Updated on 09/15/2011 12:50PM

McAnally happy to win anywhere

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Benoit & Associates
Tranquility Lake will try to win the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Invitational for the second straight year at the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita.

DEL MAR, Calif. - It doesn't matter to Ron McAnally where he succeeds on Saturday.

McAnally has starters in major stakes at Arlington Park and Del Mar and is hoping to end a bleak month. On Wednesday, he won his first race of the Del Mar meeting with Penamacor, his 24th starter. Last year's record was also disappointing: McAnally had two winners from 67 starters.

McAnally has been stung by bad luck in different forms. Smile Again, the upset winner of the Bel Air Handicap last month at Hollywood Park, has battled foot problems and missed racing. Worse, Magic Ring, a promising maiden winner at Hollywood Park last month, was euthanized after suffering a leg injury in a recent workout.

"You have to hope the bad luck is over and keep trying," McAnally said. "The same thing happened last year."

On Saturday, McAnally runs Affluent and Innit in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks and Kalatiara in the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park.

Innit is McAnally's best hope for the Del Mar Oaks. She won the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap over 1 1/4 miles on July 1, rallying from fourth in the final furlong.

In the Del Mar Oaks, she will be ridden for the first time by Tyler Baze. He replaces Chris McCarron, who is riding Saturday at Arlington.

"She has to be ridden very carefully," McAnally said. "The main thing is, he's got to do like Chris did and kind of finesse her."

Affluent won the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks on dirt on July 14 and won her only appearance on turf in an allowance race last May. In the Oaks, she beat four others for her first stakes win, scoring by 2 1/2 lengths.

"We were lucky it was a short field, and the tough ones didn't pan out," McAnally said. "She hasn't missed a beat."

The Oaks will have a strong field. The other probables include stakes winners Reine de Romance; Voodoo Dancer; Live Your Dreams; Desiraes My Candy, an allowance race winner; and the European import Golden Apples.

Dixie Dot Com, Futural work

Dixie Dot Com and Futural, the biggest threats to defending champion Skimming in Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic, had their final workouts on Wednesday. Dixie Dot Com went a half-mile in 46 seconds while Futural was timed in 47.40.

Dig for It, who will be a longshot, worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds. A field of seven is likely, including Captain Steve, Sultry Substitute, and Until Sundown, a 3-year-old.

A Fleets Dancer, based in Canada, will not be shipped to California. He will be pointed for the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap on Sunday.

Dixie Dot Com may pressure the front-running Skimming early, although trainer Bill Morey has not finalized his game plan.

"I think we'll have to talk over our strategy when the Form comes out.

"We're an outsider, and we'll stay low and keep quiet. I hope we'll do some real running."

Kalookan Queen vs. Go Go (again)

On Sunday, Kalookan Queen faces Go Go, California's top female sprinter, in the $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap over 6 1/2 furlongs.

It will be the third meeting between the pair, and this time trainer Bruce Headley is convinced that Kalookan Queen is up to the challenge.

"I've put three races into her," Headley said. "The first time I ran her I hadn't run in 14 months. In her next start, she stepped back just when they kicked it."

Kalookan Queen was second to Go Go in the Desert Stormer Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 2, her first start in more than a year. A month later, Kalookan Queen was fourth in the A Gleam Handicap behind Go Go but rebounded to win the restricted Fantastic Girl Stakes on July 23.

"I may win this time," Headley said. "I hope they both break good."

The Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo, run over 6 1/2 furlongs, will also feature Kitty on the Track and Warren's Whistle.

Headley trains Kona Gold, the nation's top sprinter who is being pointed for a defense of his Breeders' Cup Sprint title this fall at Belmont Park. A win by Kalookan Queen would give him two powerful sprinters. "I might have the king and queen by the end of the week," he said.

'Tranquility' points to Yellow Ribbon

Before shipping to Belmont Park for the Breeders' Cup Distaff on Oct. 27, Tranquility Lake will try to win the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Invitational for the second straight year at the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita. Trainer Julio Canani said the timing of the Sept. 29 Yellow Ribbon, at 1 1/4 miles on turf, suits the 6-year-old mare's schedule and allows for less traveling.

"This way, she can come back at a mile and an eighth and make just one trip back there," Canani said. "To go back there now would be too much shipping, too much moving around. She loves Santa Anita, she loves coming down the hill."

Tranquility Lake is 2 for 3 in 1 1/4-mile turf races at Santa Anita, which begins with a quarter-mile downhill run. A 6-year-old mare, Tranquility Lake established herself as a BC Distaff contender by winning the Grade 2 Clement L. Hirsch on Aug. 5 at Del Mar. Owned by Marty and Pam Wygod, Tranquility Lake has won 10 of 24 lifetime races and earned more than $1.4 million.

- additional reporting by Brad Free

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