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Santa Anita: Rail Trip on Outside Looking in

Jose Valdivia Jr. has little concern that Rail Trip goes from inside to outside in Saturday’s Grade I Awesome Again Stakes. The 7-year-old gelding broke from the No. 1 post when finishing fourth in the Pacific Classic, but drew nine of nine in the Awesome Again, one of five Grade I, “Win and You’re In” Challenge Races on Santa Anita’s festive 11-race program tomorrow.

“I would imagine we should be sitting in a good spot,” said Valdivia, who has been reunited with Rail Trip in his last four races, winning the Grade II San Diego Handicap on July 28. “We also drew on the outside in that race and won. He’s very kind to rate, so he should have a nice stalking trip.”

Rail Trip is in receipt of five pounds from 3-5 morning line favorite Game On Dude in the Awesome Again, 124 to 119. Each carried 124 when Game On Dude finished second and Rail Trip fourth to Dullahan in the Pacific Classic.

“I don’t think it’s a whole lot of difference,” Valdivia said. “You still have to run around the track. I don’t think it matters that much, but I’m definitely looking forward to the race. He seems like he’s improving every time and his works have been superb, especially on what I thought was a little bit of a slow track at Hollywood (59 3/5 on Sept. 24).”

“He should get a good trip,” said Ron Ellis, who trains Rail Trip for the Jay Em Ess Stable. “Post position doesn’t make that much difference for him. He always rates well and sits in a good spot, so I don’t worry about post position too much. He should be sitting third or fourth.

“He worked awesome the other day (Sept. 24). It was by far his best work since he’s been back. Fifty-nine and three is a pretty darn good work and he did it all on his own, so I’m happy the way he’s coming up to the race.”

The field for the Awesome Again: Game On Dude, Rafael Bejarano, 3-5; Winning Machine, Javier Matias, 20-1; Nonios, Martin Pedroza, 12-1; Groovin’ Solo, David Flores,30-1; Suggestive Boy, Joe Talamo, 5-1; Empire Way, Brice Blanc, 30-1; Richard’s Kid, Garrett Gomez, 9-2; Balladry, Victor Espinoza, 20-1; and Rail Trip, Jose Valdivia Jr., 6-1.



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