Three stakes will be offered on Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby undercard, including a major qualifier for the Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Santa Anita Oaks (G2) – Race 6 (5:30 p.m. ET)
Beautiful Gift will try to keep building momentum for the April 30 Kentucky Oaks when she lines up for Saturday’s $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks (G2). Winner of the March 7 Santa Ysabel S. (G3) in her stakes debut, the Bob Baffert-trained filly is seeking her third consecutive triumph.
The 1 1/16-mile race awards points on a 100-40-20-10 basis as a major Kentucky Oaks qualifier.
By Medaglia d’Oro, Beautiful Gift broke her maiden when stretching to two turns the second time out in late October. The bay lass returned from a 4 1/2-length hiatus in the Santa Ysabel, determinedly rallying past Moraz in the latter stages to score by a head, and John Velazquez retains the mount.
Moraz will look to exact a measure of revenge after surrendering a clear lead in deep stretch of the Santa Ysabel. An 11-length maiden winner three starts back, the Michael McCarthy-trained Empire Maker filly finished third in the Las Virgenes (G3) before just missing last time. Umberto Rispoli will be up.
Javanica will switch to dirt after a fine showing against males in the Feb. 13 El Camino Real Derby, missing by a neck in second to Rombauer. She finished second in consecutive turf stakes before her last outing, and Mike Smith will pick up the mount on the Medaglia d’Oro filly for Eoin Harty.
Debut maiden winner Soothsay and stakes-placed Brilliant Cut complete the field.
Royal Heroine S. (G2) – Race 9 (7 p.m. ET)
Charmaine’s Mia tops eight turf distaffers in the $200,000 Royal Heroine S. (G2). Previously based in Canada, the five-year-old mare has thrived since being transferred to Richard Baltas this season, posting convincing wins in the Buena Vista S. (G2) and Las Cienegas S. (G3) in advance of the one-mile Royal Heroine.
Flavien Prat will be up on the daughter of The Factor.
Grade 2 winner Raymundos Secret, unraced since a fourth as the favorite in the Goldikova S. (G2) last October, merits consideration off the bench for Phil D’Amato. Velazquez takes over the reins on the speedy Florida-bred Treasure Beach mare.
Multiple stakes vixen Dogtag, unraced since August, will also return from a layoff. Laura’s Light, a two-time Grade 3 scorer, and Grade 3 winner Warren’s Showtime add more depth to the solid cast.
Providencia S. (G3) – Race 5 (5 p.m. ET)
After capturing the Sweet Life S. (G3) and China Doll S. in her first two U.S. starts, Going Global will be the one to beat in the $100,000 Providencia S. (G3). The Irish import will face six three-year-old fillies in the 1 1/8-mile turf affair, and Prat has the call for D’Amato.
Her rivals include Closing Remarks, Quattroelle, and Sensible Cat.