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Santa Anita Grade 1 Previews

Author: Ryan Knuppel
Published: Wednesday May 26, 2021

 

Santa Anita Park hosts an entertaining day of racing on Monday, with three competitive Grade 1s headlining the action. Below, we will go through all three races and assess the leading contenders.

 

Gamely Stakes Preview & Contenders

 

The Grade 1 Gamely Stakes will be the first of the tripleheader, with fillies and mares that are aged three and older able to enter. A distance of 1 1/8 miles will be covered in Grade 1, with a purse of $500,000 available. The field for the race can be seen below:

 

  • Going To Vegas
  • Juliet Foxtrot
  • Warren’s Showtime
  • Keeper Ofthe Stars
  • Dog Tag
  • Maxim Rate
  • Raymundo's Secret
  • Sister Hanan
  • Red lark
  • Charmaine’s Mia
  • La Signare

 

There will be no shortage of quality on display in the Gamely Stakes, with the majority of the field having proven Graded form. Going To Vegas was the winner of the Grade 3 Santa Ana Stakes last time out, while Charmaine’s Mia won the Grade 2 Royal Heroine Stakes.

 

However, the horse they will all need to beat is Grade 1 Jenny Wiley winner Juliet Foxtrot. The Brad Cox-trained horse has won two from three starts, which also includes the Grade 3 Gallorette last season. His season reappearance was an impressive outing, and she could be the first one to pass the line on Monday.

 

Hollywood Gold Cup Preview & Contenders

 

The Grade 1 action just keeps coming at Santa Anita on Monday, as the Gamely Stakes is sharply followed by the Hollywood Gold Cup. Horses aged three and older will race over 1 ¼ miles in this race, with a purse of $300,000 up for grabs in the 2021 renewal. The horses that will be lining up for the race can be found below:

 

  • Express Train
  • Rushie
  • Country Grammer
  • Royal Ship
  • Brown Strom
  • Heywoods Beach

 

Once again, the majority of the field have excellent graded form behind them coming into the Hollywood Gold Cup. Express Train was an eye-catching third in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap, while Rushie stayed on well to finish second in the Oaklawn Mile. However, we expect the race to come down to a battle between Country Grammer and Royal Ship.

 

Country Grammer was second in the Californian Stakes, as he was narrowly beaten by Royal Ship. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bob Baffert-trained horse reverse that form, as he looked back to near his best when finishing that race. The former Peter Pan Stakes winner could be the one to beat in the competitive Hollywood Gold Cup.

 

Shoemaker Mile Preview & Contenders

 

The big race on turf at Santa Anita on Monday will be the Shoemaker Mile, which will be run over one mile. Horses aged three can enter the race, with a purse of $300,000 available for connections. The field that is set to go to post for the 2021 renewal can be found below:

 

  • Smooth Like Strait
  • Restrainedvengence
  • Whisper Not

 

There are only three probable entries for the Shoemaker Mile at present, but what it lacks in numbers, it certainly makes up for in quality. Two of the runners were involved in the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile. Whisper Not won that race, as he claimed a first graded victory on his fourth start.

 

However, he has already come up short against Smooth Like Strait in the past, and we wouldn’t bet against history repeating itself on Monday. The Michael McCarthy-trained horse will be making his first start since finishing third in the Grade 1 Turf Classic in January but is easily the classiest horse in this race. The former Mathis Brother Mile and Twilight Derby winner is our pick for the Shoemaker Mile in 2021.


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