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OffTrackBetting.com - The G1 Awesome Again Stakes takes place this Saturday, September 30 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Horses three years old and upward will chase the winner's share of the $300,000 purse when they take to Santa Anita's dirt track and race 1 1/8 miles.
A strong field of eight will give it a go in the Awesome Again Stakes - race 10 on Santa Anita's packed Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:00 PM. Let's take a brief glance into the past performances of all eight entries for this intriguing G1 stakes - a prep for the 2017 $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic November 4.
Bob Baffert trained colt has six wins and a runner-up finish in 11 career starts. He enters on a nice two-race win streak - as favorite in the minor Harry F. Brubaker Stakes last time out at Del Mar August 23 and by 3 1/4 lengths in the G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita May 27. Before that was eight months away, an uncharacteristic eighth in the G2 Pennsylvania Derby in September of last year and another two-race win streak - the G2 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer last August 6 and the 2016 G2 Indiana Derby. Other results include two unflattering results - a fifth in the minor Easy Goer Stakes at Belmont Park last June 11 and a tenth in the G1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in April, 2016. He also had a gate-to-wire win in the G2 Rebel Stakes in March, 2016. Cupid has won four of seven graded stakes tries and will try for a third straight stakes score Saturday with Rafael Bejarano guiding him from the outside gate 8.
Won the G2 Del Mar Derby in August, 2014 for trainer Phil D'Amato, had a second in the 2015 G1 Shoemaker and has been fairly very competitive the last year - five wins, a second and two third place finishes in 10 starts over that span. He enters this week off consecutive fourths - the G2 Del Mar Mile last time out August 20 and the competitive G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita May 27. Those results followed an OK third in the G2 Oaklawn Handicap April 15, a second after fading in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap March 11 (al three on dirt) and a nice two race win streak - the G2 San Pasqual Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths 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 2016 G2 Del Mar Mile, the G2 Eddie Read Stakes and in the 2016 G1 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita. Midnight Storm now has 10 wins, four seconds and two third place finishes in 25 career starts and will be out to snap a four-race losing streak. Tyler Baze will be in the saddle from post 3.
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Winner of the 2016 G2 Seagram Cup at Woodbine during a streak of six straight placings in stakes action - Reade Baker trainee has just three wins in 21 career starts to go along with five seconds and five third-place finishes. He enters off an OK third in the G1 Whitney Stakes at Saratoga August 5 after another third in the G1 Stephen Foster Handicap June 17 (both behind the superb Gun Runner) and a fifth in the G2 Alysheba Stakes May 5 at Churchill Downs. Before that was an OK second in the G2 New Orleans Stakes at Fair Grounds April 1, an eighth in the G1 Pegasus World Cup January 28 and another second in the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs in November. He has placed in just four of his last eight starts overall and will chase his first stakes score overall in over a year. Mike Smith has the mount from post 5.
Globetrotting Irish bred colt had four wins and a second-place finish in five races overseas in 2015 including a win in the UAE Derby by eight lengths and the Al Bastakiya Stakes at Meydan before debuting in North America. He failed to place in his next four starts including a fourth in the 2015 Belmont Stakes and eighth in the Kentucky Derby before a second behind California Chrome in the $10 million 2016 Dubai World Cup. He was last seen running an OK fourth in the 2017 Dubai World Cup in March which followed his only other start in 2017 - a fifth in the Curlin Handicap at Meydan in February, a fourth in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes at Belmont Park in October, a decent second in the G1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga September 3 and an OK third in the G2 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park July 9. Mubtaahij has been training well ahead of this weekend, has been a force in the past and enters off five straight decent efforts. He tries for his first win in 30 months (10 races) and first North American score Saturday with Drayden Van Dyke in the irons from gate 6.
Defending runner-up in this race and previously retired entry was last seen running fourth in the listed Santana Mile on this track April 1 for trainer Art Sherman after a sixth in the G1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile in March and a fourth as favorite in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile November 4. Before that was a second in the 2016 G1 Awesome Again Stakes, a third behind California Chrome and Beholder in the 2016 G1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 20, a second, a half length behind California Chrome in the G2 San Diego Handicap last July 23, eight months away and a win the G3 Native Diver Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths November 28, 2015. He had another win in the minor Big Bear Stakes at Santa Anita a month before that. Other results include an OK fourth in the 2015 Preakness Stakes and a respectable third that year in the Kentucky Derby. He won his first six career starts in 2015 before that including the G1 Santa Anita Derby April, in gate-to-wire fashion in the G2 San Felipe Stakes March 7, the G3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes February 7, and the G1 Los Alamitos Futurity. He now has eight wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 16 career starts but has failed to hit the board in his last three starts overall. Jockey Gary Stevens will try to right the ship from gate 2.
Defending third-place finisher in this race has three wins, a second and four third place finishes in 16 career starts for trainer George Papaprodromou. He enters off a fifth in the minor Harry F. Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar August 23 after over nine months away and a DNF in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Before that was an OK third in the 2016 G1 Awesome Again Stakes October 1, a disappointing DNF after being pulled up in the G1 Pacific Classic August 20, a respectable third in the G2 Cougar II Handicap last July 23, a very nice second at 24-1 odds in the 2016 G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 25 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score May 15, 2016. Win the Space has been decent at time but will need a special effort Saturday in order to contend. Joe Talamo has been tabbed to ride from the rail.
Has three wins, four seconds and two third-place finishes in 14 career starts for trainer John Sadler. Last time out was a decent second behind Cupid in the minor Harry F. Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar August 23 which followed an Allowance Optional Claiming score on that track August 5 and a second, a seventh and another second respectively in a trio of Allowance Optional Claiming races to start his year. His only graded stakes action resulted in a fifth in the 2016 G3 Affirmed Stakes on this track in July. Curlin Rules has been OK against lesser company lately and chases a first stakes score Saturday from gate 4 with Flavien Prat aboard.
Doug O'Neill trained colt has 10 career starts with two wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. He recently returned to the track after a 14- month layoff and finished fourth in the G3 Precisionist Stakes at Santa Anita June 24 and followed that with a very respectable second - ahead of Arrogate and behind Accelerate in the G2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar June 22 and a seventh last time out in the G1 Pacific Classic Stakes on that track August 19. Before the layoff was an OK third as favorite in the 2016 G2 Charles Town Classic last April 23, a very disappointing seventh as second choice in the Santa Anita Handicap March 12 of 2016, a third after clipping heels in the G2 San Antonio Stakes last February 6, a good win by 11 lengths in the minor Stanton Stakes at Delaware Park in June 20 of 2015 and a third in the minor Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico in May of that year. Donworth has been a tad difficult to figure out and has yet to post a graded stakes score. Jockey Mario Gutierrez will try to change all of that from post 7.
Race 10 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 8:05 PM.
|1||Win the Space||15-1||Joseph Talamo||George Papaprodromou|
|2||Dortmund||8-1||Gary Stevens||Art Sherman|
|3||Midnight Storm||3-1||Tyler Baze||Philip D'Amato|
|4||Curlin Rules||6-1||Flavien Prat||John Sadler|
|5||Breaking Lucky||5-1||Mike Smith||Reade Baker|
|6||Mubtaahij (IRE)||4-1||Drayden Van Dyke||Bob Baffert|
|7||Donworth||6-1||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill|
|8||Cupid||2-1||Rafael Bejarano||Bob Baffert|