Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will play host to the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes on Saturday, October 3. A purse of $300,000 will be on the line for horses three years old and upward willing to dash six furlongs on Santa Anita's main track.
Eight older sprinters will line up in the Santa Anita Sprint - race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 4:30 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all eight combatants for this Grade 1 stakes - a Breeders' Cup "Win & You're In" Challenge race with the winner guaranteed an entry into the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Sprint at Keeneland on Oct. 31.
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2015 Santa Anita Sprint Championship Race Favorite Entries
Masochistic - speedy Ron Ellis trained gelding has place in eight of nine career starts - six wins and two second place finishes - the only off-the-board finish coming in his debut. He enters off a second in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar July 26 after a terrific three race win streak - the Grade 1 Triple Bend Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths with an impressive 110 Beyer Speed Figure June 27, in the Grade 2 Kona Gold Stakes with a 102 Beyer Speed Figure April 11 in his graded stakes debut and a 2 1/4 length Allowance Optional Claiming score February 28. Before that were a second in the minor Los Alamitos Mile last September and two Allowance scores at Del Mar last summer as well - both in gate-to-wire fashion. Masochistic is used to being at or near the top - no reason to think differently about this weekend, especially when looking at his recent works. Tyler Baze will be in the reins from gate 2 hoping to make it four wins in five starts at Santa Anita for Masochistic.
Gimme Da Lute - Bob Baffert trained colt has been very impressive so far in his career - six wins, a second and two third place finishes in nine starts. He enters on an impressive four race win streak- the minor El Cajon Stakes last time out August 29, the minor Real Good Deal Stakes by an astounding 12 1/4 lengths August 2, the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby in July and the Grade 3 Affirmed Stakes here in June. Gimme Da Lute hasn't been touched in four months and hopes to keep the roll going in his first start against older competition - from the outside gate 8 with Martin Garcia in the irons.
Santa Anita Sprint Championship 2015 | Remaining Contenders
Wild Dude - Jerry Hollendorfer trainee has been good lately placing in his last four starts overall. Last time out was a close second in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar August 22 after a good win over Masochistic at 11-1 odds in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes in July and consecutive third place finishes - behind Masochistic in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Stakes at Santa Anita June 27 and behind Distinctiv Passion in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Stakes May 25. Before that was a disappointing sixth in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct April 4, a nice upset win in the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes at Santa Anita March 7, another third in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Stakes January 31 and a decent second by a nose in the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Stakes back in April. He also had a three race win streak at the beginning of 2014 including the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Stakes. Wild Dude has 17 career starts with six wins, four seconds and four third place finishes (three wins and two seconds in five starts at this distance) and is in good form ahead of this weekend. Leading rider Rafael Bejarano gets the call from gate 6 Saturday.
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San Onofre - Karen Headley trained gelding has been good in his career - four wins and four second place finishes in nine career starts. He enters off his only off-the-board finish though - a fourth in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap here June 27. Before that were three straight runner-up finishes - the Grade 2 Los Angeles Stakes May 25, behind Masochistic in the Grade 2 Kona Gold Stakes here in April and the minor Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint in December. Before that was a four race win streak - no stakes races however. San Onofre hopes to bounce back and record his first stakes score Saturday and has certainly been knocking on the door. Alex Solis has been tabbed to ride from the rail.
Kobe's Back - Peter Eurton trained colt enters off a fourth in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar August 22 after an OK third in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes in July and a disappointing sixth in the Grade 1 Met Mile June 6 at Belmont Park. He had a good win in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland April 4 and also won the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita in February, 2014 - by far his best results to date. Kobe's Back has three wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 14 career starts but has placed in just one of his last three overall. Gary Stevens gets the call from the gate 4 Saturday as Kobe's Back attempts to rediscover the form he had this past spring.
Distinctiv Passion - multiple graded stakes winner Jeff Bonde pupil has 19 career starts with eight six wins, two seconds and four third place finishes. He won the Grade 3 Los Angeles Stakes over Wild Dude May 25, the minor Joe Hernandez Stakes in February, the Grade 3 Midnight Lute Stakes at 7-1 odds in December and an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Del Mar in November but has sprinkled in some duds over that span as well. Last time out was a second in the minor Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar August 19 after a fifth in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes in July. He also had a thirteenth place finish at the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in March and a fourth in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Stakes in there. He was third the 2013 Santa Anita Sprint Championship but enters this week in inconsistent form. Martin Pedroza has been tabbed to ride from post 5.
Indexical - finished fifth in this race last year for trainer Ben Cecil and has placed in four of six starts since. Last time out was an OK third in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar August 22 after an Allowance Optional Claiming score July 19, a fifth and consecutive seconds in a trio of Allowance Optional Claiming races to start his year. He has placed in just two of six graded stakes tries (both thirds) and hopes for a major breakthough Saturday. Indexical has three wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 16 career starts and will have Mario Gutierrez guiding him from post 7.
Glacken Too - Phil D'Amato trained colt has two wins, four seconds and a third place finish in 12 career starts but hasn't looked great lately. Last time out was a sixth in the minor Pirate's Bounty Stake at Del Mar September 7 after an eighth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Belmont Park in June and a pair of runner-up finishes in similar races this past spring. His only graded stakes start resulted in a respectable third in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes in August, 2014. Glacken Too will be after his first stakes score Saturday when he leaves from post 3 with Edwin Maldonado aboard.