2017 Gold Cup at Santa Anita Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - The G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita comes our way this Saturday, May 27 at - you guessed it - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Horses three years old and upward will be after the winner's portion of the $500,000 purse when they line up and go 1 1/4 miles on Santa Anita's dirt track.

A competitive field of nine will line up in the Gold Cup - race 8 on Santa Anita's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 4:30 PM. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all nine entries for this intriguing G1 stakes.

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2017 Gold Cup Contenders at Santa Anita Park

Midnight Storm - won the G2 Del Mar Derby in August, 2014 for trainer Phil D'Amato and had a second in the 2015 G1 Shoemaker and has been very competitive the last year - five wins, a second and two third place finishes in eight starts over that span. He enters this week off an OK third in the G2 Oaklawn Handicap April 15 which followed a second after fading near the line in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap March 11 and a nice two race win streak - the G2 San Pasqual Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths here January 1, and by an impressive 7 3/4 lengths in the G3 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar November 27 - both in gate-to-wire fashion. Before that was and OK third in the Breeders' Cup Mile and wins in the G2 Del Mar Mile August 21, the G2 Eddie Read Stakes July 17 and in the 2016 G1 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita June 4. Midnight Storm now has 10 wins, four seconds and two third place finishes in 23 career starts and has been competitive as they come the last 12 months. He tries to keep an impressive run going Saturday. Flavien Prat has been tabbed to ride from post 5.

Accelerate - impressive John Sadler trained colt has three wins, three seconds and three third place finishes in 10 career starts. He arrives in decent form - a second last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming here May 5 followed a third in the G2 San Antonio Stakes on this track February 4 and a second in the competitive G2 San Pasqual Stakes here January 1. Before that was a respectable third in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and a nice three race win streak - in the G2 Los Alamitos Derby September 24 (his graded stakes debut), the minor Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar August 26 and a maiden score by a terrific 8 3/4 lengths on that track July 28. Accelerate has been in every race so far in his career and will chase a second graded stakes score from gate 8 with Tyler Baze guiding him.

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Follow Me Crev - Vladimir Cerin trained gelding has six wins, four seconds and four third place finishes in 21 career starts and enters off a respectable second behind Collected in the G2 Californian Stakes on this track April 22. Before that was a third behind Midnight Storm with a good 101 Beyer Speed Figure in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap March 11, an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track February 20, a fourth in the G2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar July 23, a fifth in the 2016 G2 Californian Stakes May 22 and four straight wins - all Allowance races with the last one coming by 2 1/2 lengths here February 14, 2016. His only other graded stakes action results in a fourth-place finish in the G2 Los Alamitos Derby in July, 2015. Follow Me Crev has placed in nine of his last 11 starts overall and will be hoping for his first graded stakes score Saturday. Kent Desormeaux gets the call from gate 2.

Hard Aces -defending third place finisher in this race, John Sadler trainee also won the 2015 G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita in upset fashion and hadn't posted another win until eight starts back when he won the G3 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar July 24. He followed that with a dud - an eighth, 25 lengths back in the G1 Pacific Classic August 20 and has been up and down since. Last time out was an upset win in the G3 Tokyo City Cup here April 2 after a sixth in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap March 11, a fifth in the G2 San Antonio Stakes here February 4, an OK third in the G3 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar November 27, a second in the G2 Marathon Stakes here November 4 and a fourth in the G1 Awesome Again Stakes on this track in October. He also had that third in the 2016 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 25, a respectable second in the G2 Californian Stakes May 22, 2016 and decent second with an impressive 101 Beyer Speed Figure in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap March 12 of that year. Hard Aces now has eight wins, six seconds and nine third place finishes in 40 career starts and enters off a pretty good win with Santiago Gonzalez in the irons from the outside post 9.

