2016 Awesome Again Stakes Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer
Updated: December 05, 2016 -- 1:15 PM ET

OffTrackBetting.com - The Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes will be run at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California this Saturday, August 1. A purse of $300,000 will be on the line when horses three years old and upward take to Santa Anita's dirt track and race 1 1/8 miles.

A solid field of seven have been confirmed for the Awesome Again Stakes - race 7 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 3:30 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all seven entries for this intriguing Grade 1 stakes -a "Win and You're In" event for the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic .

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2016 Awesome Again Stakes Race Preview at Santa Anita Park

California Chrome 1-5 - two-time Eclipse Award winning Art Sherman trained 2014 Horse of the Year had a terrific six race win streak early that year and looked absolutely untouchable - the Preakness Stakes, a four length win in the Kentucky Derby, the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes and two minor stakes scores. He also had a fourth in the Belmont Stakes that year - a race that could have made him the first Triple Crown winner in decades. He had just one start in 2015 - a runner-up finish in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan. He has been untouchable again in 2016 however - a great win last time out in wire-to-wire fashion in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 20 (a race he registered a 112 Beyer Speed Figure) followed a victory in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap here July 23, a dominant win by 3 3/4 lengths in the $10 million Group 1 Dubai World Cup in March, a Handicap score also at Meydan February 25 and an impressive win in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes at Santa Anita January 9. California Chrome now has 23 career starts with 14 wins, three seconds and a third place finish and has won five straight ahead of this week. He will have regular rider Victor Espinoza aboard looking to make some more noise as the obvious favorite from an unfavorable rail position.

Dortmund 4-1 - was last seen running third behind California Chrome and Beholder in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 20. That followed a second, a half length behind California Chrome in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap July 23, eight months away, a win the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths November 28, another win in the minor Big Bear Stakes at Santa Anita in October, an OK fourth in the 2015 Preakness Stakes and a respectable third in the Kentucky Derby. He won his first six career starts before that including the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby April 4, 2015, in gate-to-wire fashion in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes March 7, the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes February 7, the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity, an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Churchill Downs November 29 and maiden score in his debut - at Santa Anita November 2, 2014. He now has eight wins, a second and two third place finishes in 12 career starts - impressive. Rafael Bejarano is scheduled to ride the morning line second choice from gate 2 Saturday.

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Hoppertunity 8-1 - defending fourth place finisher in this race - Bob Baffert trainee was one of the favorites for the 2014 Kentucky Derby but missed that race. He won the 2015 San Pasqual Stakes January 10 and the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 28, 2014. He enters off consecutive fourths - 8 1/2 length back in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 20 and in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 25. They followed a respectable third place finish behind California Chrome in the $10 million Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan March 24, a good win in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita February 6, an OK third behind California Chrome in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes January 9 and three straight runner-up finishes - the 2015 Clark Handicap November 27 at Churchill Downs, the Grade 2 Haygard Fayette Stakes October 30 at Keeneland and the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes in September. Hoppertunity has five wins, six seconds and four third place finishes in 21 starts overall but has looked just OK lately. Flavien Prat has been tabbed with snapping a three race losing streak from post 3 Saturday.

Hard Aces 20-1 - John Sadler trainee won the 2015 Gold Cup at Santa Anita in upset fashion and hadn't posted another win until two starts back when he won the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar July 24. He followed that with a dud - an eighth, 25 lengths back in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic August 20. His most recent win was preceded by a third in the 2016 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 25, a respectable second in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes May 22, a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic April 23, a decent second with an impressive 101 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap March 12, a fifth in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes February 6, a fourth in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes January 9 and a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Hard Aces now has seven wins, five seconds and eight third place finishes in 34 career starts and has placed in three of his last four starts overall. Santiago Gonzales will try for the strong bounce back from post 7.

Win the Space 20-1 - has three wins, a second and three third place finishes in 13 career starts for trainer George Papaprodromou. He enters off a disappointing DNF after being pulled up in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic August 20 after a respectable third behind Hard Aces in the Grade 2 Cougar II Handicap July 23, a very nice second at 24-1 odds in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 25, an Allowance Optional Claiming score May 15 and a fourteenth place finish in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. He had been decent before last time out and looks for his first stakes score from gate 4.

Soi Phet 20-1 - 2013 third place finisher in this race Leonard Powell trained gelding has 48 career starts with 11 wins, six seconds and four third place finishes. He enters in decent form - two straight minor stakes scores ahead of this weekend - the E.B. Johnston Stakes at Los Alamitos and the Harry F. Brubaker Stakes August 24. They followed a sixth in the minor California Dreamin' Stakes July 24 and another good win in the McCann's Mojave Handicap on this track in June. Soi Phet has been decent against lesser competition lately and hopes for a first graded stakes score from post 5.

El Huerfano 30-1 - Peter Miller trained colt has 18 career starts with four wins, a second and three third place finishes - his best results were a win in the minor Golden Bear Stakes at Sacramento last July and a third in the minor Robert Dupret Derby in August, 2015. He arrives off a fourth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap at Del Mar August 20 after a third in the minor McCann's Mojave Handicap at Santa Anita June 26, a sixth in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes May 22 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score March 30. El Huerfano has been just OK so far and will need a special effort to contend Saturday. Martin Pedroza rides from gate 6.


2016 Awesome Again Stakes Entries & Odds

Race 7 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:30 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer
1 California Chrome Victor Espinoza Art Sherman
2 Dortmund Rafael Bejarano Bob Baffert
3 Hoppertunity Flavien Prat Bob Baffert
4 Win the Space Gary Stevens George Papaprodromou
5 Soi Phet Kent Desormeaux Leonard Powell
6 El Huerfano Martin Pedroza Peter Miller
7 Hard Aces Santiago Gonzalez John Sadler

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