Two runners undefeated on the turf will face six others in a deep renewal of the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Turf at 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita Park Jan. 29.
The Turf is one of six Sunshine Millions races, three at Santa Anita in California and three at Gulfstream Park in Florida. With sunshine and warm temperatures forecast all week and weekend, the course at Santa Anita is expected to be firm.
B.J. Wright’s Jeranimo, fourth in the 2010 Sunshine Millions Classic on the old synthetic surface at Santa Anita, has found new life on grass. The Florida-bred 5-year-old horse by Congaree out of the Jeblar mare Jera is two-for-two on the turf, with the victories having come in his last two starts.
Trained by Michael Pender, Jeranimo won an allowance test on the turf at Hollywood Park Nov. 27, and followed up with a strong win in the 1 1/8-mile San Gabriel Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Dec. 27. Jeranimo defeated Proudinsky , who finished second, and The Usual Q. T.—also entered in the Millions Turf—who finished third.
Rafael Bejarano, on board for Jeranimo’s two turf scores, is named to ride again.
Blahut Racing’s highly regarded Caracortado, one-for-one on grass, enters the Millions Turf off a sharp third-place finish behind Twirling Candy and Smiling Tiger in the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) at seven furlongs on dirt Dec. 26 at Santa Anita. Bred and trained by Mike Machowsky, Caracortado has shown he can go short or long and run on just about anything.
The 4-year-old California-bred gelding by Cat Dreams out of the Maria’s Mon mare Mons Venus won a Hollywood Park allowance event at six furlongs on the turf Nov. 11 in quick time on a firm course. But Caracortado has won going long on synthetic surfaces and last year finished a troubled fourth in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles.
Caracortado sports solid works on the Santa Anita turf in preparation for the Millions Turf. Joe Talamo is again named to ride.
Don Van Racing and partners’ The Usual Q.T. will attempt to rebound from his third behind Jeranimo in the San Gabriel, in which he was heavily favored off an excellent third-place finish in the Nov. 6 TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT), arguably the best U.S. grass race of 2010. The Usual Q.T.’s last four victories have come on firm grass courses in California.
Trained by James Cassidy, the 5-year-old California-bred gelding by Unusual Heat out of the Western Fame mare Lunge is eight-for-13 on turf. Regular pilot Victor Espinosa is named to ride The Usual Q.T., who figures to vie for favoritism with Jeranimo.
HRTV will provide coverage of the Sunshine Millions.
$300,000 Sunshine Millions Turf (Race 6, Santa Anita, 2:34 p.m.), 4 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Pickapocket (FL), J Rosario, 122, M Wolfson
2. Mobilized (CA), A Quinonez, 122, G Mandella
3. Jeranimo (FL), R Bejarano, 122, M Pender
4. Soul Candy (CA), G Gomez, 122, P Gallagher
5. Caracortado (CA), J Talamo, 120, M Machowsky
6. No Inflation (FL), D Flores, 122, T Proctor
7. The Usual Q.T. (CA), V Espinosa, 122, J Cassidy
8. Presious Passion (FL), E Trujillo, 122, M Hartmann