Anisette Proves Far Too Strong In American Oaks

Anisette | Benoit

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Crunched into 3-5 favoritism to complete the Southern California turf Oaks double, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Anisette (GB) (Awtaad {Ire}) sat the perfect trip just behind the pace and quickened up decisively in the final eighth of a mile to stamp her authority on Tuesday's GI American Oaks at Santa Anita.

The dark bay, who swept the GII San Clemente S. and GI Del Mar Oaks over the summer, was content to lay third against the rails as Irad Ortiz, Jr. tried to make all the running aboard 'TDN Rising Star' Be Your Best (Ire) (Muhaarar {GB}), who got away with some pretty cheap fractions on the engine. The Mike Ryan colorbearer was given every conceivable chance to finish the task at hand once heads were turned for home, but the chalk pushed away from the fence beneath Umberto Rispoli in upper stretch, easily gathered up the front-runner at the eighth pole and ran out a facile winner. Be Your Best settled for second, while pace-pressing Musical Mischief (Into Mischief) re-rallied for third after appearing destined to finish off the board. It was the second win in the race in the space of three years for Aron Wellman's operation, who campaigned 2021 winner Queen Goddess (Empire Maker) in partnership in a race rained onto the main track.

Though this race, the brainchild of longtime bi-coastal racing office maestro Martin Panza, was celebrating just its 22nd running, Anisette is the second to complete the Del Mar/American Oaks double, joining Lady of Shamrock (Scat Daddy) in 2012, when the races were run back-to-back and in reverse order in July (at original host site Hollywood Park) and August.

“She's the goods,” said winning trainer Leonard Powell. “Aron Wellman and I have chosen to give her plenty of time in between races and that's probably the key of keeping her at the top of her game. She is happy and healthy, so that is the main thing.”

An all-weather maiden winner in three starts in England for Kevin Philippart de Foy, Anisette swept the Del Mar series over the summer, but settled for second in her last two, against the high-class Didia (Arg) (Orpen) in the GII Rodeo Drive S. over this course and trip Oct. 7 and versus her peers in the one-mile GIII Autumn Miss S. Nov. 5.

Pedigree Notes:

One of two elite-level scorers for her sire, along with G1 Prix d'Ispahan winner Anmaat (Ire), Anisette–a 26,000gns graduate of the 2021 Tattersalls Somerville Yearling Sale–is one of two winners from four to the races out of a daughter of the stakes-winning Soft Centre, also the dam of G1 Nassau S. heroine Sultanina (Ire) (New Approach {Ire}). The stakes-winning third dam produced Dalvina (GB) (Grand Lodge) and SW French Dressing (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), the dam of 2021 G3 Hampton Court S. winner Mohaafeth (Ire) (Frankel {GB}). Anisette's 2-year-old half-brother Eton Mes (Ire) (Expert Eye {GB}) was a 37,000gns RNA at the 2022 Tattersalls November Sale and her yearling filly Glamourous Marlene (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}) was hammered down to Blandford Bloodstock for 65,000gns at Tattersalls October this fall. Tutti Frutti was most recently covered by Magna Grecia (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}). Anisette was catalogued to last month's Keeneland November Sale, but was ultimately withdrawn.

Tuesday, Santa Anita
AMERICAN OAKS-GI, $300,000, Santa Anita, 12-26, 3yo, f, 1 1/4mT, 2:00.22, fm.
1–ANISETTE (GB), 124, 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
(26,000gns Ylg '21 TATSOM). O-Eclipse Thoroughbred
Partners; B-Morera Partnership (GB); T-Leonard Powell;
J-Umberto Rispoli. $180,000. Lifetime Record: 9-5-3-0,
$606,871. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
   Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the free Equineline.com
   catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Be Your Best (Ire), 124, 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
'TDN Rising Star'. O-Michael J. Ryan; B-St. Croix Bloodstock
(IRE); T-Horacio De Paz. $60,000.
3–Musical Mischief, 124, f, 3, by Into Mischief
                1st Dam: Sophia's Song (SW & GSP, $155,892),
                                by Bellamy Road
                2nd Dam: Dreamscape, by Mt. Livermore
                3rd Dam: Big Dreams, by Great Above
   1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE, 1ST G1 BLACK
   TYPE. ($300,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-Stoneway Farm; B-Clearsky
Farms (KY); T-Michael W. McCarthy. $36,000.
Margins: 1 3/4, 2, 1HF. Odds: 0.60, 3.60, 3.60.
Also Ran: Sakura Flavor (Ire), Elounda Queen (Ire). Scratched: Grace Period (Fr), Khinjani (GB). Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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