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Kilroe Mile Stakes 2024 | Santa Anita Park Picks
Easter (Lindsay Affleck)

Kilroe Mile Stakes 2024 | Santa Anita Park Picks

Phil D’Amato’s French-bred Easter, a recent winner of two Grade II stakes, seeks his first Grade I victory as he heads an outstanding field of nine older horses on turf in Sunday’s Grade I, $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita Park.

Originally scheduled for Saturday, the Kilroe, along with the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap, the Grade II DK Horse San Felipe and the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes, have all been moved to Sunday in deference to a wet weather forecast on Saturday.

First post time for a 10-race program will be at 12:30 p.m. with admission gates opening at 10:30 a.m.

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A 6-year-old gelding who made his first eight starts in France, Easter was transferred to Graham Motion in the spring of 2022 and was then primarily based in New York through August of last year.

In his first start for D’Amato, Easter rallied like a big-time turf horse to take Del Mar’s Grade II Seabiscuit Handicap at a mile and one sixteenth on turf two starts back on Nov. 25. 

In a tremendous effort, he bested highly regarded stablemate Hong Kong Harry by a half length in the Seabiscuit, earning a solid 98 Beyer Speed Figure.

Most recently seen here on opening day, Dec. 26, Easter rallied as the 3-5 favorite to take the 1 1/8 mile Grade II San Gabriel Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths while earning a 96 Beyer.

Although he’ll be facing a field laden with legitimate contenders, Easter, who has five wins from 10 tries at one mile on turf, should have a fast pace to exploit on Sunday and looms the horse to beat as he shoots for his fourth overall stakes win in-a-row.

Owned by Madaket Stables, Easter, who won three of his nine starts with Motion, is 19-7-3-3 lifetime with earnings of $567,910.

Like Easter, Bob Baffert’s Du Jour, second in last year’s Kilroe, does his best running from off the pace and he should have plenty of to run at on Sunday.

A scintillating 2 ¼ length winner of the Grade II Del Mar Mile (turf) two starts back on Sept. 2, Du Jour, although 10th, was only beaten 3 ½ lengths in his most recent start—the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile on Nov. 4 at Santa Anita.

A 6-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Temple City, Du Jour, who earned a career-high 102 Beyer in the Del Mar Mile, has four wins and three second from 10 lifetime tries at one mile on turf.

Owned by Baffert’s wife Natalie and Debbi Lanni, Du Jour, who will be ridden for the third time in-a-row by Flavien Prat, is easily the leading money earner in the Kilroe field with $938,220 from an overall mark of 16-5-3-2.

A certifiable deep closer, Irideo, an 8-year-old Argentine-bred gelding, flew from last to get up by a nose going about 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in the restricted Clockers’ Corner Stakes on Jan. 28 and will hope to be in high gear late as he stretches out in the Kilroe.

Trained by Marcelo Polanco, Irideo will be ridden back by fellow Argentinian Jeremy Laprida, who tired his veteran hand for the first time in the Clockers’ Corner.

A Group I stakes winner at age four in his native Argentina, Irideo has two restricted turf stakes wins from 17 Southern California starts for Polanco.  Owned by his breeder, Pozo de Luna, Inc., Irideo is 23-6-5-0 with earnings of $394,344.

Richard Mandella’s War Front gelding Goliad, never better at age seven, comes off a stirring gate to wire score at one mile on turf in the Grade III Thunder Road here Feb. 3 and seeks his third consecutive win at the trip with regular rider Kazushi Kimura.

In front by some 12 lengths with a quarter mile to run in the Thunder Road, Goliad is not likely to be granted such an insurmountable early advantage in the Kilroe but nonetheless in in top form and rates a big look as he faces much tougher company. 

Bred in Kentucky by Ramona Bass and owned by Ramona and Perry R. Bass II, Goliad is a stone miler, with a 12-4-3-1 mile turf resume.


Race 7 of 10 | Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT

  1. Prince Abama—Lanfranco Dettori—120
  2. Easter—Antonio Fresu—122
  3. Dandy Man Shines—Umberto Rispoli—120
  4. Irideo—Jeremy Laprida—120
  5. Ah Jeez—Hector Berrios—120
  6. Du Jour—Flavien Prat—122
  7. Mackinnon—Juan Hernandez—120
  8. Goliad—Kazushi Kimura—122
  9. First Peace—Mike Smith—120