ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 28, 2017)–Trainer Chad Brown will hope to pack a potent one-two punch with eastern invaders Penjade and Elysea’s World as they take on four other fillies and mares, including Neil Drysdale’s locally based Responsibleforlove in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes at Santa Anita. Named for the legendary deceased Hall of Fame conditioner, the Frankel has attracted six fillies and mares three and up at a mile and one eighth on grass.
Owner: Ammerman Racing, LLC Trainer: Chad Brown
Although her resume is devoid of a graded stakes placing, this 4-year-old French-bred filly surged late to take an ungraded stakes going 1 1/16 miles on turf Nov. 25 at Aqueduct and she’s won four out of her last five starts–her lone setback a 1 ¼ length defeat when fourth two starts back in the Grade III Athenia Stakes at Belmont Park Oct. 28. With her regular rider and America’s leading jockey by races won this year, Irad Ortiz, Jr. coming into ride, Penjade is a logical choice to go favored on Saturday. Seemingly a deep closer earlier in her career, Penjade sat closer to the pace in her last two wins, both at 1 1/16 miles on turf. She sports an overall mark of 16-5-6-2, with earnings of $360,061.
Owner: Sheep Pond Partners and All Pro Racing, LLC Trainer: Chad Brown
Fourth, beaten a half length at odds of 9-5 by her stablemate, Penjade on Nov. 25 at Aqueduct, this Irish-bred provides Brown with an enviable two-card hand in the six-horse Frankel. Although she has yet to win a graded stakes, dating back to July of last year at Saratoga, she’s placed in no less than six graded events and will hope to “break through” in her Santa Anita debut Saturday. Ridden on Nov. 25 by Joel Rosario, she’ll be reunited in the Frankel with Javier Castellano, who guided her to a close third place finish two starts back in the Grade III Athenia Stakes on Oct. 28 at Belmont Park.
Owner: Team Valor International and Mrs. G.A. Rupert Trainer: Neil Drysdale
Well beaten in her U.S. debut six starts back, the Grade II Santa Ana Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf March 12, this Irish-bred 4-year-old filly has come to hand for Drysdale, as she’s been first or second in four out of her five subsequent starts. In what may have been her best stateside effort, she was third, beaten three quarters of a length, two starts back in the Grade I Rodeo Drive Stakes at 1 ¼ miles on turf here Sept. 30. Second, beaten a half length as the 2-1 favorite in the Grade III, 1 3/8 mile turf Red Carpet Handicap at Del Mar Nov. 23, she’ll be cutting back in distance and will hope to settle early as she has in her last three starts at longer distances. Regular rider Joe Talamo is back aboard as Responsibleforlove seeks her first graded stakes victory.
THE GRADE III ROBERT J. FRANKEL STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 4 of 9 Approximate post time 2 p.m. PT
1. Penjade–Irad Ortiz, Jr.–122
2. Midnight Crossing–Brice Blanc–120
3. Laseen–Victor Espinoza–120
4. Elysea’s World–Javier Castellano–120
5. Gliding By–Rafael Bejarano–120
6. Responsibleforlove–Joe Talamo–122
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com.