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Independence Hall Possible for Santa Anita Handicap

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Independence Hall Possible for Santa Anita Handicap


WinStar Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Twin Creeks Racing Stable, and RKV Racing’s Independence Hall, who outran his odds of 27-1 to finish third behind Knicks Go in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) Jan. 23 at Gulfstream Park, could make his next start in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) March 6 at Santa Anita Park, trainer Michael McCarthy said Feb. 7.

The Pegasus was the 4-year-old Constitution  colt’s first race since he finished fifth behind Charlatan in the Runhappy Malibu Stakes (G1) Dec. 26 at Santa Anita.

McCarthy also has Cannon Thoroughbreds’ multiple graded stakes winner Smooth Like Strait ticketed for the Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes (G1T), which is on the undercard of the Big ‘Cap.

John and Diane Fradkin’s Triple Crown hopeful Rombauer, scratched from the Jan. 30 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3), will make his next start for McCarthy in the El Camino Real Derby Feb. 13 at Golden Gate Fields. Last season the Twirling Candy  colt was second in the American Pharoah Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita and fifth in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1) at Keeneland. He worked five furlongs in :59 2/5 Saturday at Santa Anita, the fastest of 38 works covering the distance.

Hit the Road Likely for Kilroe Mile

Trainer Dan Blacker was still enjoying his first graded stakes win Sunday morning, less than 24 hours after Hit the Road set a stakes record of 1:33.35 in the Thunder Road Stakes (G3T) at a mile on Santa Anita’s turf Saturday.

Likely next up for the 4-year-old More Than Ready  colt, who was ridden to victory by Umberto Rispoli, is the March 6 Kilroe Mile.

“Obviously, that race is penciled into the training charts,” the 38-year-old Blacker said. “We’ll just let the horse tell us if we’re going to be ready. I think Umberto fits the horse so well.

“He’s a great rider, always seems to make the right decision, and puts the horse where he needs to be to run his best race. We’re grateful to have him on the horse.

Jockey Umberto Rispoli guides Hit the Road to the winner's circle after their victory in the Grade III, $100,000 Thunder Road Stakes, Saturday, February 6, 2021 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA. © BENOIT PHOTO
Photo: Benoit Photo

Jockey Umberto Rispoli guides Hit the Road to the winner’s circle after their victory in the Thunder Road Stakes at Santa Anita Park

“Winning my first graded race is nice for me, but I’m really thrilled for the owners. That’s the important thing. They’re a great group of people who have been supportive of me through the years and I’m thrilled to have a good horse for them.”

Hit the Road is camaigned by D K Racing, Radley Equine, Taste of Victory Stables, Rick Gold, and Dave Odmark.



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