Baffert to saddle rare turf runner in Santa Anita's Zuma Beach Stakes

Baffert to saddle rare turf runner in Santa Anita's Zuma Beach Stakes
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

In what appears to be a completely wide-open contest, Monday’s $100,000 Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita has attracted a field of eight juveniles, with Bob Baffert’s Much Better, Jeff Bonde’s King of Speed, Jerry Hollendorfer’s More Ice, Doug O’Neill’s Takeo Squared and Jack Sisterson’s Ship of the Line all meriting serious consideration.



Owner: Three Chimneys Farm                                            

Trainer: Bob Baffert

An easy 3 ¼-length first-out maiden winner going 6 ½ furlongs on Del Mar’s main track Sept. 1, this $600,000 Keeneland November yearling by Pioneerof the Nile could be poised to take his competition gate to wire on Monday in his first try on grass and around two turns. Off as the 4-5 favorite in his debut, he retains the services of Drayden Van Dyke.



Owner: Del Secco DCS, Inc.                                

Trainer: Jeff Bonde

Having hit the board in all three of his one-mile turf starts, King of Speed, who contrary to his name, is best suited as a deep closer, comes off a big rallying win in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf Stakes on Sept. 2 and will hope to be flying late again in the Zuma Beach under regular rider Gary Stevens. Well-seasoned with an overall mark of 5-1-1-1, he’s the leading money earner in the field with $85,980.



Owner: Hollendorfer, LLC, Kenwood Racing, LLC and Richard Robertson

Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer

A sharp 1 ½-length maiden winner at a mile on turf Sept. 2, this $52,000 Ocala 2-year-old in Training Sale purchase by More Than Ready will hope to stalk the early pace and outrun his completion down the lane. 



Owner: EC Racing, LLC,, Lyle Egan and Steve Rothblum                                 

Trainer: Doug O’Neill

The lone California-bred in the field, this chestnut gelding by Square Eddie was bred by Rothblum and EC Racing.  Third, beaten 1 ¼ lengths by King of Speed in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf, he gave a good account of himself despite significant trouble in the race. A one-mile turf maiden winner two starts back on Aug. 16, he’ll try the trip for the third consecutive time.



Owner: Calumet Farm                      

Trainer: Jack Sisterson

Based in Kentucky and a one-mile turf maiden winner in his second start on Sept. 2 at Ellis Park, this Calumet homebred took his maiden in gate to wire fashion over 11 rivals and figures to employ similar tactics here at Santa Anita. Conditioned by a former longtime assistant to Doug O’Neill, he’ll be ridden for the third consecutive time by Adam Beschizza.



Race 8 of 10. Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT.

  1. Rijeka—Geovanni Franco—118
  2. Ship of the Line—Adam Beschizza—118
  3. Much Better—Drayden Van Dyke—118
  4. Spin Lightning—Flavien Prat—118
  5. King of Speed—Gary Stevens—122
  6. Takeo Squared—Rafael Bejarano—118
  7. Honcho—Tyler Baze—118
  8. More Ice—Assael Espinoza—118

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