Graded Stakes 'Triple' Kicks Off Memorial Day Weekend

Spirit of Makena | Benoit

A graded stakes trio, led by the GII Triple Bend S. at Santa Anita, will kick off Memorial Day weekend on Saturday afternoon.

The lightly raced 5-year-old Bruce Chandler homebred Spirit of Makena (Ghostzapper) looks for his third straight victory for trainer George Papaprodromou following a 1 1/2-length score over the re-opposing Forbidden Kingdom (American Pharoah) in the GIII San Carlos S. last time Mar. 11. Spirit of Makena is the 8-5 morning-line favorite. The field of seven also includes last year's GI Breeders' Cup Sprint runner-up and popular 9-year-old gelding C Z Rocket (City Zip), an earner of more than $2 million.

Santa Anita's nine-race program also features a field of seven turf sprinters–led by last out Siren Lure S. winner and 9-5 morning-line favorite Whatmakessammyrun (We Miss Artie)–in the GIII Daytona S.

A field of six 3-year-old fillies, meanwhile, will line up in Belmont's GIII Soaring Softly S. going seven furlongs over the widener turf course. Christophe Clement will saddle Moyglare Stud Farm homebred and 6-5 morning-line favorite Love Appeals (Speightstown), who enters off a sharp optional claiming win sprinting over the Aqueduct lawn Apr. 27.

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