Phil D'Amato

Imports a Key Pillar of Phil D'Amato's Winning Strategy

Plenty of imports into the clogged Southern California shipping terminals of Los Angeles and Long Beach have been left idle these past few months, collateral damage in a supply-side bottle-neck. Imports into the Southern California stable of Phil D'Amato, on the other hand, have been far more effectively commandeered. "It's a really good strategy for owners to help them make money and have fun in the process," says D'Amato, caught mid-morning between scrutinizing his trainees jog a dusty Santa Anita horse-path under a blazing hot sun and a scouting trip...

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Smooth Like Strait 'On Top of His Game,' Seeking Shoemaker Repeat

Cannon Thoroughbreds' Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute) will attempt to defend his title in the GI Shoemaker Mile--a Win and You're In event for the GI Breeders' Cup Mile--when he faces five rivals in the Santa Anita contest Monday. The 5-year-old, the 4-5 morning-line favorite, was runner-up in four graded events following last year's Shoemaker, setting the pace before getting past late by Space Blues in the Nov. 6 GI Breeders' Cup Mile. Making his 2022 debut, he set the pace before ending up third in a blanket finish in...

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'Memories' Meets 'Love' in Honeymoon

The top two 3-year-old turf fillies in California will face off for the first time along with five other foes in Sunday's nine-furlong GIII Honeymoon S. on the Santa Anita lawn. Cairo Memories (Cairo Prince), named a 'TDN Rising Star' for a 4 1/2-length debut victory Sept. 5 at Del Mar, the $50,000 Keeneland September purchase backed that up with 2 1/4-length tally in the local Surfer Girl S. before finishing ninth with a troubled trip in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Switched to dirt, the gray was...

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Oaks Finishers All Well on Saturday; Preakness Next for Oath?

More than 12 hours after winning his fifth GI Kentucky Oaks with Briland Farm's Secret Oath (Arrogate), Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas was back on his pony leading his horses out to train Saturday morning at 5:15 a.m. He reported that his star filly came out of the race well and now has several options ahead of her, including the GII Black-Eyed Susan S. and the GI Preakness Stakes May 20 and 21, respectively at Pimlico. "She bounced back very quickly last night and she's very sharp here...

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Cupid Filly Plays Santa Anita Oaks Spoiler

While Saturday's GII Santa Anita Oaks seemed all but a procession for 13-length GIII Las Virgenes S. romper Adare Manor (Uncle Mo) in her first start since being transferred from Bob Baffert to Tim Yakteen, Desert Dawn (Cupid)--the longest shot in the field of five at higher than 14-1 odds--had other ideas. Desert Dawn broke well from the fence before tucking in to sit third as her seemingly much more formidable stablemate Ain't Easy (Into Mischief) set off to show the way with the imposing presence of Adare Manor looming...

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Lucky Girl Looks To Stay Hot in Providencia

The progressive Lucky Girl (Ire) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) looks to make it three on the trot as the likely favorite in a competitive renewal of the GIII Providencia S. at Santa Anita. Third in a single European appearance at Ireland's Gowran Park for trainer Andrew Slattery, the bay was fractionally disappointing when off the board in each of her first three U.S. appaearances, including a troubled fifth in a one-mile maiden here Dec. 27. Connections nevertheless swung for the fences and gave their filly a try in the Jan....

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Count Again Up in Time in Kilroe Mile

Making just his 15th start at the age of seven, Agave Racing Stable and Sam-Son Farm's Count Again (Awesome Again) uncorked his usual late run to come out on top of a tight finish in Santa Anita's GI Frank E. Kilroe Mile S. A close third in last year's Kilroe and most recently a winner of the GIII Thunder Road S. here Feb. 5, the Ontario-bred gelding sat in a joint second last around the first turn while scraping paint. He continued to draft from a nice spot as GISW...

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Going to Vegas Ready to Roll in the Buena Vista

Trainer Richard Baltas sends out expected favorite GI Rodeo Drive S. winner Going to Vegas (Goldencents) in Saturday's GII Buena Vista S. at Santa Anita. Last seen finishing 11th in a 12-horse field after setting the early pace in the GI Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, Going to Vegas shook off the rust with a five-furlong drill in 1:00 (2/20) Feb. 26 in Arcadia. Flavien Prat, who won the GII John C. Mabee S. aboard the 5-year-old mare last September, has the mount. To win, she'll have...

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Going Global the One to Beat, Again, in American Oaks

With a 7-6-1-0 record since being imported from Ireland, and having already bested a number of these foes previously, Going Global (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}) is strictly the one to beat in Sunday's concluding event at Santa Anita, the GI American Oaks. The Phil D'Amato trainee's lone runner-up effort in the States came when she was beaten a half-length in the GII San Clemente S. over a Del Mar mile in July, but she bounced back with a victory in that venue's nine-panel GI Del Mar Oaks Aug. 21. Closing Remarks...

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D'Amato Holds Strong Hand in Durante

Trainer Phil D'Amato saddles a pair of live contenders in Saturday's GIII Jimmy Durante S. at Del Mar. Making one start in Europe before joining D'Amato's barn, Helens Well (Ire) (Kodi Bear {Ire}) broke her maiden at Del Mar Aug. 15 and finished second in both the Sept. 5 Juvenile Fillies Turf S. in SoCal and the Oct. 3 Surfer Girl S. at Santa Anita. She enters off an eighth-place finish in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf S. Nov. 5. D'Amato also saddles Virulente (Fr) (Al Wukair {Ire}),...

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Easy Money in Chandelier

'TDN Rising Star' Ain't Easy (f, 2, Into Mischief--Ameristralia {Aus}, by Fastnet Rock {Aus}) put on a show to remain unbeaten while punching her ticket to the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in Friday's 'Win and You're In' GII Chandelier S. at Santa Anita. Electric Ride (Daredevil), a runaway debut winner at Del Mar Aug. 28, was second; second out Del Mar maiden winner Desert Dawn (Cupid) was third. Heavily favored GI TVG Del Mar Debutante S. heroine Grace Adler (Curlin) never factored while fifth. Ain't Easy, a sharp 5...

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Grace Adler Headlines Chandelier

Grace Adler (Curlin) looks to take her record to three-for-three and provide Hall of Famer Bob Baffert with his 12th victory in Santa Anita's GII Chandelier S. Friday, a "Win and You're in Event" for the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in November. A debut winner at Del Mar July 31, the $700,000 FTKSEL purchase already secured her spot in the gate for the World Championships with a dominant late-running score in the Sept. 5 GI Del Mar Debutante S., which she won by 11 1/4 lengths over Dance to...

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