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OffTrackBetting.com - The G2 San Antonio Stakes comes our way this Tuesday, December 26 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Horses three years old and upward will take to Santa Anita's dirt track and race 1 1/16 miles for the winner's share of the $300,000 purse.
A field of six will give it a go in the San Antonio Stakes - race 3 on Santa Anita's stacked Saturday schedule. Post time is 1:00 PM. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all six combatants for this competitive G2 stakes.
Classy Bob Baffert trained colt has been pretty darn good so far in his 12-race career - eight wins and two second-place finishes. He enters off a respectable second behind the terrific Gun Runner with a career-best 111 BRIS Speed Rating on the biggest stage - the Breeders' Cup Classic which followed a nice four-race win streak - over Arrogate in the G1 Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar August 19, over Accelerate in the G3 Precisionist Stakes by an incredible 14 lengths here June 24, by 3 3/4 lengths as favorite in the G2 Californian Stakes with a lofty 104 Beyer Speed Figure April 22 and another 3 3/4 length win in the minor Santana Mile Stakes at Santa Anita April 1. They followed nearly 11 months away, a tenth in the 2016 G1 Preakness Stakes and another two-race win streak - the G3 Lexington Stakes April 16, 2016 and the minor Sunland Park Festival of Racing Stakes last March. He also won the G3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita in January, 2016. Collected has won five of his last seven starts overall (all stakes), with a second last time out, has won all five career starts at Santa Anita (four of five graded stakes tries this year) and hopes to keep a nice roll gong from the outside gate 6. Mike Smith has the mount.
Defending two-time champion in this race - Bob Baffert trainee was one of the favorites for the 2014 Kentucky Derby but missed that race. He also won the 2016 G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes at Belmont Park October 8, the 2015 San Pasqual Stakes and the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 28, 2014. He enters off an OK third in the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 24 which followed a second in the minor Comma to the Top Stakes here October 28 and seven months away. Before that was his win in this race in February and consecutive fourths - the 2016 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 25 and the Breeders' Cup Classic. In 2015 he recorded three straight runner-up finishes - the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs, the G2 Haygard Fayette Stakes at Keeneland and the G1 Awesome Again Stakes in September. Hoppertunity now has seven wins, seven seconds and five third place finishes in 28 starts overall, has finished no worse than fourth in 18 graded tries and has hit the board in three of his last four overall. He tries to snap a three-race losing streak from the rail Tuesday with Flavien Prat aboard.
Defending third-place finisher - John Sadler trained colt has four wins, three seconds and five third-place finishes in 14 career starts. He arrives off a disappointing ninth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar November 3 after an OK third behind Collected in the G1Pacific Classic Stakes there August 19 and a career- best outing - an 8 1/2 length gate-to-wire win over Arrogate among others in the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar July 22. Before that was a third behind Collected in the G3 Precisionist Stakes at Santa Anita June 24, a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming May 5, a third in the 2016 San Antonio Stakes February 4, a second in the competitive G2 San Pasqual Stakes January 1 and a respectable third in the 2016 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. He also had a nice three race win streak in 2016 - the G2 Los Alamitos Derby September 24 (his graded stakes debut), the minor Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar and a maiden score by a terrific 8 3/4 lengths at on this track. Accelerate had placed in 11 straight races before last time out and will be after a strong bounce back Tuesday from post 5. Javier Castellano rides.
James Cassidy trained colt has four wins and two second-place finishes in his 12 career starts. He arrives off a career-best 2 1/2 length win at 7-1 odds in the G3 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar November 25 which followed a respectable second in the G2 John Henry Turf Championship here October 1 and consecutive fourths including the G2 Del Mar Handicap August 19. He failed to place in his previous two graded stakes starts as well including a seventh in the G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita. Prime Attraction has been trending upward ahead of this weekend and hopes to make it two straight wins. Victor Espinoza gets the call from gate 4.
Peter Eurton trained colt has placed in seven of 12 career starts - three wins, three seconds and a third-place finish. He made his stakes debut three starts back and posted the impressive upset win in the G2 Pat O'Brien Stakes here August 26 and followed that with a somewhat disappointing fifth in the G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship October 7 and a sixth last time out in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar November 3. Before those results were a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming there July 19 and two straight wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming at Belmont Park June 8 and a MSW on that track May 29. Giant Expectations has not been great in his last two starts and is winless in five two-turn tries but hopes to channel his win from three starts back when he leaves from post 3 with Gary Stevens guiding him.
Has 13 career starts for trainer Vladimir Cerin with four wins, a second and a third-place finish. He made his graded stakes debut last time out and finished fourth behind Prime Attraction in the G3 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar November 25 after three straight good wins on this track - the minor Comma to the Top Stakes by 4 1/4 lengths over Hoppertunity among others October 28 and two Allowance Optional Claiming races last winter. Top of the Game has been OK lately, is unbeaten in four starts on this track and shoots for a first graded stakes score in his second try - from gate 2 with Kent Desormeaux aboard.
Race 3 on Santa Anita's Tuesday card with a Post Time of 4:04 PM
|1||Hoppertunity||5-1||Flavien Prat||Bob Baffert|
|2||Top of the Game||6-1||Kent Desormeaux||Vladimir Cerin|
|3||Giant Expectations||15-1||Gary Stevens||Peter Eurton|
|4||Prime Attraction||6-1||Victor Espinoza||James Cassidy|
|5||Accelerate||5-1||Javier Castellano||John Sadler|
|6||Collected||3-5||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert|
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