Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes comes our way this Saturday, February 8 from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. A purse of $200,000 will be on the line for horses four years old and upward willing to go 1 1/4 miles on Santa Anita's main track.
A full field of 14 has been confirmed for the San Marcos - race 7 on Santa Anita's Saturday schedule. Post time is 3:30 PM. Let's take a glance into the credentials of all 14 combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.
Jeranimo - produced a repeat win over Slim Shadey in the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes last time out (he also won that race in 2010) and returned to prominence in June 2012 with a win in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile. He then finished sixth in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Mile and fourth in the Grade 2 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park November 23, 2012. In 2013 he had the San Gabriel score and a win in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes July 20 sprinkled in with some ugly performances including a seventh in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint after a ninth in the Grade 1 Awesome Again here and another ninth in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 25. He hasn't been great lately but his win last time out may have gotten him back on track. Rafael Bejarano gets the call from post 6.
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 he produced his first North American score - over Temeraine in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup at Hollywood Park December 14 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 two third place finishes in 15 career starts and he has placed in four of his last five starts. Lucayan will be looking to build on an impressive win last time out and will have Mike Smith is aboard the bay for the first time.
Slim Shadey - British bred gelding had seven starts last year and has placed in just one - a win in the 2013 San Marcos in February. He is coming off an OK second here behind Jeranimo in the Grade 2 San Gabriel January 4 after a sixth in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf, an eighth in the Grade 1 Eddie Read and another pair of sixths in graded stakes action. He has five wins and five second place finishes in 32 career starts but has been inconsistent as of late. His second last time out was nice but his form is just so-so for a repeat win in this race. Corey Nakatani will be in the saddle from the rail Saturday.
Temeraine - is coming off a good second behind Lucayan as 7-5 favorite in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup after a disappointing fifth in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International October 27 and his best career win - in the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup 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.
Vagabond Shoes - Irish bred gelding raced in North America for the first time in the 2012 Arcadia February 2 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 was followed by a nice win August 24 in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap at this distance and another good second in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf here September 29. Last time out was a fifth in the Breeders' Cup Turf. He has a win and two seconds in his last four graded stakes starts and is looking decent ahead of this weekend.
Si Sage - French bred colt makes just his fifth start on North American soil - the first being a fifth in the minor Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar July 17, the second being another fifth in the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap. He followed that with a tenth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby September 1 and finally a breakthrough -a third in the Grade 2 Sir Beaufort here last time out December 26. At home he had three wins, five seconds and a third place finish in 11 career starts. He had been disappointing before an OK result in the Sir Beaufort and will be looking to keep trending upward Saturday.
Segway - Richard Mandella trained gelding is coming off an OK third in his stakes debut - the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup behind Lucayan December 14 after an Allowance Optional Claiming score by 1 1/2 lengths October 27 and failing to place in his previous three starts. He has a win and a good third in his last two starts - decent results as we head into the weekend.
Power Foot - will race in stakes company for the first time since a fifth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby November 25, 2012 but he is coming off an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track January 9. Before that was a sixth, a third, a fourth and another win in Allowance Optional Claiming races in California. He steps back up into graded stakes company Saturday in so-so form.
Artic North - Peter Miller trained gelding has seven career starts with two wins and a third place finish which came last time out in the Grade 2 San Gabriel. The wins include an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Santa Anita October 10 after a MSW win at Del Mar in September. His graded stakes results include a fifth in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup December 14 after a sixth in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct November 16. Artic North will seek his first stakes win Saturday in less-than-spectacular form.
Utopian - raced six times in 2012 with a win in the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap being his best result. Before that he had just one second place finish in his previous four starts - behind Slim Shadey at the 2012 Grade 2 San Marcos. He ended his 2012 campaign with a third in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham and then was forced to the sidelines for over 16 months. He returned October 27 and finished seventh in the minor Lure Stakes on this very track and most recently finished fourth in the Grade 2 San Gabriel here January 4.
Bio Pro - made his graded stakes debut and finished fifth in the Grade 2 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park November 29 and followed that with a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming here January 2. He had a nice win in the competitive minor Lure Stakes at Santa Anita October 27 after a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming and a pair of Allowance scores in the summer - one coming on this track. He has 17 career starts with four wins, five seconds and two third place finishes and has placed in 10 of his last 12 starts.
Dubai You X Y Z - has one graded stakes start in his career - a sixth in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park in June 2012 but has placed in every other of his 9 career starts including six wins. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Hollywood Park December 6 after a pair of seconds in similar races earlier in 2013. He has never won a stakes race but did triumph in his only start at this distance. Dubai You X Y Z has been consistently good and looks ready for his second start in graded stakes company.
Mr T Bird - is coming off an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Hollywood Park December 13 for trainer Mike Puype after failing to place in his previous four starts - a sixth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap in August and a fifth in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap in July included. He has three wins and a third place finish in 13 career starts but has yet to place in a stakes race.
Would You - has 36 career starts with five wins, seven seconds and five third place finishes but Saturday marks his graded stakes debut. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score here after a sixth in a Starter Allowance and a fourth in an Allowance at Hollywood Park December 1. He takes a huge step up in competition this week against a very good field.