Cupid Filly Eying Kentucky After G2 Santa Anita Oaks Win
It was a Coolmore-sired battle to the finish in Saturday’s Grade II Santa Anita Oaks when Desert Dawn (3f Cupid x Ashley’s Glory, by Honour and Glory) earned her first graded stakes win over Adare Manor (3f Uncle Mo x Brooklynsway, by Giant Gizmo).
Fourth in her last two starts – both at the graded stakes level – after finishing third in last year's Grade II Chandelier Stakes, Desert Dawn was ready to run in the 1 1/16 mile race. She sat a few lengths off the dueling duo of Adare Manor and Ain’t Easy until the field entered the second turn and it was race on.
She joined the leaders as they flashed past the quarter pole and as Ain’t Easy dropped back, put the pressure on Adare Manor. The pair battled to the line with the third-place runner 7 ¾ lengths back at the line.
Trained by Philip D’Amato for owner-breeder H&E Ranch, Desert Dawn earned 100 points with this win to put her fifth on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard.
“She’s an honest filly,” D’Amato said. “I always thought once she’d get her scenario It’d work out for her, and I think the longer the better. Umberto’s been breezing her and her last drill was probably her best drill to date, so it all worked out.”
She is one of two stakes performers out of Ashley’s Glory alongside stakes-placed Thegloryisallmine with Ashley’s Glory a half-sister to two stakes winners herself. As a runner, Ashley’s Glory won five races and has four winners of nine races between them.
It was a big day in the 3-year-old races for Cupid, who also sired Grade II Wood Memorial fourth A.P.’s Secret.
The sire of five stakes performers and four stakes winners overall, Cupid’s 22 winners in 2022 is four better than the nearest second crop sires with both Classic Empire and Practical Joke tied for second at 18 winners each.