ARCADIA, Calif. (March 3, 2010) – With the leading contenders including 5-year-old mare St Trinians, who will be attempting to further racing’s surge in “girl power” and 6-year-old grass racing specialist Loup Breton transitioning from the only surface he has ever known, Saturday’s 73rd running of the Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino may be one of the most unconventional in its storied history.
A full field of 14 starters was entered in the Grade I, $750,000 classic at 1 ¼ miles. Contenders such as Neko Bay, Mast Track, Jeranimo and Misremembered have approached the Big Cap via its traditional stepping stones. St Trinians and Loup Breton, on the other hand, defy tradition. And they have been established as the race favorites on Santa Anita handicapper Jon White’s morning line with St Trinians the mild choice at 7-2 followed by Loup Breton at 4-1.
Perhaps inspired in some measure by the enormous success of Zenyatta and Rachael Alexandra while racing against males, British-bred St Trinians will aim to distinguish herself by becoming the first filly or mare ever to capture the Big ‘Cap. And some luminous females have tried—including Dahlia, Life’s Magic and Serena’s Song. The best Big ‘Cap finish by a female, however, dates to 1951 when runner-up Next Move lost by a neck to Moonrush.