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Santa Anita Park - Headed by Jerry Hollendorfer's Shivermetimbers, Saturday's Grade III, $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes has attracted a field of nine Derby hopefuls at a mile and one sixteenth, with the winner to receive 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points.
Named for one of the most popular owners in California Thoroughbred racing history, the Lewis serves as a traditional prep to the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby at a mile and one eighth on April 7.
In a field devoid of a stakes winner, Shivermetimbers is the logical favorite, as he's been idle since breaking his maiden going a flat mile on Nov. 23 at Del Mar, a race in which he earned a Lewis-best last-out Beyer Speed figure of 90.
Second, beaten a head by Shivermetimbers Nov. 23, the Richard Mandella-conditioned Peace came back to break his maiden at a mile and one sixteenth here on Dec. 30 and he'll try to turn the tables on the top selection as they both make their fourth career starts on Saturday.
Race 5 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:34 PM
|1||Ayacara (GB)||8-1||Kent Desormeaux||J. Desormeaux|
|2||Pepe Tono||6-1||Evin Roman||Victor Garcia|
|3||Dark Vader||10-1||Stewart Elliott||Peter Eurton|
|4||Lombo||5-1||Flavien Prat||Michael Pender|
|5||Shivermetimbers||7-2||Rafael Bejarano||Jerry Hollendorfer|
|6||Inscom||6-1||Tyler Baze||Simon Callaghan|
|7||Peace||3-1||Mike Smith||Richard Mandella|
|8||Regulate||8-1||Joseph Talamo||Bob Baffert|
|9||Blame the Rider||15-1||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill|
A $170,000 Keeneland September yearling in 2016, he should benefit from the freshening he's been given following his maiden score Nov. 23. A Kentucky-bred colt by Shanghai Bobby, he was a close third in his debut going 6 ½ furlongs here Oct. 9 and went on to run third behind top Derby prospect McKinzie in a seven furlong maiden heat Oct. 28.
With "Big Money" Mike Smith apparently opting to stay with Peace, Shivermetimbers will be ridden for the first time by Rafael Bejarano.
Owner: Mark DeDomenico and West Point Thoroughbreds
Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer
Oddly named, inasmuch as he's by the red-hot Kentucky stallion Violence, Peace fetched $280,000 at a Florida 2-year-old in training sale in May and is obviously highly regarded by his connections. Second to Bob Baffert's stakes winning Mourinho first time out on Sept. 30, he came back to run second by a head to "Shiver" on Nov. 23 and followed that up by breaking his maiden in game fashion by a head at the Lewis distance Dec. 30.
Proven at two turns and on the improve, he gets a big vote of confidence from Smith, who appeared to have had his choice of mounts between the top two Lewis contenders.
Owner: Spendthrift Farm, LLC and Town and Country Racing, LLC
Trainer: Richard Mandella
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