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Richard Mandella’s Lane Way, a restricted stakes winner down Santa Anita’s unique hillside turf course, heads a field of 11 older horses going about 6 ½ furlongs in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Eddie D Stakes.
Renamed in honor of retired all-time great Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye in 2012, the Eddie D was run as the Morvich Stakes from 1974 through 2011.
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Owned by MyRacehorse, Lane Way, second in last year’s Eddie D, has two wins from as many seconds over the course and rates top billing with regular rider Mike Smith back aboard.
A downhill winner of the Clockers’ Corner Stakes in his seasonal debut two starts back on Jan. 29, Lane Way, a 6-year-old gelding by Into Mischief, will be making his third start of the year on Saturday.
With an overall mark of 18-4-6-5, Lane Way, who was second in the Grade II Joe Hernandez coming down the hill three starts back on Dec. 31, 2022, has earnings of $370,560 and will be seeking his second stakes victory.
Talented Irish-bred Balnikhov, a two-time graded stakes winner routing on turf, will try the hillside course for the first time on Saturday as he sprints for the first time in what will be his 13th North American start for Phil D’Amato.
A huge second, beaten three quarters of a length by stablemate Gold Phoenix going a mile and one eighth on turf two starts back in the Grade II Eddie Read July 30 at Del Mar, Balnikhov was most recently beaten four lengths while finishing eighth in the Grade II Del Mar Handicap Sept. 2.
With Geovanni Franco taking over in the saddle for the first time, 4-year-old gelding Balnikhov, who is owned by Little Red Feather Racing, Madaket Stables, LLC and Old Bones Racing, LLC, is 20-6-5-2 overall with earnings of $639,843.
Race 9 of 10. Approximate post time 5 p.m. PT.
First post time for a 10-race card that includes three other stakes on Saturday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.
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