By Emily Shields
After seven stakes races at Santa Anita Saturday, the Sunday June 7 feature is the $200,000 Triple Bend Stakes (G2) for older sprinters. Watch TVG every day for live coverage of the racing at Santa Anita.
#5 McKinzie (3-5) is unbeaten at the distance, and a Grade 1 winner over the trip. He took the Malibu Stakes here in 2018 by nearly five lengths in one of his best performances, which is saying something as McKinzie has won seven times and earned $3 million. He was second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) over this trip in November, then ran poorly in the Saudi Cup in his 2020 debut. Off since February 29, McKinzie has been working steadily for trainer Bob Baffert, including a May 21 bullet. This is his prep race for the Met Mile (G1), where he ran second last year.
#4 Fashionably Fast (6-1) would be a mile upset, but the California-bred has won six in a row, including four stakes. All of those were against Cal-breds, including the Tiznow last out over a mile, but he is a stakes winner at seven furlongs and three for five at Santa Anita. Dean Pederson trains the gelded son of Lucky Pulpit.
#1 Flagstaff (5-2) is a local sprint standout, winning four of seven here and never running worse than third. He’s unbeaten at the distance for trainer John Sadler, and was the popular winner of the Damascus here on the Breeders’ Cup undercard over Grade 1 winner Roadster. He won the Grade 2 San Carlos on March 7, then went to Oaklawn to run second behind win machine Whitmore in the Count Fleet (G3). Victor Espinoza is reunited with the son of Speightstown today.
#2 Ax Man (8-1) is Baffert’s second runner. The son of Misremembered is coming off a May 16 allowance win here by a head at 5-1 over a stakes winner in Law Abidin Citizen. Ax Man, by Misremembered, was a stakes winner at Pimlico in Maryland in 2018, and is a four-time winner in seven starts at Santa Anita.
#3 Dark Vader (8-1) rounds out the field. The Triple Bend is the eighth of 10 races.
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