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Breeders Cup 2015
Royal Ascot 2017

Turf Warrior Jeranimo Headlines San Gabriel

Jeranimo, An 8-year-old warrior who banked $293,964 in 2013, heads a field of 11 older horses in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Gabriel Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf—a race the son of Congaree has won twice, in 2010 and in 2013.

Trained by Mike Pender and owned by B.J. Wright and Robert LaPenta, Jeranimo closed much ground when seventh, beaten 3 ½ lengths, in his most recent start, the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside course on Nov. 2.

His most recent win came four starts back, in the Grade I Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar July 20, when ridden by Rafael Bejarano, with whom he will be reunited for the first time since on Saturday.

A full horse, Jeranimo has displayed varying running styles in the San Gabriel over the years, rallying from mid-pack to win in 2010, pressing the pace while running second in 2012, and rallying from far back to win last year.

With two wins from seven starts last year, Jeranimo now has a lifetime record of 38-10-6-5, with earnings of $1,401,364.

English-bred Slim Shadey, a 6-year-old gelding, also figures prominently in Saturday’s San Gabriel.  Winless in his past five starts, including a front-running attempt in his most recent, the Grade II, 1 ¼ miles John Henry Turf Championship on Sept. 29, Slim Shadey’s last win came in gate to wire fashion in last year’s Grade II, 1 ¼ miles turf San Marcos Stakes on Feb. 9—his lone win from seven starts in 2013.

Trained by Simon Callaghan, Slim Shadey, by Val Royal, is owned by his breeder Phil Cunningham.  “Slim” will be ridden for the first time by Corey Nakatani on Saturday and has five wins and four seconds from 31 starts.  He has $623,064 in earnings.

Trainer Mark Tsagalakis’ lightly raced Dubai You X Y Z comes off a sharp allowance score going one mile on turf at Hollywood Park Dec. 6, and while he’s never won a stakes race, he won his only other career try at a mile and one eighth on turf (March 10, 2011) and appears to be in top form at age seven.

Owned by M T Racing Stable, LLC, Dubai You X Y Z figures to press the pace under regular rider Brice Blanc.  A gem of consistency, the son of E Dubai has six wins, two seconds and one third from 10 starts.  He was sixth, beaten three lengths by Jeranimo, in his only other graded stakes attempt, the Grade I Shoemaker Mile on June 30, 2012.

Although winless from eight tries in graded company, Fire With Fire appears to be a solid fit.  A 6-year-old gelding by Distorted Humor, he comes off a third place finish in the Grade III, 1 1/16 miles Berkeley Handicap on synthetic Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields Nov. 29.

Owned by David Heerensperger, Fire With Fire comes off a productive 2013, going 10-2-3-2, with earnings of $165,200.  Overall, he’s 27-4-7-5, with earnings of $347,644.

Utopian, a 7-year-old horse by Rock Hard Ten, started only once last year, but has plenty of back class.  A winner of the Grade III, 1 1/8 miles turf Inglewood Handicap on April 27, 2012, the John Shirreffs trainee was a close second, beaten a head by Slim Shadey, in that year’s Grade II Marcos Stakes Feb. 11.

Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss, Utopian has a win and a second at a mile and one eighth on turf.  He’s 13-3-2-1 overall, with earnings of $213,430.

Irish-bred Willconker, yet another 7-year-old (gelding), comes off a rousing 4 ½ length $40,000 claiming win going 1 1/8 miles on turf Dec. 6, and could be dangerous right back.

The complete field for the San Gabriel Stakes, to be run as Saturday’s eighth race, with jockeys and weights in post position order:  Slim Shadey, Corey Nakatani, 120; Te Rapa, Kayla Stra, 118; Artic North, Joe Talamo, 118; Dubai You X Y Z, Brice Blanc, 118; Fire With Fire, Martin Garcia, 118; Utopian, Jose Valdivia, Jr., 118; Empty Headed, Alonso Quinonez, 118; Black Spirit, Tyler Baze, 118; Jeranimo, Rafael Bejarano, 123; Huntsville, Mike Smith, 118, and Willyconker, Victor Espinoza, 118.



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