Cupid - Bob Baffert trained colt has four wins and a runner-up finish in nine career starts. He was last seen way back on September 24 when he finished an uncharacteristic eighth in the G2 Pennsylvania Derby. Before that was a good two race win streak - the G2 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer August 6 and the G2 Indiana Derby July 16. Those wins followed two unflattering results - a fifth in the minor Easy Goer Stakes at Belmont Park June 11 and a tenth in the G1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in April. He also had a gate-to-wire win in the G2 Rebel Stakes in March, 2016. Cupid has won three of six graded stakes tries and will try to bounce back off an unflattering result from gate 6 in his first start in eight months. Rafael Bejarano gets the call.

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American Freedom - has three wins and two seconds in seven career starts for trainer Bob Baffert. He enters off a slightly disappointing fourth in the G2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs May 5 and consecutive runner-up finishes - the G1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga way back on August 27 and behind Exaggerator in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park July 31. Before that was a win in the G3 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadow July 1 and another win in the minor LARC Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico May 21. He also had an uncharacteristic sixth in the G3 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs last May 7 and win his debut at Santa Anita in April. American Freedom, outside of one bad outing has been competitive every time out and hopes for his biggest win to date from the rail. Martin Garcia rides.

Big John B - was on fire in the summer of 2015 for trainer Phil D'Amato with three straight wins including the G3 Cougar II Handicap in July and the G2 Del Mar Handicap (a race he won two straight years) but has been inconsistent since. Last time out was an OK second behind Hard Aces in the G3 Tokyo City Cup here April 2 after a non-threatening fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming here March 9, 11 months away, a win in the 2016 Tokyo City, a seventh in the G2 San Luis Rey Stakes here in March, 2016 and a third in the G3 John B. Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston in January, 2016. He also recorded a tenth in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Turf and a respectable second to The Pizza Man in the 2015 G2 Hollywood Turf Cup. Big John B now has 42 career starts with 15 wins, seven seconds and five third place finishes but has two wins and a second in his last three starts on dirt. Mike Smith rides from post 7.

Texas Ryano - has 21 career starts for trainer Carla Gaines with five wins, three seconds and three third place finishes. He made his graded stakes debut in November, 2015 and finished a disappointing eighth as favorite in the G2 Hollywood Turf Cup and has been up and down since. Last time out was a fourth in the G2 Californian Stakes on this track April 22 after a fifth in the G2 San Luis Rey Stakes here March 25, a sixth in the G2 San Marcos Stakes here February 4, a good win in the G2 Hollywood Turf Cup in November, a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Turf, a good second in the G2 John Henry Turf Championship October 2, a third in the G2 Del Mar Handicap August 20 and a seventh in the G2 Eddie Read Stakes in July. Texas Ryano has been OK at times but has failed to place in his last three starts overall. Gary Stevens has been tabbed with righting the ship from posy 3 Saturday.

Prime Attraction - lightly raced James Cassidy trained colt has three wins and a runner-up finish in his seven career starts. He stepped into stakes company for the first time last time out and finished fifth in the G2 Californian Stakes here April 2. It followed a two race win streak - both Allowance Optional Claiming on this track with the last coming March 18. He wasn't all that inspiring before that. Prime Attraction has been up and down in his career so far and shoots for a first stakes win from gate 4. Jamie Theriot has the mount.


2017 Gold Cup at Santa Anita Entries & Odds

Race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 7:30 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 American Freedom 4-1 Martin Garcia Bob Baffert
2 Follow Me Crev 4-1 Kent Desormeaux Vladimir Cerin
3 Texas Ryano 15-1 Gary Stevens Carla Gaines
4 Prime Attraction 30-1 Jamie Theriot James Cassidy
5 Midnight Storm 5-2 Flavien Prat Philip D'Amato
6 Cupid 6-1 Rafael Bejarano Bob Baffert
7 Big John B 8-1 Mike Smith Philip D'Amato
8 Accelerate 4-1 Tyler Baze John Sadler
9 Hard Aces 8-1 Santiago Gonzalez John Sadler

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Race Tracks Time (EST)
Ajax Downs 1:09 PM
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