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A romping 3 ¼ length winner of the Grade II San Vicente Stakes here 13 months ago, Kanthaka was considered a Derby hopeful and would go on to win the Grade III, seven furlong Lazaro Barrera Stakes on May 12, after which he went to the sidelines prior to resurfacing with an eighth-place finish in the Grade I Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26.
Most recently second to two-time Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Roy H in the Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes at six furlongs Jan. 19, Kanthaka will hope to improve with a recent race under his belt.
Brilliant on occasion, Hal and Patti Earnhardt's homebred Ax Man comes off a sizzling seven furlong allowance score here Feb. 8 and he'll be seeking his first graded stakes score in the San Carlos.
Race 6 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:58 PM
|2||Ax Man||5-2||Drayden Van Dyke
|3||Touching Rainbows||6-1||Tiago Pereira
|4||St. Joe Bay||5-1||Victor Espinoza
|6||Dr. Dorr||7-2||Tyler Baze
|7||Solid Wager||5-1||Martin Pedroza
A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Jimmy Creed, Kanthaka posted a career-best 101 Beyer Speed figure in finishing second in the Palos Verdes and could well be sitting on a big effort Saturday.
Even though Kanthaka has won going seven furlongs from the rail before, capturing the Grade II San Vicente Stakes last February, if Jerry Hollendorfer had his druthers, he'd prefer not to be in post position one for Saturday's Grade II San Carlos Stakes at seven furlongs.
But if there's one thing the Hall of Fame trainer has coped with in his storied career is how to roll with the punches, and in a game short on ups and long on downs, he looks at the glass as half full for Kanthaka, who is owned by West Point Thoroughbreds.
"Ideally, I don't think trainers like to draw inside, but I don't think it will hurt this horse," Hollendorfer said of the four-year-old son of Jimmy Creed, who is three for four at the distance, all at Santa Anita.
With regular rider Flavien Prat in Dubai, Rafael Bejarano, who was aboard for his maiden win seven starts back on Dec. 26, 2017, will take over on Saturday.
Owner: West Point Thoroughbreds | Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer
A winner of four out of his eight starts, seven of which he's been favored in, Ax Man has been brilliant on occasion but has also left some of his critics feeling that he may be a horse who needs to have things his way in order to perform at the top level.With Drayden Van Dyke back at the controls, Ax Man, a 4-year-old gelding by Misremembered, out of the Flying Chevron mare Shameful, will likely blast away from the San Carlos blocks in an attempt to shake loose around the far turn.
Owner: Hal & Patti Earnhardt III | Trainer: Bob Baffert
Touching Rainbows, a six-year-old California-bred gelding that won California Cup Sprint on Jan. 26, faces open company in the San Carlos.
"He's been sitting on go for a while," D'Amato said of the son of the Irish-bred stallion Aragorn. "We've been pointing for this race. He was ready three weeks ago and hopefully he'll be ready Saturday."
Owner: KM Racing Enterprise, Inc | Trainer: Phil D'Amato
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