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2023 Rodeo Drive Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Anisette In Elite Form For Filly & Mare Turf Prep
Anisette (Lindsay Affleck)

2023 Rodeo Drive Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Anisette In Elite Form For Filly & Mare Turf Prep

Aaron previews the 2023 Rodeo Drive Stakes (G2) from Santa Anita Park, then gives his top picks & long shots from this “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

The Leonard Powell-trained Anisette appears to be in elite form as she steps up to face older horses in this major prep for the World Championships. Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The press release:

                A dedicated deep closer that’s unbeaten in three stateside starts, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ English-bred Anisette tops a field of eight fillies and mares three and up going a mile and quarter on turf in Saturday’s Grade II, $300,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes at Santa Anita.

                The Rodeo Drive is a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race Qualifier, with the winner earning a fees-paid berth into the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf here on Nov. 4.

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                Trained by Leonard Powell, Anisette comes off a pair of dazzling stakes wins at Del Mar, taking the Grade II San Clemente at one mile on turf by 2 ½ lengths on July 22 and followed by a sensational 2 ¾ length score at a mile and one eight on grass in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks Aug. 19.

                Although both of those wins came versus sophomore fillies, Anisette rallied for a three quarter length win versus older fillies and mares in her U.S. debut, a one mile turf classified allowance here on May 29.

                Far back early in all of her three of her Southern California starts, she registered consecutive improving Beyer Speed Figures of 80, 88 and 91.

                Although she may be dependent upon a solid pace at a mile and a quarter, she has thus far exhibited a brilliance that should carry the day with Umberto Rispoli engaged for the third consecutive time.

                With Rispoli opting to stick with Anisette, Juan Hernandez will take over on the consistent Harris Farms homebred Closing Remarks. 

                A 5-year-old California-bred mare by Vronsky out of the Unusual Heat mare Orange Cove, Closing Remarks rallied for a solid 1 ¾ length tally going a mile and one eighth on turf in the Grade II John C. Mabee Stakes on Sept. 9 and prevailed by a neck in the Grade II Yellow Ribbon at Del Mar Aug. 12.

                Trained by Carla Gaines and favored in both of her Del Mar wins, Closing Remarks has proven effective rallying from far back, mid-pack and as she demonstrated in the Yellow Ribbon, when she lays close to a legitimate early pace. 

                A three-time graded stakes winner, Closing Remarks has three wins from 14 tries over the Santa Anita lawn and is enjoying her best year ever, winning three out of her seven starts and banking $462,500.

                With an overall race record of 22-6-5-4, Closing Remarks has career earnings of $861,320.


Race 8 of 10 Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PT

  1. Turnerloose—Antonio Fresu—122
  2. Anisette—Umberto Rispoli—122
  3. Juncture—Mike Smith—122
  4. Closing Remarks—Juan Hernandez—126
  5. Stoic Luna—Hector Berrios – 122
  6. Didia—Vincent Cheminaud—124
  7. Neige Blanche—Diego Herrera—122
  8. Symphony Perfect—Abel Cedillo–122

                First post time for a 10-race card that will include three other stakes on Saturday is at 1 p.m.  Admission gates open at 11 a.m.