Idle since running third behind eventual Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) last fall, Obviously will make his 2013 debut for trainer Mike Mitchell in the $100,000 San Simeon Stakes (gr. IIIT) April 20 at Santa Anita Park.
The San Simeon, which attracted a field of seven, is for older horses at about 6 1/2 furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course. It is the eighth race on Saturday's card with a scheduled post of 4:07 p.m. PDT.
Irish-bred Obviously is a lightning-quick 5-year-old gelding who strung together three consecutive wins during the summer and fall last year before encountering Wise Dan in the Breeder's Cup Mile Nov. 3.
He fought gamely on the front end in the Mile, but was beaten two lengths by Wise Dan, who broke the track record. Obviously was just a half length behind 2011 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Animal Kingdom , who recently captured the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Obviously won both the Del Mar Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) and the Arroyo Seco Mile (gr. IIT) prior to the Breeders' Cup, and owns six wins and five placings from 12 lifetime starts. He has earned $558,361.
Based with Mitchell at Santa Anita, Obviously has six works on his tab for Saturday’s return, his most recent drill a half mile from the gate in :48 2/5 April 13.
Owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joe Scardino, Obviously has a win and a second from two starts down the hill. Carrying top weight of 123 pounds from post 3, he’ll again be ridden by Joe Talamo, who has been aboard for his last six starts.
MOST WINS BY A HORSE: Champagne Bid 2 (1984-1985), Mr Gruff 2 (2009-2010).
MOST WINS BY A JOCKEY: Laffit Pincay, Jr. 6. Active – Alex Solis 3.
MOST WINS BY A TRAINER: Ron McAnally 6.
FASTEST TIME: Glick (2004), 1:11.46.
FACTOIDS: Last year’s winner California Flag joined Glick (2004) as the oldest to win the San Simeon at age 8.
Compiled by Gary Dougherty
Chosen Miracle and Ain't No Other represent Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Coming off an impressive 1 1/4-length allowance win on the hillside March 28, the speedy Chosen Miracle is drawn to the outside of Obviously in gate 4. The 5-year-old Ghostzapper horse retains the services of Rafael Bejarano and will likely be pressing the leader.
Through April 14, Bejarano and Hollendorfer had won with 23 of 36 mounts during the meet, an astonishing 64% strike rate.
Ain't No other captured the Sensational Star Stakes over California-breds on the hillside Feb. 24 but could manage only a third when switched to main track against state-bred allowance company March 17. Corey Nakatani draws the riding assignment for the Tommy Town Thoroughbreds-owned son of Old Topper.
Grade I winner Drill has been freshened by trainer Bob Baffert since his fourht-place effort in the San Carlos Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 23 and figures to be dangerous in his first try on grass. The 4-year-old Lawyer Ron colt drilled a half-mile over the turf in :47 1/5 with dogs up March 28. Martin Garcia rides.
Trainer Jeff Mullins entered both Sirocco Strike and Chips All In.
Sirocco Strike has not been out of action since running a close third in the Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar last August. Chips All In came off a six-month layoff to miss by a nose winning the Joe Hernandez Handicap over the course Feb. 23. In losing a heart-breaker to Unbridled's Note, Chips All In earned a 104 Beyer figure, best last-race effort in the San Simeon field.
Koast, fourth inhis comeback race to Chosen Mind for trainer John Sadler and Hronis Racing, completes the field.
$100,000 San Simeon Stakes (gr. III, Race 8, 4:07 p.m.), 4 & Up, About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Sirocco Strike (KY), E A Maldonado, 118, J Mullins
2. Chips All In (KY), T Baze, 118, J Mullins
3. Obviously (IRE), J Talamo, 123, M R Mitchell
4. Chosen Miracle (FL), R Bejarano, 118, J Hollendorfer
5. Ain't No Other (CA), C S Nakatani, 118, J Hollendorfer
6. Drill (KY), M Garcia, 120, B Baffert
7. Koast (KY), V Espinoza, 118, J W Sadler