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OffTrackBetting.com - The G3 Midnight Lute Stakes is on tap for this Saturday, December 30 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Horses three years old and upward will line up on Santa Anita's dirt track and dash 6 1/2 furlongs for the winner's share of the $100,000 purse.
A field of nine will give it a go in the Midnight Lute Stakes - race 8 on Santa Anita's busy Saturday card. Post time is 4:00 PM. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all nine combatants for this competitive G3 stakes.
One of the best sprinters in 2015, speedy Ron Ellis trained gelding has placed in 11 of 16 career starts - eight wins and three second place finishes. He was last seen running a disappointing thirteenth in the G2 Churchill Downs Stakes May 6 which followed a respectable second in the G1 Triple Bend Stakes here in March and a seventh after hitting the line second and being DQ'd thanks to steroid use in the 2016 Breeders' Cup Sprint. Before that was a nice win in the G2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar August 27, 2016 a gate-to-wire Allowance Optional Claiming score by 6 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita and eight months away from the track. Other results include last of fourteen in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Sprint (after sustaining an injury in the race), a second in the 2015 G1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar and a terrific three race win streak in 2015- the G1 Triple Bend Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths with an impressive 110 Beyer Speed Figure, in the G2 Kona Gold Stakes with a 102 Beyer Speed Figure and a 2 1/4 length Allowance Optional Claiming score. Masochistic has been a tad up and down lately having failed to hit the board in two of his last three but has certainly shown form in the past. He tries for his first graded stakes score in 16 months Saturday when he leaves from gate 4 with Drayden Van Dyke guiding him.
Simon Callaghan trained gelding has placed in eight of 10 career starts - three wins and five second-place finishes. He made his graded stakes debut last time out and finished fourth behind a trio of G1 winners in the competitive G1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct December 2 after a two- race win streak - his stakes debut by 2 1/4 lengths in the minor Damascus Stakes at Del Mar November 3 and an Allowance Optional Claiming over G1 Malibu Stakes winner City of Light at Santa Anita October 7. He posted three straight runner-up finishes before that in a trio of Allowance Optional Claiming races in California. Americanize has been competitive lately and hopes to break through in graded takes company - from post 5 with Rafael Bejarano aboard.
Peter Miller trainee has placed in 13 of 18 career starts so far - four wins, five seconds and four third-place finishes. He arrives off a seventh in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Del Mar November 4 which followed a decent second in the G2 Pat O'Brien Stakes on that track August 26, an OK third in the minor Wickerr Stakes there July 23, an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Santa Anita July 3, a fifth in the G2 Kona Gold Stakes on this track May 20 and an eleventh in the G1 Maker's 46 Mile at Keeneland April 14. Other results include 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. Calculator has been a tad tough to figure out and shoots for a first stakes win in nearly three years Saturday. Javier Castellano has the mount from gate 8.
Mark Glatt trainee has eight career starts with five wins, a second and a third-place finish. He made his graded stakes debut two back and finished a slightly disappointing fourth in the G1 Triple Bend Stakes at Santa Anita back on March 11 and followed that with an OK third last time out in the G2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar August 26. Before that was a five-race win streak - and Allowance Optional Claiming January 6, another Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar last December 1, the minor Damascus Stakes in November, 2016 and another pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races at Santa Anita. Silent Bird has been decent in his career but has yet to post a graded stakes win. Jockey Kent Desormeaux hopes to change all of that from the rail Saturday.
Defending Champion in this race - Peter Miller trained gelding has eight wins, four seconds and five third place finishes in 39 career starts. Last time out was a second in the minor Cary Grant Stakes at Del Mar November 19 which followed a fourth in the minor Harris Farms Stakes at Fresno October 7, a fifth in the G2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar August 26 and another fifth in the G1 Bing Crosby Stakes there July 29. Before that was an eighth in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park June 10, an OK fourth in the G2 Churchill Downs Stakes May 6, a third in the minor Tiznow Stakes at Santa Anita February 26, a fifth in the minor Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita January 28 and a career-best effort - a win in the 2016 G3 Midnight Lute Stakes here last December 31. He also won the minor Cary Grant Stakes at Santa Anita before that. Solid Wager has been largely underwhelming the last year and hopes to secure his first win since last year's edition of this race - from gate 6 with Victor Espinoza in the irons.
Has placed in 10 of 15 career starts for trainer Carla Gaines - six wins and four third-place finishes. He enters off a third in the minor Cary Grant Stakes at Del Mar November 19, a fourth in the minor Bertrando Stake at Los Alamitos July 8 and consecutive thirds - the minor Crystal Waters Stakes on this track May 20 and an Allowance Optional Claiming race here March 31. Before that was eight months away, a sixth in the minor Real Good Deal Stakes at Del Mar, a fifth in the minor Rainbow Stakes last June, an OK third in the G3 Lazaro Barrera Stakes here in May, 2016 and a seventh in the G1 Santa Anita Derby in April, 2016. Smokey Image hopes to return to the form that saw him win his first six career starts but arrives in just so-so form. Gary Stevens will be in the reins from the outside post 9.
Defending third-place finisher in this race has placed in 12 of 15 career starts for trainer Steven Miyadi - four wins, four seconds and four third-place finishes. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Del Mar November 16 which followed 11 months away and a third in the 2016 edition of this race. He placed in four straight Allowance Optional Claiming races before that with one win coming at Los Alamitos in September, 2016. Tough Sunday has been competitive the last couple of years and hopes for a first stakes score in just his second start in the last 12 months. Tyler Baze has been tabbed to ride from post 7.
Has 34 career starts for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer with 10 wins, four seconds and five third-place finishes. He arrives off an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Del Mar November 26 which followed a sixth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Los Alamitos September 24 and a Claiming win at Del Mar August 30. He has hit the board in just one of his six graded stakes starts - that being a third in the G2 Palos Verdes Stakes here in February. Ike Walker has been OK against lesser company and hopes it finally translates into a first stakes score Saturday. Irad Ortiz has the mount from post 3.
Brazilian bred Paulo Lobo trainee has six wins, two seconds and a third-place finish in 16 career starts - four wins and two seconds in seven starts at home including three of his last four there. He debuted in North America in March, 2016 and won an Allowance Optional Claiming and went on to a sixth in the G3 American Stakes in May and another Allowance Optional Claiming score June 12 - all three at Santa Anita. He hasn't been great since - a sixth last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming here way back on March 3 followed a fifth in the G2 Arcadia Stakes here in February and a seventh in the G3 San Simeon Stakes here last December 26. Before that was a fifth in the G3 Eddie D Stakes on this track September 30, 2016, an OK third in the G2 Del Mar Mile and an eighth in the G2 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar July 17 of last year. Ohio has been good against lesser company in his career but has struggled in stakes company. He has failed to hit the board in his last four starts overall and hopes to snap a funk in his first race in nine months - from gate 2 with Brice Blanc aboard.
Race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 7:02 PM
|1||Silent Bird||5-2||Kent Desormeaux||Mark Glatt|
|2||Ohio (BRZ)||20-1||Brice Blanc||Paulo Lobo|
|3||Ike Walker||10-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Jerry Hollendorfer|
|4||Masochistic||5-2||Drayden Van Dyke||Bob Baffert|
|5||Americanize||2-1||Rafael Bejarano||Simon Callaghan|
|6||Solid Wager||10-1||Victor Espinoza||Peter Miller|
|7||Tough Sunday||8-1||Tyler Baze||Steven Miyadi|
|8||Calculator||4-1||Javier Castellano||Peter Miller|
|9||Smokey Image||12-1||Gary Stevens||Carla Gaines|
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