When a 5-year-old mare named St Trinians heads postward in Saturday's
running of the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap (G1), she'll attempt to
become the first female winner in the race's 73-year history. But
beating the boys is old hat for this plucky English runner, and trainer
Mike Mitchell expects her to be among the leaders right down to the
"Big Cap" wire.
Mitchell, 61, is one in a host of horsemen crossing their fingers in
the hope that Saturday's forecast -- calling for a 70 percent chance of
precipitation -- will permit the show to go on. The late winter season
has not been particularly kind to Santa Anita Park, where two key
Kentucky Derby prep races have been rescheduled due to rain and
drainage issues with the surface. One of those races, the Sham, will
also be contested Saturday as part of a card that includes three Grade
1 events -- the Big Cap, the Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap and the
Santa Anita Oaks. The latter is a prep for the Kentucky Oaks.