Ice Dancing scored 10 Kentucky Oaks points in the Santa Ynez (Photo by Benoit Photos)
Both of Sunday’s scoring races at Santa Anita featured significant scratches. After heavy favorite Justique was withdrawn from the $200,000 Santa Ynez (G3) for fillies, Ice Dancing jumped up to win on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. Later on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, the $100,000 Sham (G3) lost its principal pace player, Speed Boat Beach, and that opened the door for Reincarnate to spring a front-running upset.
Reincarnate, the 16.50-1 longest shot on the board, was making his stakes debut following a wire-to-wire maiden score at Del Mar. That made him the least accomplished
of the Bob Baffert quartet, led by 3-5 favorite National Treasure and Newgate. His team was reduced to three by the scratch of Speed Boat Beach, who will point instead for the Jan. 29 San Vicente (G3). But the Baffert trio still swept the Sham trifecta.
Hustled to the lead by Juan Hernandez, Reincarnate was pushed to set fast fractions by Spun Intended, the 2.30-1 second choice. Reincarnate had his head in front through an opening quarter in :22.28, but Spun Intended headed him when they reached the half in :45.57.
Despite the robust pace, Reincarnate continued to travel well within himself, and he began to get away from Spun Intended by the six-furlong mark in 1:09.55. Unfortunately, Spun Intended soon dropped out of contention and was eased.
Meanwhile, Newgate unleashed a strong move out wide, under legendary rider Frankie Dettori, and delivered the stiffest challenge to Reincarnate. The longtime leader found extra, however, to prevail by a neck. Covering the mile in a brisk 1:35.87, Reincarnate paid $35. National Treasure, who was on the inside much of the way, closed well once in the clear to take third, another three-quarters of a length back.
Because Baffert is suspended by Churchill Downs Inc., his horses are ineligible to earn points. The distant fourth in the Sham, the Jeff Mullins-trained Packs a Wahlop, received two points.
Spun Intended was vanned off, but walked into the vehicle, according to the chart, for his ride home. His co-owner, Edge Racing, reported on Twitter that the injury is not life-threatening, and that Spun Intended was "resting comfortably" at the barn.
Reincarnate, yet another son of champion Good Magic
on the Triple Crown trail, sports a record of 5-2-3-0, $142,400. The gray races for the same consortium as Newgate and National Treasure – SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert E. Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital, and Catherine Donovan.
Bred by Woods Edge Farm in Kentucky, Reincarnate sold for $775,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. His dam is the stakes-winning Allanah, by Scat Daddy.
Santa Ynez (G3)
In her absence, Ice Dancing inherited the mantle of lopsided favoritism at 1-2. The homebred campaigned by Perry Bass II and his mother, Ramona, ran up to billing with a stout rally.
Trained by Richard Mandella and patiently handled by Flavien Prat, Ice Dancing bided her time at or near the back of the compact field. Parody showed in front initially, until Baffert stablemate Fast and Shiny took over. Just when Fast and Shiny tried to spurt away in the seven-furlong dash, the big gray face of Ice Dancing loomed up and powered past. The daughter of Frosted rolled by 3 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:22.78.
Ice Dancing added 10 Oaks points for a total of 12, including two from her fourth in the Oct. 8 Chandelier
(G2). She had previously placed third to Chandelier heroine Andtellmenolies in her premiere as well as in the Del Mar Debutante (G1). Ice Dancing just dropped into maiden company to register her first win at Del Mar on Nov. 25, and the Santa Ynez advanced her resume to 5-2-0-2, $219,600.
The Doug O’Neill-trained Satin Doll headed Fast and Shiny for second, picking up four points. Fast and Shiny, Parody, and Huntingcoco were not eligible for points as Baffert trainees.
Bred in Kentucky, Ice Dancing is out of another Bass homebred, Welcome Dance, who was a multiple stakes winner on turf. Welcome Dance is a half-sister (by Henny Hughes) to a few other notable turf performers – stakes scorer Dancing to Town and the graded-stakes placed Fredericksburg, Line Dancing, and Goliad.