Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita in Arcadia, California will play host to the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes on Saturday, January 10. A purse of $200,000 will be in the line for horses four years old and upward willing to go 1 1/16 miles on Santa Anita's dirt track.
A field of 11 will take part in the San Pasqual - race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 4:00 PM. Here is a glance into the past performances of all 11 entries for this Grade 2 stakes.
Hoppertunity - Bob Baffert trained colt was one of the favorites for last year's Kentucky Derby but missed that race. He is coming off a terrific win in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 28 with an impressive 104 Beyer Speed Figure after a pair of seconds - an Allowance Optional Claiming here in October and behind California Chrome in the Santa Anita Derby in April. That followed a great win over Tapiture in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park March 15 and a fourth in the Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds February 22. Hoppertunity has just seven career starts with three wins and two second place finishes - competitive every time out. Martin Garcia will be in charge in Hopportunity's four year old debut looking like the class of the field from post 2 Saturday.
Big Cazanova - Argentinean bred Peter Miller pupil has 20 career starts with four wins, six seconds and six third place finishes. He placed in nine group stakes races at home but was a disappointing seventh in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park September 27 in his graded stakes debut. Since then he finished fifth in the Grade 2 Las Vegas Marathon here October 31 and posted a nice win last time out in the Grade 3 Native Diver at Del Mar November 29. His other North American starts resulted in three wins, a second and two third place finishes in six starts - all Allowance races. He enters off a career best performance Saturday - Elvis Trujillo will be in charge from post 4.
Majestic Harbor - finished a good second in the 2014 San Pasqual at 17-1 odds January 11 and followed that with an OK fourth in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes February 8. He has been up and down since - last year was highlighted by a stellar win at 14-1 odds by 6 1/4 lengths over Game On Dude in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita, a third in the Grade 2 Californian here in May and another good win - by three lengths in the Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup March 29. Majestic Harbor is coming off a disappointing thirteenth in the Breeders' Cup Classic which followed two more off the board finishes - a fourth in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes here in September and a sixth in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic. He now has six wins, six seconds and four thirds in 26 career starts and will be looking to bounce back from three of substandard efforts. Tyler Baze has the mount form post 3.
Bronzo - Group 1 winner in Chile entered his North America debut having won three of four starts and finished a respectable fourth in that debut - the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile on this track. He has an impressive 11 wins, a second and four third place finishes in 20 career starts and proved that he wasn't out of place against the best in the world last time out. Gary Stevens will guide Bronzo from post 6.
Tonito M. - Puerto Rican sensation made his North American debut in May for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and recorded a respectable second in the Grade 3 Lazaro Barrera Stakes at Santa Anita and followed that with a disappointing eighth in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park June 17 and an OK third in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby July 5. He won the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby two back at Remington Park and last time out posted another respectable result - a second behind Alert Bay in the minor Zia Park Derby November 26. Before shipping he had an impressive three race win streak including a Grade 3 and Grade 1 race last December. Tonito M has placed in his last three starts overall and in trending upward ahead of this race. Rafael Bejarano rides from the outside post.
Salto Del Indio - Chilean bred Ringling made his North American debut June 28 and finished seventh in the Grade 1 Gold Cup on this track and followed that with a fifth in the Grade 3 Native Diver last time out at Del Mar November 29. He had 19 starts at home with four wins, five seconds and five third place finishes. His last five starts at home resulted in three wins with a third and a DNF in there. Salto Del Indio hopes to finally break through in North America Saturday. Joe Talamo gets the call from post 7.
Baccelo - Brazilian bred Ringling had two wins and five second place finishes in 10 starts at home before shipping. He has three starts in North America - an Allowance Optional Claiming score last time out at Los Alamitos followed a third in a similar race at Del Mar in November and a ninth in his North American debut - the minor Independence Day Stakes at Mountaineer in July. He looks to break through in stakes company for the first time with Tiago Josue Pereira in the iron.
Mr. Commons - is coming off a fourth in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar November 28 after consecutive seconds - in the Grade 2 City of Hope Stakes at Santa Anita October 4 and in an Allowance in October at Del Mar - his only other two starts this year. He failed to place in his last three starts of 2013 - a seventh in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Stakes in October, a fourth in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap in July and a fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in July. Mr. Commons hasn't posted victory since February 2012 but was close last year. Brice Blanc ride from gate 8.
Appealing Tale - Peter Miller trainee has 16 career starts with three wins, two seconds and six third place finishes. He is coming off a third in the Grade 3 Midnight Lute Stakes here December 27 after a tenth in an Allowance Optional Claiming here in June and an eighth in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs in May. He won two Allowance Optional Claiming races on this track a year ago but hasn't been the same since. Victor Espinoza will be in the irons Saturday hoping to change Appealing Tale's fortunes around - from post 10.
Blue Tone - Robert Hess trained gelding has 11 career starts with four wins, three seconds and a third place finish. He made his graded stakes debut last time out and finished a very respectable second in the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar November 29 which followed a fourth in the minor Big Bear Stakes here in October and consecutive wins at Del Mar - the minor Harry F. Brubaker Stakes August 30 and an Allowance Optional Claiming August 3. He has never been worse than fourth in his career - competitive every time out. Blue Tone leaves from post 9 with Kent Desormeaux in the saddle.
Quadrivium - Graham Motion trained gelding has three wins in eight career starts - Saturday marks his graded stakes debut. He has just one win in six starts at home but has looked good states-side - two wins in two starts. Last time out it was an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Laurel Park and before that was an Allowance at Keeneland in October. He looks ready for his step up in competition and will have Mike Smith in the irons from the rail.