Santa Anita Handicap at Santa Anita Park

Dave Bond

Las Vegas, NV -- The 75th running of the $750,000 Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap is on tap this Saturday, March 3 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. "The Big Cap" features horses four-and-up that are willing to race 1 1/4 miles on Santa Anita's main track. The Handicap is the feature event on a day that has three Grade 1 Stakes races on its card. It should be a fun day culminating with a very competitive race for older horses in which there are no less than six graded stakes winners.

A strong field of 13 horses will run in the 11th race on Santa Anita's Saturday schedule with a post time of 5:35 PM PST. Perhaps the biggest story line ahead of the Big Cap is the absence of favorite Game On Dude who has opted for a trip to Dubai rather than racing in the richest race for older horses on North American soil. That leaves the defending champion of this race and the runner up at the Breeders' Cup Classic off the roster for this much anticipated showdown.

Santa Anita Handicap Race Favorites

Ultimate Eagle - Ultimate Eagle debuted on dirt at The Strub Stakes, won that race over Tapizar, and holds surprising wins in the Grade 3 Oak Tree Derby and the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in November. Ultimate Eagle finished second in the Grade 2 Sir Beaufort Stakes at Santa Anita on December 26th before the Strub and is now the favorite to the take top spot in the Big Cap.

Santa Anita Handicap horse betting at Santa Anita Park with

Uh Oh Bango - Uh Oh Bango most recently finished second to Game On Dude in the Grade 1 San Antonio Stakes and before that posted an upset win at the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes on this very track January 7th. Before that was a fourth place finish at the Grade 3 All American Stakes at Golden Gate. Uh Oh Bango has placed in 13 of his 18 career starts.

Prayer for Relief - Bob Baffert trained Payer for Relief most recently finished third in the Strub Stakes and before that finished third in the San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita, but holds wins at the Grade 3 Iowa Derby, the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby and the Grade 2 Super Derby.

Remaining Field Entries

Norvsky - a late addition to the Santa Anita Handicap, Norvsky comes into the race having finished third at the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes on February 11th and having won the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes on January 16th, both at Santa Anita. With the field wide open, Norvsky could be a factor.

Setsuko - finished second in this race last year but has just two wins in 17 career starts along with six second place finishes. Last time out, Setsuko won an Allowance Optional Claiming race at Santa Anita on February 4th.

Holladay Road - has claimed victory in the last two starts - at the Crystal Water Stakes on January 28th and an Allowance race in December - both at Santa Anita. This after a third place finish at the California Cup Classic in October. Holladay Road has won three of the last five races entered.

Victory Pete - Victory Pete most recently finished third in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes and before that was second at the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes at Santa Anita on January 8th. He posted a fourth place finish at the Del Mar Mile Handicap in August and has yet to win a Graded Stakes race in 24 starts.

Ron the Greek - most recently finished an impressive second at the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic Stakes at Gulfstream on January 28th and before that won the Queens County Stakes at Aqueduct in December.

Thirtyfirststreet - finished second in the Crystal Water Stakes on January 28th and before that won an Allowance Optional Claiming race at Santa Anita on January 12th.

Boxeur des Rues - is a long shot in this race after a second and a first in a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races. In six career starts Boxeur des Rues has two wins and one second place finish.

Twice the Appeal - has three wins, three seconds and two third place finished in 13 career starts. Most recently Twice the Appeal finished third at the Essex Handicap and second at the Fifth Season Stakes both at Oaklawn Park.

Fiddlers Afleet - most recently finished second in an Allowance Optional Claiming race on February 4th at Santa Anita and before that was 7th in an Allowance at Fair Grounds.

Gladding - has raced in graded stakes races and done fairly well - a fourth at the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap in November at Churchill Downs and a second at the Grade 3 Texas Mile Stakes at Lone Star.

Santa Anita Handicap Entries

Race 11 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:35 PM PT.

Post Horse Jockey Trainer
1 Uh Oh Bango M. Smith R. Owens
2 Ultimate Eagle M. Pedroza M. Pender
3 Ron the Greek J. Lezcano W. Mott
4 Boxeur des Rues M. Gutierrez D. O'Neill
5 Thirtyfirststreet E. Flores D. O'Neill
6 Twice the Appeal C. Santiago Reyes J. Bonde
7 Fiddlers Afleet K. Krigger P. Eurton
8 Gladding J. Rosario J. Sadler
9 Setsuko V. Espinoza R. Mandella
10 Norvsky J. Talamo D. Warren
11 Prayer for Relief M. Garcia B. Baffert
12 Holladay Road R. Bejarano J. Canani
13 Victory Pete C. Nakatani A. Barba