June 12, 2024

Du Jour heads 11 in Shoemaker Mile; Gamely, Gold Cup included in Santa Anita’s Memorial Day festivities

Anisette wins the American Oaks (G1 at Santa Anita Park (
Anisette wins the American Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita Park (Photo by Benoit Photography)

Memorial Day remains a big day racing at Santa Anita, as three major stakes highlight a dynamite 11-race program.

The stakes action kicks off with nine females in the $300,000 Gamely (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Multiple Grade 1 winner Anisette, last seen winning the American Oaks (G1) in late December, will open her four-year-old season, and Richard Mandella has a pair of contenders in Linda’s Gift and Ruby Nell.

Umberto Rispoli has the call on Anisette, an English import who recorded three wins and a pair of second from five graded starts last season, and Leonard Powell conditions the daughter of Awtaad.

Third in the Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G2) two back, Ruby Nell exits a nice win in the March 3 Buena Vista (G2) and has won five of six starts over Santa Anita’s turf. Edwin Maldonado rides. Linda’s Gift enters with a three-race stakes-winning streak, most recently capturing the Santa Ana (G3) in late February, and Tiago Pereira will guide.

Eight are set for the 86th running of the $200,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (G2), and Bob Baffert will seek a record-extending 10th victory with the duo of including Mr Fisk and Reincarnate.

Mr Fisk enters on the upswing, recording a 2 1/4-length win in the April 20 Californian (G2), and Kazushi Kimura will be back up on the four-year-old son of Arrogate. Grade 3 winner Reincarnate will try to improve upon a fourth in the April 20 Oaklawn H. (G2) with Juan Hernandez.

Other runners in the 1 1/4-mile test include Argentinean champion Subsanador, a head runner-up when making his second U.S. start in the March 3 Santa Anita H. (G1). Flavien Prat will be up for Mandella. Mark Glatt removes blinkers for Judge Miller following a head second in the Californian, and the light-raced son of Curlin will make his second stakes appearance with Frankie Dettori.

The $300,000 Shoemaker Mile (G1) completes the stakes action with a fine field of 11. Frank Mile (G1) victor Du Jour, a winner in three of his last four starts for Baffert, looms as the probable favorite, and Prat will be in to ride the six-year-old gelding.

Del Mar Derby (G2) hero Conclude, a winner in his last three starts over stakes rivals, returns for Phil d’Amato. Hero Berrios retains the mount on the four-year-od son of Collected. D’Amato will also send out multiple Grade 2 winner Easter, a rallying second when opening 2024 in the Kilroe Mile. Antonio Fresu pilots.

Wesley Ward ships in a pair, Dominican Pioneer and Funtastic Again, and Johannes merits respect for Tim Yakteen following a sharp comeback win in the April 4 American (G3) at Santa Anita.