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Daytona and Triple Bend On Tap Saturday at Santa Anita

Santa Anita
Santa Anita hosts a pair of graded stakes races on Saturday. (Photo:: © Cheryl Quigley | Dreamstime.com).

George Papaprodromou’s lightly raced 5-year-old Spirit of Makena, a head shy of being unbeaten in four starts, heads a field of seven older horses going seven furlongs in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Triple Bend Stakes at Santa Anita.

Unbeaten in two starts here this year, a six furlong allowance on Feb. 11 and most recently, the Grade III San Carlos Stakes at seven panels on March 11, Spirit of Makena, a full horse by Ghostzapper, will be ridden for the third consecutive time by Joe Bravo.

Owned by his breeder, Bruce Chandler, Spirit of Makena is out of the Gilded Time mare Win for M’lou. Unraced at two and three, he was a first-out maiden winner going 6 ½ furlongs on Aug. 5 at Del Mar and was then second, beaten a head in a first condition allowance going one mile Sept. 11.

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Thus unbeaten sprinting, Spirit of Makena has banked $227,600.

A troubled second to world class sprinter Dr. Schivel in a six furlong classified allowance here on May 13, Peter Miller’s 9-year-old gelding C Z Rocket returns on two weeks notice and with a star-studded resume that includes three graded stakes wins and earnings of $2,008,441, he has to be considered the class of the field.

A Florida-bred by City Zip, C Z Rocket is owned by Altamira Racing Stable, Madaket Stables, LLC, Gary Barber and Tom Kagele. With five career stakes wins, his overall record stands at 38-12-8-5 and he’ll be ridden back by Ramon Vazquez.

A colt who showed tremendous promise as a newly turned 3-year-old, bagging victories in Santa Anita’s Grade II San Vicente Stakes Jan. 29 and San Felipe Stakes on March 5, 2022, Richard Mandella’s Forbidden Kingdom has been winless in five subsequent starts, with his lone out this year coming in the Grade III San Carlos, a race in which he finished second by 1 ½ lengths to Spirit of Makena.

With top jock Juan Hernandez again engaged, Forbidden Kingdom could be poised for a breakout performance. A 4-year-old colt by 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah out of the Five Star Day mare Just Louise, Forbidden Kingdom is owned by My Racehorse and Spendthrift Farm, LLC. With an overall mark of 10-3-3-2, he has earnings of $547,500.

G2 Triple Bend

Midnight Mammoth—Kyle Frey—120
Desmond Doss—Umberto Rispoli—120
Positivity—Tiago Pereira—120
Forbidden Kingdom—Juan Hernandez—120
Howbeit—Mike Smith—122
Spirit of Makena—Joe Bravo—122
C Z Rocket—Ramon Vazquez–120

Seven Go in Daytona

Fresh off an ungraded stakes win down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course, Mark Glatt’s Whatmakessammyrun bids for two wins in a row down the hill, as heads Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Daytona Stakes as seven older horses go about 6 ½ furlongs.

After bobbling slightly at the break, Whatmakessammyrun settled into a perfect trip in the Siren Lure. Although he was last to the dirt crossing, he was just 3 ½ lengths off the lead and moving comfortably as Joe Bravo guided him five deep and in a gutty stretch run, he overhauled Air Force Read by a head while prevailing by 1 ¾ lengths over Indian Peak, who he will face again on Saturday.

A winner of the Grade II Eddie D Stakes down the hillside turf five starts back on Oct. 1, Whatmakessammyrun has two wins from four tries over the course and will be ridden for the sixth consecutive time by Bravo.

A 5-year-old gelding by We Miss Artie, Whatmakessammyrun is owned by Sterling Racing, LLC. A three-time stakes winner, he’s 19-5-3-2 overall with earnings of $391,070.

Third to the top pick in the Siren Lure, Indian Peak, a 6-year-old California-bred gelding by Comic Strip, was third, beaten a head coming down the hillside by top Cal-bred The Chosen Vron two starts back in the statebred Sensational Star Stakes March 19. A statebred stakes winner over the course at age three, Indian Peak has one win from five tries at the trip and will be reunited with Juan Hernandez on Saturday.

Owned by Wachtel Stable and Gary Barber, Indian Peak, proven effective on all surfaces, sprinting and routing, seeks his third career stakes win with an overall mark of 30-6-5-4 with earnings of $455,122.

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Trainer Cesar DeAlba’s Fast Buck has the look of a “now horse,” as he comes off a solid gate to wire score going six furlongs out of Santa Anita’s turf chute in a second condition allowance May 7, a race in which he earned a career-best 91 Beyer Speed Figure.

A 5-year-old California-bred gelding by Gallant Son, Fast Buck, in his only other try down the hill, finished fourth, beaten 3 ½ lengths by The Chosen Vron in the Sensational Star three starts back on March 19.

A gate to wire winner of his May 7 allowance race, Fast Buck could be the speed of the field and with Diego Herrera opting to ride European invader Prince Lancelot, he’ll be ridden for the first time by Hector Berrios. A winner of four of his eight starts, Fast Buck, who is owned by Zephyr Racing, LLC, Peter Cruz and Cesar DeAlba. With earnings of $215,474, he will be making his first graded stakes start.

Trainer Val Brinkerhoff’s millionaire 8-year-old gelding Restrainedvengence, idle since well beaten on dirt in the Grade II Pat O’Brien Stakes Aug. 27 at Del Mar, gets the services of Edwin Maldonado and could prove dangerous off the bench in what will be his third try down the hill.

A game head allowance winner over the course in his fourth career start at age three on April 6, 2018, Restrainedvengence, in his only other start down the hill, finished a close fourth behind classy Law Abidin Citizen in a classified allowance on Oct. 27, 2018.

A seven-time stakes winner, who took Santa Anita’s Grade III American Stakes at one mile on turf at age six, Restrainedvengence is perhaps best known for running third in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar six starts back on Nov. 6, 2021 at Del Mar.

Owned by Kelly Brinkerhoff and Bobby Grayson, Jr., Restrainedvengence, a Kentucky-bred by Hold Me Back, has an overall mark of 40-10-4-4 with earnings of $1,022,252.

G2 Daytona

Indian Peak—Juan Hernandez—122
Lovesick Blues—Umberto Rispoli—120
Fast Buck—Hector Berrios—120
Restrainedvengence—Abel Cedillo—120
Whatmakessammyrun—Joe Bravo—124
Prince Lancelot—Diego Herrera—122
Burnin Turf – Drayden Van Dyke—120