Leonard Powell

Anisette Returns a Winner in Santa Anita's Gamely

Not seen since taking the GI American Oaks last December, Anisette (GB) (Awtaad {Ire}) kicked off her 4-year-old campaign on a winning note, taking the GI Gamely S. on Santa Anita's Memorial Day card Monday. Allowed to settle well off the pace as 5-2 favorite Ruby Nell (Bolt d'Oro) opened up on the field through a :24.09 opening quarter, Anisette continued to bide her time through a :47.57 half mile. With the field closing in on the weakening frontrunner approaching the final turn, the slight 5-2 second choice swept into...

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Anisette Proves Far Too Strong In American Oaks

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'...

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Second Stab At Synthetics In California? The Trainers' View

Under the toughest of spotlights, the industry's collective eyes often turn to the stuff under foot. At least, that's what trainer Mark Casse did in a widely-shared TDN Q&A. "I think we really, seriously, need to look at more synthetic tracks," Casse said, triggering yet another cavalcade of commentary on the conceived benefits and blights of synthetic surfaces. "I believe in them. I believe they've got plenty of data to back that up." Former TDN writer Lucas Marquardt followed it up with an analysis of race-day fatality data through The...

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Perfect Storm as Anisette Much the Best in Del Mar Oaks

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...

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Del Mar Notes: HOF Jockey Smith Turns 58; Post Time Moved; Maltese Falcon Points To Del Mar Derby

Jockey Mike Smith turned 58 on Thursday. Riding for 43 years, he isn't prepared to slow down. Since moving his tack to Southern California in 2001, he has ridden several Hall of Fame horses and was himself inducted in 2003. "The only thing that feels old on me is my memories of the past," said Smith. The Hall of Famer has won four GI Pacific Classics and if Geaux Rocket Ride (Candy Ride {Arg}) makes it to the race this year, Smith will have his eleventh shot at Del Mar's...

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Maltese Falcon Spies Graded Prize In La Jolla Win

A six-start maiden, Maltese Falcon (Ire) (Caravaggio) was nevertheless dispatched as the public's choice for Sunday's GIII La Jolla H. and duly obliged with a perfect-trip graduation. Neatly drawn in stall three in a field of eight in this final prep for the GII Del Mar Derby, the 105,000gns Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training purchase found a good spot at the fence right on the back of a sedate tempo set jointly by Agency (Bolt d'Oro) and Justin's Legacy (Justify). Juan Hernandez was content to allow Maltese Falcon to bide...

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Letter To the Editor: Dirt, Synthetic and Sprints

It is with a lot interest that I read the two Op/Eds from Earl Mack and Bill Finley published this week about the dirt vs. synthetic surfaces, and, although the numbers speak for themselves, I think we should look at another factor. A lot more sprints are being run on dirt than either turf or synthetic. The composition of the dirt surface makes speed the best asset for horses who compete and it is common to see fractions of sub-22 seconds for a first 1/4 of a mile, and over...

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