Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes will be contested this Saturday, January 2 from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Horses four years old and upward will be chasing the winner's share of the $200,000 purse when they take to Santa Anita's turf track and race 1 1/8 miles.
A wide open field of 11 plus three Also Eligibles have been confirmed for the San Gabriel - race 8 on Santa Anita's packed Saturday card. Post time is 4:00 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all 14 possible combatants for this intriguing Grade 2 stakes.
Obviously - multiple Grade 1 winner, Irish bred gelding was last seen running ninth in the Breeders' Cup Mile which followed an OK third in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile September 13 and 10 months away. Before the layoff was a fifth in the 2014 Breeders' Cup Mile (he was fifth in 2013 and third in 2012) - a result that followed a fourth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap in August, 2014 and two straight graded stakes scores - the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile last June and the Grade 3 American Stakes in May - he won both of those races two straight years. He now has 24 career starts with 11 wins, four seconds and three third place finishes and will look for his first win in 18 months. Obviously has failed to place in three of his last four starts overall and hopes to snap a slump at a distance he's won four of 10 career starts from gate 8 with Joe Talamo in the reins.
Chiropractor - has seven career starts for trainer Tom Proctor with three wins and two second place finishes. He made his stakes debut one to remember - a win last time out at 14-1 odds in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby November 28. That win followed a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar November 6, a fifth in a similar race at here October 12 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score in August. Chiropractor hopes to build off a scintillating win last time out when he departs from gate 10 with Corey Nakatani aboard.
Bal a Bali - Brazilian Triple Crown winning Richard Mandella trainee has an impressive 13 wins, a second and a third place finish in 17 career starts. He won his last eight races at home before debuting in North America with a nice win in the Grade 3 American Stakes at Santa Anita in May. He went on to a pair of disappointing fifth place finishes - the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita in June and the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile in August. He has been better in two starts since - a respectable second last time out in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar November 27 followed an Allowance Optional Claiming score on that same track October 30. Bal a Bali has been a tad difficult to figure out but when right in a worthy adversary. He chases his first graded stakes win since May when he leaves from post 7 with Flavien Prat in the irons.
Big John B - was on fire this past summer for trainer Phil D'Amato with three straight wins including the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap in July and the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap (a race he's now won two straight years) but stumbled two starts back finishing tenth in the Breeders' Cup Turf. Last time out was a better effort however - a runner-up finish behind The Pizza Man after surging from last of 14 in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup November 26. Big John B now has 36 career starts with 14 wins, six seconds and four third place finishes and has won three of six starts this year with a second place finish mixed in there. He has had a few issues on this track - a win, an eighth and a ninth in his last three starts but ahs definitely shown the form to be competitive. Rafael Bejarano has been tabbed to ride the tough-to-figure-out Big John B from gate 2
Poshsky - Peter Miller trained gelding enters off a terrific win in the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap at Golden Gate November 29 which followed an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Del Mar November 6. He wasn't great before that - a fifth in the Grade 2 City of Hope Stakes at Santa Anita September 27, a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming in August, a third in the minor California Dreamin' Stakes in July, a ninth in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita and a sixth in the minor Tiznow Stakes in May. Poshsky now has six wins, three seconds and a third place finish in 22 career starts and looks to build on a nice two race win streak. He is in the best form of his career and will have the terrific Victor Espinoza aboard from post 3.
Flamboyant - French bred Peter Gallagher trained gelding has placed in just one of his last eight starts - that being a third last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita October 22. Unflattering results include a sixth two starts back in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap, a sixth before that in the minor Wickerr Stakes in July and another sixth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in November, 2014. He has lined up in graded stakes company five times and has placed just once - a third in the 2014 Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational and enters this week in less-than-spectacular form. Brice Blanc has been tabbed with snapping an ugly 10 race losing streak dating back to April, 2014 when they depart from the rail Saturday.
Texas Ryano - has 11 career starts for trainer Carla Gaines with four wins, second and two third place finishes. He made his graded stakes debut last time out and finished a disappointing eighth in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup after a fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming October 30 and two straight wins - the minor King Pellinore Stakes September 27 and an Allowance Optional Claiming September 5. He looked OK against lesser company this past summer but has failed to place in his last two starts overall. Texas Ryano leaves from gate 4 with James Graham guiding him.
Power Ped - Neil Drysdale trained gelding has four wins, seven seconds and three third place finishes in 25 career starts. He won the minor Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile at Turf Paradise in January - the last time he tasted victory. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar November 26 which followed an eighth in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International October 18, a second in the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup in September, a fourth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap in August and a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track in July. Power Ped looks for his first graded stakes score and enters in so-so form. Mario Gutierrez gets the mount from post 5.
Class Leader - John Sadler trained colt has three wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in 16 career starts. He won the minor Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico in May, 2014 but has failed to post victory since. Last time out was an ugly tenth in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup November 26 after a decent second in the minor King Pellinore Stakes at Santa Anita September 27, a seventh in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic August 22 and a respectable third in the minor Michael G. Schaefer Memorial in July. He has placed in three of his last five starts overall but looks to hit the board for the first time in graded stakes company (in his fifth try). Kent Desormeaux rides from gate 6.
Wanstead Gardens - made his stakes debut November 26 for trainer Neil French and finished sixth in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup after three wins, three seconds and a third place finish in 13 career starts. Before the Turf Cup were a sixth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita October 22, an Allowance Optional Claiming score in August and another sixth in July. Wanstead Gardens has been largely unimpressive with a win and three sixth place finishes in his last four starts. Gary Stevens hopes to change all of that from post 9 Saturday.
Macro Access - Argentinean trained Paulo Lobo trained mare has just eight career starts with three wins. He had two wins at home including a Group 2 stakes in August, 2014 but he failed to place in his next three starts including his first two in North America. Last time out was a fifth in his North American graded stakes debut - the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar November 27 which followed a win in an Allowance Optional Claiming here October 12. Macro Access has placed in just one of his last five starts - not a whole lot is expected when he leaves form post 11 with Martin Garcia in the irons.
Kenjisstorm - Also Eligible has just two wins, a second and a third place finish in 13 career starts. He may make just his second graded stakes start Saturday - the first resulted in a tenth place finish in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes back in March. He has placed in three of his last four starts however - albeit against lesser company.
Southern Freedom -Also Eligible Jerry Hollendorfer trained colt has 18 career starts with six wins, two seconds and three third place finishes and stepped into graded stakes company for the first time November 26 and finished an unflattering seventh in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup. Before that was an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Santa Anita October 22, a fifth in the minor King Pellinore Stakes in September, a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in August and another Allowance Optional Claiming score in July.
Quick Casablanca - Also Eligible Chilean bred Ronald McAnally was terrific at home placing in all 11 starts including a win in the Group 1 Asociacion Latinoamericana in 2012. He was OK once he arrived in North America - a win in the Grade 3 Last Tycoon Stakes in April, 2014 and a second in the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano Stakes two months later being the best results. He failed to place in five start in 2015 however - consecutive fifths ahead of this race - the last coming in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup November 26. He now has 24 career starts with four wins, seven seconds and five third place finishes but hasn't been heard from in quite some time.
Race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 7:00 PM.
||Big John B
||Bal a Bali (BRZ)
||Macro Access (ARG)
||Quick Casablanca (CHI)