Freshened since a disappointing effort on Feb. 10, trainer Mark Glatt’s Blackjackcat heads a field of nine 3-year-olds and up in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 American Stakes at one mile over the Santa Anita turf.
Phil D’Amato’s Kenjisstorm and Richard Baltas’ Free Rose, one-two finishers in a one mile turf allowance here on March 29, would appear to be Blackjackcat’s primary opposition in a race that traces back to 1938, when it was won by Bing Crosby’s Ligaroti, who was ridden by Noel “Spec” Richardson at Hollywood Park.
Owner: Al and Sandee Kirkwood
Trainer: Mark Glatt
A bona fide star on the rise this past fall, this 5-year-old Tale of the Cat gelding had won four consecutive races when third, beaten 1 ¼ lengths in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar on Nov. 4, a race in which he closed much ground. The even money favorite in his seasonal debut going a mile on turf in the Grade III Thunder Road Stakes Feb. 10, he simply did not fire when fifth, beaten five lengths, an effort that left both Glatt and jockey Kent Desormeaux at a loss for words. With six works to his credit since, including a bullet half mile in 47.60 (best of 69) on April 1, it would appear this Kirkwood homebred is ready to roll as he seeks his fifth win from eight career starts at one mile on turf.
Owner: Head of Plains Partners, LLC, KM Racing Enterprise, Inc. and J. Carillo
Trainer: Phil D’Amato
Well suited at a mile on turf, this 6-year-old full horse by Stormy Atlantic pressed the early pace and drew off impressively to take a one mile turf classified allowance here on March 29 under Flavien Prat, who has won twice in three tries with him and is back aboard on Saturday. With three of his five career wins (from 29 starts) coming at a mile on turf, look for Prat to employ similar tactics in the American.
Owner: Abbondanza Racing, LLC and Premier Racing Club Trainer: Richard Baltas
Well beaten two starts back in the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf) on March 10, this 5-year-old gelding by Munnings showed the way for a half mile before finishing second behind Kenjisstorm here on March 29. With his best effort a close fourth place finish in the Grade I Shoemaker Mile (turf) five starts back on June 3, 2017, Free Rose has back class to draw upon as he seeks his third graded stakes win in what will be his 19th career start.
THE GRADE III AMERICAN STAKES WITH JOCKEYS AND WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 8 of 11 Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT
1. Fabozzi—Tyler Conner—122
2. What a View—Stewart Elliott—122
3. Colonist—Drayden Van Dyke—122
4. Ritzy A. P.—Geovanni Franco—122
5. Blackjackcat—Kent Desormeaux—124
6. Sawyer’s Hill—Martin Garcia—122
7. Free Rose—Joe Talamo—122
8. Mr. Roary—Alonso Quinonez—122
9. Kenjisstorm—Flavien Prat—122