Klimt, American Cleopatra looking to join Road to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks

Sep 30, 2016 Jennifer Caldwell/Brisnet.com

Both the FrontRunner Stakes (G1) and Chandelier Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park on Saturday will offer their winners guaranteed berths to the Breeders’ Cup on November 5.

But that’s not all the pair of 1 1/16-mile events are doing. Each race is worth 10-4-2-1 points to the top four toward a spot in the respective Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1) next spring at Churchill Downs.

The FrontRunner and Chandelier are part of the Roads to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks. The Iroquois (G3) and Pocahontas Stakes (G2) kicked off the series of points events under the Twin Spires on September 17, and at the end of Saturday two new names will be added to the list of winners.

The FrontRunner features a field of seven, including the top three from the September 5 Del Mar Futurity (G1). Klimt earned his third straight win when romping by 4 1/4 lengths over Straight Fire, good for a nice 103 BRIS Speed rating. The Quality Road juvenile broke his maiden by 5 1/4 lengths in his second start for trainer Bob Baffert and then captured his stakes bow in the Best Pal Stakes (G2) at Del Mar on August 13.

Straight Fire is seeking a first stakes win following a 10-length maiden score and runner-up effort in the Del Mar Futurity. The Keith Desormeaux pupil had 1 1/2 lengths to spare over Futurity third-placer Midnight Pleasure, who was making his second career start off a 2 1/4-length debut victory for Shelbe Ruis.

The Doug O’Neill-trained Secret House is the only other entrant in the FrontRunner with prior stakes experience, having finished fourth in the Santa Anita Juvenile Stakes and fifth in the Best Pal. Gormley and Plum Dandy are both exiting maiden wins at Del Mar while Vibe is looking for his first career win in this spot.

Later on Saturday, 12 juvenile fillies will enter the gate for the Chandelier. American Cleopatra and Champagne Room were separated by only a nose when second and third, respectively, in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) on September 3, and face off yet again in this spot.

American Cleopatra entered the Debutante off a two-length maiden win while Champagne Room exited her first career victory via the Sorrento Stakes (G2). The duo were upset by 7-1 Union Strike, who finished 2 1/4 lengths in front of American Cleopatra on the wire.

Noted and Quoted was another 3 1/2 lengths back in fourth in the Debutante, and will attempt to turn the tables on her rivals here. The Baffert trainee romped by 9 1/2 lengths to break her maiden in her second career start.

With Honors, Blitzka and Zapperkat each bring unbeaten records into the Chandelier.

With Honors captured her initial start by a half-length on July 29 and then took the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes by that same margin on September 5. Both those races came on the turf, and the Desormeaux charge will attempt to keep her winning ways going while making her dirt debut in the Chandelier.

Blitzka was claimed by trainer John Sadler and Hronis Racing out of her 4 1/4-length victory bow and rewarded her new connections with a 5 1/4-length score in the Barretts Debutante Stakes on September 17 at Los Alamitos.

Zapperkat will be making her stakes debut in this spot after taking her first race by 5 1/4 lengths for trainer Richard Baltas.

Nikki My Darling makes her initial start for new trainer Dean Greenman in the Chandelier following a 2 1/2-length maiden win and fourth-place effort in the Tah Dah Stakes. Datz a Violation, Princess Coco and Lake Time are facing stakes rivals for the first time.

Demigoddess is looking for her first career win here after going 5-0-0-2 thus far. Mistressofthenight is also winless after finishing third in her debut last out on September 3.

  • Ticket Info

    Sign up for race updates and more