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OffTrackBetting.com - The G1 Malibu Stakes will be contested this Tuesday, December 26 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Some of the best three-year olds in the land will take to Santa Anita's dirt track and race seven furlongs for the winner's share of the $300,000 purse.
A strong field of nine will line up in the Malibu Stakes - race 8 on Santa Anita's impressive opening-day Tuesday schedule. Post time is 3:30 PM. Let's take a brief glance into the past performances of all nine combatants for this intriguing G1 stakes.
Has six career starts already for trainer Bob Baffert with two wins, a second and a third-place finish. Last time out was an OK second in the G3 Native Diver Stakes at Del November 25 which followed a third in the minor Comma to the Top Stakes here October 28, an Allowance Optional Claiming score by 5 1/4 lengths at Del Mar August 13 and an eighth in his only other graded stakes action to date - the G1 Santa Anita Derby. Irish Freedom is experienced, has placed in his last three starts overall but has yet to post a stakes win. He hopes to change all of that Tuesday with Mike Smith guiding him from post 3.
Albert Stall trained colt has three career starts and three nice wins. He makes his stakes debut Tuesday off a two-length Allowance Optional Claiming score over a good field at Churchill Downs November 23 after a 2 1/2 length Allowance win at Keeneland October 10 and a maiden score by two lengths at first asking - at Saratoga September 1. In training ahead of this weekend C Z Rocket had the bullet for four furlongs Dec. 13 in :47.60 and steps up looking to remain undefeated with Jose Lezcano aboard from the outside post 9.
Bob Baffert trained colt has three career starts with two wins. He steps into stakes company for the first time Saturday off an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Del Mar November 3, nearly 10 months away from the track and a MSW win on this track in January. His debut resulted in a fourth thanks to a DQ from first on this track a year ago. Dabster has been decent in his career and hopes it translates in what represents a major step up in competition. Flavien Prat will be in the reins from gate 8.
Doug O'Neill trained colt has five career starts with two wins and a third-place finish. Last time out was an overwhelmed tenth on the biggest stage - the G1 Breeders' Cup Classic after a third with a career-best 108 BRIS Speed Rating in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes at Belmont Park October 7, a good six length win with a 103 Beyer Speed Figure in the G3 Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx September 4, an OK fourth, a head behind Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and one ahead of Preakness winner Cloud Computing in his stakes debut - in the G2 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga July 29 and a win in his debut by 4 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita July 1. Pavel has been OK so far and will be after a bounce back from a career-worst outing. Mario Gutierrez rides from gate 6.
Has placed in five of six career starts for trainer Chad Brown - three wins and two third-place finishes - his best result came three starts back when he won the G2 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park in February. Before that was a twelfth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf last November and an OK third in the G1 Champagne Stakes in October, 2016. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score with a career-best 103 BRIS Speed Rating at Aqueduct November 26 which followed an OK third in a similar race at Belmont Park September 30 and over seven months away from the track. Favorable Outcome has certainly shown form in the past and hopes to rediscover the form that saw him become a graded winner. Javier Castellano will try to accomplish that goal from gate 4.
Michael McCarthy trained colt has four career starts and has hit the board in all - one win and three second-place finishes. He makes his stakes debut Tuesday on the heels of consecutive runner-up finishes - both Allowance Optional Claiming with one coming at Del Mar November 3 and the other on this track October 7. He broke maiden in the race before that by 7 1/2 lengths at Del Mar September 1. City of Light has been a factor every time out but takes a huge step up in competition Tuesday. Drayden Van Dyke has been tabbed to ride from the rail.
Has six wins and a third-place finish in his nine career starts for trainer John Sadler. He arrives off a good win in the minor Cary Grant Stakes at Del Mar November 19, an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track October 22 and an eighth in his only graded stakes action to date - the G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship in October. He won three of his previous four starts as well - all Allowance races in California. Edwards Going Left, outside of his one graded stakes try has been competitive every time out and hopes to make some noise in top company Tuesday. Tyler Baze will be in the saddle from gate 2.
Has 11 career starts for trainer James Chapman already with three wins and a second-place finish. He arrives on a nice two-race win streak - the minor Steel Valley Sprint last time out at Mahoning Valley November 20 and an Allowance Optional Claiming at Thistledown October 14 after failing to place in his previous five starts including a tenth in his only graded stakes action to date - the G3 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer August 5. Heartwood wasn't great in the summer but has really stepped up his game lately. He hopes to keep that trend going from post 7. Hector Rosario Jr. will be in the saddle from post 7.
Has five career starts for trainer Bruce Headley with a win, a second and two third-place finishes. He won his debut by 5 1/2 lengths on this track back in April and has been OK since - a third last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar November 25 followed a fifth in an Allowance here October 5 and a second and a third respectively in a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races earlier this year. The Street Fighter steps up in so-so form and will depart from post 5 with Edwin Maldonado aboard.
Race 8 on Santa Anita's Tuesday card with a Post Time of 6:48 PM
|1||City of Light||8-1||Drayden Van Dyke||Michael McCarthy|
|2||Edwards Going Left||8-1||Tyler Baze||John Sadler|
|3||Irish Freedom||5-1||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert|
|4||Favorable Outcome||3-1||Javier Castellano||Chad Brown|
|5||The Street Fighter||30-1||Edwin Maldonado||Bruce Headley|
|6||Pavel||4-1||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill|
|7||Heartwood||15-1||Hector Rosario, Jr.||James Chapman|
|8||Dabster||6-1||Flavien Prat||Bob Baffert|
|9||C Z Rocket||7-2||Jose Lezcano||Albert Stall, Jr.|
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