The upcoming holiday weekend features
three days of top-class racing at Santa Anita Park. The locale known
as “The Great Race Place” will host a pair of graded stakes races
for older horses, followed by a special Monday card on Martin Luther
Saturday's slate is headlined by the
Grade 2 Strub, a perennial prep race for the Grade I Santa Anita
Handicap. The race has been won by legends Round Table, Spectacular Bid, and Alysheba, as well as more contemporary stars like Silver Charm and Medaglia d'Oro. However, this year's main Strub subplot
consists of several talented contenders with major question marks.
Hear the Ghost may be favored, but he
hung a bit behind stablemate Blueskiesnrainbows last out at Betfair
Hollywood Park in his first start off a long layoff. Meanwhile,
Shakin It Up and Zeewat ran 1-3 in the Malibu Stakes earlier this
meet, but that was a one-turn sprint. And what do we make of Govenor
Charlie, who will make his first start since a disappointing run in
the Preakness behind Oxbow where he took some money at 9-1?
Sunday's feature is the Grade 2 La
Cañada for fillies and mares. The two headliners in that race figure
to be Broken Sword and Fiftyshadesofhay, who ran 1-2 in the Bayakoa
last month in Inglewood. Broken Sword won that race by more than four
lengths, but the daughter of Broken Vow may not be as comfortable on
Fiftyshadesofhay, on the other hand,
has won three graded stakes races on dirt, with two second-place
finishes in similar company as well. The Bob Baffert trainee has
banked nearly $800,000 in 13 career starts, and she'll get three
pounds from Broken Sword Sunday afternoon.
Like several other tracks around the
country, Santa Anita will run a Monday program to celebrate Martin
Luther King Day. The festivities will also include $1 hot dogs and
drinks, and the day's first post time is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.