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Santa Anita Oaks Preview: Time for Beautiful Gift v Moraz II
Beautiful Gift (2) nails Moraz to win the Santa Ysabel (Credit: Benoit Photo)

Santa Anita Oaks Preview: Time for Beautiful Gift v Moraz II

ARCADIA, CA – After a head separated them in the Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3) over this course and distance last time out, it’s time for Beautiful Gift v Moraz II as they make their highly-anticipated rematch in Saturday’s $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks (G2) at Santa Anita Park.

The Santa Anita Oaks is a 1 1/16-mile restricted to 3-year-old fillies that offers 100-40-20-10 Kentucky Oaks (G1) points to the top four finishers. This year’s edition is the sixth event on a 12-race card that includes the Santa Anita Derby (G1) – a major Kentucky Derby (G1) prep – and has a local post time of approximately 2:30 PM.

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

1. Moraz 8/5 – She broke her maiden at second asking in a mile-long route here on January 8, defeating her rivals by 11 lengths in her only start (of 4 total) when she received race-day Lasix. She was third in the Las Virgenes Stakes (G3) prior to the Santa Ysabel, where she held the lead halfway home but couldn’t hold off Beautiful Gift in the late stages. Umberto Rispoli remains the only jockey to ride her.

2. Brilliant Cut 8/1 – She returns to dirt after missing by a nose in a local 6-furlong turf sprint against optional claimers. Trainer Doug O’Neill claimed her for $50k out of her maiden-breaking effort going 6 furlongs on Del Mar’s main track last November and placed her straight into the 7-furlong Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) (finishing third) and the Las Virgenes (fourth) before her last-out rallying effort on grass.

3. Soothsay 6/1 – She takes a monstrous step up for her first time facing winners, though she looked rather monstrous herself when she won her career unveiling on February 26, defeating a talented group of maidens in a local 6-furlong sprint. While it’s never easy facing winners for the first time while initially trying two turns, she’s bred for distance and the meet’s leading rider Flavien Prat stays aboard.

4. Javanica 5/2 – The field’s classiest entry tries dirt for the first time after nearly beating the boys in the 1 1/8-mile El Camino Real Derby on Golden Gate Fields’ synthetic main track. The well-traveled Godolphin homebred broke her maiden on Arlington Park’s grass, then finished second in 4 straight stakes, all on difference surfaces: Woodbine’s synthetic, Del Mar’s lawn, the local turf, and Golden Gate.

5. Beautiful Gift 9/5 – She broke her maiden at second asking last October and in her first try routing, fighting hard late to win a local mile-long event by a 1/2-length. She returned straight into the Santa Ysabel, where she stalked and pounced to get the late victory. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, in town that day from his east coast base, returns to ride her back and should sit a very similar trip.

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