10/11/2013 2:28PM

Santa Anita: Short field assembled for Anoakia Stakes


ARCADIA, Calif. – The fastest 2-year-old in California has been turned out, which is good news for the five fillies seeking their first stakes victory Sunday at Santa Anita.

Sunday Rules earned an 87 Beyer Speed Figure in winning the Generous Portion Stakes in August at Del Mar, the highest figure of the year by a California 2-year-old. But trainer Mike Mitchell and owner Nick Alexander already are looking forward to 2014 with the 2-for-2 filly.

Mitchell said Alexander “wants to let her grow up, fill out, and run next year. She’s the type of filly that could win the Test.”

At the very least, Sunday Rules would have been favored Sunday in the $70,000 Anoakia Stakes, a six-furlong sprint that attracted five 2-year-old fillies of modest ability. All five are eligible for the first allowance condition; none has earned a fast number.

Spring Moon won her only start July 21 at Del Mar, a gate-to-wire maiden win by four lengths that earned a 70 Beyer, tops in the Anoakia field. However, Spring Moon benefitted from an easy pace not likely to be replicated in the Anoakia.

Bob Baffert trains Spring Moon and Cadron, who also won her only start.

Cadron might be the speed of the field while making her first start since late July. The others in the field are the comebacker Smoove It and class droppers Bajan and E Equalsmcsquared.

Smoove It won her second start in June at Betfair Hollywood Park, battling through a strong pace and winning a statebred maiden race by three-quarters of a length. The win could have set her up for a big summer, but her campaign stopped.

“She just got a little body sore,” trainer Doug O’Neill said. O’Neill gave her three months and cranked her up. “I think she’ll run a big race,” he said. Drawn in post 1, Smoove It must use her speed.

Bajan drops from the best race, the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante, in which she finished sixth. Trainer Simon Callaghan said he believes the 1-for-3 filly will improve while facing easier foes and switching from synthetic to dirt.

“She gets over this dirt surface really well, better than she got over the surface at Del Mar,” Callaghan said. He said the Anoakia became the objective after the Debutante and added that Bajan “has not missed a beat.”

E Equalsmcsquared shortens in distance and will be racing on dirt for the first time since a blowout maiden-claiming win in May at Lone Star.

The Anoakia is race 3 on a nine-race Sunday card.

Jay More than 1 year ago
wow imagine that, a short field for a cal stake race!!! cal racing is dying a slow death!!!!
ML NJ More than 1 year ago
Just tuned in to a race at the Curragh. About 30 ran.
SoCal_Bobby More than 1 year ago
Trevor got it right once, Bajan's maiden breaker.
Barry Taylor More than 1 year ago
I hope Trevor calls the horse by the right name...it's pronounced Ba-jan not Bay-han (like he did last time)