Breeders’ Cup Classic favorite McKinzie will make his final tune-up in Saturday’s $300,000 Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita. Last seen comfortably winning the August 3 Whitney (G1) at Saratoga, the three-time Grade 1 scorer will square off against five challengers in the 1 1/8-mile race, a “Win & You’re In” for the November 3 Classic.
McKinzie has trained forwardly in preparation according to reports, lodging thee bullet workouts this month, and his BRIS Speed ratings (109 and 112 this year) tower over the competition. Regular rider Mike Smith will be up for Bob Baffert on the four-year-old colt.
Stephen Foster (G2) winner Seeking the Soul will seek to rebound following a seventh as the favorite in the August 17 Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar. Conditioned by Dallas Stewart, the six-year-old horse shows a local work at Santa Anita and the late runner adds the services of Brian Hernandez Jr. The top three respective finishers from the Pacific Classic — Higher Power, Draft Pick and Mongolian Groom – are also part of the field.
Three other stakes will be offered on the 11-race program including the $300,000 Rodeo Drive (G1), a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). Beau Recall is the one to beat among six rivals.
Winner of the August 3 Yellow Ribbon (G2) in her last appearance, Beau Recall has also captured the Distaff Turf Mile (G2) at Churchill Downs and New Orleans Ladies at Fair Grounds this season. The classy six-year-old mare has earned nearly $1 million and Drayden Van Dyke rides for Brad Cox.
Acclimate, Oscar Dominguez and Ritzy A.P., the top three from the Del Mar H. (G2), are among eight contestants in the $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship (G2) at 1 ¼ miles.
Grade 3 winner Apache Princess heads a field of 12 female turf sprinters in the $75,000 Unzip Me at 5 ½ furlongs.