Perfect Storm as Anisette Much the Best in Del Mar Oaks

Umberto Rispoli celebrates aboard Anisette | Benoit


With the threat of Hurricane Hilary looming over Southern California and Del Mar, Anisette (GB) (f, 3, Awtaad {Ire}–Tutti Frutti {GB}, by Teofilo {Ire}) took the seaside oval by storm, blowing the doors off the GI Del Mar Oaks Saturday. She remained perfect in three U.S. starts since transferring to Leonard Powell's barn from the UK earlier this year. The final time for Anisett's nine furlongs on the lawn was 1:48.15 as 'TDN Rising Star' and East Coast shipper Be Your Best (Ire) (Muhaarar {GB}), as well as former Irish runner Impact Warrior (Ire) (Saxon Warrior {Jpn}) chased her home.

“Her turn of foot made the difference at the top of the lane,” said Powell, who also won the Oaks in 2018 with Fatale Bere (Fr) (Pedro the Great). “I didn't think we'd be so far back, especially with a half mile in :47, but she was good enough to overcome that and close the ground. [Jockey Umberto Rispoli] kept his cool; we got a dream run on the rail and he had the horse to do it. She's the goods.”

The 3-year-old fillies broke in an even line for the turf contest and it was former $1.2-million Fasig-Tipton juvenile Ruby Nell (Bolt d'Oro) who led by as many as four lengths while setting fractions of :23.84 and :47.21. Meanwhile, Anisette trailed through the first six panels while as many as a dozen lengths in arrears. If Rispoli was concerned, he didn't show it. The dark bay had also lingered closer to the back than the front early when the pair scored the in GII San Clemente S. over this course at a mile July 22.

On the turn for home, Anisette and Rispoli began weaving through horses, finally driving through a dream seam on the rail and bursting clear with a dazzling turn of foot as the rider peeked over his shoulder and stood up for a fist-pumping celebration at the wire. It was Anisette's fourth consecutive win following the San Clemente and an introductory U.S. allowance May 29 at Santa Anita. She was coming off a late-December win as a 2-year-old at Wolverhampton in Great Britain for her former conditioner, Kevin Philippart de Foy, after which Eclipse Thoroughbred's Aron Wellman bought her privately and imported her to the U.S. Anisette was originally consigned by Wiltshire's Manor Farm to the 2021 Tattersalls Somerville Yearling Sale, where she hammered for 26,000gns to Avenue Bloodstock.

“I knew I was on the best filly and that helped me ride her the way I did,” said Rispoli. “I thought about going outside and I knew the pace wasn't in my favor. But then things opened a bit inside and I went. They tell me I ride like [new Hall of Famer] Fernando Toro did. I know what that means. It's a great honor.”


Pedigree Notes:

Derrinstown Stud's Awtaad (Ire) has not had huge books by modern standards at his County Kildare home, but he's certainly done well with his three crops aged three and up with two Grade I/Group 1 winners to date in addition to a French highweight. He attained the Group 1 level himself in the 2016 Irish Two Thousand Guineas. Anmaat (Ire) won the May 29 G1 Prix d'Ispahan for the son of Cape Cross (Ire) and now Anisette adds a Grade I victory stateside less than three months later with the Del Mar Oaks. Overall, Awtaad has 10 black-type winners, five of which are group or graded.

The Galileo (Ire) son Teofilo (Ire) is the damsire of both Anisette and Al Qareem (Ire), Awtaad's French GSW who was highweighed for 2022. The statistical sample may be small, but it still makes 40% of Awtaad's group/graded winners out of mares by Teofilo, who has 33 stakes winners out of his daughters.

In addition to Anisette, Tutti Frutti (GB), a half to Great Britain's 2014 G1 Markel Insurance Nassau S. winner Sultanina (GB) (New Approach {Ire}), has produced an unraced 2-year-old colt named Eton Mes (Ire) (Expert Eye {GB}) and a yearling filly by Make Believe (GB). Eton Mes was an RNA at the Tattersalls December Yearling Sale. Tutti Frutti herself was a 52,000gns purchase by Hugo Merry Bloodstock at the 2016 December Mare Sale.

Saturday, Del Mar
DEL MAR OAKS-GI, $302,500, Del Mar, 8-19, 3yo, f, 1 1/8mT, 1:48.15, fm.
1–ANISETTE (GB), 122, f, 3, by Awtaad (Ire)
                1st Dam: Tutti Frutti (GB), by Teofilo (Ire)
                2nd Dam: Soft Centre (GB), by Zafonic
                3rd Dam: Foodbroker Fancy (Ire), by Halling
1ST GRADE I WIN. (26,000gns Ylg '21 TATSOM). O-Eclipse
Thoroughbred Partners; B-Morera Partnership (GB); T-Leonard
Powell; J-Umberto Rispoli. $180,000. Lifetime Record: 6-4-1-0,
$346,871. Werk Nick Rating: A++.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Be Your Best (Ire), 122, f, 3, by Muhaarar (GB)
                1st Dam: Kamakura, by Medaglia d'Oro
                2nd Dam: Kotuku (GB), by A.P. Indy
                3rd Dam: Flagbird, by Nureyev
1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. O-Michael J. Ryan; B-St. Croix Bloodstock
(IRE); T-Horacio De Paz. $60,000.
3–Impact Warrior (Ire), 122, f, 3, by Saxon Warrior (Jpn)
                1st Dam: Lina de Vega (Ire) (GSP-Ire),
                                by Lope de Vega (Ire)
                2nd Dam: Caerlina (Ire), by Caerleon
                3rd Dam: Dinalina (Fr), by Top Ville (Ire)
TYPE. (€55,000 Ylg '21 GOFOR). O-Martin Schwartz;
B-Ballylinch Stud (IRE); T-Philip D'Amato. $36,000.
Margins: 2 3/4, NK, 1HF. Odds: 0.80, 7.50, 8.50.
Also Ran: Ruby Nell, Infinite Diamond, Window Shopping, And Tell Me Nolies, Absolutely Zero, Big Pond, Paris Secret (Ire).
Click for the chart and the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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