Mandella’s Cup Runneth Over With Memorial Day Weekend Runners At Santa Anita

Memorial Day weekend at Santa Anita could remind Richard Mandella of a Breeders’ Cup in miniature.

The Hall of Fame trainer, winner of nine Breeders’ Cup races including four of the eight at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, 2003, has 11 nominations to stakes races this holiday weekend starting this Saturday through Memorial Day, Monday, May 31.

He plans to run most of them, two in Grade 1 events on Memorial Day, Royal Ship in the Hollywood Gold Cup with Mike Smith and Dogtag in the Gamely under Umberto Rispoli.

Multiple graded turf stakes winner United goes in the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham on Saturday with regular rider Flavien Prat. “He’s doing great,” Mandella said of United, who won the Whittingham by a nose last May.

Winner of eight races with a bankroll surpassing $1.5 million, Mandella refers to the 6-year-old Giant’s Causeway gelding as “a big pet” around the barn.

Soothsay, unbeaten in two starts including the Grade 2 Santa Anita Oaks, goes in next Sunday’s Grade 2 Summertime Oaks. “She’s doing real well,” Mandella said of the bay daughter of Distorted Humor.

Last but not least, Bombard seeks his first graded stakes win in Saturday’s Grade 3 Daytona Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs on turf.

“I hope we do the best we can,” Mandella said in anticipation of a successful and prosperous holiday.

Santa Anita presents seven graded stakes on Memorial Day weekend, three of them Grade 1 on May 31: the Hollywood Gold Cup for 3-year-olds and up at a mile and a quarter; the Shoemaker Mile, a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ Challenge Race on turf; and the Gamely for fillies and mares, thr3ee and up at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Next Saturday’s features are the aforementioned Whittingham for 3-year-olds and up at 1 ¼ miles on turf, the Grade 2 Triple Bend Stakes for 4-year-olds and up at seven furlongs, and the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes for 4-year-olds and up at 6 ½ furlongs on turf.

Next Sunday’s headliner is the Grade 2 Summertime Oaks at 1 1/16 miles. In all, seven lucrative stakes will be decided over the holiday weekend offering $1.6 million in purse money.

Mandella’s four Breeders’ Cup winners in 2003 were Action This Day (Juvenile), Halfbridled (Juvenile Fillies), Johar (dead-heat in Turf) and Pleasantly Perfect (Classic).

The post Mandella’s Cup Runneth Over With Memorial Day Weekend Runners At Santa Anita appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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