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Santa Ysabel Preview: Hard To Pass On Tough Luck In Short Field
Kalypso (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Santa Ysabel Preview: Hard To Pass On Tough Luck In Short Field

ARCADIA, CA – It’s hard to pass on Tough Luck Bob Baffert’s barn when he enters 60% of a short field, such as the one for Sunday’s $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.

The Santa Ysabel is a 1 1/16-mile dirt route restricted to 3-year-old fillies. This year’s edition is the fourth event on a 9-race card and has a local post time of 2:00 PM.

The Santa Ysabel is part of the Road to the 2021 Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep race season awarding 50 points for the win, 20 for second, 10 for third, and 5 for fourth.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Santa Ysabel:

1. A Real Hero 12/1 – The first of two from trainer Michael McCarthy adds blinkers for the first time as she returns south from Golden Gate Fields, where she broke her maiden going this distance on synthetic. Her two-turn experience is a plus, but her career-best 60 Beyer Speed Figure pales in comparison to the rest of these.

2. Beautiful Gift 5/2 – The first of the Tough Luck Trio makes her first start since winning a local two-turn mile last October by a 1/2-length and picks up invading Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, who’s won 7 of his last 17 Tough Luck mounts. She should handle the distance if the layoff is no factor; the barn connects at 27% after similar breaks.

3. Heels Up 9/2 – She stretches out for the first time while making her return to the races after finishing a well-beaten third in last November’s Desi Arnaz Stakes. The second from the Tough Luck Trio gets a rider upgrade to Drayden Van Dyke, who’s won 25% of his mounts for the barn since 2020.

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4. Kalypso 8/5 – The slight morning line favorite carriers the Tough Luck Trio’s flag still in search of her first routing victory; she was second in both last December’s Starlet Stakes (G1) and the Las Virgenes Stakes (G3) last time out. She owns a pair of sprint victories over this course, including the 7-furlong Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) prior to the Las Virgenes.

5. Moraz 9/5 – McCarthy’s second runner has never sprinted in 3 starts, breaking her maiden in her second try by 11 lengths before finishing third in the Las Virgenes. Umberto Rispoli remains the only rider she’s ever known on race day; he and McCarthy connect at 30% with a $2.57 ROI since the start of 2020.

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