With talented runners shipping in from points eastward, Santa Anita-based Vasilika and Cambodia will square off with New York-based Lull and Kentucky-based La Sardane as a wide-open field of 10 fillies and mares go a mile on turf in Sunday's Grade II, $200,000 Goldikova Stakes.
With a return to Standard time on Sunday, there will be a special early first post time of 11 a.m. As Sunday is closing day of Santa Anita's 2018 Autumn Meet, it is anticipated there could be a 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot of between seven and eight million dollars up for grabs. With 10 races on tap, the Rainbow Six will be comprised of races five through 10.
Owner: All Schlaich Stables, LLC and Hollendorfer Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer
Claimed nine starts back for $40,000, she has now won an amazing seven races in a row, four of them stakes. A winner of the Grade II John C. Mabee Stakes two starts back on Sept. 1 at Del Mar, her crowning achievement came here on Sept. 29, when she stretched out to a mile and a quarter on turf and took the Grade I Rodeo Drive by a half length. With eight wins from nine starts and $494,328 in the bank this year, this 4-year-old Skipshot filly is in search of eighth consecutive win, all with leading man Flavien Prat aboard. Although she'll shortening up a quarter of a mile, she's 15-6-3-2 at a mile on turf and is thus the horse to beat in the Goldikova.
Owner: Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider Trainer: Christophe Clement
Based at Belmont Park, this 4-year-old War Front Filly was second, beat a neck as the even money favorite in a Grade III stakes going 6 ½ furlongs on turf at Kentucky Downs on Sept. Bred in Kentucky by her owners and a winner of the Grade III Autumn Miss Stakes at one mile on grass here in October, 2017, she also took the Grade III, one mile turf Honeyfox Stakes four starts back on March 31, 2018 at Gulfstream. With six Belmont Park works to her credit since her last race, the most recent a five furlong move in 1:02 flat on Oct. 26, Lull once again brings her front-running style west and will be handled by eastern-based Joel Rosario.
Owner: Winter Quarter Farm Trainer: Tom Proctor
Full of run while ridden patiently by Drayden Van Dyke in the Grade I, mile and a quarter turf Rodeo Drive Stakes here on Sept. 29, this 6-year-old War Front mare had to bide her turning for home and finished with plenty in the tank when third third, beaten one length by favored Vasilika. A classy, consistent mare and hard knocking mare, Cambodia will hope to turn the tables as she makes only her second career start on the Santa Anita turf. Despite a furious stretch rally, she was also second to Vasilika two starts back in the Grade II John C. Mabee at Del Mar Sept. 1.
Owner: Team Valor International Trainer: Neil Drysdale
Originally campaigned in her native France, La Sardane, a 4-year-old filly by the Kingmambo stallion Kingsalsa, has been idle since tiring badly over a yielding turf going seven furlongs in the Grade II Play King Stakes versus males on Aug. 25 at Woodbine. A gate to wire winner two starts back of a one mile minor turf stakes at Belmont June 30, La Sardane rallied to win the Grade III Intercontinental Stakes by a neck going seven furlongs on turf three starts back at Belmont on June 7. A Group II one mile turf winner in her final start in France in June, 2017, La Sardane has ample class and should be stalking the early Goldikova pace when ridden for the first time on Sunday by “Big Money” Mike Smith.
THE GRADE II GOLDIKOVA STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 4 of 10 Approximate post time 12:30 p.m. PT
- Vasilika—Flavien Prat—125
- Madame Stripes—Rafael Bejarano—121
- Cambodia—Drayden Van Dyke—123
- I'm Betty G—Gary Stevens—121
- La Sardane—Mike Smith—121
- Beau Recall—Joe Talamo—123
- Lull—Joel Rosario—121
- Fahan Mura—Edwin Maldonado
Special early first post time on Sunday is at 11 a.m. and admission gates will open at 9 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (310) 261-1039.
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