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Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 San Gabriel Stakes comes our way from Santa Anita in Arcadia, California this Saturday, January 3. Horses four years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the $200,000 purse when they saddle up and go 1 1/8 miles on Santa Anita's turf track.
The San Gabriel has attracted a strong field of nine older entries to go in race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 4:00 PM. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all nine entries for this Grade 2 stakes.
Dynamic Sky - 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 good win in the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct November 15 after a solid third in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International October 19, a second in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes September 14, a fifth in the Grade 2 Sky Classic, a second in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes July 19 and a decent third in the Grade 3 Singspiel July 6. Dynamic Sky has placed in six of his last seven starts and has to be confident after a good win last time out. Corey Nakatani has been tabbed to ride from post 3 in Dynamic Sky's first start at Santa Anita.
Tom's Tribute - had three wins, a second and two third place finishes in eight starts in 2014 and has won three of his last six - the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile August 24, the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes at this distance here in July and the minor Thunder Road Stakes in April. He finished seventh two back in the Breeders' Cup Mile and was an OK third as 3-2 favorite last time out in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Stakes at Del Mar November 28. Mike Smith will guide from the outside post looking to get Tom's Tribute back to the form that saw him win two straight graded stakes races this past summer.
Finnegan's Wake - Peter Miller trainee has four win, three seconds and three third place finishes in 24 career starts and is coming off a career best effort - a win in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar November 27 which followed a career worst effort - a tenth at 58-1 odds in the Breeders' Cup Turf. That followed a win in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap in July, a fifth in the Grade 3 Arlington Millions in August and a second in September in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship September 28. He's be a bit tough to figure out but will have Victor Espinoza guiding him from post 7 - looking for his fourth top 3 finish in his last six graded stakes starts.
Big Bane Theory - Carla Gaines trainee is coming off consecutive fifth place finishes - the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap November 28 and the Breeders' Cup Mile. This after a terrific win in the Grade 2 City of Hope Mile Stakes October 4 and a second in the minor Harry F. Brubaker Stakes in August - his first start of the year. He ended 2013 with a fourth in the Grade 2 Citation Handicap, an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Santa Anita October 14 and a second in a similar race in August. He has 13 career starts with four wins, two seconds and a third place finish, he has won three of five career races on this track and will have Joe Talamo aboard from post 2.
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Patrioticandproud - Mark Casse trainee won the minor Toronto Cup Stakes in July 2012 and has been up and down since. He has been good lately however - last time out was a second to Finnegans Wake in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup which followed a third in the Grade 2 Las Vegas Marathon Stakes at Santa Anita in October and a second and a fourth respectively in a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races at Del Mar. He has placed in four of eight graded stakes starts but looks for his first score in top company and his first win overall since April 2013. Drayden Van Dyke will be in the irons from gate 4.
Skyring - raced for the first time since a tenth in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 3 November 28 and finished seventh in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar. Before the tenth a good win in the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Handicap in March and a second in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap in February. He has placed in just two of his last 10 starts overall but does have two graded stakes scores among his five victories in 30 starts. He will line up in gate 8 with Kieren Fallon getting the call.
Edge of Reality - Graham Motion trained colt was at his best a year ago when he won the Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx in September but has been up and down since. He has placed in just two of 10 starts since but those results were minor stakes scores - the Alphabet Soup Handicap three back at Parx and the Leemat Stakes in July at Presque Isle Downs. He is coming off a fifth in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap at Gulfstream Park West November 22 after a fourth in an Allowance in October and the Alphabet Soup Handicap score in September. Edge of Reality will turn to jockey Flavian Prat from the rail Saturday as he looks to get back to his 2013 form.
Persuasive Paul - has 18 career starts for trainer Steve Knapp with five wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. He makes his graded stakes debut Saturday off consecutive Starter Allowance scores - the last coming at Los Alamitos December 4. Persuasive Paul looks ready for his step up and leaves from post 6 with Elvis Trujillo aboard.
Power Ped - will make his graded stakes debut Saturday for trainer Neil Drysdale off consecutive runner-up finishes - the best coming two back in the minor Lure Stakes on this track October 26. He has placed in six of his last seven starts overall with two wins over that span and looks to continue that momentum into graded stakes company. Tyler Baze has been tabbed to ride from post 7.
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