Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 Daytona Stakes is on tap for this Saturday, December 29 from Santa Anita. Horses three years old and upward will be featured as they go 6 1/2 furlongs on Santa Anita's hillside turf course for their share of the $100,000 purse.
A large and exciting field of 12 has been assembled for the Daytona - race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a post time of 4:07 PM. Let's take a look at the credentials of all 12 combatants and what brought them to this Grade 3 race.
2012 Daytona Stakes Race Favorites
Great Mills - Steve Asmussen trained colt is a multiple stakes winner and multiple graded stakes placed. He has seven starts this year with one win, two seconds and one third place finish. He is coming off an OK fourth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint on this course to follow a good second in the Grade 3 Woodford behind Bridgetown at Keeneland October 6 and a decent third in the Grade 3 Turf Monster Handicap September 3 at Parx. Great Mills is familiar with this course and is certainly due for a breakthrough on Saturday.
Comma to the Top - Grade 1 winner and Peter Miller trained gelding has won two of his last four starts and has three wins and a third in seven starts this year. The wins include an Allowance score at Golden Gate on June 9, the minor Pirate's Bounty Stakes at Del Mar September 5 and the Big Bear Handicap at Santa Anita October 21 in wire-to-wire fashion. He finished fourth in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby and fourth in the Grade 3 Eddie D Stakes three back and he had a fourth in the Grade 3 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes last time out. In his last five starts Comma to the Top has either won or has finished fourth. He is a contender for the Daytona indeed - he did have three stakes wins during a six week span on this track in 2010.
Daytona Stakes 2012 | Remaining Field Entries
Byrama - has been decent this year with three wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 10 starts. Last time out was a decent second as favorite in the Grade 3 Ken Maddy Stakes here October 20 to follow a win in the minor Unzip Me Stakes here September 29 and a second in the C.E.R.F Stakes September 5. She also had a win in the Manhattan Beach Stakes at Hollywood Park to follow a third in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes and a second in the Grade 3 Providencia Stakes at here on April 7. She has placed in her last three starts and two on this track making Byrama a consideration this Saturday.
Capital Account - finished a decent third in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby behind Amazombie and The Factor in his stakes debut for trainer Bob Baffert and went on to a most impressive win in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien and a second in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship. He was a disappointing twelfth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at 7-1 odds two back but bounced back last time out with a respectable third in the Grade 3 Vernon O. Underwood at Hollywood Park December 2. He has three wins, two seconds and two third in eight starts this and is yet another intriguing entry this weekend despite starting on turf for the first time.
Wilkinson - ran sixth in the Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland in April but followed that with a very nice win in the Grade 2 American Handicap at Hollywood Park on May 29 - the last time that he raced. Wilkinson did finish an impressive second at the Grade 2 Commonwealth Turf Stakes in November of last year at Churchill Downs and before that was a respectable third in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont in October but he has placed in just one of four starts in 2012 - that coming last time out way back in May!
Tale of a Champion - has nine career starts with four wins but finished a distant sixth in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap on August 26 and followed that with a fifth in the Grade 3 Eddie D here September 28. Since that time Tale of a Champion has continued to struggle - an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint two back and a sixth in the Grade 2 Citation Handicap last time out.
Clubhouse Ride - Multiple graded stakes placed and stakes winner Clubhouse Ride looked good at this time last year - a second place finish in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita on January 15 and a third place finish in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity on December 18. But Clubhouse Ride has concentrated on minor stakes and Allowance races this year - in 11 starts he has just one win, a second and four third place finishes.
Daytona Stakes betting at Santa Anita with OffTrackBetting.com
Red Sun - is an intriguing entry for trainer Carla Gaines. Red Sun has place in 10 of 12 career starts with six wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. After nearly a year away Red Sun returned on August 30 with a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar and followed that with an ugly ninth in the Grade 3 Eddie D, a win in the minor Lure Stakes and a sixth last time out in the minor On Trust Handicap.
Ain't No Other - Multiple graded stakes placed and multiple stakes winner has a win, five seconds and a third place finish in nine starts this year but has started just one graded stakes race in 2012 which resulted in a seventh in the Grade 3 San Simeon here in April. He has placed in his last six starts overall - five minor stakes and an Allowance score two back.
Guest Star - John Sherreffs trained colt will make his stakes debut in the Daytona after seven Maiden Special Weight races produced just a win, a second and a third place finish. Last time out was a second in an Allowance. It is safe to say that Guest Star may be out of his league in this one!
Starspangled Heat - will make his stakes debut Saturday after 17 career starts in Allowance and Claiming races yielded three wins, two seconds and five third place finishes for trainer Barry Abrams.
Circa'sgoldenear - Like Starspangled Heat has had a long career but has yet to start a stakes race. In 16 career Allowance and Claiming races he has four wins, six seconds and three third place finishes.