Shakin It Up, a winner of the Grade I, seven furlong Malibu Stakes and
the Grade II, 1 1/6 miles Strub Stakes Jan. 18, and Sahara Sky, winner
of last year’s San Carlos and of the Grade I Metropolitan Handicap at
Belmont Park, head a competitive field of 10 sprinters in Saturday’s
Grade II, $250,000 San Carlos Stakes at seven furlongs.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Shakin It Up validated his 17-1 Malibu score
with an emphatic 2 ¼ length win in the Strub, his second start off a
lengthy freshening and his seventh overall engagement. With Game On
Dude set to defend his title in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap later
in the day, Baffert has opted to shorten Shakin It Up back to a distance
that has produced two wins, a second and a third from four tries.
A 4-year-old colt by Midnight Lute, Shaking It Up is owned by Dennis
Cardoza and Mike Pegram and was bred in Kentucky by Pegram. Idle
following a disappointing run in the Grade III Sunland Derby from March
24 to the Dec. 26 Malibu, Shakin It Up appears to be hitting on all
cylinders and has worked four times since the Strub, his most recent
drill a five furlong move in 59.80 on March 3.
While Shakin It Up will break from the outside post 10, Jerry
Hollendorfer’s Sahara Sky drew the rail. In addition to last year’s San
Carlos, Sahara Sky won the Grade II, six furlong Palos Verdes Stakes,
was a hard luck second in the Grade I, seven furlong Carter Handicap at
Aqueduct April 6, and he was a valiant nose winner of the one-turn mile
Metropolitan two starts back on May 27.
Well fancied on the comeback in the Palos Verdes Feb. 2, the 6-year-old
horse by Pleasant Tap was never a factor, finishing fifth, beaten 3 ½
lengths by Wild Dude, who will also suit up in the San Carlos.
Owned by Kim Lloyd and Hollendorfer, Sahara Sky drilled a half mile in
48.80 one week after the Palos Verdes and has had a total of four drills
leading into the San Carlos—indicating that he’s ready to return to his
form of 2013. He has two wins, two seconds and a third from five tries
at seven furlongs and is 17-7-3-4 overall with earnings of $890,680.
The Hollendorfer owned and trained Wild Dude broke from the rail in the
Palos Verdes and was content to sit next-to-last early with Rafael
Bejarano behind torrid splits of 21.80, 44.20 and 55.80. In his first
stakes try, he flew home to tag Breeders’ Cup Sprint champ Secret Circle
by a neck in a rapid 1:08 flat—earning a career best 104 Beyer Speed
Off at 8-1 in the five-horse Palos Verdes, Wild Dude came off a pair of
allowance wins and the 4-year-old Florida-bred colt by Wildcat Heir is
after his fourth consecutive win on Saturday. Co-owned by Green Smith,
Wild Dude is 8-4-2-1 with earnings of $265,220.
Pennsylvania-bred Zeewat represents Hollendorfer’s third entrant in the
San Carlos. He comes off a head win at 4-5 in the six furlong Lost In
The Fog Stakes Feb. 17 at Golden Gate Fields and was a non-threatening
fourth two starts back in the Strub Stakes. Owned by Hollendorfer and
George Todaro, he’ll be ridden for the first time by Corey Nakatani. He
is 14-7-0-2 overall, with earnings of $361,450.
A winner of three of his last five starts, California-bred Big Macher
comes off the biggest win of his career in the six furlong Donald
Valpredo California Cup Sprint Jan. 25. Trained by Richard Baltas, the
4-year-old Beau Genius gelding was purchased out of a maiden $20,000
claimer July 17 at Del Mar. He broke his maiden three starts later for a
$40,000 tag and will try graded stakes competition for the first time
in the San Carlos.
Owned by Tachycardia Stables and Tom Mansor, Big Macher is 8-3-1-2
overall and will be ridden for the first time by Florida-based Luis
Owner, trainer and breeder Bruce Headley will be represented by the
hard hitting California-bred Cyclometer, who bobbled at the break and
finished fifth, beaten three lengths as the 3-2 favorite in the Cal Cup
A winner of the six furlong Midnight Lute Stakes two starts back on
Jan. 4, Cyclometer is 18-5-5-3 overall with earnings of $332,754.
Trainer Craig Lewis’ Clubhouse Ride could well have needed his most
recent race and the 6-year-old horse by Candy Ride will try to become a
millionaire by running first, second, third, fourth or fifth. Mike
Mitchell’s Ready for More was fifth as the 2-1 favorite in the 6 ½
furlong Clockers’ Corner Jan. 26 and will test graded stakes waters for
the first time.
Trainer Carla Gaines’ Midnight Transfer shortens up from a second place
run in a one mile classified allowance Feb. 7, and was fourth to
Cyclometer as the even money favorite in the Midnight Lute Stakes Jan.
4. Trainer Bill Spawr’s Let’s Get Crackin has run three seconds
in-a-row in allowance company and shortens up from a second place finish
going a mile on Feb. 1.
complete field for the San Carlos Stakes, to be run as the seventh race
on an 11-race program Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post
position order: Sahara Sky, Joel Rosario, 120; Clubhouse Ride, Tyler
Baze, 120; Zeewat, Corey Nakatani, 118; Big Macher, Luis Saez, 118;
Cyclometer, Joe Talamo, 118; Wild Dude, Rafael Bejarano, 123; Ready for
More, Martin Garcia, 118; Let’s Get Crackin, Agapito Delgadillo, 118;
Midnight Transfer, Victor Espinoza, 118, and Shakin It Up, Mike Smith,