OTB Race Previews
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Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will play host to the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes on Saturday, February 6. Horses four years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the nice $500,000 purse when they take to Santa Anita's dirt track and race 1 1/8 miles.
Eight older entries will line up in the San Antonio Stakes - race 7 on Santa Anita's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 3:30 PM. Here is a glance into the past performances of all eight combatants for this intriguing Grade 2 stakes.
Hoppertunity - Bob Baffert trained colt was one of the favorites for the 2014 Kentucky Derby but missed that race. He had a decent second to Hard Aces in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 27, 2014 and has had some decent results since - he won the 2015 San Pasqual Stakes January 10, and in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 28, 2014. He enters off an Ok third behind California Chrome in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes here January 9 which followed 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 on this track in September. Hoppertunity has four wins, six seconds and three third place finishes in 17 starts overall, has finished no worse than fourth in nine graded tries and has certainly been knocking on the door lately. Flavien Prat has been tabbed with getting Hoppertunity his first win since in 13 months from post 5 in his prep for the Dubai World Cup in March.
Cat Burglar - will be after his first stakes score Saturday having posted four wins, four seconds and three third place finishes in 14 career starts. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score here January 8 after a second in a similar race at Del Mar in August and a fifth in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap in July. Before that was a somewhat disappointing fifth in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 13, a respectable third in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special in May, a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming two weeks earlier and nearly a year away from the track. Cat Burglar has been competitive virtually every time out, hasn't been worse than second in six starts on this track and has been improving lately. Rafael Bejarano gets the call from the rail.
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El Kabeir - last year's third place finisher in this race - John Terranova trained colt was on the Kentucky Derby trail in 2015 before injury set him back. He posted wins in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in November, 2014 and the Grade 3 Jerome Stakes last January and went on to a second in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes in February, a win in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes in March and a third in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes in April - pretty good before being sent to the sidelines for nearly seven months. He returned to action October 31 and finished fifth in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap October 31 and rediscovered his winning ways in the minor City of Laurel Stakes November 14. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita December 26. El Kabeir now has five wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 12 career starts and enters in inconsistent form. He has posted two bullet works recently ahead of this race however. Gary Stevens gets the call from the outside gate 8.
Imperative - finished second behind Dortmund in the 2015 Grade 2 Charles Town Classic in April (a race he won in 2014) but didn't looked great after that. He's been OK in his last two starts however - a second last time out in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes here January 9 followed another OK second in the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar November 28. Before those results were a fourth in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes here September 26 and a fifth in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic in August. Imperative has placed in just two of his last 10 starts ahead of this race but has hit the board in his last two overall. He has just three wins, seven seconds and three third place finishes in 28 career starts and looks for his first win since April, 2014. Jockey Mike Smith will try to snap a slump Saturday from post 7.
Hard Aces - John Sadler trainee looked awfully impressive five starts back - winning the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita in upset fashion over Catch a Flight and Hoppertunity June 27 but hasn't looked great in four starts since - a fourth last time out in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes here January 9 followed a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Classic, a sixth in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes September 26 and another disappointing sixth in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 22. Hard Aces had two wins and a third place in eight starts last year but has placed in just two of his last eight starts overall. Joe Talamo gets the call from gate 4.
Donworth - Doug O'Neill trained colt has four career starts with two wins, a second and a third place finish. Last time out was a good win by 11 lengths in the minor Stanton Stakes at Delaware Park way back on June 20 after a third in the minor Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico in May, a second in the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes in April and a win at first asking in March. Donworth has been in every race so far and hopes to continue that trend from gate 2 with Mario Gutierrez aboard.
Blingo - John Sherreffs trained gelding enters off consecutive fifth place finishes - the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes last time out on this track January 9 and an Allowance Optional Claiming November 21. Before that was a ninth in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Stakes at Belmont Park October 10 and nearly 20 months away. Prior to the layoff were a third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap in March, 2014 and a good win in the 2014 San Antonio Stakes a month before that. He has failed to place in his only three starts over nearly two years and has just four wins and a third place finish in 15 career starts. Alex Solis tries to change all of that from gate 6.
Cyrus Alexander - Jerry Hollendorfer trained colt has three wins, four seconds and two third place finishes in 11 career starts. Last time out was a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming here January 8 which followed an Allowance Optional Claiming score December 40 and two straight off-the-board finishes including a fourth in the Grade 3 Affirmed Stakes on this track in June. Cyrus Alexander has been OK so far but looks for his first stakes score Saturday from post 3. Martin Garcia rides.
Race 7 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:43 PM.
|1||Cat Burglar||4-1||Rafael Bejarano||Bob Baffert|
|2||Donworth||6-1||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill|
|3||Cyrus Alexander||6-1||Martin Garcia||Jerry Hollendorfer|
|4||Hard Aces||10-1||Joseph Talamo||John Sadler|
|5||Hoppertunity||3-1||Flavien Prat||Bob Baffert|
|6||Blingo||20-1||Alex Solis||John Shirreffs|
|7||Imperative||5-2||Mike Smith||Richard Baltas|
|8||El Kabeir||6-1||Gary Stevens||John Terranova, II|