February 24, 2021

King Guillermo meets four in San Pasqual

King Guillermo wins the Tampa Bay Derby
King Guillermo wins the Tampa Bay Derby (SV Photography)

San Pasqual S. (G2) – Race 5 (5:30 p.m. ET)

Grade 2 winner King Guillermo has shipped west to contest Saturday’s $200,000 San Pasqual S. (G2) at Santa Anita. The Juan Avila-trained colt will open his 4-year-old season against four rivals in the 1 1/8-mile race.

Owned by Victor Martinez, King Guillermo burst into the spotlight with a 4 3/4-length victory in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) last March. He followed with a commendable second to Nadal in the second division of the Arkansas Derby (G1), but the son of Uncle Mo was forced to miss the Kentucky Derby (G1) due to a fever.

RELATED: Comparisons abound between King Guillermo and owner Victor Martinez

King Guillermo caught a sloppy track when returning from a seven-month layoff in the Dec. 5 Cigar Mile H. (G1) at Aqueduct, and he’s eligible to rebound with an improved performance Saturday. Abel Cedillo picks up the mount.

Idol is the main rival. A late-starting Curlin colt, Idol easily broke his maiden when making his second start at Churchill Downs in late September. After posting a 5 3/4-length romp over entry-level allowance foes six weeks later, the 4-year-old shipped to California to finish a close second in his stakes debut, the Dec. 26 San Antonio (G2) on Santa Anita’s opening-day program.

Gabe Saez will be in to ride Idol for Richard Baltas.

Express Train will stretch back out to two turns following a second in the Malibu S. (G1). Juan Hernandez has the call for John Shirreffs. Tokyo City S. (G3) runner-up Tizamagician will return to stakes competition after capturing a Jan. 2 allowance wire-to-wire, and Drayden Van Dyke will be up on the front-runner. Zestful completes the field.