Anna’s Bandit solid choice to take Geisha
Anna’s Bandit won the Politely Stakes in December at Laurel. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.
No Guts No Glory Farm’s Anna’s Bandit, a winner of six consecutive races to end 2019, will get the chance to extend her streak into the new year when she faces six rivals in the $75,000 Geisha at Laurel Park.
The 47th running of the Geisha for fillies and mares 4 and older is the first of two $75,000 stakes for Maryland-bred/sired horses going one mile on a nine-race program, followed by the 78th renewal of the Jennings for 4-year-olds and up. First race post time is 12:25 p.m.
Anna’s Bandit, bred in West Virginia by trainer Jerry Robb, is coming off a campaign where she won nine races, seven of them stakes, and $401,803 in purse earnings. The newly turned 6-year-old mare finished in a seven-way tie for most wins by a horse last year; her bankroll was the highest. She’s 4-5 on the morning line for the Geisha.
“I’m very proud of the year she had. We’re going to try to do a better one this year,” Robb said. “We’ll look at all but one or two of the same races. I’ll stay away from the turf. We’re looking forward to a good year.”
Anna’s Bandit ran fourth in the 2018 Geisha, the last time it was run. She has won or placed in 10 of 12 races since, the only exceptions being the Skipat on Preakness (G1) weekend at Pimlico Race Course and Jameela over Laurel’s world-class turf course in back-to-back starts last spring and summer.
Her win streak began immediately after the Jameela with a mid-August allowance at Laurel, followed by five stakes wins at Timonium, Charles Town and Laurel, the last two in the Maryland Million Distaff Oct. 19 and Politely Dec. 7. Jockey Xavier Perez will be aboard for the 27th consecutive race, breaking from Post 4.
“We’ll keep her around running as long as she’s sound enough to run,” Robb said. “She’s something special.”
James Wolf’s Artful Splatter (8-1) brings a three-race win streak into the Geisha for trainer Kieron Magee. All three victories have come since the 4-year-old Bandbox filly was claimed out of a runner-up finish Sept. 7 at Laurel.
Enchanted Ghost (9-2), by 2004 Horse of the Year and 2012 Hall of Famer Ghostzapper, won the Maryland Racing Media Stakes and was third, a neck behind Anna’s Bandit, in the Conniver Stakes last winter at Laurel. The 5-year-old mare will be making her second start for trainer Michael Stidham, having finished fifth in the Bob Fortus Memorial Stakes Dec. 26 at Fair Grounds.
Completing the field are multiple stakes winner Limited View, who has rattled off back-to-back victories following a 10-race losing streak; 2019 Miss Disco Stakes runner-up Bunting; Le Weekend, fourth last out in the Maryland Million Distaff; and No Mo Lady.
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