Higher Power not Sadler's only new Breeders' Cup hopeful

August 20, 2019 11:55am
Higher Power not Sadler's only new Breeders' Cup hopeful
Photo: Benoit

Following the Pacific Classic (G1), Santa Anita Park’s Grade 1, $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes that runs Sept. 28 is shaping up as a marquee prep on the way to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. 

The 1-2 Pacific Classic finishers, Higher Power and Draft Pick, are expected to appear. But also consider that it could mark a meeting between Whitney (G1) winner McKinzie and Omaha Beach, the come-backing 3-year-old winner of the Arkansas Derby (G1).

John Sadler, who trains
Higher Power, has two more horses under consideration for the 1 1/8-mile race.

In an interview on
Steve Byk’s “At the Races” radio show, Sadler said Gift Box, the Big ‘Cap (G1) winner who missed time this summer, is back to the track and “going to be a factor” this fall. 

“He’s had a couple of setbacks in his training, but it’s stuff that’s all fixable,” Sadler said. “We’ll just get him back together and look at the big races also.”

Gift Box was a private purchase for Hronis Racing, Sadler’s top client. The 6-year-old by Twirling Candy also went on to be second in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) and made a fourth in Churchill Downs’ Stephen Foster (G2) his most-recent start.

Sadler’s other name to know for the Classic division is
Fawree, a 5-year-old Candy Ride gelding who started his career in Dubai. Fawree transitioned to run mainly on synthetic surfaces at Golden Gate Fields and was running in claiming races before sent to Sadler.

Fawree is 3-for-3 in his new barn, including a seven-length romp in Saturday’s Del Mar allowance optional claiming opener. That effort followed a six-length win July 6 at Los Alamitos in starter optional claiming company.

“He won like a beast, came down here and trained very well over this track,” Sadler told Byk. “I wasn’t surprised.”

He, too, could go in the Awesome Again, a “Win and You’re In” race toward the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Sadler’s local trio of handicap horses will later be under consideration for the new Saudi Cup, he said. The new nine-furlong race was recently announced in Saratoga to attract U.S. connections with a $20 million purse and Feb. 29 race dat at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh.

Meanwhile, congestion in the Classic division -- which Sadler won last season with Accelerate -- has led multiple graded stakes winner Catalina Cruiser to cut back after taking Del Mar's San Diego Handicap (G2). He'll lead Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Pat O'Brien, a "Win and You're In" toward the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

2019 Pat O'Brien Handicap (G2)


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