Anita Race 8 (6:30 p.m. ET)

Hembree will seek his second consecutive graded win out west when he lines up for the $100,000 Thunder Road S. (G3). Claimed for $62,500 from an optional claimer at Churchill Downs in mid-November, the seven-year-old horse returned immediate dividends for new connections when rallying to win the Jan. 1 Joe Hernandez S. (G2) over the 6 1/2-furlong downhill course.

Saturday’s mile distance is a good fit for Hembree, and Rosario has the call for Peter Miller.

Multiple stakes winner Bob and Jackie is a major rival. Runner-up in the Jan. 2 San Gabriel S. (G2), the five-year-old finished third in the City of Hope Mile S. (G2) three back for Baltas. Heriberto Figueroa will guide.

Other runners in the eight-horse field include last-out allowance winners Border Town and Sombeyay. Hit the Road, last seen winning the restricted Oceanside S. at Del Mar in mid-July, will return from a lengthy layoff for Dan Blacker.

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