Palos Verdes Stakes at Santa Anita

Dave Bond | OTB Writer
Updated: January 17, 2013 -- 5:45 PM ET

Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will be the scene of the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Stakes this Saturday, January 19. Horses four years old and upward will be featured as they dash six furlongs on Santa Anita's dirt track in search of the winner's share of the $150,000 purse.

The Palos Verdes has attracted a small but quality field of seven for race 5 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 2:34 PM. Let's take a glance into the past performances of all seven entries ahead of this Grade 2 race.

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Comma to the Top - Grade 1 winner and Peter Miller trained gelding has won three of his last five starts and had four wins and a third in eight starts in 2012. The wins include an Allowance score at Golden Gate on June 9, the minor Pirate's Bounty Stakes at Del Mar September 5, the Big Bear Handicap at Santa Anita October 21 in wire-to-wire fashion and last time out in the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes here December 29 again in gate-to-wire style. He finished fourth in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby and fourth in the Grade 3 Eddie D Stakes four back and he had a fourth in the Grade 3 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes two back. In his last six starts Comma to the Top has either won or has finished fourth. He is a contender for the Palos Verdes indeed - he is as versatile as they come and he is coming off a win on this track less than a month ago.

Drill - Bob Baffert trained colt Drill first burst onto the scene by winning the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity in September 2011. It wasn't until five months later that Drill reemerged with an impressive win against American Act in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at this same distance on February 19 on this very track. Since the San Vicente win he has been very good - a second in the Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn in April, a win in the Grade 3 Lazaro Barrera at Hollywood Park way back in May and an OK fourth last time out on this track in the Grade 1 Malibu December 26, 3 3/4 lengths behind Jimmy Creed after nearly seven months away. Now back in the Swing Drill should be poised to challenge for top spot again.

Palos Verdes Stakes 2013 | Remaining Field Entries

Private Zone - Canadian bred Doug O'Neill entry had a good second at the minor Damascus Stakes at Santa Anita November 3 to follow a third in the competitive Gallant Bob at Parx September 22 and a fifth in the El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar in August. His last two starts have also produced solid seconds - the Grade 3 Vernon Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park December 2 and in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes here December 26 just behind Jimmy Creed. He has placed in his last four overall with the three straight seconds and a third four back, he will have the advantage of starting from the far outside and will be looks poised to step up this weekend.

Apriority - Bob Baffert trained Apriority is a graded stakes winner and is a multiple graded stakes placed entry that struggled in 2012 before shutting it down in July. He had a couple of nice seconds at the beginning of last year including the Grade 3 Count Fleet Handicap at Oaklawn Park but has since raced to a pair of sixths and a fifth last time out in the Smile Sprint Handicap in July at Calder. It has been more than two years since Apriority won a race - the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector.

Palos Verdes Stakes betting at Santa Anita with OffTrackBetting.com

Justin Phillip - Justin Phillip recorded a very impressive second in the Grade 2 True North behind Caixa Electronica June 8 at Belmont Park, a third in the Mr. Prospector Stakes and another very good second behind long shot Poseidon's Warrior in the Grade 1 Vanderbilt at Saratoga August 5. His last two starts have been less impressive however - a sixth in the Grade 1 Vosburgh September 29 was followed by a fifth last time out in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at 30-1 odds. He had looked very good in the summer but stumbled a tad toward the end of 2012.

Canonize - has two wins in the his last four -in the Santana Mile Stakes on March 18 here and an Allowance score on February 3 also on this track. On February 25, Canonize finished fourth in the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes in a race that The Factor ran away with. Last time out was a very nice second in the Grade 3 Texas Mile Stakes at Lone Star way back on April 28. He returns to action after nearly nine months away and in 14 career starts Canonize has five wins, two seconds and two third place finishes.

Sahara Sky - Jerry Hollendorfer trained Sahara Sky races in graded stakes company for the first time Saturday having won twice, finished second twice and recorded a third place finish in five Allowance races in 2012. He has been out of action since June 22 when he was third in an Allowance at Hollywood Park.

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