Only five three-year-old colts and geldings will line up on Sunday in the $200,000 San Vicente Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park, and all but one are newly graduate maiden winners.
That one is Blabimir, who didn’t do so well when exiting a 1 1/4-length maiden score on December 9 to try stakes rivals in the Sham Stakes (G3) on January 7. The Doug O’Neill pupil bobbled at the start and ended up being eased out of the one-mile test over a sloppy, sealed surface. He’ll try to rebound here on a fast track while cutting back to seven furlongs with Mario Gutierrez returning to the saddle
Two will be fighting for favoritism in the San Vicente – Battle of Midway and Iliad. The former is 7-5 on the morning line under Mike Smith while the latter is 9-5 with Rafael Bejarano taking the mount.
Battle of Midway captured his maiden debut last out on January 21 by 3 1/4 lengths to earn a 91 BRIS Speed rating. The Smart Strike colt is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. Iliad is now a stablemate of Blabimir after taking two tries to earn his first victory while under the tutelage of Bob Baffert. His maiden score came by 3 1/2 lengths at Los Alamitos on December 18.
Aquamarine made his racing bow on January 13 at Santa Anita Park, scoring by 1 3/4 lengths under Stewart Elliott, which saw the Gemologist chestnut awarded a 95 BRIS Speed rating; only Iliad’s 96 Speed figure is better in this field. Baffert has once again tabbed Elliott to ride.
Law Abidin Citizen completes the San Vicente field after breaking his maiden by 5 1/4 lengths on January 29 in his fifth try. The Mark Glatt charge is the only runner in the group who is not nominated to the Triple Crown and gets Jamie Theriot back in the irons.
One race following the San Vicente, nine sophomore fillies will go 6 1/2 furlongs on Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course. Included in the field are last-out Blue Norther Stakes winner Miss Sugars and Irish Group 3 vixen Madam Dancealot.