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Santa Anita Park Preview | Lady Of Shamrock Stakes 2023
Ruby Nell (Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Santa Anita Park Preview | Lady Of Shamrock Stakes 2023

               The $100,000 Lady of Shamrock Stakes will be run for the second time this calendar year on New Year’s Eve Sunday after being moved up on the schedule. During the 2022-23 Santa Anita Classic Meet, the one-mile turf test for 3-year-old fillies was held in mid-February.

               First post time for a nine-race card Sunday is 12 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10 a.m.

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               Sunday’s feature on a nine-race card attracted a competitive group of seven led by graded-stakes winner Ruby Nell for trainer Richard Mandella and Princess Bettina, a stakes winner who was third in the earlier edition of the Lady of Shamrock for trainer Peter Eurton.

               Ruby Nell on Nov. 5 was a dynamite front-running winner of the GIII Autumn Miss here at Santa Anita under identical race conditions. Most recently, the daughter of Bolt d’Oro took a swing against older in the GI Matriarch going a mile on turf at Del Mar Dec. 3. She finished fifth while only beaten two lengths. 

               A $1.2 million auction purchase for owner Spendthrift Farm, Ruby Nell will break from post four with regular rider Edwin Maldonado in the irons.

               In the Feb. 12 Lady of Shamrock, Princess Bettina was beaten just a length when taking home the show dough. She came back five weeks later and promptly won the one-mile China Doll on turf  when ridden for the first and only time by international superstar Frankie Dettori. On Sunday, Dettori will be renewing acquaintances with Princess Bettina.

               Princess Bettina is a homebred daughter of Will Take Charge for Donald R. Dizney.  She spent the summer in New York with trainer Todd Pletcher following the China Doll win and made two starts.  At Penn National on June, 2 Princess Bettina finished third in the Penn Oaks. She was then seventh in the GIII Lake George at Saratoga July 21, which was her most recent outing.

               Also rating a big look is Cliquish, an improving sophomore who will be making her first start on grass for top turf trainer Phil D’Amato. By Bernardini, Cliquish exits a stylish 4 1/4-length win against first-level allowance foes going a mile on the main track at Del Mar Nov. 23. Cliquish has rising speed figures and could make an impact if she handles the turf.

        Owned by H and E Ranch, Cliquish will break from the rail and have Antonio Fresu aboard for the first time. On opening day Tuesday, Fresu won both the GII San Gabriel aboard Easter for D’Amato and the GII Mathis Mile on Watsonville for trainer Mark Glatt.


Race 7 of 9 Approximate post time 3 p.m. PT

  1. Cliquish—Antonio Fresu—122
  2. Luminiferous—Kazushi Kimura—120
  3. Irish Patsy—Umberto Rispoli—120
  4. Ruby Nell—Edwin Maldonado—124
  5. Princess Bettina—Frankie Dettori—124
  6. Anacaro—Diego Herrera—120
  7. Justique—Mike Smith—120