2021 San Gabriel Stakes at Santa Anita Park

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Santa Anita Park Press Release
Updated: December 31, 2020

Count Again, fresh off the biggest win of his career in what was his first start for Phil D'Amato, will try to employ similar tactics under Juan Hernandez as he heads a field of seven older horses going a mile and one eighth on turf in the Grade II, $200,000 San Gabriel Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, January 2.

2021 San Gabriel Stakes Field & Odds

Race 7 at Santa Anita on Saturday, January 2 - Post 6:35 PM

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Cleopatra's Strike 15-1 Kent Desormeaux
120 Lbs
Robert Hess, Jr.
2 Next Shares 4-1 Jose Valdivia, Jr.
120 Lbs
Richard Baltas
3 Bob and Jackie 4-1 Heriberto Figueroa
120 Lbs
Richard Baltas
4 Multiplier 12-1 Abel Cedillo
120 Lbs
Peter Miller
5 Count Again 2-1 Juan Hernandez
124 Lbs
Philip D'Amato
6 Anothertwistafate 5-2 Joel Rosario
122 Lbs
Peter Miller
7 Bowies Hero 6-1 Flavien Prat
120 Lbs
Philip D'Amato

A 6-year-old gelding by Awesome Again, Count Again is one of five horses exiting the Grade II Seabiscuit Stakes, which was run at a mile and one sixteenth over the Del Mar turf on Nov. 28.

Previously headquartered in Toronto at Woodbine Racecourse, Count Again took a Grade III turf stakes there three starts back at a mile and one quarter and should relish the added sixteenth of mile on Saturday. With four wins from eight starts, Count Again earned a career best 100 Beyer Speed figure in the Seabiscuit.

Peter Miller's Anothertwistafate, fourth as the 2-1 favorite with Joel Rosario in the Seabiscuit, will try to turn the tables on Count Again in what will be his second turf try. A lightly raced 5-year-old colt by Scat Daddy, he won the Grade III Longacres Mile in his first start of 2020 on Sept 10.

With Rosario riding him back in the San Gabriel, he'll be seeking his fifth win from 10 career starts.

Richard Baltas will be represented by a pair of horses coming off solid third place finishes, Bob and Jackie, who was third going a mile on turf in the Grade III City of Hope Mile here Oct. 3, and the venerable Next Shares, who rallied to be third in the Seabiscuit at odds of 20-1.

Off the board in just two of eight starts, Bob and Jackie sat a close second early in the City of Hope and finished third, beaten three lengths while earning a career best 100 Beyer with Heriberto Figueroa, who has guided him to four wins from eight overall starts. A three-time minor stakes winner, this 5-year-old horse by Twirling Candy will seek his first graded win on Saturday.

Next Shares, an 8-year-old gelding by Archarcharch, rallied to be beaten 1 ½ lengths by Count Again in the Seabiscuit and must be respected as a late threat. A winner of the 2019 San Gabriel, Next Shares is the leading money earner in the field with $1,833,071 from an overall mark of 36-7-5-4.

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HESS, DESORMEAUX TEAM UP IN SAN GABRIEL

Bob Hess Jr. is cautiously optimistic he can have success first time off a claim with Cleopatra's Strike in Saturday's Grade II San Gabriel Stakes for four-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Haltered for $62,500 last out on Nov. 13, the eight-year-old Canadian-bred gelding was second by a nose in last year's San Gabriel and won the Grade II John Henry Turf Classic last September when trained by Phil D'Amato.

"The horse has been training beautifully, and it looks like he's always trained very well," Hess said. "I've watched past videos and I think whoever has had him, he's done really well for them.

"He's doing really great and we're happy to have Kent on him."

That would be Kent Desormeaux, the three-time Kentucky Derby winner and Hall of Fame member who turns 51 on Feb. 27. Among Desormeaux's most remarkable records is 598 races won in 1989, a record that still stands.

Hess and Desormeaux have enjoyed remarkable success together through the years, which they hope will resume in the New Year.

Kent is recently back from a three-month absence during which he participated in rehabilitation program to overcome substance abuse at a facility in Pasadena.

"I think the time is now for Kent," Hess said. "I think he's going out there with a positive attitude.

"As for the horse, obviously it's a leap up but we're quietly confident."

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