ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 19, 2011) – Simply smashing in her racing debut nearly two months ago, Jerry and Ann Moss’s Sister Moon makes her highly anticipated return to action Saturday as the prohibitive favorite among six entrants in Santa Anita’s $65,000 Anoakia Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs.

Trained by John Sadler, the homebred daughter of Dixie Union set a track record of 1:02.70 for 5 ½ furlongs while thoroughly dominating her opposition by 9 ¾ lengths at Del Mar on Aug. 21. Sister Moon clearly exceeded early expectations with her breathtaking display.

Although she was dispatched at odds of 9-5, she was not the post time favorite and in April of this year, Sister Moon could have been purchased for $57,000. However, there was little interest and the bay filly failed to attain the minimum reserve of $57,000 privately set by her consigner at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale.

With Joel Rosario in the irons for her debut on Del Mar’s Polytrack, Sister Moon broke the surface standard of 1:02.71 Sidney’s Candy had set two years earlier. The time was only two-fifths off Del Mar’s old track record for the distance on dirt that the great Ack Ack had shared with five others at 1:02 1/5 when clockings were measured in fifths.

Rosario thinks Sister Moon, who drew post position No. 4, will transition effectively to Santa Anita’s new dirt surface. “She’s been working good,” he said. “We’ll see how much better she gets when she runs.

“She has a lot of talent,” he continued. “She’s classy. When you ask her to go, she’ll do whatever you ask her to, and that’s most important. There’s no need to rush her into longer races right now. The race at Del Mar was her first and we didn’t know what we had, but it turns out it was real impressive.”

The Anoakia can serve as an important proving ground for young fillies. Past runnings dating to 1969 have produced such standouts as June Darling (1970), B. Thoughtful (1977), Landaluce (1982), Althea (1983) and Twice The Vice (1993).

Among those set to test Sister Moon on Saturday is trainer Bob Baffert’s Lady Pecan, who will make her Southern California debut. After breaking her maiden at Woodbine on Aug. 10, Kaleem Shah’s Florida-bred daughter of Concerto was 10-1 in Saratoga’s Grade I Spinaway Stakes at seven furlongs on Sept. 4, but stopped badly, finishing eighth, 22 ¼ lengths behind highly regarded Grace Hall.

Lady Pecan will make her fourth start Saturday and the chestnut filly will be ridden for the first time by Martin Garcia.

The complete field for the Anoakia Stakes, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Ismene, Patrick Valenzuela, 118; Nicos Memory, Rafael Bejarano, 116; Lasso From El Paso, Victor Espinoza, 116; Sister Moon, Joel Rosario, 118; Evelyn’s Dancer, Mario Gutierrez, 116, and Lady Pecan, Martin Garcia, 116.

The Anoakia is scheduled to go as the third race on a 10-race program. First post is at 1 p.m.