(Bob Baffert / Photo by Gene McLean)
From the Santa Anita Media Team:
After finishing off the board in the Grade I La Brea Stakes going seven furlongs on opening day Dec. 26, Bob Baffert’s Under the Stars and Ganadora will stretch out to two turns and receive class relief Saturday in Santa Anita’s Grade III, La Canada Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.
Ganadora, a $1 million auction purchase as a yearling, attended a sharp opening half mile of 44.2 seconds in the La Brea before fading to fifth under John Velazquez. Two starts back, the 4-year-old Quality Road filly went two turns in the one-mile Dark Mirage at Los Alamitos and romped by eight lengths on Sept. 18. The lightly raced Ganadora sports a record of 5-3-0-0 for owner Baoma Corp.
Under the Stars was the more fancied of these two Baffert runners in the La Brea but was never a factor. The 4-year-old Pioneerof the Nile filly stalked the pace along the inside under Flavien Prat before dropping anchor and finishing last of seven. With Prat landing on Natural Colour in the La Canada, Santa Anita’s leading rider Juan Hernandez will be reunited with Under the Stars on Saturday.
Under the Stars, twice a Grade II winner in 2022, has a record of 3-2-2 in 10 starts and earnings of $357,520 for owners Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith.
Kristenbosch finished ahead of both Ganadora and Under the Stars when rallying for third in the La Brea. Trained by John Sadler, the 4-year-old daughter of Midnight Lute was last after the opening half mile but ran on late to just edge favorite Midnight Memories for the show dough. Jockey Kazushi Kimura was aboard for the first time in the La Brea and retains the mount on Saturday.
English-bred Natural Colour lures Prat to ride for the first time following a second-place finish in the Miss America Stakes on the synthetic main track at Golden Gate Fields on Dec. 11. This will be the first start on dirt for the 5-year-old daughter of Exceed and Excel, who last year tallied turf stakes victories in both the Luther Burbank at Santa Rosa and Golden Gate Fields Turf Distaff. Natural Colour is owned by Ronald Charles and Samuel Gordon.
THE GRADE III LA CANADA WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 7 of 8 Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT
- Ganadora—John Velazquez—122
- Smoothlikebuttah—Tiago Pereira—120
- Under the Stars—Juan Hernandez—124
- Angel Nadeshiko—Victor Espinoza—120
- Kirstenbosch—Kazushi Kamura—120
- Natural Colour—Flavien Prat–122
First post time for an eight-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. with admission gates opening at 10:30 a.m.