December 2, 2023

Anisette lays down Del Mar Oaks marker in San Clemente

Anisette and jockey Umberto Rispoli win the San Clemente at Del Mar (Photo © Benoit Photo)

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Anisette made it 2-for-2 stateside with an explosive victory in Saturday’s $204,500 San Clemente (G2), stamping herself as a serious contender for the Aug. 19 Del Mar Oaks (G1).

Dominant in a Dec. 27 Wolverhampton novice in her British finale, the Leonard Powell pupil made her U.S. debut in a May 29 allowance versus elders at Santa Anita. Her visually impressive, last-to-first tally, in what was also her first start on turf, signaled her readiness for bigger targets. Anisette accordingly went off as the favorite in the San Clemente, although her 2.10-1 odds turned out to be overly generous.

Under confident handling by new pilot Umberto Rispoli, the British-bred dark bay settled in the latter part of the field that was strung out by an unsustainable pace. Ancient Peace and Fast and Shiny were intent on using their speed early, and they traded the lead through fractions of :22.33, :46.68, and 1:10.88 on the firm Del Mar course.

Anisette, who had been steadily improving at every call, angled out on the far turn and inhaled the leaders in the stretch. Rapidly opening up through a final furlong in :11.44, she romped by 2 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:34.84 for the mile.

“Good trip for me,” Rispoli recapped. “I had to use her a little bit on the backside to get her into the spot where I wanted her so we could wait. Then when it came time to go wide, she was there. Terrific closing kick. And I absolutely believe the farther they go, the better she’ll be.”

“I was very happy with the way the race was unfolding,” Powell said. “There was plenty of speed, and we were looking for the same kind of run as last time. She was very impressive again and a fast time, 1:34 and four. Olders earlier went 1:35.”

Powell was alluding to the 1:35.35 recorded by Warrens Candy Girl in the $122,500 Osunitas S. for older turf distaffers.

The 12-1 Ocean Club won the race for second, 1 1/4 lengths clear of Grade 1 veteran And Tell Me Nolies, who acquitted herself decently in her turf experiment. The Wild Grazer checked in fourth, followed by Delight; Olivia Twist; Flying Connection; Powell’s other runner, French Group 2 scorer Wed, who started slowly in this U.S. premiere; Paris Secret; Ancient Peace; Comanche Country; Spicybug; Broadway Girls; and Fast and Shiny. Justique didn’t draw in as an also-eligible, while Infinite Diamond was scratched in favor of Sunday’s third race.

Anisette’s three-race winning streak has advanced her resume to 5-3-1-0, $166,866. She started out on the all-weather last fall for trainer Kevin Philippart de Foy, progressing from a fourth and a second over Kempton’s Polytrack to open her account on the Wolverhampton Tapeta.

Bred by Morera Partnership, Anisette is a daughter of the Cape Cross stallion Awtaad, hero of the 2016 Irish 2000 Guineas (G1) and best known as the sire of recent Prix d’Ispahan (G1) victor Anmaat. Anisette’s dam, Tutti Fruiti, is a Teofilo half-sister to Group 1 queen Sultanina, from the family of Grade/Group 3 winners Dalvina and Mohaafeth.