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Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will play host to a pair of Grade 1 stakes on Thursday, December 26 - the second of which is the Malibu Stakes, a seven furlong test for three year olds. A nice purse of $300,000 will be on the line for this seven furlong test.
A full field of 12 will line up in the Malibu Stakes - race 8 on Santa Anita's Thursday schedule. Post time is 3:30 PM. Let's take a brief glance into the past performances of all 12 entries for this Grade 1 stakes.
Flashback - Bob Baffert colt has been impressive in five career starts in the leadup to what was supposed to be a Triple Crown run - a Maiden Special Weight score by 3 1/2 lengths as favorite at Hollywood Park last December 8 was followed by a terrific win in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis February 2 by 6 1/4 lengths on this track. Since then Flashback has three second place finishes - in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes here March 9, in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby as favorite in April and behind Zeewat as 3-10 favorite in the minor Damascus Stakes here November 2. Joel Rosario gets the call from post 4 as Flashback looks to get back to his winning ways.
Zeewat - very impressive Jerry Hollendorfer colt has 11 career starts with six wins including the minor California Derby over Wildcat Moon January 12, the Gold Rush Stakes December 8 and in the minor Damascus Stakes last time out over Flashback here November 2. Before that was a fourth in the Grade 3 Gallant Bob at Parx and an Allowance score at Golden Gate. His other graded stakes start resulted in a fifth in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby in February. Zeewat has won two of his last three and has to be confident after a win over the very talented Flashback last time out. Rafael Bejarano will be in the saddle from post 5 Thursday.
Bakken - impressive Chad Brown trained colt has two career starts with two gate-to-wire wins - an Allowance last time out at Aqueduct November 23 and a MSW at Belmont Park October 13. He hasn't been touched in his two starts this year and appears more than ready for his step up Thursday. He breaks from post 10 with Javier Castellano coming in to ride.
Shakin It Up - Bob Baffert pupil races for the first time since a fourth in the Grade 2 Sunland Derby March 24. He had a very nice win out in the seven furlong Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita February 17 and a decent third in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes in November 2012. He has two career wins, a second and a third place finish in five starts but hits the track for the first time in nine months Thursday.
Distinctiv Passion - Jeff Bonde trained colt has four wins and four third place finishes in nine career starts and raced in graded stakes company for the first time last time out finishing a good third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship October 5. He won three straight races last winter including the minor San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita and has a win and three thirds since.
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Zee Bros - Bob Baffert trained colt has five career starts with two wins and a second place finish. Last time out was a fifth in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park June 6 after a nice win in the minor Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico May 18 and a disappointing sixth in the Grade 3 Derby Trial Stakes April 27. He broke maiden four back in his second career start - at Santa Anita March 23.
Heir of Storm - Peter Miller trained colt raced to a fourth in the 2012 Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes and followed that with an eleventh in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity. Since then he has concentrated on Allowance Optional Claiming races recording just one win in four starts this year - that coming last time out on this track November 1 by an impressive 4 1/4 lengths at 37-1 odds with a Beyer Speed Figure of 102. Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens will be in the saddle Thursday from post 3.
Demonic - will race for just the third time for trainer John Sadler. He had a MSW score in his debut and a disappointing fifth last time out in an Allowance at Hollywood Park December 1 under his belt so far. He makes a huge step up in competition Thursday in less-than-spectacular fashion.
Central Banker - has nine career starts with three wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. Last time out was an OK second in the minor Thanksgiving Handicap at Fair Grounds November 28 after a fourth in and Allowance Optional Claiming at Keeneland in October and a good third in the Grade 3 King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga in August. He also had a nice win in the minor Quick Call Stakes July 25 after eight months away, a fifth in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot and an impressive Allowance Optional Claiming score at Churchill Downs last October 28. He also owns a good second in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Stakes September 15 2012.
Holy Lute - James Cassidy trained colt has five career starts and had a two race win streak before a decent third in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 2 Indiana Derby in October. The wins include his stakes debut - the minor El Cajon Stakes August 30 after a MSW score on that same track August 10. Last time out however was a career-worst effort - a tenth as the longest shot in the field in the Breeders' Cup Mile.
Our Double Play - had a two race win streak at the beginning of the summer including the minor Prairie Mile in June but he has placed in just one of four starts since - an Allowance Optional Claiming score October 31 at Churchill Downs. Last time out was a seventh in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 29 in his second graded stakes race. He has 12 career starts with four wins, a second and a third place finish.
Syndicated - Michael Pender trained gelding will race in graded stakes company for the first time Thursday with just one win, two seconds and a third place finish in 10 career starts. His only stakes action came September 21 - a sixth in the minor Pomona Stakes at Barretts Race Meet at Fairplex.
Race 8 on Santa Anita Park's Thursday card with a Post Time of 3:52 PM.
|1||Syndicated||V. Espinoza||M. Pender|
|2||Shakin It Up||D. Flores||B. Baffert|
|3||Heir of Storm||G. Stevens||P. Miller|
|4||Flashback||J. Rosario||B. Baffert|
|5||Zeewat||R. Bejarano||J. Hollendorfer|
|6||Demonic||C. Nakatani||J. Sadler|
|7||Central Banker||J. Talamo||A. Stall, Jr.|
|8||Holy Lute||M. Smith||J. Cassidy|
|9||Zee Bros||M. Garcia||B. Baffert|
|10||Bakken||J. Castellano||C. Brown|
|11||Distinctiv Passion||E. Maldonado||J. Bonde|
|12||Our Double Play||F. Torres||P. Bauer|
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