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Santa Anita Oaks: Stardom Bound to be odds-on, again
by Handicappers / Globeform
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Santa Anita Saturday: Stardom Bound will get more rivals than at first anticipated, when she goes for the Santa Anita Oaks (G1), but those who might have had a chance at troubling her have dropped out.

Pick 3 plans and recommended Double bet at end of this preview.


It is easy to see why. Clashing with last year’s champion juvenile filly at this stage of the season, when she has already made an impressive seasonal debut, was never going to tempt too many owners and trainers of potential Kentucky Oaks (G1) contenders.

The gray Tapit filly has won her last four starts, all in great style and after this race – provided she wins again – she is likely to clash with the colts in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 4. An off-the-pace runner, Stardom Bound is much the best and it is impossible to go againt her. She beat Dream Empress by 1 ½ lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), staged over this course and distance last October. She went off a short priced favorite on the big day, and obliged with an explosive late kick. Just like she had done also in winning the Oak Laf Stakes (G1) a month earlier, when she came home 3 ½ lengths in front of Palacio de Amor.

Even the Kentucky Derby has been mentioned as possible goal for Stardom Bound, who returned Globeform 115+ on her best run to date. Normal improvement can bring her up to 120 or higher and, with a 5lb fillies’ allowance, she would be in with a chance against the best colts around at the moment. Stardom Bound is not short on stamina, so the 1 ¼ miles at Churchill Downs would not be a reason to doubt her chances if she turns up for the first leg of the Triple Crown in two months’ time.

First, however, she takes in the Santa Anita Oaks, a race that is her to lose, then hopefully the Santa Anita Derby, where more questions will be answered. She will probably stroll to another win in this Oaks, and set herself up for that crucial test against the boys.

Her seasonal debut came in the Las Virgenes Stakes (G1) at this venue on February 7. Stardom Bound was facing a small field, and she simply crushed them, winning as she liked 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Haka (who was receiving 6lb). Haka is an interesting improver, and she would have been an obvious exacta horse here, but her trainer decided against another run against Stardom Bound - who is a good horse to kick off a Pick 3 plan with.

Will O Way owns tactical speed, and is coming off a game, but oh so narrow, win in the Californian Oaks at Golden Gate Fields in January. Beating Point of Reference by a nose, at level weights, does not make you a star, but Will O Way had previously run third in the Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3) here at Santa Anita, beaten only by Century Park and Haka, and she has quite solid form.

Beltene, unbeaten and improving all the time, came from the back to win the Sunshine Millions Oaks over 6 furlongs here in January. She takes a step up both in class and distance, but Beltene is probably a filly who will be even more at home over the Santa Anita Oaks trip, and she also has a good chance of hitting the board.

GLOBEFORM SELECTIONS

A: 1 STARDOM BOUND
B: 7 WILL O WAY, 8 BELTENE



2008 SANTA ANITA OAKS (G1)

1 – ARIEGE (Doneraile Court) GF 112+
2 – Golden Doc A (Unusual Heat) GF 111+
3 – Final Fling (Bertrando) GF 104

Also ran:
Divine Legacy GF 99 , Seattle Smooth, Briecat, Lovely Isle, Kazamira, Sunday Holiday

_________________________________________________________________________________________


GLOBEFORM’S PICK 3’s & DOUBLE BET

RACE 8
on the Big Cap day card is an allowance race of near stakes quality. Run over 8.5 furlongs on the Pro-Ride, it has attracted a handful of contenders who have been in tougher battles than this.

Tres Borrachos, getting his prep run for a trip to the Godolphin Mile (G2) at Nad Al Sheba in three weeks’ time, is one of them. This Beau Greeley trained gelding adds blinkers, after running way below his true form when reappearing over this course and distance in January. If he is to have any chance in Dubai, he had better regain his form, and Tres Borrachos is a talented runner. He beat Two Step Salsa (another Godolphin Mile possible, and already a winner in Dubai) when landing the Swaps Stakes (G2) last summer, and was beaten less than five lengths by Dubai World Cup contender Well Armed when sixth in the Goodwood Stakes (G1) in the autumn.

Cherokee Artist, ninth but not beaten far in the Strub Stakes (G2) last time out, also goes to post with a winning chance. Trained by Graham Motion, this colt has 2 wins from 4 runs over this trip, and he has also won over at Santa Anita. He was only 3 ¾ lengths behind Santa Anita Handicap contender Cowboy Cal in the Strub, and takes a big drop in class here.

Riley Tucker is the third name to include, as we put this race into a Pick 3 plan, as well as play some optimistic boxed exactas and trifectas with this trio. Bob Baffert recently took over the training of this colt, who has won twice and finished in the first three on 7 of his 9 career outings. Baffert saddled him to win straight off a break here a month ago (at odds-on) and Riley Tucker’s back-class makes him interesting. He was placed in two Graded stakes last term. Riley Tucker is coupled with Malt Magic.

Zappa, second on the also-eligible list, would have to be included if he gets into the field. Beaten just a head in the Tupa Handicap at Turfway Park last time out, he also has the class to win a race like this but needs two to dtop out to get a run on Saturday.

PICK 3 PLANS

RACE 7: 1 STARDOM BOUND
RACE 8: 1 RILEY TUCKER, 6 CHEROKEE ARTIST, 9 TRES BORRACHOS, 13 ZAPPA
RACE 9: 1 VENTURA

3 or 4 bets (Zappa second on also-eligible list)
_________________________________________________________________________________________

RACE 8: 1 RILEY TUCKER, 6 CHEROKEE ARTIST, 9 TRES BORRACHOS, 13 ZAPPA
RACE 9: 1 VENTURA
RACE 10: 1 MATTO MONDO, 5 COLONEL JOHN, 12 ZAMBEZI SUN

9 or 12 bets (Zappa second on also-eligible list)

_________________________________________________________________________________________

DOUBLE BET

RACE 9: 1 VENTURA
RACE 10: 1 MATTO MONDO

_________________________________________________________________________________________





Last update: 2009-03-06 09:37:15 (First published: 2009-03-06 07:38:28 )

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