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Santa Anita Park Preview | Robert J. Frankel Stakes 2023
Oakhurst (Coglianese Photo)

Santa Anita Park Preview | Robert J. Frankel Stakes 2023

                A winner at the distance, Phil D’Amato’s classy Oakhurst fits nicely atop a field of six fillies and mares going a mile and one eighth on turf in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes at Santa Anita.

                First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 12 noon with admission gates opening at  10 a.m.

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                Owned by Little Red Feather Racing, Oakhurst comes off an even sixth place finish going a mile and three eighths on grass in the Grade III Red Carpet Stakes at Del Mar Nov. 23.  Oakhurst, who was a close fourth at a mile and one eighth three races back in the Grade II John C. Mabee Stakes Sept. 9, will be handled by Flavien Prat on Saturday.

                A 4-year-old daughter of the Pulpit stallion Mr Speaker out of the Dynaformer mare Happiness Is, Oakhurst has one win from six starts with D’Amato, who sent her out to a close fourth place finish in her first Southern California start six races back—the Grade I American Oaks at Santa Anita on Dec. 26, 2022.

                Originally trained on the east coast by Chad Brown, Oakhurst has three wins from 14 overall starts and earnings of $249,445.

                On the improve for trainer Paddy Gallagher, Irish-bred Yerwanthere, a first condition allowance winner two starts back going one mile on turf here on Oct. 28, rallied from well off the pace to finish second, beaten three quarters of a length going a mile on grass in the restricted Kathryn Crosby Stakes Nov. 11 and will hope to be rolling late again as she tries an extra furlong for the first time.

                Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Yerwanthere, a 4-year-old filly, had two wins from five starts in Ireland and England and is three for eight overall with Umberto Rispoli riding back.

                D’Amato will also saddle Lakota Spirit, who like Yerwanthere, is a “now” horse who comes off three solid races, her most recent a one mile turf win in a first condition allowance on Nov. 26. 

                A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Curlin, Lakota Spirit, in what will be her fourth start since relocating to Southern California with D’Amato, will be ridden back by regular pilot Juan Hernandez.

                Owned by Peter Brandt and Mrs. Paul Shanahan, Lakota Spirit had one win from six starts with Chad Brown and is 9-2-4-1 overall with earnings of $156,265.


Race 3 of 9  Approximate post time 1 p.m. PT

  1. Lakota Spirit—Juan Hernandez—121
  2. Rebel Girl—Lanfranco Dettori—121
  3. Angel Nadeshiko—Antonio Fresu—121
  4. Luminiferous—Kazushi Kimura—121
  5. Oakhurst—Flavien Prat—121
  6. Yerwanthere—Umberto Rispoli—121