By Tracy Gantz BloodHorse
It only took a matter of seconds for Anisette to make the crucial move on the turn that clinched the July 22 San Clemente Stakes (G2T) at Del Mar for her. That was the moment when jockey Umberto Rispoli angled her out from their rail position in midpack, setting up the British-bred filly to showcase her considerable ability as a stretch runner.
The San Clemente attracted a full field of 3-year-old fillies that came from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some had terrific dirt resumes trying the turf for the first time. Others were good, solid local turf stakes winners. And several shipped in from out of town.
But in the end, it was an up-and-coming filly from Great Britain making just her second U.S. start who demonstrated a very promising future.
That first U.S. start earned Anisette 2-1 favoritism in the one-mile San Clemente. In a May 29 first-level allowance race at Santa Anita, also at a mile on turf, Anisette found herself in a little tight on the rail and bravely came through to win by three-quarters of a length.
Anisette got away from the gate a bit slowly that day, and she did not hustle out of the gate in the San Clemente either, breaking next to last.
Fast and Shiny , a stakes winner down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course from the Bob Baffert barn, took the early lead. Ancient Peace , most recently second in Santa Anita Park‘s Summertime Oaks (G2T), vied with Fast and Shiny while tugging against the hold jockey Tiago Pereira had on her. Ancient Peace was responsible for the first quarter-mile fraction of :22.33; Fast and Shiny had the half-mile split of :46.68; and Ancient Peace hit the six-furlong mark narrowly in front in 1:10.88
Meanwhile, Anisette had moved up to seventh, with Rispoli waiting for the right moment to ask her to run.
“I had to use her a little bit on the backside to get her into the spot where I wanted her so we could wait,” Rispoli said.
Once Anisette had a clear path on the outside, she sailed to the lead. She lengthened her advantage to 2 1/2 lengths at the wire, stopping the clock in 1:34.84.
“When it came time to go wide, she was there—terrific closing kick,” Rispoli said. “And I absolutely believe the farther they go, the better she’ll be.”
Ocean Club , at 12-1, ran second for owner-breeder Glen Hill Farm and trainer Tom Proctor. That owner/trainer combination has done well at Del Mar over the years. The Curlin filly was coming off a win in the June 10 Martha Washington Stakes at Gulfstream Park at 1 1/16 miles on synthetic. And Tell Me Nolies , a graded winner on dirt at age 2 last year at both Del Mar and Santa Anita, finished third in her turf debut at 35-1.
Leonard Powell has trained Anisette for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners since she was imported to the U.S.
“I was very happy with the way the race was unfolding,” Powell said. “There was plenty of speed, and we were looking for the same kind of run as last time.”
Morera Partnership bred Anisette, a daughter of Awtaad —Tutti Frutti , by Teofilio. Tutti Frutti placed but did not win, but is a half sister to group 1 winner Sultanina and stakes-placed Coconut Creme . Both the second and third dam are also stakes winners.
Anisette started three times in her native England, all on a synthetic surface. She broke her maiden by four lengths in her third start last December. The Santa Anita allowance race was her first race since that victory.