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Santa Anita Park Preview | Lure Stakes 2023: Frankie Dettori Returns Early For Breeders’ Cup
Frankie Dettori (Ascot Racecourse Photo)

Santa Anita Park Preview | Lure Stakes 2023: Frankie Dettori Returns Early For Breeders’ Cup

                International superstar jockey Frankie Dettori, who has announced he will forestall retirement and ride full-time this winter at Santa Anita, will be riding this weekend at The Great Race Place, one week in advance of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships here on Nov. 3 and 4.

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                With nine 3-year-olds and up set to contest one mile on turf in Saturday’s restricted $80,000 Lure Stakes, Dettori has taken the call on Graham Motion’s French-bred Easter, who has been idle since Aug. 24 at Saratoga.

                “Frankie reached out to me and said that he’d like to ride this weekend, so I’m putting him on a few horses,” said agent Ron Anderson.  “We’re of course looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita and riding regularly out there this winter.  Frankie is ready.”

                Based in his native France prior to the spring of 2022, Easter, a 5-year-old gelding, has won two of his eight starts with Motion, all on grass, and has won four of his nine career tries at one mile on turf. 

                Most recently second, beaten a neck in a classified allowance at a mile and one eighth August 24, he’ll be making his Southern California debut on Saturday.

                As his best performances have come when he’s been allowed to settle well of the pace, Easter’s connections would certainly well come fast early splits in the Lure.

                Owned by Madaket Stables, LLC, Easter, who was Group II stakes-placed going a mile on turf in  France at age three, is 16-4-3-3 overall with earnings of $273,790.

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                A one mile turf classified allowance winner two starts back on Aug. 19 at Del Mar, trainer Simon Callaghan’s Astronomer nearly pulled off an 8-1 upset in the Grade II City of Hope Mile (turf) here on Sept. 30, leading throughout en route to finishing second by a neck behind highly accomplished graded stakes winner Hong Kong Harry. 

                A 4-year-old War Front gelding bred in Kentucky by Alice Bamford and owned by Alice Bamford and Michael Tabor, Astronomer earned a lofty 96 Beyer in the City of Hope and is three for five at one mile on turf.  With Antonio Fresu riding for the third consecutive time, Astronomer should be well backed as he bids for his fourth win from eight overall starts. 

                With a sharp recent allowance win at one mile turf to his credit, the Jeff Mullins-conditioned Bally’s Charm rates a big look and helps to ensure a solid early pace with Hector Berrios back aboard.  A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Roi Charmant, Bally’s Charm was most impressive leading throughout in a second condition allowance here on Oct. 1, carving out splits of 22 flat, 45.60 and 1:09 flat en rout to final clocking of 1:32.60 which earned him a career-top Beyer Speed Figure of 94.

                Owned by his breeders Red Baron’s Barn, LLC and Vaya Con Suerte, Bally’s Charm, who will be making his third start of the year, is three for five at one mile on turf and is 10-5-1-1 overall with earnings of $315,500.


Race 9 of 9 | Approximate post time 5 p.m. PT

  1. Hit the Road—Joe Bravo—126
  2. Irideo—Umberto Rispoli—126
  3. Astronomer—Antonio Fresu—126
  4. Visitant—Juan Hernandez—126
  5. Easter—Lanfranco Dettori—124
  6. Shortman—Diego Herrera—124
  7. War At Sea—Mike Smith–126
  8. Bally’s Charm—Hector Berrios—126
  9. Cabo Spirit—Victor Espinoza–126

                First post time for a 10-race card on Saturday is at 1 p.m. with admission gates opening at 11 a.m.