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Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will be the scene of the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes Saturday, December 28. Horses three years old and upward will be after their share of the $100,000 purse when they go about 1 1/16 miles on Santa Anita's downhill turf course.
A field of eight will line up in the Daytona Stakes - race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday schedule. Post time is 4:00 PM. Here is a brief glance into the credentials of all eight combatants for this Grade 3 stakes.
Chips All In - Jeff Mullins trained colt has two wins and three seconds in seven starts this year - both wins in graded stakes action including the Grade 3 Eddie D September 27 on this track and the Grade 3 San Simeon also here in April. More recently Chips All In raced to a disappointing ninth as second choice in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint but rebounded with an OK dead heat for second with Unbridled's Note last time out in the minor Hollywood Turf Express Handicap. He has been terrific this year and will be out to avenge his ugly ninth on the biggest stage - on this track back in November. He is the 124 pound highweight and has two wins and a second in four tries on the hillside track.
Unbridled's Note - Steve Asmussen trained colt is coming off a good second along with Chips All In in the minor Hollywood Turf Express Handicap at Hollywood Park December 8 after a respectable fourth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. Before that was a third as 5-2 favorite in the Grade 3 Eddie D, an ugly eighth in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes in May and a good second in the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Stakes here in April. He has placed in 10 of his last 12 overall with two wins over that span and is competitive virtually every time out. Corey Nakatani retains the mount on Unbridled's Note.
Ain't No Other - finished third in this race last year but hasn't raced in graded stakes company since. He does have nine starts in 2013 with two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes - the wins coming in the minor Sensational Star Stakes on this very track in April and the minor Jess Jackson Owners' Handicap at Santa Rosa in August. Last time out was a fifth in the Oakland Stakes November 16 at Golden Gate after a second in the minor California Flag Handicap here in October. Ain't No Other has 31 career starts with nine wins, eight seconds and eight third place finishes. He breaks from the far outside post with Rafael Bejarano in the saddle.
Handsome Mike - has just three wins in 22 career starts - a Maiden Special Weight score at Santa Anita last October, out of nowhere in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby last September and in April at the Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes - the only time he placed in his first nine starts this year. Last time out was an OK third in the Grade 3 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park November 28 after an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, an ugly tenth Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile October 5, another tenth in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien, an unflattering eighth in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap and an OK fourth in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes May 4. Handsome Mike placed in just four of his last 17 starts but opened a few eyes six back with his win in the Commonwealth. A third place finish last time out and one win in two starts on this track have also created a little optimism for the Doug O'Neill trained colt.
Daytona Stakes betting at Santa Anita Park with OffTrackBetting.com
El Commodore - had an Allowance Optional Claiming score in May 2012 and it took until August 1 for him to record a victory again - a one mile Allowance Optional Claiming on this track. Since that win he has a fourth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile in August, a sixth in the minor Ralph M. Hinds Handicap, a third in the minor Lure Stakes here October 27 and a second last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Hollywood Park December 6. Other results this year include a good second in the Grade 3 Miami Mile Handicap April 20 and a sixth in the Grade 3 Appleton in March. He has six wins, six seconds and five third place finishes in 34 career starts. Legendary jockey Gary Stevens will be aboard from the rail Saturday in El Commodore's first try on the downhill course.
Gallant Son - enters the Daytona on a two race win streak and having placed in all six starts in 2013. Last time out was a win in the minor Oakland Stakes at Golden Gate after an Allowance score on that same track. He also raced to a good third in the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile in April - a race that he placed in three straight years. Gallant son has 37 career starts - many of which have been of the graded stakes variety with 10 wins, five seconds and five third place finishes. His last graded stakes win came back in April 2010 but he does enter this weekend in decent form.
Next Speaker - Easy Coast shipper makes his graded stakes debut Saturday for trainer Wayne Catalano. He is coming off a seventh in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Downs November 20 after a second in a similar race three weeks earlier. He did have a two race win streak this summer - both Allowance races at Arlington Park which followed a fifth in his only stakes action to date - in the minor Coach Jimi Lee Stakes at Arlington Park in July. Next Speaker has three wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in nine career starts.
Truest Legend - Jeff Mulling has just one start in 2013 after over a year away - a seventh in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Hollywood Park November 15. Before the layoff he had 11 career starts with two wins, a second and a third place finish. He has placed in just one of three stakes starts however - a third in the minor Pirate's Bounty Stakes at Del Mar in September 2010.
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