2017 Charles Whittingham Stakes Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - The G2 Charles Whittingham Stakes will be contested this Sunday, May 28 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Horses three years old and upward will take to Santa Anita's turf track and race 1 1/4 miles for the winner's share of the $200,000 purse.

A deep and competitive field of 10 have been confirmed for the Charles Whittingham Memorial Stakes - race 7 on Santa Anita's Sunday schedule. Post time is 4:00 PM. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all seven combatants for this intriguing G2 stakes.

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2017 Charles Whittingham Stakes Entries at Santa Anita Park

Itsinthepost

French bred Jeff Mullins trained gelding has 25 career starts with five wins, six seconds and five third place finishes. He enters on the heels of a two-race win streak - by 1 1/2 lengths in the G2 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland April 22 and in the G2 San Luis Rey Stakes at Santa Anita March 25. Before that were three straight very close runner-up finishes - the G2 San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita February 4, the G3 San Gabriel Stakes on that track January 7 and an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar November 19. He also posted a win and another second respectively in another pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races last year and placed in four of his previous five as well - all Allowance Optional Claiming races. Itsinthepost has three wins and four runner-ups in his last seven starts overall - in great form ahead of this race. Tyler Baze has the mount from post 3.

Ashleyluvssugar

Has 21 career starts for trainer Peter Eurton with nine wins (4 marathon graded stakes), three seconds and four third place finishes. He enters off an OK third behind Itsinthepost and Syntax after tiring in the G2 San Luis Rey Stakes here March 25 which followed a nice win with a field best 100 Beyer Speed Figure in the minor California Cup Turf Classic on this track January, a second in the G2 Hollywood Turf Cup on at Del Mar in November, a decent fifth in the Breeders' Cup Turf November 5 and a nice two race win streak - the G2 John Henry Turf Championship October 2 and the G2 Del Mar Handicap August 20. Before that was a good second in the G2 Eddie Read Stakes July 17, an OK third in the minor Crystal Waters Stakes at Santa Anita June 11 and 10 months away from the track. He also had and a nice three race win streak in 2015 - in the G2 Charles Whittingham Stakes, by 2 1/4 lengths in the G2 San Luis Rey Stakes and an Allowance Optional Claiming score. Ashleyluvssugar has placed in 11 of his last 13 starts, has nine straight races with a 100 or better Beyer Speed Figure and looks to continue a pretty good string of results. Gary Stevens will be in the saddle Saturday from gate 2.

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Syntax

Irish bred Phil D'Amato trainee has three wins, five seconds and four third place finishes in 19 career starts. He won the G3 Kent Stakes at Delaware Park in July, 2015 and has been up and down since. He enters in the heels of two respectable runner-up finishes - the G3 San Juan Capistrano Stakes last time out on this track April 22 and behind Itsinthepost in the G2 San Luis Rey Stakes here March 25. Before that was a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming here February 5, a fifth in an Allowance at Presque Isle Downs October 5, a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Woodbine September 23 and a seventh in the G3 Cliff Hanger Stakes at Monmouth Park in August. Syntax has placed in three straight starts overall and looks to snap a 10-race losing streak from post 5. Rafael Bejarano gets the call.

Liam the Charmer

Has three wins, a second and a third-place finish in nine career starts for trainer Michael McCarthy. Last time out was one of his wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track April 28. It followed a fourth in the G2 San Luis Rey Stakes here March 25 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track February 9. He also had a fourth in a similar race at Del Mar November 19, a fifth in his only other graded stakes action to date - the G3 La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar in August, a third in the minor Rainbow Stakes here in June and a maiden score on this track in May. Liam the Charmer is undefeated at this distance, he searches for his first stakes win and enters having won two of his last three starts against lesser competition. Victor Espinoza will be in the reins from the rail.

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 and a third in the G2 Del Mar Handicap August 20. Texas Ryano has been OK at times but has failed to place in his last three starts overall. Joe Talamo has been tabbed with righting the ship from the outside gate 10 Sunday.

Prince of Arabia

James Cassidy trained mare has just two wins in 15 career starts to go along with three seconds and four third place finishes. He has been trending upward ahead of this weekend - an Allowance Optional Claiming score last time out on this track followed consecutive runner up finishes in Allowance Optional Claiming races here to start 2017. He failed to place in two starts prior but did post a respectable third before that in his only graded stakes action to date - the G3 Affirmed Stakes here in July. Prince of Arabia has been competitive against lesser competition and hopes in translates toward a first stakes score Sunday. Santiago Gonzalez gets the call from gate 4.

