Unraced since an eighth in the Preakness, Govenor Charlie will return to the races in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Strub at Santa Anita. Trainer Bob Baffert has another top contender for the 1 1/16-mile event in Shakin It Up, who exits an upset victory in the Grade 1 Malibu on December 26.
Govenor Charlie stamped himself as a serious Kentucky Derby prospect when posting a five-length score in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby last March, winning in track-record time in only his third career start, but he was forced to miss the first leg of the Triple Crown after a foot bruise interrupted his training schedule in April. Baffert re-routed the Midnight Lute colt to the Preakness, and Govenor Charlie took some betting action as the 9-1 third choice in the nine-horse field, but he never got involved in the action and struggled home a well-beaten eighth.
Out of Silverbulletway, a daughter of dual champion and $3 million earner Silverbulletday, Govenor Charlie comes back from a 245-day hiatus in the Strub. However, his Hall of Fame conditioner is winning at a 27 percent rate following extended layoffs and Baffert brought back Shakin It Up from a similar vacation to capture the opening-day Malibu.
Shakin It Up finished a close third when making his stakes debut in the 2012 Hollywood Prevue and opened his three-year-old season with an encouraging win in the Grade 2 San Vicente. But the son of Midnight Lute made only one more appearance, finishing fourth behind Govenor Charlie in the Sunland Derby, before heading to the sidelines until late December. Overlooked at 17-1, Shakin It up closed boldly to score by a half-length and registered a 101 BRIS Speed rating, the top last-race figure in the Strub field.
Martin Garcia will retain the mount on Govenor Charlie and Mike Smith picks up the assignment on Shakin It Up.
2014 Strub Stakes Information
Date: Saturday, January 18
Where: Santa Anita Racetrack
Distance: 1 1/16 Mile Dirt (8.5 furlongs)
Field and odds for the 2014 G2 $200,000 Strub Stakes
|1||Dice Flavor||123||Valdivia, Jr. Jose||Gallagher Patrick|
|2||Rookie Sensation||123||Espinoza Victor||Shirreffs John A.|
|3||Shakin It Up||118||Smith Mike E.||Baffert Bob|
|4||Zeewat||118||Bejarano Rafael||Hollendorfer Jerry|
|5||Govenor Charlie||118||Garcia Martin||Baffert Bob|
|6||Hear The Ghost||120||Nakatani Corey S.||Hollendorfer Jerry|
|7||Heir Of Storm||118||Talamo Joseph||Miller Peter|
|8||Say Ow||118||Baze Tyler||O’Neill Doug F.|
2014 Strub Stakes Day Information
Date: Saturday, January 18
Where: Santa Anita Racetrack in Los Angeles, California
Post Time: 3:30pm ET/12:30pm PT
Santa Anita horse racing wagering may include: Win, Place, Show, Quinella, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, Daily Double, Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5 and Pick 6.
The Strub Stakes continues its storied history with the running on Saturday, January 18. Previous runnings of the Strub Stakes have been won by the Who’s Who of horse racing: Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, Alysheba, Snow Chief, Best Pal, and Silver Charm. Watch the best four-year-olds in the country compete in one of Southern California’s premier stakes races!
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