Irish-bred Ballingarry makes his first start since the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) in Sunday's $150,000 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/8 mile at Santa Anita, but the Canadian International (gr. IT) winner drew a tough spot for his return.
Among those set to compete against the 4-year-old son of Sadler's Wells is September's Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) winner Delta Form, 2002 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) runner-up Mananan McLir and Peter Pan (gr. II) hero Sunday Break, who is making his turf debut.
The Irish-bred Ballingarry, who will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux, carries high weight of 120 pounds in the field of nine. He makes his second start for trainer Laura de Seroux after a seventh-place finish in the BC Turf on Oct. 26 for owners Port Trust, Naify and San Gabriel Investments, who purchased him following his 2 1/4-length triumph in the Canadian International at Woodbine. Ballingarry, a group I winner in France for his previous connections, trainer Aidan O'Brien and owner Michael Tabor, has won four of 11 in his career and more than $1.3 million.
Ballingarry spots his rivals between five and nine pounds Sunday.
Team Valor's Delta Form makes his second start this year for trainer Jenine Sahadi after finishing 14th in the Hong Kong Vase Dec. 15 at Sha Tin. The 7-year-old Australian-bred gelding was sixth, beaten by 11 1/2 lengths in the San Luis Rey (gr. IIT) on a yielding Santa Anita turf on March 15. Delta Form was third in both the Turf Classic at Belmont and Hollywood Turf Cup (both gr. IT) in the fall.
Mananan McLir warmed up for Sunday's race with a second place finish to River God in an $80,000 optional claimer on the Santa Anita lawn March 6. Wally Dollase trains the 4-year-old Royal Academy colt, who won the American Derby (gr. IIT) at Arlington on July 21.
Japanese-bred Sunday Break, owned by Koji Maeda and trained by Neil Drysdale, switches to the grass after going sour since a third-place finish in June's Belmont Stakes (gr. I). He returned on Dec. 26 to finish last of 11 as the favorite in the Malibu (gr. I) on the main track. He was 10th in the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds in last start March 2. Drysdale will also fit the 4-year-old son of Forty Niner with blinkers for the first time.
Edmund A. Gann's Harrisand was a sharp fourth, beaten by less than a length, in the San Marcos (gr. IIT) at 1 1/4 mile on Jan. 20. But the Bobby Frankel trainee was third of five while beaten by 11 lengths in his most recent effort, the 1 1/2-mile San Luis Obispo (gr. IIT) on a yielding course Feb. 15.
Century City will try to rebound from a disappointing ninth-place finish in the Explosive Bid (gr. II) at Fair Grounds on March 23. $150,000 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT), 4 & up, 1 1/8 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Wgt., Rider
1. Delta Form (AUS), 115, Gary L. Stevens
2. Night Life (FR), 112, Victor Espinoza
3. Ballingarry (IRE), 120, Kent J. Desormeaux
4. Mananan McLir (KY), 113, Mike E. Smith
5. Century City (IRE), 114, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
6. Gondolieri (CHI), 115, Alex O. Solis
7. Sunday Break (JPN), 114, Corey S. Nakatani
8. Harrisand (FR), 114, Patrick A. Valenzuela
9. Passinetti (KY), 111, Tyler Baze