- PARADISE WOODS ‘DOING GREAT’ FOR ZENYATTA
- DORTMUND LIKELY FOR AWESOME AGAIN STAKES
- FREE PROMOTIONAL ITEM FOR ‘THOROUGHBREDS’
PARADISE WOODS BACK IN STRIDE FOR ZENYATTA
Paradise Woods, hailed as the second coming of Ruffian in some quarters after winning the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks last April by a race record margin of 11 ¾ lengths, will attempt to regain lost luster from her resume in the Grade I, $300,000 “Win and You’re In” Zenyatta Stakes on Saturday, Sept. 30.
The three-year-old daughter of Union Rags was beaten 20 ½ lengths after setting the pace into the stretch in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks on a sloppy Churchill Downs track last May 5 following her breathtaking Santa Anita Oaks win, then had no chance when she stumbled badly at the start as the 3-10 favorite in the Grade III Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar Aug. 27, finishing sixth in a field of seven.
Richard Mandella has drawn a line through that race and is looking forward to the Zenyatta, one of five Grade I, “Win and You’re In” Challenge Races on Sept. 30 that present the winners fees-paid berths into their respective Breeders’ Cup races on Nov. 3 and 4.
“She had a bad experience in the race at Del Mar,” the Hall of Fame trainer said, mincing no words. “It was just a bad day and we’re trying to get it out of our head and run in the Zenyatta.
“She’s doing great, working great and looks great.”
Mandella also plans to enter defending champion Avenge in the grassy, 1 ¼-mile Rodeo Drive Stakes, a race the daughter of War Front won on Oct. 1, 2016. Sired by world-class stallion Danzig, War Front was the champion sire of North America in 1991, ’92 and ’93.
Flavien Prat rides both Paradise Woods and Avenge.
In addition to the Zenyatta and the Rodeo Drive, Santa Anita will showcase three other Grade I, $300,000 “Win and You’re In” Challenge Races: the Awesome Again for three-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles; the FrontRunner Stakes for two-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles; and the Chandelier Stakes for two-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
First post time Sept. 30 will be 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. On opening day, Sept. 29, first post time is 1 p.m., with admission gates opening at 11 a.m.
Friday’s feature is the Eddie D. Stakes for three-year-olds and up at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
DORTMUND ADDS ZEST TO AWESOME AGAIN LINEUP
Dortmund, the 2015 Santa Anita Derby winner last seen April 1 in the Santana Mile, has been nominated to the Grade I, $300,000 “Win and You’re In’ Awesome Again Stakes and “we’re leaning towards running,” trainer Art Sherman said by phone Thursday morning from his Los Alamitos headquarters.
“We’ll play it by ear and nothing’s definite, but we’re leaning on going,” Sherman said.
Dortmund has raced twice for Sherman since being transferred by owner Kaleem Shah from Bob Baffert’s barn, finishing sixth when he made his turf debut in the Grade I Kilroe Mile last March 11 and fourth in the Santana Mile on dirt.
Dortmund, an oversized chestnut son of 2008 Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown, has eight wins from 16 career starts with earnings of $1,987,505.
Also probable for the Awesome Again are Accelerate, Breaking Lucky, Cupid, Curlin Rules, Donworth, Midnight Storm and Win the Space.
PROMOTIONAL ITEM FREE TO SANTA ANITA ‘THOROUGHBREDS’ MEMBERS
In addition to a world class racing menu that will include five Grade I Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge stakes, Santa Anita will for the first time, offer fans a free Santa Anita Windshield Sunshade on Saturday, Sept. 30, day two of the track’s 2017 Autumn Meet.
This one-of-a-kind item, which features a full-color image of fillies and mares (including four-time Eclipse Champion Beholder) breaking from the starting gate in the 2015, Grade I Zenyatta Stakes, will be available to Santa Anita THOROUGHBREDS Club members, free with paid admission.
Fans are encouraged to register to become a THOROUGHBREDS Club member in person free of charge at Santa Anita at any THOROUGHBREDS Center located throughout the facility.
In addition to the Windshield Sunshade giveaway, Santa Anita will also stage a two-day Trackside Oktoberfest, on Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.santaanita.com/events/oktoberfest/ .
Additionally, Santa Anita will also be offering an upscale Chandelier Room Party that includes gourmet faire, cocktails, fine wines (including a wine tasting that embraces nine different red and whites), live entertainment and more on Sept. 30.
Steeped in tradition with a glamorous, modern appeal, the legendary Chandelier Room has attracted Hollywood’s elite and the stars of Thoroughbred racing dating back to the 1930s.
To purchase tickets for the Chandelier Room Party, fans are encouraged to visit http://www.santaanita.com/events/chandelier-room-party/.
Opening weekend promotions and amenities, including Santa Anita’s Infield Family Fun Zone, Forty Dollar Handicapping Contest, Bud Light Lounge, Turf Terrace, FrontRunner dining packages and more are available at santaanita.com, or by calling (626) 574-RACE.
FINISH LINES: Dallas Keen said Thursday morning he will enter grass stakes winner Terra’s Angel in the Grade I Chandelier Stakes on dirt Saturday, Sept. 30. “That’s what we’re looking at,” the trainer said, adding that if all goes well beyond that, the winner of the $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar on Labor Day would be pointed to the $2 million Juvenile Fillies on dirt Nov. 4. Terra’s Angel won on dirt in her debut race going four-and-a-half furlongs at Lone Star last May 13 . . . Michael Wrona, The Voice of Santa Anita, was taking in the sights Thursday at Clockers’ Corner after a four-week stint at Golden Fate Fields and three and Santa Rosa. “I was looking forward to my first day back at Santa Anita and made a bee line to Clockers’ Corner,” Wrona said . . . Entries will be taken Tuesday, Sept. 26, for Santa Anita’s opening day card next Friday, Sept. 29 . . . Santa Anita would like to welcome aboard new Executive Chef, Paula Smagacz. A Wisconsin native, Smagacz has a star studded resume that includes multiple tours of duty with the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and nearly five years at Turks and Caicos, the largest resort in the Caribbean . . . Art Sherman, who turned 80 last Feb. 17, has a term for fellow race track octogenarians Huey Barnes, who celebrates No. 84 on Tuesday, and Vince DeGregory, who was 85 Aug. 29. “I call us the Meals on Wheels boys,” the trainer said.