OffTrackBetting.com - The Grade 2 Kona Gold Stakes is on tap for this Saturday, May 21 from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. A group of horses three years old and upward will take to Santa Anita's dirt track and race 6 1/2 furlongs searching for the winner's portion of the $200,000 purse.
10 older entries will line up in the Kona Gold Stakes - race 9 on Santa Anita's Saturday schedule. Post time is 4:00 PM. Here is a glance into the past performances of all 10 combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.
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San Onofre - defending runner-up in this race - Karen Headley trained gelding has been good in his career - six wins and four second place finishes in 13 career starts - most of the success coming in his first eight starts including three straight runner-up finishes - the 2015 Los Angeles Stakes May 25, the 2015 Kona Gold Stakes in April and the minor Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint in January of last year. He also owns a four race win streak in his career - no stakes races however. San Onofre enters off a nice effort - a win in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Stakes at Los Alamitos April 23 which followed an eighth in the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes March 12, a fourth in the minor Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint Stakes, a good win over the terrific Salutos Amigos in the Grade 3 Midnight Lute Stakes in January and a fourth in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Stakes in June. He looks for his second straight graded stakes score and looks like the one to beat with Edwin Maldonado aboard from the outside gate 10.
Wild Dude - Jerry Hollendorfer double Grade 1 winner has been decent lately after a very good stretch. He was an OK second behind San Onofre as favorite last time out in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Stakes at Los Alamitos April 16 but that result followed a pair of sixth place finishes - the Grade 2 San Carlos Stales March 12 and the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Before that he was good - a win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Turf Championship October 3, a close second in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar August 22, a win at 11-1 odds in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes in July to go along with consecutive third place finishes - in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Stakes at Santa Anita June 27 and in the 2015 Grade 3 Los Angeles Stakes May 25. He also had a nice upset win in the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes at Santa Anita March 7, 2015. Wild Dude now has seven wins, five seconds and four third place finishes in 21 career starts and hopes his funk is over when he leaves from the rail with Rafael Bejarano aboard.
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Subtle Indian - impressive Robertino Diodoro trained gelding has seven wins in nine career starts. He arrives in terrific form and on a four race wins streak - last time out in gate-to-wire fashion by 3 3/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Count Fleet Handicap at Oaklawn Park April 10, the minor Hot Springs Stakes on that track in March and two Allowance Optional Claiming scores to start the year. He hasn't been touched lately and will try to keep an impressive run going from post 7 Saturday. Ramon Vazquez gets the call.
Coastline - Phil D'Amato trainee has five wins, four seconds and three third place finishes in 20 career starts. He has been good lately - a second behind the terrific Kobe's Back last time out in the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes here March 12 followed a nice win in the minor Clocker's Corner Stakes on this track January 24 and a second in the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes here in December. He placed in just one of his previous three starts. Coastline arrives in career best form and will be after his first graded stakes score from gate 4 Saturday. Tyler Baze has been tabbed to ride.
Sahara Sky - four time graded stakes winning and defending third place finisher in this race - Jerry Hollendorfer trained Sahara Sky raced in graded stakes company for the first time in January, 2013 and recorded an impressive win - the 2013 Palos Verdes by one length January 19 at 21-1 odds. He also had a win in the 2013 San Carlos February 23 and another win in the 2013 Grade 1 Met Handicap with a 110 Beyer Speed Figure at Belmont Park. Sahara Sky returned to the winner's circle in the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes at Santa Anita last March 8 but hasn't quite been the same since. He enters on the heels of three straight fifth place finishes - an Allowance last time out at Golden Gate April 23, in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap way back on July 25 and in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Stakes at Santa Anita June 27. Sahara Sky will saddle up for just the second time in a 10 months having placed in just one of his last six starts overall. Martin Garcia will try to get him out of his funk from post 9 Saturday.
Cherubim - Phil D'Amato trained gelding has been first or second in his last five starts. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Los Alamitos April 22 which followed three straight runner-up finishes including the minor Pirate's Bounty Stakes at Del Mar in September and another Allowance Optional Claiming score last May. His only graded stakes result was a respectable second in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes in February, 2014. Cherubim has been good lately against lesser company and hope it finally translates for his first stakes score - from post 5 with Tiago Josue Pereira in the reins.
Kafister - has 26 career starts with 11 wins, three seconds and four third place finishes. He finally makes his graded stakes debut having placed in his last seven starts overall. He arrives on a two race win streak - both Allowance Optional Claiming races on this track with the last coming March 25. Kafister has been competitive against lesser competition and hopes that success translates into graded stakes company. Flavien Prat will be in the saddle in his step up from gate 8.
Dream Saturday - Jerry Hollendorfer trainee raced in stakes company for the first time last April and finished a respectable third in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap which followed a two race win streak - an Allowance Optional Claiming February 28 of last year at Laurel Park and another Allowance Optional Claiming in November, 2014. Dream Saturday just two starts the last year - a tenth last time out in the minor Alydar at Saratoga in August followed a sixth in the minor Donald LeVine Memorial last June. He makes his first start in nine month Saturday looking to snap out of a funk and for his first stakes win. Mike Smith will try to accomplish that from gate 6 Saturday.
Souper Knight - John Sadler trained gelding has five wins, five seconds and five third place finishes in 25 career starts. He won an Allowance Optional Claiming at Aqueduct in November and placed in three similar races after that. He has failed to hit the board in his last two starts ahead of this week however - a fifth last time out in the minor Santana Mile here April 2 followed a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track in March. He recorded a third in the Grade 3 General George Handicap in February, 2015 and was fourth in his only other graded stakes try - the Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Handicap here in May. Souper Knight has been OK so far but looks as though he is in over his head in this one. Abel Lezcano rides from gate 2.
Cautious Giant - Kristin Mulhall trained gelding made his stakes debut in February and finished an OK third in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Stakes her and has gone on to a pair of fourths - the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes on this track in March and the Grade 3 Count Fleet Handicap at Oaklawn Park last time out April 10. He had a two race Allowance Optional Claiming win streak on this track this past winter as well - the last coming January 1. Cautious Giant now has four wins and five third place finishes in 19 career starts and hopes for his first stakes score Saturday. Santiago Gonzalez will be in the irons from post 3.
2016 Kona Gold Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 9 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 7:00 PM.
|1||Wild Dude||4-1||Rafael Bejarano||Jerry Hollendorfer|
|2||Souper Knight||30-1||Abel Lezcano||John Sadler|
|3||Cautious Giant||12-1||Santiago Gonzalez||Kristin Mulhall|
|4||Coastline||4-1||Tyler Baze||Philip D'Amato|
|5||Cherubim||20-1||Tiago Pereira||Philip D'Amato|
|6||Dream Saturday||12-1||Mike Smith||Jerry Hollendorfer|
|7||Subtle Indian||3-1||Ramon Vazquez||Robertino Diodoro|
|8||Kafister||10-1||Flavien Prat||David Bernstein|
|9||Sahara Sky||8-1||Martin Garcia||Jerry Hollendorfer|
|10||San Onofre||7-2||Edwin Maldonado||Karen Headley|