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Slim Shadey Back on Favorite Course

Multiple stakes winners Slim Shadey and Jeranimo 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 years.

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 Southern California.

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.



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