Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will play host to the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes Saturday, February 8. The race will feature horses four years and upward willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Santa Anita's dirt track for a purse of $300,000.
The San Antonio Stakes has drawn a field of seven older entries to go in race 5 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 2:30 PM. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all seven entries for this Grade 2 stakes - a major prep for the Santa Anita Handicap March 8.
Game on Dude Bob Baffert trained gelding is a multiple Grade 1 winner and is the defending champion in this race. He had nine graded stakes scores in his last 13 starts - five straight last year including the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic over Clubhouse Ride back in April, the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup and in July, the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 25 in the second fastest time recorded in that race in the last 10 years. He enters on a two race losing streak - a second last time out to Will Take Charge in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 29 followed a very disappointing ninth as 8-5 favorite in the Breeders' Cup Classic. He was the most impressive horse on the planet last year and will be looking to gain her first win in over five months Saturday.
Blueskiesnrainbows - Jerry Hollendorfer pupil won the 2012 Grade 1 Swaps Stakes but struggled a bit after that - an OK fourth in the Grade 2 Mervyn Leroy as 2-1 favorite at Hollywood Park May 4 2013 followed a nice Allowance Optional Claiming score by 3 3/4 lengths March 22 and a pair of seconds in Allowance Optional Claiming to start his 2013 campaign. Also last year he had a third in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap July 26, a twelfth in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic August 25, a win in the minor but competitive Ralph M. Hinds September 22 at Barretts Race Meet At Fairplex and a fifth in the minor Bull Dog Handicap at Fresno October 13. Last time out however was a nice win in the Grade 2 San Pasqual here January 11 after a terrific gate-to-wire win in the Grade 3 Native Diver at Hollywood Park December 14 and a good second behind London Bridge in the Breeders' Cup Marathon. He has won two straight ahead of the San Antonio and looks like Game On Dude's biggest challenge Saturday.
Majestic Harbor - took to the track for the first time since May and finished a good second last time out behind Blueskiesnrainbows in the Grade 2 San Pasqual at 17-1 odds here January 11. Before his layoff Majestic Harbor finished fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Downs and had two off-the-board finishes in graded stakes action - a fifth in the Grade 3 Texas Mile and a sixth in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap. He has four wins, six seconds and three thirds in 19 career starts but looks for his first stakes win Saturday. His second last time out has brought about some optimism however.
Blingo - John Sherreffs trained gelding had his first win in 20 months two back - at the I'm a Banker Stakes at Belmont Park October 14 after failing to place in his previous four starts. Last time out he came back down to earth with as sixth in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes on this track January 11. His other stakes starts in his 10 race career resulted in a fourth in the Grade 2 La Jolla in August 2012 and a pair of sixths. He has three wins in his 10 starts but none of the graded stakes variety. He is expected to have the pace to contend with Aaron Gryder aboard for the first time.
American Blend - has 10 career starts for trainer Carla Gaines with three wins, a second and a third place finish. He is coming off one of those wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming at this distance on this track January 1 after a sixth and a fourth respectively in Allowance races. He steps into stakes company for the first time Saturday having placed in just two of his last five starts - both Allowance Optional Claiming scores on this track. Joe Talamo gets the mount Saturday.
Willyconker - Irish trained gelding burst on to the scene in March 2012 with a win in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe after a second in the Grade 2 Arcadia but hasn't been the same since. His last four graded stakes races have resulted in a ninth at the Mervin H. Muniz in April 2012, a tenth in the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes in February 2013, a fifth in August in the Grade 2 Fourstardave and a sixth in the Grade 2 City of Hope Mile here October 5. He did have two Allowance Optional Claiming scores in 2013 and he is coming off an impressive Claiming score by 4 1/2 lengths at Hollywood Park in December but has placed in just two of his last eight starts overall.
Imperative - has 12 career starts with two wins, three seconds and a third place finish. His only stakes start came in September 2012 - a tenth in the Grade 1 FrontRunner but he has placed in his last three starts overall including a second last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track January 26.