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Santa Anita: San Marcos Coming Up Strong

The Usual Q. T. take the Oak Tree Derby on BC day 2009

The Usual Q.T., one of Unusual Heat’s wealthiest and most successful progeny and one of a rash of California-bred Thoroughbreds to gain national prominence recently, hopes to add to his millionaire status Saturday when he runs in the Grade II, $150,000 San Marcos Stakes for older horses at 1 ¼ miles on turf.

 

Second to then-stablemate Evening Jewel in last year’s California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Horse of the Year voting for horses bred in the Golden State, The Usual Q.T. was third in the Grade II San Gabriel Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf on Jan. 16. It was the first race in nearly eight months for the 6-year-old gelding, and trainer Jim Cassidy had to employ a less-than-ideal training schedule to make the race.

 

But it’s business as usual for the San Marcos. The Usual Q.T. worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Friday in 1:15.60 under regular rider Victor Espinoza.

 

“His schedule was a bit advanced to make the San Gabriel,” Cassidy said, “and we’ve had more time to prepare for this race. Not only that, I think the mile and a quarter will be easier on him . . . and he’s doing well. Victor was very happy with his work on Friday.”

 

The Usual Q.T. is a multiple Grade I winner and has earned $1,531,240 thanks to eight wins, six seconds and five thirds from 23 career starts. He is owned by Don Van Kempen of Carlsbad, Michael Nentwig of Fremont, and George Saadeh and Jeffrey Byer, both of San Diego.

 

Among the recent California-breds to be saluted nationally are Acclamation and Amazombie, who received recognition last month by earning Eclipse Awards as outstanding Older Male and Outstanding Male Sprinter, respectively.

 

Acclamation and Amazombie are also CTBA finalists for Cal-bred Horse of the Year honors in 2011. The winner will be announced at the organization’s annual dinner Monday in Pasadena.

 

Probable for the San Marcos: Bourbon Bay, Rafael Bejarano; Norvsky, Joe Talamo; Sanagas, Joel Rosario; Slim Shadey, David Flores; The Usual Q.T., Victor Espinoza; and Worth Repeating, Martin Pedroza.

 

 

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