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Santa Anita Park Picks | Daytona Stakes 2024
Whatmakessammyrun (Lindsay Affleck)

Santa Anita Park Picks | Daytona Stakes 2024

Sidelined more than 11 months, Grade II winner Whatmakessammyrun returns for trainer Mark Glatt in Sunday’s GIII Daytona Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita Park.

In addition to the Daytona, Sunday’s 10-race card also includes the GII Santa Margarita for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on dirt. First post time is 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.

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Whatmakessammyrun is a two-time stakes winner sprinting on the hillside course, which includes the 2022 Eddie D Stakes. He went to the bench last June after finishing fifth in a classified allowance going 5 ½ furlongs on turf at Santa Anita.

A 6-year-old gelding by We Miss Artie, Whatmakessammyrun has worked nine times since March 25 for his return. He will be ridden for the first time by Frankie Dettori.

Owned by Sterling Racing LLC, Whatmakessammyrun is 21: 5-4-2 with $412,490 in earnings.

Also entered are the top-four finishers from the April 21 Siren Lure Stakes on the hillside course. Johnny Podres prevailed that day in a 16-1 upset under jockey Geovanni Franco. It was his second-straight stakes win after previously taking the Sensational Star for California-breds on the hillside course March 2.

Johnny Podres is trained by Librado Barocio and owned by David A. Bernsen and Mia Family Racing Stables. Those connections claimed Johnny Podres for $40,000 in October 2022. A 7-year-old Grazen gelding, Johnny Podres is 18: 4-5-2 overall with $482,870 in earnings.

First Peace had the lead in deep stretch of the Siren Lure but was nailed late to lose by a half-length. Previously fourth in the GI Frank E. Kilroe Mile, First Peace is 4: 2-2-0 on the hillside turf course.

First Peace is trained by Mark Glatt for owner Rancho Temescal or Red Baron’s Barn. In two stakes tries last year, both down the hill, he won the John Shear Stakes and was second in the Desert Code. First Peace, who is 10: 3-4-1 overall with $240,700 in earnings, will have regular rider Mike Smith aboard.

Lane Way was third in the Siren Lure, a length back of First Peace, when making his second start this campaign for trainer Richard Mandella. Last year, the now 7-year-old gelding by Into Mischief won both the GII Eddie D on the flat turf course and restricted Clockers’ Corner on the hillside course.

Owned by My Racehorse, Lane Way is 22: 5-6-8 with $526,560 in earnings. He will be ridden for the first time by Tiago Pereira.

Returning to the hillside course is Air Force Red. In his two most recent starts, Air Force Red was second by a head in the GIII San Francisco Mile April 27 at Golden Gate and fourth in the GIII American at Santa Anita on April 4, which was also a mile on turf.

Trained by Leonard Powell, Air Force Red is 7: 4-1-0 on the hillside course which includes a win in the 2022 Joe Hernandez Stakes. The 6-year-old ridgling by Air Force Blue is owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Holly Golightly.

Air Force Red is 17: 5-2-1 overall with $438,794 in earnings. He will have Armando Ayuso in the irons.


Race 10 of 10 | Approximate post time 5:30 p.m. PT

  1. Whatmakessammyrun—Frankie Dettori—124
  2. Mucho Del Oro—Kyle Frey—124
  3. Air Force Red—Armando Ayuso—124
  4. First Peace—Mike Smith—122
  5. Daniel’s Magic—Umberto Rispoli—120
  6. Astronomer—Juan Hernandez—122
  7. Nineeleventurbo—Edwin Maldonado—120
  8. Lane Way—Tiago Pereira—124
  9. Johnny Podres—Geovanni Franco—122
  10. Almendares—Antonio Fresu—120