Picks and Plays for the Las Cienegas and La Canada Stakes

Santa Anita - Photo by © Breeders' Cup/Todd Buchanan 2014 Although most of the attention at Santa Anita this time of year is focused on three-year-olds and Kentucky Derby prep races, the upcoming Saturday card is a bit different, aimed at showcasing older mares on both dirt and turf. The 6.5-furlong $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes (gr. III) over the unique downhill turf course is first on the agenda, and will be followed two hours later by the 8.5-furlong [...]

Unique Bella Stands Out in Clement L. Hirsch Stakes

Unique Bella - © Benoit Photo. She’s been almost unstoppable, winning eight of her eleven starts. Her rare defeats have come under extenuating circumstances. She’s got blazing early speed and can carry it around two turns, and she’s already won twice at the Grade 1 level. That’s why it’s not surprising to see a small field turn out to face #2 Unique Bella in Sunday’s $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar. Even with a [...]

Champagne Room favored in Bayakoa Handicap

Champagne Room wins the 2016 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Pic: Skip Dickstein. Sixth in a high-quality edition of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), Champagne Room is seeking some compensation in the 1 1/16-mile Bayakoa Handicap (G2) at Los Alamitos Dec. 3. Champagne Room won the Eclipse Award for champion 2-year-old filly last year after taking the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), but she has had an abbreviated 2017. Third in the Las Virgenes Stakes (G2) behind Unique Bella [...]