Thorpedo Anna Poised for Another Triumph in Acorn Stakes

Thorpedo Anna Poised for Another Triumph in Acorn Stakes

Thorpedo Anna Horse

 

The Saratoga main strip will host a spectacular field of sophomore fillies traveling 1 1/8 miles in Friday’s $500,000 Acorn Stakes. Six of the nine three-year-olds were last seen competing in the Kentucky Oaks, led by the superb Oaks heroine #9 Thorpedo Anna (8-5) for trainer Kenny McPeek. 

Thorpedo Anna, sired by Fast Anna, holds an impressive career record with four wins out of five starts, triumphing effortlessly in the Oaks under the guidance of jockey Brian Hernandez Jr.

Five weeks ago at Churchill Downs, Thorpedo Anna transformed what was expected to be a competitive Kentucky Oaks into a dominant victory. She led from post 4 over a sloppy track and pulled away to win by 4 3/4 lengths. 

Despite her commanding Oaks performance, eight other 3-year-old fillies will challenge her in the Acorn Stakes on June 7 at Saratoga Race Course, covering the same 1 1/8-mile distance on dirt as the Kentucky Oaks.

For those looking to bet on horses, the field includes five fillies who finished behind Thorpedo Anna in the Oaks: runner-up Just FYI, third-place Regulatory Risk, sixth-place Power Squeeze, 10th-place Where’s My Ring, and 13th-place Leslie’s Rose. 

Additionally, three other entrants are graded stakes winners: Becky’s Joker, My Mane Squeeze, and Gun Song, winners of the Eight Belle Stakes and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, respectively.

Leading the opposition is George Krikorian’s homebred Just FYI, last year’s champion 2-year-old filly and Oaks favorite. The Justify filly showed promise in the Oaks before flattening out late, marking her second runner-up finish this year after placing behind Leslie’s Rose in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.

 

Other Contenders

Ashland S. queen #3 Leslie’s Rose (5-1) had an off day in Louisville but is poised for a strong comeback under trainer Todd Pletcher. The Into Mischief filly has shown improvement in recent morning moves and could inherit the early lead in a field lacking a confirmed front-runner. With Irad Ortiz, a five-time riding title winner at Saratoga, in the saddle, Leslie’s Rose is well-positioned for a tactical race.

Bill Mott’s champion #4 Just F Y I (5-2) has consistently performed well this year, finishing second in both starts. The classy Justify filly, with two bullet morning drills leading up to the race, will be in striking range throughout, with Junior Alvarado aboard. As a dual Grade 1 winner, she has a strong chance to add another prestigious win to her resume.

While Thorpedo Anna is undeniably talented, there is concern that she might be forced wide from the start, potentially giving away crucial ground. This could be a significant disadvantage in a field brimming with class. 

Gazelle S. vixen #6 Where’s My Ring (8-1) is expected to perform better than in the Oaks and offers substantial value with Tyler Gaffalione riding. The Twirling Candy filly recently blitzed a bullet four-furlong workout, signaling her readiness for this challenging test.

 

High Expectations for Thorpedo Anna

Trainer Kenny McPeek holds Thorpedo Anna in high regard, even suggesting she could have competed in the June 8 Belmont Stakes against males if his Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness Stakes runner-up, Mystik Dan, had not been slated to start in the final leg of the Triple Crown. 

Thorpedo Anna aspires to join the ranks of Kentucky Oaks winners who have also captured the Acorn, a feat most recently accomplished by Pretty Mischievous in 2023.

“She’s done everything right,” McPeek said. “She might be on the improve as well because she’s only had two starts this year. She had the Fantasy and the Oaks and might not have been 100% yet. She could still be improving.”

Despite her ground-saving Oaks win, Thorpedo Anna might face an outside trip in the Acorn, having drawn the outside post in a field of nine. The short run to the first of two turns at Saratoga could pose a challenge.

The Acorn is the final race on Friday’s 12-race card, which also includes the New York Stakes, the Just a Game Stakes, and the Intercontinental Stakes. Unsettled weather with potential sunshine and showers is forecast for Upstate New York from mid-week through the weekend.

Monitoring the Belmont Stakes odds and other Graded Stakes races can provide valuable insights for informed betting decisions.

 

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