04/03/2013 4:19PM

Santa Anita Oaks tops stakes-filled Saturday undercard

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Barbara D. Livingston
Las Virgenes winner Beholder (above) will have to beat stablemate Spellbound in the Grade 2 Santa Anita Oaks.

ARCADIA, Calif. - The Santa Anita Derby is the richest of five stakes on Saturday’s 11-race program, and one of four graded stakes.

Beholder, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2012, will be heavily favored to win the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks for 3-year-old fillies over 1 1/16 miles. Trained by Richard Mandella, Beholder’s biggest threat could be stablemate Spellbound, who makes her stakes debut.

Mandella starts Jimmy Creed, the winner of the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes in December, in the $150,000 Potrero Grande Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs. The competition includes Comma to the Top, who won the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap at Aqueduct on March 2.

The $150,000 Providencia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over 1 1/8 miles on turf drew 10 runners, including Birdlover, Magnificent Shirl, Akiss Forarose, and Flashy Ways, the first four finishers of the China Doll Stakes over a mile on turf on March  9.
Wilkinson, the winner of the Grade 2 American Handicap last summer, can end a three-race losing streak in the $75,000 Thunder Road Stakes for older horses over a mile on turf.