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Las Vegas, NV - The biggest race of the weekend - the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap comes our way from Santa Anita in Arcadia, California this Saturday, March 7. A lucrative purse of $1 million 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 strong field of 13 will take part in the Santa Anita Handicap - race 11 on Santa Anita's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 5:00 PM. Here is a glance into the past performances of All 13 entries for this Grade 1 stakes - 12 of which will be chasing Shared Belief.
Shared Belief 3-5 - Jerry Hollendorfer trained, Jim Rome owned colt rebounded from a controversial fourth as favorite in the Breeders' Cup Classic - his only career loss in eight starts with a good win in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes here December 26 and followed that with yet another 1 1/2 win over California Chrome last time out in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes February 7. The 2013 Eclipse award winner for two year old colts won the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes on this track September 27 after a terrific 2 3/4 length win in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 24, another nice 4 1/4 length win in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby July 5 and an Allowance score at Golden Gate May 26. Other wins include the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity by 5 3/4 lengths, the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes and a MSW at first asking. Shared Belief had seven convincing wins by a combined 40 lengths before the Breeders' Cup. Translation - he's darn good! Mike Smith will ride the 125 pound highweight from post 5 as Shared Belief tries for a tenth win in 11 career start as the overwhelming favorite again.
Moreno 6-1 - hasn't been great in his last two starts - a fourteenth place finish, 33 lengths behind Shared Belief in the Breeders' Classic followed a ninth in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup September 27. This after good second in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga August 30 and a terrific win at 10-1 odds in the $1.5 million Grade 1 Whitney Stakes in front running fashion August 2. He also had a good second on this track in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap July 5 and a decent third behind Game On Dude and Imperative in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic April 19. Other good results include the 2013 Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes in impressive fashion by seven lengths, a respectable third in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes July 27 and a pair of good seconds - in the 2013 Travers and in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx September 21, 2013. Moreno has shown some good form but isn't afraid to deliver a clunker as well. Moreno has three wins, seven seconds and three third place finishes in 23 career starts and will have Santonio Gonzalez in the reins from gate 6 Saturday looking to bounce back after a pair ugly results.
Bronzo 10-1 - Group 1 winner in Chile entered his North America debut having won three of four starts. He finished a respectable fourth in that debut - the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile on this track and went on to a sixth in the Grade 2 San Pasqual here January 10. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 2 San Antonio Invitational here February 7 in his only other North American start. He has an impressive 11 wins, a second and four third place finishes in 22 career starts but looks for a breakthrough on North American soil at a distance he's won two of three starts. Tyler will guide the 10-1 shot Bronzo from post 11.
Sr. Quisqueyano 10-1 - had a couple of minor stakes wins at Gulfstream in 2013 - the Quality Road Stakes in October and the Eight Mile East Stakes in July. He placed in just four of nine starts in 2014 - a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming December 21 followed a win in a similar race at Gulfstream Park West in November, a sixth and three straight seventh place finishes on Florida tracks. Last time out he posted an impressive win in the minor Florida Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park January 17. He has eight wins, six seconds and three third place finishes in 29 career starts and has two wins and a second in his last three starts overall. Joe Talamo gets the mount post 3 Saturday as Sr. Quisqueyano looks for his first graded stakes score.
Catch a Flight 12-1 - Argentinean bred Gary Mandella trainee had six wins and a third place finish at home before debuting in North America with a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track January 19. He has one start since that race - a win in an Allowance Optional Claiming here February 13. He steps into stakes company for the first time Saturday from gate 12 with Gary Stevens guiding him.
Hard Aces 12-1 - John Sadler trainee is coming off a nice four length win in the minor Louisiana Handicap January 17 with a 104 Beyer Speed Figure which followed a second in the minor Tenacious Stakes in December. His only graded stakes action resulted in sixth in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap at this time last year but he has placed in four if five starts since. Hard Aces looks for his first graded stakes score Saturday from the outside post with Victor Espinoza in the irons.
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Dynamic Sky 15-1 - Canadian bred Mark Casse trained colt looked very good early in his career - highlighted by a second in the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October, 2012. He went on to a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, a win in the minor Pasco Stakes and a good second in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes in February 2013. He has been OK since. Last time out was a disappointing fifth in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes here February 7 after a sixth in the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes here January 3, a good win in the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct November 15, a solid third in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International October 19 and a second in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes September 14. Dynamic Sky has placed in six of his last nine starts but has failed to place in his last two. Corey Nakatani has been tabbed to get Dynamic Sky back on track from gate 4.
Patrioticandproud 20-1 - Mark Casse trainee won the minor Toronto Cup Stakes in July 2012 and has been up and down since. A disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes last time out on this track followed consecutive runner-up finishes - both to Finnegans Wake. On January 3 he was second in the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes here January 3 after another second in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup. Those seconds followed a third in the Grade 2 Las Vegas Marathon Stakes at Santa Anita in October. He has placed in five of 10 graded stakes starts but looks for his first score in top company and his first win overall since April 2013. Elvis Trujillo will be in the irons from post 7.
You Know I Know 30-1 - John Sadler trained gelding was last seen running fifth in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes here February 7 which followed a six month layoff. He was a disappointing eighth in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar in August which followed a third in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap and a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in June. You Know I Know has placed in just one of his last five starts overall and departs from post 7 with Drayden Van Dyke aboard looking for his first win since August, 2013.
Cool Samurai 30-1 - will race for just the seventh time for trainer John Shirreffs having recorded two wins, two seconds and a third place finish in his six career starts - the only off-the-board finish coming in his only stakes action to date - the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes in August. He enters off a second in and Allowance Optional Claiming here February 6 which followed a win in an Allowance at Aqueduct in November. Aaron Gryder rides from the rail.
Imperative 30-1 - last year's seventh place finisher in this race, George Papaprodromou trained gelding has 22 career starts with three wins, four seconds and three third place finishes but hasn't been great lately - a sixth last time out in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes here February 7 followed a fifteenth in the Group 1 Champions Cup in Japan, a ninth in the Breeders' Cup Classic, a fifth in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes here September 27 and an OK third in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic. He looks for his first win since April - a score in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic with Kent Desormeaux in the reins from gate 10.
Diamond Bachelor 30-1 - Patrick Biancoe pupil started his career with two straight wins but hasn't tasted victory since. He raced to a ninth in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and followed that with a fourth in the 2014 Robert B. Lewis Stakes and has placed in two of 12 starts since that race. Last time out was a seventh in an Allowance Optional Claiming here February 27 after a fourth in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes February 7 and a fifth in an Allowance Optional February 1. Diamond Bachelor looks for his first win in 18 months but is likely in over his head in this one. Martin Pedroza has the call from post 2.
Crimson Giant 50-1 - has one win in 66 career starts. He has placed in three straight ahead of this race however - two seconds and a third in Allowance company. He leaves from post 9 as the longest shot in the field - not a whole lot is expected.
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