A field of six accomplished horses was entered Wednesday morning for Saturday’s $200,000 Grade II San Diego Handicap.
Trainer Bob Baffert has the powerful 1-2 punch of 2012 Belmont Stakes
runner-up and Haskell Invitational winner Paynter and recent Mervyn
LeRoy Stakes winner Liaison primed to go.
Paynter, to be ridden by Rafael Bejarano, drew post position No. 3. Liaison will break from the No. 4 spot under Martin Garcia.
Trainer Craig Lewis ‘ Clubhouse Ride, winner of the Californian in
June at Hollywood Park, drew outside post position No. 6 and will be
ridden by Joe Talamo. It will be only the second assignment of his last
six that Clubhouse Ride, a 5-year-old son of Candy Ride, won’t be facing
Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup winner Game On Dude.
Swaps Stakes winner Chief Havoc, trained by Peter Miller, drew the
No. 5 post and will be ridden by Edwin Maldonado. The 3-year-old son
of Giants Causeway will be facing older horses for the second time in
Dan Hendricks-trained Batti Man drew post position No. 2 and will be ridden by Brice Blanc.
Hollywood Gold Cup runner-up Kettle Corn, already entered in Friday’s
$100,000 Cougar II Handicap, drew the No. 1 post with jockey Victor
Espinoza to ride. Trainer John Sadler will decide between the two races.
Bejarano would ride Kettle Corn, breaking from the No. 5 post, if the
Cougar II is the option.
Nominated for the San Diego but headed for the Cougar II are two-time
Pacific Classic winner Richard’s Kid and Jerry Hollendorfer-trained