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Posted 2024-03-24 20:40:14  
Missed The Cut Smart Again in Graded Turf win

Missed the Cut made it two graded stakes wins in as many starts this year when prevailing in Saturday’s GIII, $100,000 San Luis Rey Stakes at 1 ½ miles on turf at Santa Anita.

With new jockey Antonio Fresu in the irons, Missed the Cut was tipped out three-wide at the top of the stretch and then outran runner-up Planetario to score by 1 ¼ lengths as the even-money favorite. Offlee Naughty, last year’s San Luis Rey winner who was returning from a 5 ½ month layoff, was another 1 ¾ lengths back in third.

Missed the Cut won in a final time of 2:26.98 on a course listed as good. Balladeer and Victor Espinoza, who finished fourth, set fractions of 24.45, 48.66, 1:12.78, 1:37.78 and 2:02.45.

This is the second consecutive graded stakes that Missed the Cut, trained by John Sadler, and Planetario finished one-two. In the GIII San Marcos at 1 ¼ miles Feb. 10, Missed the Cut with Flavien Prat aboard also beat Planetario by exactly 1 ¼ lengths.

“I was really happy when I got the mount,” Fresu said. “He was a big favorite and I didn’t miss it. He’s a very cool horse to ride. The pace wasn’t really strong so I was just trying to switch him off behind the leader. When the others kicked, John told me to just wait for the last call. When I pulled him out, I thought he won pretty easy.”

Missed the Cut returned $4.00, $2.40 and $2.10 for the popular victory. Planetario paid $2.20 and $2.10 with Offlee Naughty returning $2.20 to show.

For Sadler, this is his first win in the San Luis Rey, which was first run in 1952.

“The San Luis Rey is one of our great races here at Santa Anita,” Sadler said. “This horse is doing really well. I didn’t necessarily plan to run him, but he’s so good you want to keep him busy.”

Missed the Cut is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred full horse by Quality campaigned by Bee Zee LLC, Lanes End Racing, St. Elias Stables, LLC, Edward Babington, Edward Hudson, Jr., and Lynne Hudson. He made his first five starts overseas before arriving at Sadler’s barn last spring.

Missed the Cut is now 7-2-0 in 15 starts with $445,777 in earnings. Last year, he won the 1 ½-mile GIII Tokyo City on dirt at Santa Anita prior to a last-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Prior to his win last month in the San Marcos, he finished second behind the well-regarded Easter in the GII San Gabriel at 1 1/8 miles on turf Dec. 26, opening day of the Santa Anita Classic Meet. 

Santa Anita, image 

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