Santa Anita Park’s $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) brings the Road to the Kentucky Oaks into the New Year on Sunday, offering 10-4-2-1 points to the top four finishers toward a starting berth in the May 5 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs.
The seven-furlong contest drew a field of nine newly turned sophomore fillies, including Grade 1 winner Noted and Quoted. The Bob Baffert-trained daughter of The Factor sandwiched a win in the Chandelier Stakes (G1) between a fourth-place run in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) and a fading seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).
Challenging Noted and Quoted will be Shane’s Girlfriend, who is unbeaten in two dominating wins thus far. The Doug O’Neill pupil broke her maiden by 5 3/4 lengths at Santa Anita Park on October 28 before capturing the Delta Downs Princess (G3) by 13 lengths on November 19.
Martin Garcia rides Noted and Quoted while Flavien Prat has the call on Shane’s Girlfriend.
Unique Bella and It Tiz Well each just broke their maidens by 10 lengths and will be making their stakes bows in this spot for Jerry Hollendorfer under Mike Smith and Drayden Van Dyke, respectively.
Completing the Santa Ynez field are Sandy’s Surprise and Go on Mary, both unplaced last out in the December 10 Starlet Stakes (G1), and maiden winners Resilient Humor, Carrie and Princess Karen.