2017 Kona Gold Stakes Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will play host to the G2 Kona Gold Stakes on Saturday, May 20. A purse of $200,000 will be on the line when horses three years old and upward take to Santa Anita's dirt track and dash 6 1/2 furlongs.

A deep and competitive field of nine West Coast sprinters will take to the track in the Kona Gold Stakes - race 9 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 4:00 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all nine entries into this compelling G2 stakes.

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2017 Kona Gold Stakes Entries at Santa Anita Park

Lord Simba - lightly raced Bob Baffert trained colt has placed in all five career starts - two wins and three runner-up finishes. Last time out was a very nice win in his stakes debut - the G3 Los Angeles Stakes with a nice 101 Beyer Speed Figure on this track April 15. It followed an incredible eight length maiden score here March 19 and three straight runner-ups to start his career. Lord Simba has looked very good the last two starts and tries to keep a roll going from post 7. Martin Garcia rides.

Calculator - Peter Miller trainee has placed in 10 of 13 career starts so far - three wins, four seconds and three third place finishes. He arrives off an eleventh in the G1 Maker's 46 Mile at Keeneland April 14 which followed an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Santa Anita March 2, a third in a similar race July 23 and an ugly tenth in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park last June. Before that were consecutive runner-up finishes - the G2 Churchill Downs Stakes last May 7 and the G1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct April 9, 2016, an OK third in the G2 San Carlos Stakes at Santa Anita March 12, 2016 and consecutive wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming February 13 of last year and in terrific fashion in the G3 Sham Stakes January 10, 2015. Other good results include seconds in the G1 FrontRunner Stakes September 27, 2014 and in the G1 Del Mar Futurity September 3 of that year - both coming behind American Pharoah. Calculator has been up and down lately but has certainly been competitive at times the last three years and will try to be again Saturday with Norberto Arroyo Jr. in the reins.

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Kobe's Back - Peter Eurton trainee returned to the track for the first time in nine months on March 11 and finished fifth in the G1 Triple Bend Stakes here. Before that was a third in the 2016 Triple Bend Stakes, another third in the G3 Churchill Downs Stakes May 7, 2016 and consecutive wins - the G2 San Carlos Stakes last March 12 with a 106 Beyer Speed Figure and in the G2 Palos Verdes Stakes on this track in February, 2016. He also posted a seventh in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Sprint, a decent second in the G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship October 3 that year, had an OK third in the G1 Bing Crosby Stakes in July, 2015 and a good win in the G3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland April 4, 2015. Kobe's Back now has five wins, three seconds and four third place finishes in 21 career starts (three graded stakes scores on this track) against mostly graded stakes competition and has placed in four of his last five starts overall. He tries to rediscover his form Saturday when he leaves from post 3 with Gary Stevens aboard.

Ransom the Moon - Phil D'Amato trainee has just three wins in 16 career starts with five seconds and a third place finish. He makes his stakes debut in decent form - a pair of runner-up finishes in Allowance Optional Claiming this past winter at Woodbine were followed by a dominant 4 1/2 length Allowance Optional Claiming score with a career-best 98 Beyer Speed Figure at this distance here April 30. Ransom the Moon has been trending up and will be after a career-best effort from gate 6. Flavien Prat has been tabbed to ride.

Moe Candy - has placed in seven of eight career starts for trainer John Sadler - three wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. Last time out was his only off-the-board finish - a sixth in the G3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park April 15 after a second in the G2 Palos Verdes Stakes here February 4 and three straight wins - two Allowance Optional Claiming and a MSW here in October. Moe Candy has been decent in his career so far and hopes for a strong bounce back and first graded stakes score when he leaves from the rail with Santiago Gonzalez aboard.

Kentuckian - won the 2015 G3 Lazaro Barrera Stakes on this track and now has nine career starts for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer - three wins and three third place finishes. He arrives off a fourth in the G3 Los Angeles Stakes here April 15 after an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track February 20 and a fifth, a third and an eighth respectively in a trio of Allowance Optional Claiming races in California. Kentuckian also posted a third in the 2015 G2 Los Alamitos Derby. He has shown serious form in the last and shoots for his first stakes win in two years when he leaves from gate 4 with Tyler Baze guiding him.

Eastwood - has placed in eight of 10 career starts for trainer Richard Mandella - four wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. He arrives off a second behind Lord Simba in the G3 Los Angeles Stakes here April 15 which followed 10 months away and a fourth in the G2 True North Stakes at Belmont Park last June. He won consecutive Allowance Optional Claiming races before that. Eastwood has been OK when healthy - he tries for his first stakes score in four tries when he leaves from gate 8 with Joe Talamo aboard.

Dr. Dorr - Bob Baffert trained colt hasn't been great in his career - two wins and a third place finish in seven career starts. He arrives of a career-best Allowance Optional Claiming score here April 28 which followed two straight off-the-board finishes in two previous Allowance races. His only stakes start was a fourth in the G3 Bob Hope Stakes at Del mar in November, 2015. Dr. Door arrives in so-so form and gets the services of Rafael Bejarano from the outside post 9.

Touched by Autism - placed in his first four starts for trainer Marcia Stotz but hasn't been great since. He has placed in just one of his last six starts overall - a fifth last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Golden Gate March 31 after a sixth in a similar race in January. He did post an Allowance Optional Claiming score here in December but that result followed an eighth in the minor Oakland Stakes at Golden Gate November 19 and a fifth November 3. His only graded stakes action was an eleventh in the G3 El Camino Real Derby in February, 2016. Touched by Autism will need a special effort with Tiago Josue Perreira in the saddle from post 5.


2017 Kona Gold Stakes Odds & Entries

Race 9 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 7:00 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer
1 Moe Candy Santiago Gonzalez John Sadler
2 Calculator Norberto Arroyo, Jr. Peter Miller
3 Kobe's Back Gary Stevens Peter Eurton
4 Kentuckian Tyler Baze Jerry Hollendorfer
5 Touched by Autism Tiago Pereira Marcia Stortz
6 Ransom the Moon Flavien Prat Philip D'Amato
7 Lord Simba Martin Garcia Bob Baffert
8 Eastwood Joseph Talamo Richard Mandella
9 Dr. Dorr Rafael Bejarano Bob Baffert

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