Game On Dude will try to rebound from a
loss in the Breeders' Cup Classic in the San Antonio Stakes Saturday
at Santa Anita. Sound familiar? It should.
If the Bob Baffert-trained gelding
finds the winner's circle Saturday afternoon in Arcadia, it will mark
his third consecutive triumph in the San Antonio, a traditional prep
for the Santa Anita Derby (which he's also won twice). The son of
Awesome Again sports an impressive worktab since his second-place
finish in the Clark Handicap last November, and he will face a field of six other older horses this weekend.
Game On Dude's primary competition may
challenge him from the moment the gates are sprung.
Blueskiesnrainbows comes in after two wins in a row, both in
wire-to-wire fashion. The winner of both the Native Diver and San
Pasqual also ran second in the Breeders' Cup Marathon, and we'll see
just how good he is when he knocks heads with the Dude, arguably
California's top handicap horse.
There appears to be a significant gap
between those two and the rest of the field. Neither of the 6-1
co-third choices, Blingo or Majestic Harbor, have ever won a graded
stakes race, and the other three entrants are 10-1 or higher on the
However, the other graded stakes for
older horses Saturday is MUCH more wide-open. The Grade 2 San Marcos
will be contested at 1 ¼ miles on turf, and it boasts a talented
field of 13 headlined by Jeranimo. The 8-year-old loves Santa Anita,
and most recently captured his third San Gabriel Stakes victory in
typical last-to-first fashion.
Jeranimo is the 7/2 morning line
favorite, but 9/2 second choice Vagabond Shoes also figures to take
plenty of action. Last seen running fifth in the Breeders' Cup Turf,
the John Sadler trainee won last year's Del Mar Handicap and ran
second in both the Eddie Read and John Henry Turf Championship
Stakes. Five other horses are single-digit odds on the morning line,
driving home the fact that this may be the most wide-open contest
Southern California racing has seen to this point in the year.
The San Antonio and San Marcos are on
the undercard of a day headlined by the Robert B. Lewis Stakes for
3-year-olds. Post time for the San Antonio is 2:30 p.m. Pacific,
while the gigantic San Marcos field goes to the starting gate at