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Santa Anita Park Preview | Anoakia Stakes 2023: Dua Looms Large In Feature Event
Dua (Benoit Photo)

Santa Anita Park Preview | Anoakia Stakes 2023: Dua Looms Large In Feature Event

               A first-out winner sprinting while heavily favored this past July, Zedan Racing’s Dua, who was well backed in two subsequent stakes engagements, is the horse to beat in Saturday’s $85,000 Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita as five juvenile fillies go six furlongs.

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               A $400,000 yearling purchase in July of last year, Dua comes off a solid third place finish going a mile and one sixteenth in the Grade II Chandelier Stakes here Oct. 7.

               In her first try around two turns, Dua, who was off at 5-1 under regular rider Juan Hernandez, pressed the pace and tired a bit late, checking in 1 ¾ lengths behind Mark Glatt’s Chatalas.

               Third, beaten 10 ¾ lengths by repeat graded winner Dreamfyre in the Grade III Sorrento Stakes going six furlongs at Del Mar Aug. 12, Dua pressed the pace throughout to take her five furlong debut by a half length as the 3-5 favorite on July 22.

               Trained by Bob Baffert, Dua, a bay filly by Arrogate out of the Consolidator mare Attempt to Name, will be ridden for the first time by Ramon Vazquez as Hernandez begins a three-day riding suspension on Friday.

               French-bred Becky’s Dream, idle since second at 9-5 in an ungraded sprint stakes going five furlongs here on June 17, looms very dangerous in what will be her third start.

               A first-out maiden winner going 4 ½ furlongs as the 3-2 favorite May 27, Becky’s Dream, who was originally trained by Hector Palma and is owned by his Royalty Stable, is now conditioned by former Palma assistant Jose Valdez and will be ridden back by Tiago Pereira.

               By the multiple Grade I winning City of Light, Becky’s Dream is out of the Colonel John mare Corporate Queen. 

               Although she regressed a bit in her second start, earning respectable 69 Beyer Speed Figure, Becky’s Dream carved out a 76 Beyer in her debut, the top figure in the Anoakia field.

               Trainer Michael McCarthy’s Sandy Bottom, a rousing 3 ½ length first-out maiden winner going 5 ½ furlongs Sept. 10, could be the quickest filly in the lineup and rates a big look with Umberto Rispoli back to ride. 

               Owned by James and Donna Daniell, Sandy Bottom, a daughter of Omaha Beach, earned a 66 Beyer in her maiden victory.


Race 8 of 9 | Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PT

  1. Sandy Bottom—Umberto Rispoli—120
  2. Cheeky Gal – Tyler Baze – 120
  3. Dua – Ramon Vazquez – 120
  4. Tambo – Antonio Fresu – 118
  5. Becky’s Dream – Tiago Pereira – 120

               First post time for a nine race card on Saturday is at 1 p.m. with admission gates opening at 11 a.m.