OTB Race Previews & Odds
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Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will play host to the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Stakes on Sunday, May 24. Horses three years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the $200,000 purse when they go 1 1/2 miles on Santa Anita's turf track.
A small field of five will line up in the Charles Whittingham Stakes - race 3 on Santa Anita's Sunday schedule. Post time is 1:30 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all five combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.
Ashleyluvssugar - has 10 career starts for trainer Peter Eurton with five wins and two third place finishes - the last win being by far his most impressive - by 2 1/4 lengths over Finnegan's Wake the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes in upset fashion at this distance here March 21. Before that result he won two of three starts - both Allowance Optional Claiming races the past five months. Ashleyluvssugar proved last time out that he does indeed belong in graded stakes company. He departs from the outside post 5 looking to win his third straight race with the legend Gary Stevens in the saddle of the 124 pound top weight.
Divine Oath - Todd Pletcher trained colt has five wins, a second and a third place finish in 12 career starts but has failed to place in his last three - consecutive fourth including the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes at Santa Anita Park May 2 last time out and the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Handicap March 28 followed a fifth in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes in February. He did look good before that however - three wins in his previous five starts including the Grade 3 WL McKnight Handicap December 27 and in the Grade 3 Kent Stakes in September at Hollywood Park. He also posted a good third in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby in October and a nice win in the Grade 3 American Derby at Arlington July 12. Divine Oath has been impressive at times - all five of his career wins have come on turf (three Grade 3 scores) but he hasn't been sparkling in his last three starts overall. Rafael Bejarano will be in charge hoping to get Divine Oath back on track- from the rail.
Ganesh - Brazilian bred Richard Mandella trainee won three straight stakes races at home including a Group 1 in September and two Group 2 races before shipping to North America. He made his anticipated debut here April 4 and finished a somewhat disappointing fifth in the minor Thunder Road Stakes on this track but bounced back with a respectable second last time out in the Grade 3 Last Tycoon Stakes here April 25. Ganesh has 22 career starts with seven wins, three seconds and a third place finish and enters in decent form. Flavien Prat has the call from post 3 Saturday looking for his first North American score.
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Going Somewhere - Brazilian bred Neil Drysdale makes his North American debut Sunday - his first race since October. His last two resulted in seventh place finishes - the Group 1 Qatar Prix du Cadran in October and the Group 3 Qatar Prix Gladiateur in September - both results at Longchamp. He did have three straight third place finishes in Group races this past summer as well. Going Somewhere has three wins, four seconds and six third place finishes in 21 career starts and looks for his first win since 2012. The legend Mike Smith will be in the irons from gate 4 Sunday.
Crucero - has just one win in 14 career starts for trainer Keith Desormeaux with four seconds and five third place finishes. He makes his stakes debut Sunday on the heels of consecutive third place finishes - a Starter Allowance April 9 and an Allowance Optional Claiming April 2 - both results on this track. His win came four starts back - a Maiden Claiming here February 15. Crucero has been just OK in his career but takes a huge step up in competition from gate 2 with Kent Desormeaux in the saddle.
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