Trainer Bobby Frankel, who has saddled five stakes winners through the first three weeks of the Santa Anita meet, takes on likely favorite Boboman with three of the eight entrants in Sunday’s $150,000 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) at 1 1/4 miles on turf.
To be successful, Frankel's charges -- Hello Sunday, Heroi Do Bafra or Notable Guest -- would need to upset Boboman, recent winner of Hollywood Park’s Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) for trainer Richard Mandella.
Boboman’s victory in the Dec. 9 event at 12 furlongs was his third consecutive since being imported from France where the 6-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Kingmambo had begun his career for owners and breeders Alain and Gerard Wertheimer and Charles Heilbronn.
Two of Frankel’s three runners are European imports who will be making their United States debuts. Notable Guest, a 6-year-old who also happens to be a Kentucky-bred son of Kingmambo, was a group III stakes winner in England. Hello Sunday, a 4-year-old French-bred, was a group III winner in his native country. The third Frankel entrant, Heroi Do Bafra, will be making his second U.S. start. The Brazilian-bred was a group I winner in his homeland.
Boboman will carry high weight of 119 pounds including jockey Garrett Gomez, who was aboard in the Turf Cup. The bay horse, who has earned $239,350 from 4 wins in 10 starts, will be attempting to provide Mandella with back-to-back San Marcos victories and his fourth overall. The Tin Man, a finalist in the Eclipse voting for champion turf horse of 2006, won at the age of 8 last year.
With earnings of $236,329 in Great Britain, Notable Guest is the most accomplished of the Frankel entrants. Trained by Sir Michael Stoute in England, the Juddmonte Farms homebred posted a 4-4-2 record in 15 starts while proving himself as a marathoner. David Flores, the meet’s leading stakes winning jockey with five victories, has the riding assignment.
$150,000 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 7, 3:30 p.m.), 4 & Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Boboman (KY), 119, Garrett K. Gomez
2. a-Hello Sunday (FR), 115, Victor Espinoza
3. Obrigado (FR), 115, Corey S. Nakatani
4. One Off (GB), 115, Brice Blanc
5. a-Don Incauto (ARG), 115, Martin A. Pedroza
6. Notable Guest (KY), 115, David R. Flores
7. Clipperdown (IRE), 115, David Cohen
8. Heroi Do Bafra (BRZ), 115, Aaron T. Gryder
a-Gary A. Tanaka-owned entry