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Obviously Stands Out in City of Hope Mile

Irish-bred Obviously will seek his fourth consecutive front-running victory in Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 City of Hope Mile (turf) as he looms a short-priced standout among a field of nine as he casts an eye to the Grade I, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (turf) at Santa Anita Nov. 2.

Trained by Mike Mitchell and ridden in his last 10 starts by Joe Talamo, Obviously comes off a facile half length win over He Be Fire N Ice in the Grade II Del Mar Mile Handicap Aug. 25 and has three wins and a second from four starts this year.

A winner of the race a year ago when it was called the Arroyo Seco Mile, Obviously has six wins from seven starts at one mile and he is 5-2-2-1 over the Santa Anita turf.

Owned by Anthony Fanticola or Joseph Scardino, Obviously showed the way until midstretch in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile, finishing third, beaten two lengths, by eventual Horse of the Year Wise Dan.  Obviously is 16-9-4-2 overall with earnings of $968,361.

Trained by John Sadler, California-bred He Be Fire N Ice is at the top of his game and finished gamely from off the pace when second to Obviously at Del Mar.  A hard-knocking 5-year-old horse by Unusual Heat, He Be Fire N Ice will again be ridden by Victor Espinoza, who has won with him on four occasions.

Owned by Cicero Farms LLC He Be Fire N Ice has earnings of $302,330, with an overall mark of 13-5-2-1.

Sadler will also send out Hronis Racing’s Barocci, a Japanese-bred 5-year-old who was a sharp third to Obviously three starts back in the Grade II American Handicap (mile turf) May 25 at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Idle since running fifth, beaten 3 ¾ lengths, in the Grade I Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar July 20, Barocci will be ridden for the first time by Corey Nakatani and figures to get a stalking trip.

Should a pressured, fast early pace develop, the Simon Callaghan-trained No Jet Lag, a bona-fide deep closer to be ridden for the first time by Mike Smith, could benefit.

The complete field for the Grade II City of Hope Mile (run last year as the Arroyo Seco Mile), to be run as the fourth race on a 10-race card, with jockeys and weights in post position order:  Huntsville, Chantal Kruse Sutherland, 119; Starspangled Heat, Saul Arias, 119; Willyconker, Rafael Bejarano, 119; No Jet Lag, Mike Smith, 116; Obviously, Joe Talamo, 124; He Be Fire N Ice, Victor Espinoza, 119; Barocci, Corey Nakatani, 119; Endorsement, Edwin Maldonado, 119, and Polytechnicien, Gary Stevens, 119.

 

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