The San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita - $150,000 (G2)

Dave Bond
Updated: January 12, 2012 -- 1:15 PM ET

Las Vegas, NV -- The 60th running of the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes comes our way from Santa Anita Park on Saturday, January 14th 2012. The race covers 1 1/16 miles (8.5 furlongs) and takes place on Santa Anita's main dirt track. Four year olds will be racing for a purse of $150,000 - $90,000 to the winner, $30,000 to second, $18,000 to third, $9,000 to fourth and $3,000 to fifth.

Bet Santa Anita's San Fernando Stakes at OffTrackBetting.com

The San Fernando Stakes is the second leg of Santa Anita Park's Strub Series, the first being the Malibu Stakes which was won by The Factor. The third and final race in the series, the Strub Stakes, will be run on February 4th with a purse of $200,000. A solid showing by any of the field will serve trainers well on the road to a start in the $200,000 finale of the Strub series.

The San Fernando Stakes has attracted such names as Tapizar and Prayer for Relief. An early favorite for the 2011 Kentucky Derby, Tapizar will go into Saturday's the San Fernando Stakes having trained at Santa Anita for the better part of six weeks. Anything less than a win at Santa Anita will have to be considered a disappointment. There are two previous 3 year old graded stakes winners in the field making for a very competitive race on Saturday.

The Contenders:

Tapizar - Tapizar was primed for success in 2011 but an unfortunate injury slowed the colt's rise to stardom. After starting 2011 strong with a win at the Grade 3 Sham Stakes on the same track, Tapizar finished a disappointing 5th in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes a month later before being diagnosed with a chip in his knee. Tapizar has shown decent form recently and a good showing in the San Fernando will go a long way in determining whether or not the colt can once again regain top tier form.

Prayer for Relief - Prayer for Relief enjoyed an impressive four race win streak in 2011 but finished the year with a second place finish and a ninth in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on November 25th. Prayer for Relief hasn't raced since his poor November 20th showing, but has gotten impressive results in lesser stakes races in the past.

Irish Art - Irish Art will switch from turf to dirt at the San Fernando Stakes. Irish Art's last outing was an impressive 2nd place finish in the Grade 2 Sir Beaufort Stakes behind Mr. Commons last month.

The Others:
Outside of the Big 3 in the San Fernando Stakes there are some others to keep an eye on. First Strike has won three races in a row but has yet to test his mettle in a Stakes race. Balladry has won on this track before in an ALW race but doesn't figure to contend, Riveting Reason will move from turf back to dirt after a less than scintillating stretch on grass, Dreaminofthewin has an impressive pedigree and average results, and Spud Spivens rounds out the field.

Eight horses will contest the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita. Post time is 4:07 PM PST.

Post

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

1

Prayer for Relief

R. Bejarano

B. Baffert

2

Balladry

J. Talamo

E. Harty

3

Riveting Reason

A. Quinonez

M. Cho

4

Dreaminofthewin

M. Garcia

B. Jackson

5

Irish Art

J. Rosario

C. Gaines

6

Spud Spivens

M. Smith

H. Moreno

7

First Strike

V. Espinoza

R. Diodoro

8

Tapizar

C. Nakatani

S. Asmussen

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