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Breeders Cup 2015

Mensa Heat Ready for San Carlos

Like most scions of Unusual Heat, Mensa Heat pays his way. The durable 6-year-old gelded son of the 22-year-old stallion who stands for $20,000 at Harris Farms in Coalinga, California, is approaching a half-million dollars in earnings, thanks mainly to nine wins, seven seconds and three thirds from 42 career starts.


Ted H. West expects Mensa Heat to add to that bankroll come Saturday, when he faces Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Amazombie among others in the Grade II, $200,000 San Carlos Stakes at seven furlongs.


Mensa Heat was third last out, beaten six lengths by runaway winner Frumious in the Palos Verdes Stakes on Jan. 21. Prior to that, he won the On Trust Handicap at Hollywood Park on Dec. 18 after an uncharacteristic seventh by nearly 15 lengths in the California Cup Sprint last Oct. 29.


“His last race was a pretty uphill battle,” West said. “It was so speed-favoring with the rain we got and we were dead last at the three-eighths pole. I thought he ran great. He passed as many horses as he could.


“We claimed him last April for $25,000, so we’ve only had him less than a year. He’s improving, but the only bad race he ran for us was in the Cal Cup, and he had ulcers.


“We did all the tests on him a week before the race and he seemed fine, then he came back, we scoped his stomach and he was just chock-full of ulcers, to the point where they were almost bleeding. We got him on medication and they cleared up.


“That’s why I thought he’d really run good last time. We gave him time off and he won the On Trust, then got a track he didn’t like last time, but I thought he’d be ready to show his real potential in the Palos Verdes. The track kind of limited that, so hopefully on Saturday he’ll be able to show even more improvement.”


On paper, if he runs, The Factor is the speed of the San Carlos, but West is optimistic. “They’ll be going pretty hot early,” West allowed, “but we’ll see. Maybe he’ll set it up for a good late run for us.”


Mensa Heat worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday in 1:11.20 with Joe Talamo aboard. Mensa Heat is owned by Peter Redekop of British Columbia, Canada.


Probable for San Carlos: Amazombie, Mike Smith; Canonize, Victor Espinoza; Mensa Heat, Talamo; Rothko, Joel Rosario; Sway Away, Rafael Bejarano; and The Factor, Martin Garcia.


Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Amazombie schooled at the gate Monday morning, trainer Bill Spawr said.


Rothko, runner-up to The Factor in the Malibu, worked four furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Monday in 50.40 for Steve Asmussen. Private clocker Toby Turrell said Rothko “looked really good. They could have given him a ‘breeze.’ He went the last quarter in 25 flat.”


San Fernando Stakes winner Tapizar also worked for Asmussen, going five furlongs in 1:02.40. “He could have been given a ‘breeze,’ too,” Turrell said. “He looked very healthy.”



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