Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will be the scene of the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes on Saturday, September 27 as part of a stacked card featuring five Grade 1 races. Horses three years old and upward will take part in the Awesome Again as they go 1 1/8 miles on Santa Anita's main track searching for the winner's share of the $300,000 purse and an automatic berth into the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.
A field of eight older entries have been confirmed for the Awesome Again - race 8 on Santa Anita's busy Saturday card. Post time is 4:00 PM. Let's take a peek into the credentials of all eight combatants for this Grade 1 stakes.
Shared Belief - undefeated reigning Eclipse award winner for two year old colts and Jerry Hollendorfer trainee will race for just the fourth time in 2014. Last time out was a terrific 2 3/4 length win in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 24. That followed another nice 4 1/4 length win in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby July 5, an Allowance score at Golden Gate May 26 and six months away due to a nagging foot injury. Before his layoff he had three starts and three wins - the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity by 5 3/4 lengths, the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes and a MSW at first asking. Shared Belief has six convincing wins by a combined 35 lengths in six career starts and is an Eclipse Award winner for a reason - he's darn good. Mike Smith will ride the heavy favorite from gate 4.
Imperative - George Papaprodromou trained gelding has 18 career starts with three wins, four seconds and three third place finishes and is coming off an OK third in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic after an ugly eighth in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap and an OK third in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 28. This after a career defining win - in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic over Game On Dude and Clubhouse Ride April 19 at 26-1 odds. He also had a good second ahead of Game On Dude in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes February 8 and has placed in seven of his last nine starts overall. Imperative has been a tad difficult to figure out lately but when on is a worthy challenger. He will have Kent Desormeaux in the reins from the outside post.
Fed Biz - Bob Baffert trained colt has looked good lately - a second last time out to Goldencents as 3-2 favorite in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes August 24 - a race he won in 2013 followed a nice 5 1/4 length win in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap July 26. He finished sixth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile before that. Other results include an OK third in the Grade 2 Strub February 2, 2013, a third in the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile March 2,a second in the minor Thunder Road Stakes at Santa Anita last April 6 and a good win in the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes in January, 2013. Fed Biz has six wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in 17 career starts and will line up in gate 1 with Martin Garcia aboard.
Sky Kingdom - raced for the first time since last August on July 4 for trainer Bob Baffert and posted a nice win over Handsome Mike in the minor American Flag Stakes at Los Alamitos. Since then he's posted a fourth in the minor Los Alamitos Mile September 6 and a decent second in the Grade 3 Cougar III Handicap in July. Before the long layoff was a fourth in the minor Harry F. Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar, a good second behind Richard's Kid in the 2013 Cougar II Handicap and a third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup. He won two of three starts to begin 2013 as well including a career highlight win in the Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup in March, 2013. Sky Kingdom has five wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 16 career starts and has been decent in his recent limited starts. Victor Espinoza has the mount from post 2.
Majestic Harbor - took to the track for the first time since last May and finished a good second behind Blueskiesnrainbows in the Grade 2 San Pasqual at 17-1 odds January 11 and followed that with an OK fourth in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes February 8. He is coming off a disappointing sixth in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic which followed a stellar win at 14-1 odds by 6 1/4 lengths over Game On Dude in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita and another good win - by three lengths in the Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup March 29. He now has six wins, six seconds and four thirds in 24 career starts and will be looking to bounce back from a substandard effort last time out. Tyler Baze will be aboard from the 6-hole Saturdays.
Footbridge - Eion Harty trained colt will race just his third graded stakes race Saturday - the first resulted in a fourteenth place finish in the 2013 Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and the other producing a good second in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar July 26. That result came after he placed in four straight - a second in the minor Oak Tree Handicap followed a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming scores and a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming also here in March. Footbridge has 12 career starts with three wins, four seconds and two third place finishes and enters in decent form. Rafael Bejarano has the mount from post 5.
Mystery Train - arrived from Argentina and promptly finished ninth in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic August 24. At home he had 19 career starts with eight wins, four seconds and three third place finishes. His last start at home came in May when he won his third straight race - the other two being Group 1 races in his native land. Mystery Train is a bit of a mystery heading into the weekend but has three wins and two third place finishes in six starts this year. Look for a bounce back with Brice Blanc in the saddle from gate 7.
Bird E House - will hit the track for just the sixth time for trainer John Sadler. He has two wins in his five starts - two of the last three including a maiden score at Gulfstream in April and an Allowance Optional Claiming win last time out - also at Gulfstream June 7. He makes a huge step up in competition Saturday with Joe Talamo aboard.