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OffTrackBetting.com - The G2 San Antonio Stakes goes down this Saturday, February 4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Horses four years old and upward will line up on Santa Anita's dirt track and race 1 1/8 miles searching for the winner's share of the $300,000 purse.
A field of eight older entries have been confirmed for the San Antonio Stakes - race 8 on Santa Anita's busy Saturday card. Post time is 4:00 PM. Let's take a glance into the past performances of all eight combatants for this G2 stakes.
Hoppertunity - defending champion in this race - Bob Baffert trainee was one of the favorites for the 2014 Kentucky Derby but missed that race. He won the 2015 San Pasqual Stakes and the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 28, 2014. He enters off consecutive fourths - the G1 Clark Handicap last time out at Churchill Downs November 25 and the Breeders' Cup Classic. Thos results followed a terrific win in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes at Belmont Park October 8 and two more fourths - the G1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 20 and the G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 25. Last year he also had a respectable third place finish behind California Chrome and Mubtaahij in the $10 million Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan March 24, a good win in the G2 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita and an OK third behind California Chrome in the G2 San Pasqual Stakes. He ended 2015 with three straight runner-up finishes -Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs, the G2 Haygard Fayette Stakes at Keeneland and the G1 Awesome Again Stakes in September. Hoppertunity has six wins, six seconds and four third place finishes in 24 starts overall, has finished no worse than fourth in 16 graded tries but has failed to hit the board in four of his last five overall. John Velazquez has been tabbed with righting the ship from the rail. Flavien Prat rides.
Mor Spirit - Bob Baffert trained Ringling has nine career starts with three wins and four second place finishes. He was last seen finishing fourth in the G1 Malibu Stakes here December 26 which followed a tenth in the Kentucky Derby. Before that were consecutive second place finishes - as favorite behind Exaggerator in the G1 Santa Anita Derby April 9 and in the G2 San Felipe Stakes on this track March 12 and terrific wins in the G3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes February 6 and in the G1 Los Alamitos Futurity with a 96 Beyer Speed Figure December 19, 2015. He's also posted a respectable second in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs November 28, 2015 and a maiden score by an eye-opening 4 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita October 23 of that year. Mor Spirit had been a threat in every race before his last two starts, has two wins and two seconds in four starts at this distance and will be out to avenge a couple of uncharacteristic results from post 5 with Mike Smith in the irons.
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Accelerate - impressive John Sadler trained colt has three wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in eight career starts. He arrives in decent form - a second last time out in the competitive G2 San Pasqual Stakes here January 1 followed a respectable third in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and a nice three race win streak - in the G2 Los Alamitos Derby September 24 (his graded stakes debut), the minor Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar August 26 and a maiden score by a terrific 8 3/4 lengths on that track July 28. The wins followed a third, a fourth and a second, which came behind the stellar Arrogate, respectively in MSW races to start his career. Accelerate looks to keep a nice roll going Saturday from post 7 Saturday with Tyler Baze guiding him.
Dalmore - has three wins, four seconds and a third place finish in 15 career starts for trainer Keith Desormeaux. He has been decent lately - a third last time out behind Accelerate in the G3 San Pasqual Stakes here January 1 followed a fourth in the minor Zia Park Derby November 23, a respectable second in the G3 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs September 10, a fifth in the G1 Pacific Classic in August and two straight wins - the best being a terrific score in the G3 Affirmed Stakes with an impressive 103 Beyer Speed Figure on this track in July. Dalmore has placed in four of his last six starts overall ahead of this weekend and will be out to snap a four race losing streak from gate 6. Kent Desormeaux has been tabbed to ride.
Prospect Park - has three wins, six seconds and two third place finishes in 15 career starts for trainer Clifford Sise. He was very good in the summer of 2015 - consecutive seconds in the G3 Affirmed Stakes and G2 Los Alamitos Derby were followed by a nice win in the G3 La Jolla Handicap in August, 2015 and a third in the G2 Del Mar Derby. He has just four starts since - a fourth last time out in the G2 San Pasqual Stakes here January 1 followed a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming December 1, a fifth in the minor Damascus Stakes November 4, nine months away from the track and a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming in February. Prospect Park has certainly shown form in the past and will be out to snap a five race losing streak dating back to August/2015 when he leaves from post 3 with Norberto Arroyo in the irons.
Hard Aces - John Sadler trainee won the 2015 G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita in upset fashion and hadn't posted another win until five starts back when he won the G3 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar July 24. He followed that with a dud - an eighth, 25 lengths back in the G1 Pacific Classic August 20 but has been OK since. Last time out was a third in the G3 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar November 27 after a second in the G2 Marathon Stakes here November 4 and a fourth in the G1 Awesome Again Stakes on this track in October. He also had a third in the 2016 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 25, a respectable second in the G2 Californian Stakes May 22, a disappointing seventh in the G2 Charles Town Classic April 23 and a decent second with an impressive 101 Beyer Speed Figure in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap March 12. Hard Aces now has seven wins, six seconds and nine third place finishes in 37 career starts and has placed in five of his last seven starts overall. He tries to snap a four race losing streak and for his third win in 20 months from the outside gate 8 with Santiago Gonzales in the reins.
El Huerfano - Peter Miller trained gelding has 22 career starts with four wins, two seconds and four third place finishes - his best results were a win in the minor Golden Bear Stakes at Sacramento in July, 2015 and a third in the minor Robert Dupret Derby in August, 2015. He arrives off a second and a third respectively in a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races - the last coming on this track January 6. Before that was a fourth in the minor Big Bear Stakes here in November, a ninth in the G2 John Henry Turf Championship on this track in October and another fourth in the G2 Del Mar Handicap at August 20. El Huerfano has been just OK lately and will need a special effort to contend Saturday. Victor Espinoza has the mount from gate 4.
Avanti Bello - has 21 career starts for trainer Doug O'Neill with five wins, three seconds and six third place finishes. He makes his graded stakes debut Saturday off a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming here January 6, a fifth in the minor Winter Challenge Stakes at Los Alamitos December 17 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track in October. He placed in three previous starts including a third in the minor EB Johnston Stakes in September and another third in the minor Harry F. Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar in August. Avanti Bello steps up in so-so form and will have Mario Gutierrez aboard from gate 2.
Race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 7:00 PM.
|1||Hoppertunity||2-1||Flavien Prat||Bob Baffert|
|2||Avanti Bello||12-1||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill|
|3||Prospect Park||10-1||Norberto Arroyo, Jr.||Clifford Sise, Jr.|
|4||El Huerfano||12-1||Victor Espinoza||Peter Miller|
|5||Mor Spirit||3-1||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert|
|6||Dalmore||8-1||Kent Desormeaux||J. Desormeaux|
|7||Accelerate||5-2||Tyler Baze||John Sadler|
|8||Hard Aces||6-1||Santiago Gonzalez||John Sadler|
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