Instagrand returning to stakes in Santa Anita's San Pasqual

Edited News Release
January 26, 2020 04:58pm

Some of the Southern California circuit’s most prominent older dirt runners worked Sunday at Santa Anita Park ahead of the Grade 2, $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes.

OXO Equine’s Instagrand drilled six furlongs out of the gate Saturday in 1:16.60 as he preps for Saturday’s San Pasqual, which goes 1 1/8 miles.

“I know the time is slow, but to be honest, the track was pretty slow (Saturday),” former Jerry Hollendorfer assistant Don Chatlos, who has been Instagrand’s trainer of record for his last two starts, told Santa Anita’s publicity team. “When the track is slow like this, my exercise riders know it and there’s no point in trying to make something happen with the time… He galloped out good and he got out of it what he needed to.”

Instagrand, a 4-year-old son of Into Mischief, has run twice the last two months in allowance optional claiming company. He finished fifth Dec. 1 at Del Mar going 6½ furlongs, then third at Santa Anita on New Year’s Day going one mile.

Those two starts followed a layoff of nearly seven months. Instagrand’s looking to regain the form he showed as a 2-year-old in August 2018, when he demolished Del Mar's Best Pal Stakes (G2) by 10¼ lengths.

“His first race with me at Del Mar (Dec. 1), you can throw it out,” Chatlos said. “He had shipped in from New York and was pulling early, very anxious and he just stopped. 

“His next race here on Jan. 1, (trainer Bob) Baffert sent a horse (Justinian) and really made him run early, with no breather. He got a little tired and got beat a length and a half, but hopefully he’s rounding into form now.”

Speaking of Baffert, he worked another San Pasqual hopeful Sunday in 4-year-old Roadster. That Quality Road colt went six furlongs in 1:12.60 and is a “definite” for Saturday’s San Pasqual, per Santa Anita.

Jockey Joel Rosario has the mount Saturday on Roadster, who was most recently second Dec. 28 to Omaha Beach in Santa Anita’s Malibu Stakes (G1).

Roadster enters the San Pasqual looking for his first triumph since winning the 2019 Santa Anita Derby (G1) last April. The Speedway Stables runner has yet to find the winner’s circle in five starts since, including a 15
th-place effort in May’s Kentucky Derby.

Hronis Racing’s Gift Box, winner of last year’s Santa Anita Handicap (G1), worked five furlongs Sunday in 1:01.80. John Sadler trains the son of Twirling Candy.

Gift Box enters his 7-year-old season off a victory Dec. 28 in Santa Anita’s San Antonio Stakes (G2) and is nominated for the San Pasqual.

2020 San Pasqual Stakes (G2)


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