San Luis Rey Stakes 2014 Contenders & Odds

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita Park in beautiful Arcadia, California will play host to the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes this Saturday, March 22. Horses four years old and upward will go 1 1/2 miles on Santa Anita's turf track searching for the winner's share of the $200,000 purse.

A tiny field of five older entries have been confirmed for the San Luis Rey - race 4 on Santa Anita`s Saturday card. Post time is 2:00 PM. Here is a brief look into the past performances of all five combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.

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2014 San Luis Rey Stakes Race Favorite Entries

Vagabond Shoes - Irish bred gelding raced in North America for the first time in the 2012 Arcadia Stakes and finished ninth for trainer John Sadler and followed that with an equally disappointing eighth in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile March 3 at Santa Anita. He has been better of late - a second in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes behind Jeranimo at 23-1 odds here July 20 followed a nice win August 24 in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap and another good second in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf here September 29. Last time out was another terrific win in the Grade 2 San Marcos on this track February 8 after an uncharacteristic fifth in the Breeders' Cup Turf. He has two wins and three seconds in his last six starts overall and is looking good ahead of this weekend. Victor Espinoza will be in the saddle from the rail Saturday.

Lucayan - French bred colt and Group 1 winner in her native land made his North American debut with a very nice second in the Grade 2 American Handicap May 25 right behind Obviously after eight starts in France produced three wins and two second place finishes including a win at 27-1 odds in the group 1 French 2000 Guineas May 13, 2012 at Longchamp. Last time out was an OK third behind Vagabond Shoes in the Grade 2 San Marcos here February 8 after he produced his first North American score - over Temeraine in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup at Hollywood Park at this distance December 14. This after a disappointing ninth in the Grade 1 Pattison International in October, a third in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship September 29, a nice second in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap August 25 and a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming August 1. He now has four wins, four seconds and three third place finishes in 16 career starts and he has placed in five of his last six starts. Mike Smith gets the call from post 3 looking to finish ahead of Vagabond Shoes for the first time in four career meetings.

San Luis Rey Stakes 2014 | Remaining Contenders

Fire With Fire - Neil Drysdale trained gelding has two minor stakes wins in his last four starts - last time out in the Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile Handicap at Turf Paradise January 18 and the Bull Dog Handicap at Fresno in October. He has a couple of graded stakes results sandwiched in there - a third in the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap at Golden Gate November 29 and a fifth in the Grade 2 San Gabriel on this track January 4. He finished third in this race last year and has placed in five of eight starts since with three wins and three fifths over that span. Tyler Baze gets the mount from gate 4.

San Luis Rey Stakes betting at Santa Anita Park with

Temeraine - is coming off disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 San Marcos here February 8 after a good second behind Lucayan as 7-5 favorite in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup, an OK fifth in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International October 27 and his best career win - in the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup at this distance September 14. He also had a respectable fifth in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions August 17 and a very nice second behind Rahystrata in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap. He has been successful on a number of tracks back east and looked good in his first starts in California as well. Legendary jockey Gary Stevens gets the call Saturday as Temeraine hopes to bounce back from his worst performance in two years.

Niagara Falls - made his graded staked debut last June and finished an OK fourth in the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Memorial, after which he was forced to the sidelines for nine months. He recently returned to a disappointing seventh in an Allowance Optional Claiming here March 6. Before his graded stakes debut he won two of his prior three starts - a MSW May 5 and an Allowance Optional Claiming less than three weeks later. He has a stakes result sandwiched in there - a third in the minor Round Table Stakes May 12. Niagara Falls has nine career starts with two wins, a second and a third place finish and enters this week in sketchy form. Rafael Bejarano will be in the saddle from post 2.

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