Multiple stakes winners Slim Shadey
would appear to rate
top billing in Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Gabriel Stakes as they
loom prominent in a field of seven older horses at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
A winner of the Grade II John Henry Turf Championship at Santa
Anita on Sept. 30, the 5-year-old English-bred gelding by Val Royal
tired when trying to go gate to wire in the Grade II Hollywood Turf Cup
on Dec. 15, finishing fourth, beaten 4 ¼ lengths.
Following his win in the John Henry, he was taken off the pace
in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf at 1 ½ miles and ran evenly, beaten 5 ½
lengths while eighth in a 12-horse field.
In winning the John Henry, Slim Shadey was allowed to bound well
clear of the field and won easily by 2 ¼ lengths. Trained by Simon
Callaghan, he’ll be reunited with Garrett Gomez on Sunday and will
likely have to contend with the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Chosen
Miracle on the front end.
“He likes this turf course,” said Callaghan. “He always seems
to run a good race here. He’s won on the lead but he can track. If one
(horse) wants to go quick, we’ll just stalk, and if we find ourself on
the lead, it’s no problem either.”
Although he’s winless in two tries at the distance, Slim Shadey
is three for six over the Santa Anita grass. Owned and bred by Phil
Cunningham, he has banked $523,600 from an overall record of 24-4-4-0.
Hollendorfer’s Chosen Miracle could be the “Now” horse in
Sunday’s San Gabriel. A proven front-running sprinter, he stretched out
to a mile and a sixteenth on Dec. 8, taking a classified allowance race
at 1 1/16 miles over a “good” turf in gate to wire fashion.
A 5-year-old son of Ghostzapper, Chosen Miracle is 5-2-2-0 on
turf, but will be testing uncharted and deeper waters at 1 1/8 miles.
Second in the Grade III Eddie D Stakes going 6 ½ furlongs down the
hillside turf course on Sept. 28, Chosen Miracle seeks his first stakes
win on Sunday.
Owned by Abruzzo or Carver, Chosen Miracle has an overall mark
of 10-4-3-1, with earnings of $157,744. Joe Talamo, who has won twice
with him, rides back.
B.J. Wright’s Jeranimo, a winner of the Grade I Shoemaker Mile
(turf) on June 30, is the leading money earner in the San Gabriel field
and faced some of the nation’s toughest turf runners for the past two
Two starts back he was a non-threatening sixth, beaten 4 ½
lengths by Horse of the Year candidate Wise Dan in the Grade I Breeders’
Cup Mile (turf).
A winner of the San Gabriel in December, 2010 and second in the
race a year ago, the 7-year-old by Congaree comes off a fourth-place
finish in the Grade II Citation Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 23.
Blessed with an adaptable style that has enabled him to win
graded stakes from both on and off the pace, Jeranimo will likely be
sitting off a fast early pace set by Chosen Miracle.
Trained by Mike Pender, Jeranimo will be ridden by Rafael
Bejarano, who was aboard for the 2010 San Gabriel win and who has not
ridden him since April 24, 2011. Jeranimo has earnings of $1,107,400
from a record of 31-8-6-5.
Tale of a Champion, idle since pressing the pace and running
sixth, beaten five lengths in the Nov. 23 Citation, is a stakes winner
going five furlongs on turf on July 7 at Calder has been competitive in
his last three races; the Citation, the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf
Sprint and the Grade III Eddie D Stakes, but is winless in four tries in
Comebacking Hall of Famer Gary Stevens will try to apply the
magic touch for trainer Kristen Mulhall and Kretz Racing LLC. The
5-year-old son of Tale of the Cat has a 9-4-0-0 mark, with all of his
wins coming on turf. He has earnings of $104,740.
The complete field for the San Gabriel, to be run as the eighth
on a nine-race card Sunday, with jockeys and weights in post position
order: Temple’s Door, Tyler Baze, 118; Tale of a Champion, Gary
Stevens, 118; Juniper Pass, Julien Leparoux, 118; Slim Shadey, Garrett
Gomez, 123; Fast Track, Martin Garcia, 118; Chosen Miracle, Joe Talamo,
118, and Jeranimo, Rafael Bejarano, 120.