Rated top-two chance to win tomorrow's Robert J. Frankel handicap at Santa Anita
Escape Clause with trainer Don Schnell and jockey Ruben Fuentes after winning the Kathryn Crosby at Del Mar on Nov. 9 (Benoit photo)
Who knew that a filly bred in Russell, Man. and purchased for just $3,200 as a yearling has been given a top-two chance to win tomorrow’s Grade 3 $150,000 Robert J. Frankel Handicap at storied Santa Anita Park 3,000 kilometres southwest of her birthplace?
will be facing seven other fillies and mares, 4-years-old and up, at 1 1/8-miles in that turf feature. She has already beaten five of them in either the $75,000 Kathryn Crosby or the $100,000 Red Carpet at Del Mar where she came to be known as the “darling of Del Mar.”
Not since Fancy As
raced in three graded stakes at Santa Anita in 2002 has a Manitoba-bred horse risen to such heights. Fancy As, a gelding bred by Ed Pawluk
, had finished third in two Grade 2 stakes--the Strub and the San Fernando Breeders’ Cup—and seventh in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap.
The Robert J. Frankel is the fourth race on a 10-race card that begins at 2:00 p.m. CST. Here’s the cast in post position order for that race, formerly known as the San Gorgonio Handicap, first run in 1968:
- Lucy De – Finished behind Escape Clause in the Red Carpet Stakes at Del Mar (6th)
- Escape Clause – Won Kathryn Crosby, 3rd in Red Carpet at Del Mar
- Quebec – Finished behind Escape Clause in the Kathryn Crosby at Del Mar (5th)
- Fahan Mura – Finished 12th in the Grade 1 Matriarch; 2nd in Grade 2 Goldikova
- Sweet Charity – Finished behind Escape Clause in the Kathryn Crosby (3rd)
- Gliding By – Finished behind Escape Clause in the Kathryn Crosby (7th)
- Amboseli – Finished 2nd in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill
- Excellent Sunset – Placed second behind Escape Clause in the Kathryn Crosby after being disqualified for shutting off Escape Clause in late stretch; subsequently ran 5th in the Grade 1 Matriarch.
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If Escape Clause wins, there will be five bonus draws in the “3 for the money” contest in the Race Book. (See below.)
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2. New Year's Eve farewell to richest standardbred
Still winning, but 14-year-old Foiled Again can't race past midnight Dec. 31
Foiled Again wins farewell race at Woodbine Saturday--his 109th win
The clock runs out on New Year’s Eve for the world’s richest standardbred, Foiled Again
, as the 14-year-old $7.6-million pacer makes his final—and likely winning—appearance at The Meadows race track in Pennsylvania which is likely to be packed with well-wishers. The card gets underway at 4:30 p.m. CST.
Standardbreds can’t race past 14-years-old and he turns 15 on Jan. 1 which is the birthday for every race horse in the Northern Hemisphere. (Thoroughbreds can’t race past 12-years-old.)
His farewell tour included Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday and, as predicted, he won the race named in his honour: the Foiled Again Farewell Pace—his 109th lifetime victory--and paid $3.70.
If you’re playing Santa Anita’s New Year’s Eve card that gets underway at 2:30 p.m., flip over to The Meadows at 4:30 p.m. to watch history being made. A ceremony in the Winner’s Circle will follow his final race dubbed “Foiled Again’s Last Call.”