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Santa Ana Preview: Tapwater Tries Deeper End Of The Pool
Tapwater winning a Santa Anita Park allowance (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Santa Ana Preview: Tapwater Tries Deeper End Of The Pool

ARCADIA, CA – After winning her return from a 4-month layoff in mid-February, LNJ Foxwoods homebred Tapwater tries a deeper end of the pool in Saturday’s $100,000 Santa Ana Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.

The Santa Ana is a 1 1/4-mile turf route restricted to fillies and mares ages 4 and up. This year’s edition is the final event on a 9-race card and has a local post time of 5:00 PM.

Here’s a look at the full field for the Santa Ana:

1. Mucho Unusual 8/5 – The class of the field won 3 of 4 starts last fall and winter, including taking the Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1) over this course and distance to earn a shot in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). She was second by a length in the mile-long Buena Vista Stakes (G2) last time out, third in 2019’s 1 1/4-mile American Oaks (G1), and reunites here with the meet’s leading rider Flavien Prat.

2. Silberpfeil 30/1 – The Irish-bred mare from Leonard Powell’s barn makes her third start stateside hoping for better luck after she was fifth in last October’s Goldikova Stakes (G2) and seventh behind Tapwater last month. After racing at 1 mile in her past 5 starts, perhaps stretching out will wake her up: she was third in her lone try at this distance in a 2019 allowance at Marseille-Borely in France.

3. Going to Vegas 7/2 – She finished off the board for just the second time in 7 starts since trainer Richard Baltas claimed her for $50k last June. Though she’s competed at a mile in 10 of her 13 turf tries, she was second in both the 1 3/8-mile Red Carpet Handicap (G3) and the 2020 American Oaks last fall and has plenty of early speed to be in it from the beginning, giving new rider Umberto Rispoli options.

4. Tapwater 4/1 – She steps up to the stakes ranks for the first time after necking out victory going 1 mile here last month in her return from a 4-month hiatus. With regular rider Flavien Prat opting to ride Mucho Unusual, she reunites with Mike Smith, who nearly piloted her to victory last August against Del Mar optional claimers and succeeds at 21% when riding for fellow Hall of Famer Richard Mandella.

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5. Red Lark 5/1 – She takes a class drop here after facing several of the nation’s best turf distaffers in her past 4 starts, a string that includes winning the 1 1/8-mile Del Mar Oaks (G1) last August. She should enjoy stretching back out to this distance after finishing an fourth in the American Oaks (missing third by a nose), but both career wins came while using race-day Lasix; she won’t get that here.

6. Neige Blanche 8/1 – Powell’s second entry faded to eighth in the American Oaks last time out and faces a salty group for her first test against older horses while returning from a 3-month hiatus. Powell wins 10% with runners returning from similar breaks and put the French-bred straight into Grade 1s for her first 3 stateside starts: the Del Mar Oaks (fourth), the Belmont Oaks (third), and the American Oaks.

7. Altea 8/1 – She gives Grade 3 action another try after finishing seventh in the 1 1/8-mile Robert J. Frankel Stakes (behind Mucho Unusual) and third in the 1 1/2-mile Astra Stakes last time out. Before joining the Michael McCarthy barn last winter, she was just 1 for 18 (including 0 for 13 in stakes) across 3 seasons spent with Chad Brown, one of the nation’s elite turf trainers.

8. Colonial Creed 12/1 – Baltas’ second runner stole away her stablemate’s regular jockey, Mario Gutierrez, who rode Going to Vegas in her past 6 starts. She was kissed into third via disqualification in the Megahertz last time out but is still looking for her first win at the stakes ranks. She was fourth (beaten less than 2 lengths) in the Red Carpet, her only try to date beyond 1 1/8 miles.

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