Loaded Santa Anita Program, Featuring Trio of Graded Stakes, Headlines Memorial Day Action

Anisette | Benoit

A trio of graded stakes, led by the GI Gamely S. and GI Shoemaker Mile S., will anchor a stacked Memorial Day holiday program at Santa Anita on Monday.

Making her first start since capturing the GI American Oaks Dec. 26, Anisette (GB) (Awtaad {Ire}) headlines a deep nine-horse field set for the Gamely. The Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners colorbearer also captured last term's GI Del Mar Oaks.

“We gave her a small vacation that was much deserved,” trainer Leonard Powell said of the Gamely's 5-2 morning-line favorite. “She's come back as good, if not better, than before.”

Powell continued, “She's fired fresh before, but this is a Grade I. It's different circumstances. There are some really seasoned performers. But while she's up against it from that standpoint, she's up to the challenge.”

Hall of Famer Richard Mandella will be represented by last-out local graded winners Ruby Nell (Bolt d'Oro) (GII Buena Vista S.) and the streaking Linda's Gift (Arrogate) (GIII Santa Ana S.).

The rail-drawn Olivia Maralda (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}), a 725,000gns TATDEC purchase by Woodford Thoroughbreds last winter, heads west for trainer Will Walden following a rallying second-place finish while making her U.S. debut in a Keeneland allowance Apr. 20.

Du Jour (Temple City) and Easter (Fr) (Exosphere {Aus}), the first two finishers across the line in the GI Frank E. Kilroe Mile S. Mar. 3, will meet again in the Shoemaker Mile. The field of 11 also includes returning 2023 GII Del Mar Derby winner Conclude (Collected) and GIII American S. Apr. 4 winner Johannes (Nyquist).

The GII Hollywood Gold Cup will showcase a field of eight, including: GIII Californian S. Apr. 20 one-two-three Mr Fisk (Arrogate), Judge Miller (Curlin) and Mixto (Good Magic); and narrow GI Santa Anita H. Mar. 3 runner-up Subsanador (Arg) (Fortify).

Santa Anita's blockbuster holiday card also features the return of human stars to Arcadia. International riding legend Frankie Dettori, who tied a Santa Anta record when winning six consecutive races Apr. 6, rides nine of Monday's 11 races. His stakes mounts are Uncorked (Uncle Mo) in the Gamely for Phil D'Amato, Judge Miller in the Gold Cup for Mark Glatt and Funtastic Again (Funtastic) in the Shoemaker Mile for Wesley Ward.

Flavien Prat, who ranks second in North America this year with more than $10.29 million in earnings, has seven mounts Monday. In the three stakes, he'll be aboard Olivia Maralda in the Gamely; Subsanador in the Gold Cup for Mandella and Du Jour in the Shoemaker for trainer Bob Baffert.

Reigning three-time Sovereign Award winner Kazushi Kimura, who like Prat and Dettori rode this winter at Santa Anita, returns with six mounts Monday. His stakes engagements include longshot Yerwanthere (Ire) (Markaz {Ire}) in the Gamely for trainer Patrick Gallagher, Mr Fisk in the Gold Cup for Baffert and Dominican Pioneer (Pioneerof the Nile) in the Shoemaker for Ward.

Trainer Chad Brown, meanwhile, will send out an imposing trio, led by unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' and Memories of Silver S. Apr. 28 heroine Sweet Rebecca (American Pharoah) as he looks to secure a record-extending sixth victory in the GII Wonder Again S. at Belmont at the Big A.

Monday's graded stakes action is rounded out by the GIII Steve Sexton Mile S. at Lone Star and the GIII Winning Colors S. at Churchill Downs.

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