, a consistent and versatile son of City Zip, is on course for next Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes, an important steppingstone to the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 8.
The 5-year-old horse owned by Jeff Bloom of Oceanside and trained by Ron Ellis was a solid second, though beaten six lengths, in the Grade III Berkeley Handicap on Golden Gate’s Tapeta surface at 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 29.
“He ran OK; the horse in front of him (Summer Hit) kind of freaked,” Ellis said. “He’s a nice horse anyway. He has six wins out of eight starts on that track.”
But back to Majestic City. One start before the Berkeley he won the ungraded Big Bear Stakes at one mile over Santa Anita’s traditional main track surface. Prior to that, he had sprinted five straight times, once on grass and four times on synthetic.
“I’ve wanted to stretch him out for a while, since we first ran him in the Big Bear, where he ran really well,” Ellis said. “He was really game in that effort.”
Probable for the San Pasqual: Blingo, Victor Espinoza; Blueskiesnrainbows, Martin Pedroza; Drill, Mike Smith; Majestic City, no rider; Majestic Harbor, no rider; and Rousing Sermon, Rafael Bejarano.
Not to be confused with the afore-mentioned “Majestic,” Majestic Harbor worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday in 1:12.60. “He worked well,” trainer Sean McCarthy said of the 6-year-old Rockport Harbor horse. “We’re still looking for a rider, but we’re likely to run.
“The horse is owned by a partnership that’s partially here in California and partially in Kentucky, but he was brought back here because the weather this time of year is so good. There’s a chance we could run him on the turf here, but he does well on the dirt, too.”
Drill, winless in 10 starts—all stakes—since capturing the Grade III Laz Barrera Memorial at Hollywood in May of 2012, worked six furlongs for Bob Baffert in 1:13.20.