Sunday’s feature at Santa Anita is the Grade II, $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes. Nine three-year-old fillies looking to make a name for themselves on the Kentucky Oaks trail will go seven furlongs on the main oval at approximately 7:00 p.m. EST. The Santa Ynez is the eighth of nine races at “The Great Race Place” on Sunday. Don’t forget to check out FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game in addition to playing the races!
#8 SHANE’S GIRLFRIEND (9-5) has already won a race at Santa Anita, but her most memorable performance to date came in the Grade III Delta Princess Stakes in November. The Doug O’Neill trainee won that heat by over 13 lengths and earned by far the field’s top speed figure. She’ll cut back to a sprint today but she’s already won going short so it shouldn’t inhibit her. Look for Shane’s Girlfriend to set up shop just off the leaders under Flavien Prat before pouncing late.
#3 UNIQUE BELLA (8-5, morning-line favorite) is one of two entered by Jerry Hollendorfer with a shot. She disappointed bettors in her June debut but she atoned in a big way last time out, winning by 10. This will be her first try against winners, rarely an easy task, but she couldn’t be training better. Veteran rider Mike Smith will be aboard once more.
#9 IT TIZ WELL (6-1) is the “other” Hollendorfer entered in the Santa Ynez. Like her stablemate, she beat maidens by double-digit lengths last time out and faces winners for the first time today. However, she probably beat weaker at Los Alamitos (UNIQUE BELLA won at Del Mar) and is a few points slower on paper than UNIQUE BELLA. We’ll see what she has to offer today under Drayden Van Dyke.
#5 PRINCESS KAREN (8-1) made her career debut a winning one on Oct. 15, beating a pair of these (#2 SANDY’S SURPRISE and #7 GO ON MARY) at seven furlongs. She hasn’t raced since but has drilled sensationally and lures the region’s top pilot, Rafael Bejarano.
The play: $6 exacta 8/3, $2 exacta 8/5,9 ($10)
DFJ analysis: Once again, you’ll probably want Rafael Bejarano in your stable this Sunday. He has seven mounts on the card and all but one are more than 5-1 in odds; PRINCESS KAREN (8-1) in the Santa Ynez.
Flavien Prat has six mounts on the program, all high-quality, including SHANE’S GIRLFRIEND. None of his assignments are above 8-1 in odds.
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