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Obviously Looks Strong in Arroyo Seco

Irish-bred Obviously, a game, nose winner of the Grade II Del Mar Mile Handicap Aug. 26, could likely go favored in Saturday’s Grade II Arroyo Seco (turf) Mile (formerly run as the Oak Tree Mile) as he seeks his third consecutive victory.

He heads a five-horse field on Saturday that will serve as a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Mile Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.

Trained by Mike Mitchell and owned by Fanticola and Scardino, Obviously opened up early and prevailed in gate to wire fashion on Aug. 26, and employed a similar style in winning a classified allowance at one mile on turf Aug. 2. A perfect 2-2 at one mile on grass, Obviously, who made his U.S. debut for Mitchell on March 22, has an overall record of 10-5-3-1, with earnings of $270,361.

Mr. Commons, a 4-year-old turf specialist by Artie Schiller, may’ve run his best race of the year in the Del Mar Mile, missing by a nose at the hands of Obviously.

Although he had a look of invincibility following his win at Santa Anita in the Grade II Sir Beaufort on Dec. 26, Mr. Commons seemed to lack his quick and effective turn of foot in four subsequent starts—until his nose defeat at odds of 7-2 on Aug. 26.

If he gets a fast pace to run at on Saturday, the John Shirreffs trainee could be flying late under Brice Blanc, who took over in his most recent start. Bred in Kentucky and owned by St. George’s Farm Racing, Mr. Commons has been favored in seven of his 15 lifetime starts. He has earnings of $711,660 from an overall record of 15-5-5-1.

Midnight Interlude, a winner of last year’s Grade I Santa Anita Derby, adds depth to the Arroyo Seco field and will hope to get a stalking trip on Saturday. Owned and bred by Arnold Zetcher and trained by Bob Baffert, the 4-year-old War Chant colt is winless from two starts this year and was most recently sixth and last in the Sept. 1 Harry F. Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar going one mile on synthetic Polytrack.

Midnight Interlude is 5-1-1-0 on turf, with an overall mark of 12-3-2-1. His career bankroll is $766,232.

CRK Stable’s Kettle Korn, second, beaten a neck in the Brubaker, will try turf for the second time in the Arroyo Seco. A winner of the Grade III Native Diver Stakes last December, the John Sadler trainee is looking for his first win of the year Saturday. The 5-year-old son of Candy Ride has a 17-6-3-4 record and $321,511 in career earnings.

Japanese-bred Trailblazer, with $2,912,376 in career earnings, will make his U.S. debut in Arroyo Seco in what will be his 21st start. Idle since May 27 in Tokyo, he is better suited to marathon turf distances and would appear to be prepping for the Breeders Cup Turf at 1 ½ miles. Owned by Koji Maeda and trained by Yasutoshi Ikee, Trailblazer will get the services of legendary Japanese jockey Yutaka Take.

The complete field for the Arroyo Seco Mile, which will be run as the third race, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Mr. Commons, Brice Blanc, 121; Trailblazer, Yutaka Take, 121; Obviously, Joe Talamo, 124; Kettle Korn, Garrett Gomez, 119, and Midnight Interlude, Martin Garcia, 119.



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