Mandella Shooting for Weekend Double at Santa Anita
Date Posted: 3/9/2004 9:39:55 AM

Trainer Richard Mandella, who last year saddled Halfbridled and Action This Day to wins in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), respectively, will look to make history this weekend by scoring a weekend double in Saturday's $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) and Sunday's $250,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. I) with his pair of juvenile champions.

If both horses win, Mandella would join four other trainers who have registered the Santa Anita Oaks/San Felipe double. Bobby Frankel did it in 2002 with You and Medaglia d'Oro; D. Wayne Lukas sent out Hail Atlantis and Real Cash in 1990; Bob Baffert watched Excellent Meeting and Prime Timber in 1999; and Hedionist and Artax did it for Randy Bradshaw in 1998.

Halfbridled was scheduled to make her 3-year-old debut in the Feb. 15 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) but Mandella was not satisfied with her training progress after a cough held up her schedule. Halfbridled worked a mile in 1:38 last Wednesday, after which the trainer concluded that "she couldn't be any better right now."

Action This Day finished a fast-closing fourth in his 3-year-old debut in the Feb. 8 Sham Stakes. Mandella has his sights set on the April 3 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).

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