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

Dave Bond

Las Vegas, NV -- The 65th running of the San Gabriel Stakes Stakes is on tap for Santa Anita Park on Monday, January 16, 2012. It is the third $150,000 race in three days at Santa Anita. The difference in this race is that it will be contested on turf rather than Santa Anita's main dirt surface. The San Gabriel Stakes is open to older horses - four-years-old and up and it covers 1 1/8 miles. The race has attracted a solid group of six entries all trying to gain some traction early in the 2012 racing season.

The field includes three definite front runners with Jeranimo looking to become another in a somewhat long line of repeat winners at the event. The Usual Q.T. will return to action after a long layoff and figures to be the biggest challenge to Jeranimo's repeat bid while Brazilian-bred Imponente Purse also figures to be in the mix.

Horse betting action at Santa Anita this weekend with the San Gabriel Stakes at OffTrackBetting.com

The Contenders:

Jeranimo - Jeranimo won this race the last time it was contested and is the betting favorite heading into Monday's action. Jeranimo also holds victories at the Grade 2 Strub Stakes on synthetic and the Grade 2 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park in his most recent start three weeks ago. Usual jockey Garrett Gomez has been forced out of the race due to injury but replacement Martin Garcia has fared well in the saddle of Jeranimo winning the Strub Stakes in 2010 and the Grade 2 Oak Tree Mile last October. Garcia was aboard Jeranimo during a somewhat disappointing seventh-place finish in last November's Grade I Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs.

The Usual Q.T. - The Usual Q.T. finished third behind Jeranimo in the San Gabriel in December 2010 but has been out of action for the better part of seven months - a third-place finish at the Grade 2 American Handicap at Hollywood Park was the last we saw of the James Cassidy trained horse. The Usual Q.T. is a two-time Grade I stakes winner but there are concerns that the 1 1/8 mile San Gabriel may be a bit too much to ask in his first race back after a lengthy time away. Despite the concerns, The Usual Q.T. enters the race as the most accomplished horse in the field.

Imponente Purse - Imponente Purse holds one graded stakes victory at the Grade 3 Sunset Handicap over 1 1/2 miles at Hollywood Park. The 6-year-old gelding has been out of action since October 2nd - a third-place finish at Santa Anita's Grade II Clement L. Hirsch Stakes.

The Others:
Norvsky may be the most attractive of the long shots at the San Gabriel. The 6-year-old gelding has done well on Santa Anita grass posting a 2-1-1 record in five starts. Ruben Cardenas-trained Ashtar with jockey Kevin Krigger and Carla Gaines-trained Sandor with jockey Corey Nakatani round out the field for what should be a very intriguing 65th running of the San Gabriel Stakes.

The San Gabriel is the eighth race on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday card at Santa Anita and is scheduled for a 4:07pm post on Monday.

Post

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

1

Sandor

C. Nakatani

C. Gaines

2

Ashtar

K. Krigger

R. Cardenas

3

Norvsky

R. Bejarano

D. Warren

4

Jeranimo

M. Garcia

M. Pender

5

The Usual Q. T.

V. Espinoza

J. Cassidy

6

Imponente Purse

C. Sutherland

A. Avila

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