By virtue of recent company kept, Argentine-bred Suggestive Boy rates
a big chance in Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 Arcadia Stakes for older
horses at one mile on turf.
After hopping at the break, the Ron McAnally trainee sat second
early and ended up seventh, beaten 5 ¾ lengths, by eventual Horse of the
Year Wise Dan in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup (turf) Mile on Nov. 3.
Prior to that, he was a well beaten fifth behind Game On Dude going 1
1/8 miles in the Grade I Awesome Again on Sept. 29, and earned a career
best 103 Beyer Speed figure when running fifth, beaten five lengths, by
Dullahan in the Grade I Pacific Classic on Aug. 26.
A four-time Group I winner in Argentina, Suggestive Boy was
second beaten 1 ¼ lengths in his U.S. debut, the Grade I Shoemaker
(turf) Mile on June 30 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
A 5-year-old, Suggestive Boy has five consecutive turf drills on
his tab for his return and will be reunited with Joe Talamo, who guided
him to victory in the restricted Wickerr Stakes at Del Mar on July 25.
Owned by Pozo de Luna Inc., Suggestive Boy brings a 11-5-2-0
mark and $407,370 in earnings into the Arcadia. A victory would give
Hall of Famer McAnally, 80, his second lifetime win in the prestigious
Speaking of company kept, European wunderkind, Frankel, appears
twice in the running lines of Arkansas-bred Strong Suit, who is a
multiple Group winner in England and who will be making his U.S. debut
in the Arcadia.
Strong Suit finished fourth as the 3-2 favorite in a Group II
Stakes at Doncaster, England in his most recent start on Sept. 15. The
5-year-old by Rahy has shown good speed in a number of turf sprints and
is winless from three tries at one mile on turf.
Now in the care of trainer Simon Callaghan, Strong Suit will be
ridden in the Arcadia by top English-based jockey Jamie Spencer. Owned
by Qatar Racing Ltd., he brings a record of 15-5-2-2 and earnings of
Any hypothetical early pace battle would have to include Jerry
Hollendorfer’s speedy Chosen Miracle, who showed the way going a mile
and one eighth in the Grade II San Gabriel Stakes on Jan. 13, finishing
third, beaten 3 ¼ lengths by multiple stakes-winning Jeranimo.
Second in the Grade III Eddie D Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs down
Santa Anita’s hillside turf course on Sept. 28, the 5-year-old
Florida-bred by Ghostzapper will attempt a mile for the first time in
Owned by Abruzzo or Carver, he has earnings of $175,744 from an
overall mark of 11-4-3-2. Tyler Baze will ride for the first time on
A winner of the Grade II American Handicap at one mile on turf
May 26, Wilkinson has just one start since, a close fifth-place finish
in the Grade III Daytona Stakes going 6 ½ furlongs on a wet fast main
Trained by Jeff Mullins, the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of
Lemon Drop Kid is 2-1-0-1 at a mile on turf and should benefit
stretching out with a race under his belt. Martin Pedroza will ride for
the third consecutive time and it’s expected that Wilkinson will be
attentive to the early Arcadia pace.
Owned by E.K. Gaylord II, Wilkinson has an overall record of 19-5-3-3 and earnings of $338,994.
A winner of last year’s Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf),
Irish-bred Willyconker has been the beaten favorite in his last two
races, both turf allowance affairs at 1 1/16 miles and one mile,
Trained by Doug O’Neill, 6-year-old gelding Willyconker will get
a new rider in Kevin Krigger on Saturday. A winner of the Kilroe from
slightly off the pace under Joel Rosario, Willyconker has also run very
well on the lead and has an outstanding 11-5-3-1 mark at one mile on
Owned by Gardner or Kenney or Vielle and partners, Willyconker has an overall mark of 24-7-4-3 and earnings of $384,300.
Like Strong Suit, Irish-bred Vagabond Shoes is a multiple Group
Stakes winner in Europe and will be making his U.S. debut in the
A 6-year-old gelding by Beat Hollow, his most recent start
resulted in a third-place finish in a Group II Stakes in Germany on Aug.
30. With a 12-4-1-1 record at one mile on turf, he has been attentive
to the pace in most all of his middle distance starts.
Now in the care of trainer John Sadler, Vagabond Shoes is owned
by Hronis Racing LLC, and he’ll be ridden by Julien Leparoux. His
overall mark is 20-6-2-3, with earnings of $233,347.
Upstart Klisz, a perfect three for three, comes off a solid
allowance win going a mile on grass at Santa Anita on Jan. 5 and rates
an upset chance with Mike Smith up. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding
by Smarty Jones, Klisz is trained by Michael Ann Ewing and is owned by
Marczak and Saccone.
The Arcadia Stakes, which will be run as Saturday’s ninth race,
with jockeys and weights in post position order: Klisz, Mike Smith,
118; Forest Mouse, Edwin Maldonado, 118; Vagabond Shoes, Julien
Leparoux, 118; Tribal Tribute, Gary Stevens, 118; Sebastian Flyte,
Agapito Delgadillo, 118; Akkadian, Garrett Gomez, 118; Silentio, Rafael
Bejarano, 123; Willyconker, Kevin Krigger, 120; Key Decision, Victor
Espinoza, 118; Clubhouse Ride, Aaron Gryder, 118; Wilkinson, Martin
Pedroza, 120; Chosen Miracle, Tyler Baze, 118; Suggestive Boy, Joe
Talamo, 118, and Strong Suit, Jamie Spencer, 118.