2014 Santa Anita Sprint Championship

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita in Arcadia, California will be the scene of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championships on Saturday, October 4. Horses three years old and upward will take to Santa Anita's main track and chase the winner's share of the $300,000 purse and an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Sprint for six furlongs.

A small but quality field of six will line up in the Sprint Championship Stakes - race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 4:30 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all six entries for this Grade 1 stakes.

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2014 Santa Anita Sprint Championship Race Favorite Entries

Goldencents - Doug O`Neill trained colt finished an ugly seventeenth as one of the favorites in the 2013 Kentucky Derby but he looked good after that - two wins and five second place finishes in eight starts since. The highlights were a terrific win in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and a win last time out by 4 1/4 lengths in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar August 24. The seconds came in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby July 27, the Grade 1 Met Mile in June and three straight in 2013 - last year's Santa Anita Sprint Championship, the 2013 edition of the Pat O`Brien Stakes and the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes. He also had a seventh in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile and a fifth in the Preakness sandwiched in there. Goldencents has just two wins in the last 17 months but has been very competitive in every race the last year. Off a win, he is expected to be one of the ones to catch. Rafael Bejarano gets the call from gate 3.

Street Circle - Bob Baffert trained colt won five of seven starts in 2012 with two seconds to go along with it - the highlights being wins in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes in February of 2012 and the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes in March 2012. He won both starts in 2013 as well - an Allowance Optional Claiming score October 14 after 14 months away and an incredible score in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. He was last seen running second in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Stakes on this track way back in February. Street Circle has been impressive when on the track - seven wins and three seconds in 10 starts but has to hope rust isn't a factor Saturday. Martin Garcia gets the mount from the inside post looking for his fifth win at six furlongs in six tries.

Santa Anita Sprint Championship 2014 | Remaining Contenders

Merit Man - Robert Hess trainee has just two starts this year - a win last time out in the minor Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar August 13 followed a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in July and 13 months away. Before the layoff was an eleventh in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens in June, 2013 and a respectable third in the Grade 1 Florida Derby. He has nine career starts with four wins, a second and a third place finish but will step into graded stakes company for the first time in over a year. Corey Nakatani rides from post 4.

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Ankeny Hill - Mark Glatt trained colt makes his graded stakes debut on a two race win streak - the minor Pirate's Bounty Stakes last time out September 3 and an Allowance Optional Claiming August 2 - both results at Del Mar. Ankeny Hill enters in the best form of his career with Tyler Baze aboard from the outside post.

Rich Tapestry - Irish bred gelding makes his North American debut Saturday and has looked very good the last 2 1/2 years in limited starts. Since May, 2012 he has just six starts - five wins and a second place finish - that coming last time in a Group 1 race out at Meydan - back in March. He brings good numbers but hits the track for the first time in six months - not sure what to think. Oliver Doleuze gets the call from gate 5.

Indexical - has two wins and a third place finish in nine career starts including an Allowance Optional Claiming May 17. Before that he failed to place in three starts including a seventh in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity in September. Last time out was a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar August 24 which followed a fourth in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes July 27 and an OK third in the Grade 1 Triple Bend in June at Santa Anita. Mario Gutierrez has the mount from the post 5 as Indexical looks for his first graded stakes score.

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