Up With the Birds

Canada's 2013 Horse of the Year and Champion 3 Year Old Colt, Phil D'Amato trained multiple graded stakes winner has been up and down lately - an OK third last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming here April 23 followed a fifth in the G3 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct in November, a disappointing seventh in the G3 Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland October 20, a third in the G3 Durham Cup at Woodbine September 24, another third in the G3 Sky Classic Stakes here August 21 and a good win in the G2 Nijinsky Stakes at Woodbine July 24 - a race that he also won in 2014. Also last year he had a sixth in the Belmont Gold Cup Invitational June 10, a fourth in the G1 Man o' War Stakes May 14, and a fifth in the G2 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland April 23. Up With the Birds looks to snap a five-race win streak and enters in less-than-spectacular form. Flavien Prat will be in the saddle from gate 6.

Frank Conversation

Doug O'Neill trained colt has four wins, a second and two third place finishes in 13 career starts and has looked very good at times over that span. Last time out was a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming here April 23 which followed a sixth in the G2 Mathis Brothers Mile December 26 and a respectable third at 19-1 odds in the G1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar December 3. Before that was a good win at 36-1 in the G2 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita November 4 and three disappointing results - a tenth in the G2 City of Hope Stakes at Santa Anita October 8, a thirteenth in the G2 American Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs last May and a seventh in the Group 2 UAE Derby at Meydan in March. He started 2016 with two good stakes wins - the G2 El Camino Real Derby February 13 and the minor California Derby in January - both at Golden Gate. Frank Conversation has shown some serious form in the past but has been just OK in his last three starts overall. He tries to get back in the win column from post 7 Sunday with Mario Gutierrez aboard.

Patentar

Defending runner-up in this race, French bred Simon Callaghan trainee had two wins and three third place finishes in 11 starts in Europe and has nine starts in North America with OK success. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Santa Anita April 23 after a fifth in a similar race here March 30, a tenth in the G2 Del Mar Handicap in August and a disappointing sixth in the G2 Eddie Read Stakes here July 17. Before that was a respectable second in the 2016 Charles Whittingham Memorial Stake and a good win in an Allowance Optional Claiming February 7. He has placed in just one of his last four overall and hopes for his first stakes score from gate 8 Sunday. Martin Pedroza will be in the irons

A Red Tie Day

Richard Baltas trained gelding has five wins and four third place finishes in 21 career starts. He enters having failed to place in his last three starts - a fifth last time out in the G2 San Marcos Stakes here followed a seventh in the G3 San Gabriel Stakes on this track January 7 and a fifth in the G2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar November 26. Before that was a good win in the minor Lure Stakes at Santa Anita October 30, a fifth in the G2 John Henry Turf Championship on this track October 2, an Allowance Optional Claiming score August 26 and a fifth in the minor Wickerr Stakes here in July. His other graded stakes results were a ninth in the 2016 Charles Whittingham Stakes and a fourth in the G2 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland last April. A Red Tie Day tries for his first graded stakes win and enters in less-than-inspired form. Corey Nakatani rides from post 9.


2017 Charles Whittingham Stakes Odds & Entries

Race 7 on Santa Anita's Sunday card with a Post Time of 7:06 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Liam the Charmer 6-1 Victor Espinoza Michael McCarthy
2 Ashleyluvssugar 4-1 Gary Stevens Peter Eurton
3 Itsinthepost (FR) 5-2 Tyler Baze Jeff Mullins
4 Prince of Arabia 30-1 Santiago Gonzalez James Cassidy
5 Syntax (IRE) 6-1 Rafael Bejarano Philip D'Amato
6 Up With the Birds 8-1 Flavien Prat Philip D'Amato
7 Frank Conversation 12-1 Mario Gutierrez Doug O'Neill
8 Patentar (FR) 10-1 Martin Pedroza Simon Callaghan
9 A Red Tie Day 12-1 Corey Nakatani Richard Baltas
10 Texas Ryano 6-1 Joseph Talamo Carla Gaines

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