The 66th running of the Santa Ynez Stakes (G2)–to be contested at Santa Anita Park on January 8–kicks off the road to the Kentucky Oaks (G1) for three-year-old fillies in Southern California and will feature a showdown between the proven graded stakes winner Shane’s Girlfriend, a undefeated bay filly coming off a double digit win in the Delta Princess (G3) at Delta Downs, and the young upstart Unique Bella, a $400,000 daughter of Tapit that has drawn comparisons to the champion filly Songbird.
The seven-furlong San Ynez (G2) originally drew a deep field of nine sophomore fillies but was hit hard with the early scratches of Sandy’s Surprise, Carrie, Noted and Quoted, and Go On Mary, reducing the field to five. Resilient Humor, a well-bred Distorted Humor filly out of grade one winner Sassy Image; Princess Karen, a bay daughter of Stay Thirsty that broke her maiden at first-asking going seven furlongs and It Tiz Well, a $230,000 daughter of Arch out of a Tiznow mare who broke her maiden by 10 lengths in her last race at Los Alamitos, round out a salty lot of sharp recent maiden graduates.
Post time for the Santa Ynez (G2), the eighth race on Sunday’s nine-race program in Arcadia, is 7:00 P.M. Eastern.
I’ll have free analysis and selections for six stakes races this weekend. The Fort Lauderdale (G2) from Gulfstream Park, the La Canada (G2) from Santa Anita Park, and the Pippin Stakes (Listed) from Oaklawn Park on Saturday, January 14. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 16, I’ll focus on the Toboggan (G3) from Aqueduct, the Megahertz (G3) from Santa Anita and the Smarty Jones (Listed) from Oaklawn.
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