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Mike previews the 2022 California Distaff Handicap at Santa Anita Park, then gives his top picks and longshots. Already a Grade 2 winner against open company earlier this year, is Leggs Galore a lock to win as she drops back down to face her fellow California-breds for leading turf trainer Phil D’Amato? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
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William Sims’ speedy homebred Leggs Galore bids for her seventh overall stakes win as she heads a field of five statebred fillies and mares going about 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in Saturday’s $100,000 California Distaff Handicap.
The California Distaff Handicap, for fillies and mares three and up, is part of the CTBA’s lucrative Golden State Series, which is for eligible California-bred or sired horses.
Trained by Phil D’Amato, Leggs Galore, a 5-year-old mare by 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern, who comes off a second-place finish as the 6-5 favorite in a five furlong turf allowance at Del Mar Sept. 2, is unbeaten in two hillside starts and with an overall mark of 17-9-2-1, is strictly the horse to beat on Saturday.
A winner of the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes at one mile on turf five starts back on March 4, Leggs Galore, who is out of the Indian Charlie mare Cashing Tickets, is easily the leading money earner in the field with $674,548.
D’Amato will also saddle 3-year-old Rose Dawson, who was second to talented stablemate Connie Swingle in her only hillside try three starts back on June 11. Owned and bred by Nick Alexander, Rose Dawson, who is by Grazen out of the Bertrando mare Sudden Sunday, cuts back in distance off a seventh place finish going a mile on turf versus older statebred fillies and mares in the Solana Beach Stakes at Del Mar Aug. 21.
With two wins and as many seconds, Rose Dawson, a winner of the one mile turf Cal Cup Oaks in her second start on Jan. 15, has two wins and as many seconds from five starts.
Although she’s had 29 starts, Kleen Karma, a 5-year-old mare by Clubhouse Ride, looms a “now horse” as she comes off a game win down the hill on Oct. 2 and will be ridden back by Edwin Maldonado. Trained by Craig Lewis, Kleen Karma was up to win by a neck at 40-1.
Owned by Zephyr Racing, LLC and Alfred Pais, who is also the co-breeder, Kleen Karma is out of the Powerscourt mare Calameera. A first-out California-bred maiden $50,000 winner back on Jan. 20, 2020, Kleen Karma will be trying stakes competition for the first time.
First post time for a 10-race card on Saturday is at 1 p.m. There is a mandatory payout in Saturday’s 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six. With a carryover from Monday of $266,211, track officials expect the total Rainbow Six pool will exceed $2 million. Saturday’s Rainbow Pick Six will be comprised of races five through 10.
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