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Rodeo Drive Preview: Luck Takes Massive Step Up
Luck (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Rodeo Drive Preview: Luck Takes Massive Step Up

ARCADIA, CA – Following an impressive victory in her North American racing debut, LNJ Foxwoods homebred Luck takes a massive step up in class for Saturday’s $300,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park.

The Rodeo Drive is a 1 1/4-mile turf route open to fillies and mares ages 3 and up that serves as the ninth event on an 11-race card with a local first post time of 12:30 PM. The race is also a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, awarding an automatic berth in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar this November.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Rodeo Drive:

1. Dogtag 4/1 – She enters her latest Grade 1 test riding a 4-race runner-up streak, having finished second in every start so far this year. The closest she came to winning was over this course and distance in June’s Possibly Perfect Stakes, a race she won last year in her only other attempt going this long. While she loses her regular rider to another rival, turf ace Joe Bravo could help end her streak.

2. Fast Jet Court 10/1 – A multiple Group 1 winner in her native Brazil, she made her North American racing debut in last month’s 1 1/8-mile John C. Mabee Stakes (G2) and finished an improving fourth after getting off slowly and trailing early. Trainer Michael McCarthy, not known for regularly firing with horses off the bench, connects at 16% second time back. Drayden Van Dyke keeps the mount.

3. Neige Blanche 8/1 – She won a pair of turf stakes over the summer while running 1 1/2 miles (in the Santa Barbara [G3]) and 1 3/8 miles (in the CTT & TOC last time out) and lost her lone start between those wins (the Possibly Perfect) by less than a length. Her recent successful running style has been to spot her rivals several lengths and come running late, so she’ll hope for a hot early pace.

“She had a bit of a layoff before her last win and we were waiting for that spot,” trainer Leonard Powell said. “Now, she’s ready to go. The main thing for her Saturday is to get enough pace.”

4. Going to Vegas 5/2 – She’s won 3 of her past 4 starts in impressive fashion, including March’s Santa Ana Stakes (G3) over this course and distance and the John C. Mabee last time out. She has quick early speed for this division but isn’t a need-the-lead type, giving plenty of options to jockey Umberto Rispoli, who was aboard in the Santa Ana and left Dogtag for this Richard Baltas trainee.

5. Rideforthecause 15/1 – She won the 1 1/8-mile Canadian Stakes (G2) at Woodbine in 2020 and returned to the winner’s circle in the Possibly Perfect 2 starts back before finishing fourth in the CTT & TOC. The second Michael McCarthy trainee was also second by a nose in the Santa Barbara and appears to enjoy going long over this turf course. Mario Gutierrez rides for the fifth straight start.

6. Crystalle 20/1 – She adds blinkers for the second time in her career and her first since Peter Miller took over her training duties in the summer. Miller wins 21% when making such equipment changes and her fourth-place finish in her lone prior start wearing blinkers can be blamed on her hitting the gate at the start. The 2019 P. G. Johnson Stakes winner was most recently fifth in the CTT & TOC.

7. Magic Attitude 5/1 – This British-bred filly began her career in France, where she won a pair including a Group 3, then shipped to America late last summer and promptly won the 1 1/4-mile Belmont Oaks (G1). She won the 1 3/8-mile Sheepshead Bay Stakes (G2) earlier this year and takes a major class drop after finishing seventh in the New York Stakes (G2) and sixth in the Diana Stakes (G1).

8. Luck 3/1 – Though bred in Kentucky by her owner, she began her career late last year in France, where she won 2 of 3 starts while running at least 1 3/16 miles on synthetic surfaces. Though she finished last of six in her only turf try overseas, she shipped to Baltas’ barn this summer and easily defeated Del Mar optional claimers going 1 1/16 miles. New jockey Flavien Prat adds plenty of intrigue.

9. Red Lark 10/1 – She makes her second start back from a brief break after finishing a late-running second in the CTT & TOC, missing by just a 1/2-length. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith should have more familiarity with her in his second time aboard and she won the 1 1/8-mile Del Mar Oaks (G1) in 2020, but her form has been inconsistent since. Look for her to come running late in the stretch.

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