A Handful of Graded Stakes Races on Tap at Santa Anita
Five graded events will be contested at the Great Race Place over the holiday weekend, including Sunday’s $150,000 San Vicente S. (G2) for three-year-old prospects. Unbeaten Grade 3 hero Premier Pegasus could be the one to beat in here for Kwon Myung Cho. The son of Fusaichi Pegasus is kin to Grade 1 hero Street Hero and is beginning to live up to that one’s stature with three fine tallies. The Kentucky-bred will be tough if he handles the dirt.
Most impressive maiden winner The Factor is one of a pair likely for Bob Baffert. The son of War Front exited a troubled trip in his debut to cruise home a highly rated winner last out in his dirt bow. Norfolk S. (G1) champ Jaycito will be making his first try under the care of Baffert and will hope to kick off his sophomore campaign in good style. San Pedro one-two, Indian Winter and City Cool, flashy debut winner Runflatout and Best Pal S. (G2) runner-up Sway Away, add to the depth of this fine event.
The top three finishers of the recent Palos Verdes S. (G2) could show up in Saturday’s $150,000 San Carlos H. (G2). Palos Verdes romper Euroears lead at every call in his West Coast debut for Baffert and has been training rapidly since. The son of Langfuhr will likely try to wire this field beneath Mike Smith.
Grade 1 victor Smiling Tiger was never a factor in third last time but is clearly better than that and could easily turn the tables with his best. Captain Cherokee, runner-up in the Palos Verdes, the Steve Asmussen-trained Kensei and one-run closer Stacy’s Hope, are also probable.
The Saturday co-feature is the $150,000 San Luis Obispo H. (G2) at 1 ½ miles on the turf. Defending champ and top marathoner Bourbon Bay will be the one to beat off the strength of his recent San Marcos (G2) victory. Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) runner-up Champ Pegasus, Hollywood Derby (G1) winner Hamish Hy and the Mike Mitchell-trained Where’s the Remote, add to the quality of this cast.
Monday’s highlights are the $150,000 Buena Vista H. (G2) and the $100,000 La Habra S. (G3