Santa Anita Park - A scintillating gate to wire minor stakes winner going a flat mile here on March 31, Bob Baffert's Dr. Dorr seeks his third win in a row and his first graded stakes victory as he heads a field of six 3-year-olds and up in Saturday's Grade II, $200,000 Californian Stakes, to be run at a mile and one eighth over Santa Anita's main track. Originally run in 1954 at Hollywood Park, the 65th Californian will once again serve as the final major steppingstone to the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita on May 26.
Dr. Dorr's primary opposition could come from trainer Michael McCarthy's The Lieutenant, who was second to the doc on March 31, trainer Jim Cassidy's Prince of Arabia, who transitioned back to the main track and was an impressive second condition allowance winner on March 23, and trainer Leonard Powell's iconic Soi Phet, who's in top form at the age of 10.
||Full of Luck (CHI)
||Drayden Van Dyke
||Prince of Arabia
Owner: Natalie J. Baffert
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Bred in-part by Bob Baffert, this 5-year-old gelding by Lookin At Lucky comes off a four length win in the ungraded Santana Mile and has earned career-best 99 Beyer Speed figures in his last two races, both in combination with Joe Talamo, who rides back on Saturday.
With the Santana Mile his first ever attempt at two turns, look for Talamo to again utilize Dr. Dorr's considerable speed as he stretches out a furlong and potentially eyes the Gold Cup on May 26.
Owner: Benowitz Family Trust, Powell, Mathilde and Paul Viskovich
Trainer: Leonard Powell
With a bold late rally, this 10-year-old California-bred gelding by Tizbud was second, beaten three quarters of a length by Prince of Arabia in a second condition allowance March 23 and appears set for another big effort in what will be his 57th career start. Claimed for $16,000 nearly five years ago on May 23, 2013 at Hollywood Park, Soi Phet, under Powell's deft guidance, has won 12 out of his 40 starts since the purchase-seven of them in combination with Kent Desormeaux, who last rode him two starts back on Sept. 9 at Los Alamitos, the result a half length win in a one mile minor stakes.
With an impressive overall mark of 56-13-7-6, he has earnings of $891,250, and would thus surpass the $1 million plateau should he win on Saturday.
Owner: Mr. and Mrs William K. Warren
Trainer: Michael McCarthy
Second, beaten four lengths by Dr. Dorr in the Santana Mile, The Lieutenant was well beaten in both the Grade III Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park Feb. 19 and the Grade II San Pasqual here on Feb. 3. Off at 7-2 in the Santana Mile, The Lieutenant ran gamely for the place and with Drayden Van Dyke back aboard, he'll have to hope Dr. Dorr gets some early pace pressure.
PRINCE OF ARABIA
Owner: D P Racing
Trainer: Jim Cassidy
Ridden for the first time by Stewart Elliott, this 5-year-old full horse by Mineshaft snapped a four game losing streak on turf when he rallied powerfully from off the pace at 1 1/16 miles to take a second condition allowance by three quarters of a length on March 23. "The race set up pretty good for him," said Cassidy. "They went three quarters (of a mile) in 11 and change and that's what he needs. This horse wants to go a mile and a quarter. Yeah, we'll look at the Gold Cup." With Elliott back aboard, Prince of Arabia will again hope to have a fast pace to exploit.