A field of 12 has signed on for the $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II), the second leg of the Strub Series for foals of 1998.
Western Pride is the 122-pound highweight for the 1 1/16-mile main track event. Western Pride also garnered the highest weight allocation of the 12 entered here by Globeform's ranking of last year's 3-year-olds. The Way West colt won three derbies last year, including a track-record setting performance in the West Virginia Derby. The James Chapman trainee went on to win the Ohio Derby (gr. II) and Calder Derby (gr. III), before wrapping up his season with a fourth-place finish in the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) on a yielding course. For his efforts, he was assigned 120 pounds from Globeform, better than more well-known sophomores like A P Valentine and E Dubai (both 119), and slightly less than Millennium Wind (122), Express Tour (121) and Street Cry (119). No other San Fernando entrant is listed in Globeform's Top 50 3-year-olds of 2001, in which Point Given was ranked number one (133). Garrett Gomez will be in the irons on Saturday.
Mizzen Mast – winner of the Malibu Stakes (gr. I), the first leg of the series – does not return for the San Fernando, nor does runner-up Giant Gentleman, but I Love Silver, who finished third in the seven-furlong Malibu, will attempt the second leg. Prior to the Malibu, J. Kirk and Judy Robison's I Love Silver won the listed Skywalker Handicap against older horse after finishing third in the Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I). The Dean Greenman-trained gelding failed to race in only one month last year –February – en route to winning three of 11 starts as a sophomore.
Orientate skipped the Malibu in favor of a turf stakes race on the same card, which he won by two lengths. The Indiana Derby winner switches back to the main track Saturday for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Sigfreto, who finished second to Orientate in the Sir Beaufort Stakes, also entered the San Fernando.
"(Orientate's) gonna be in the race, he'll definitely be part of the pace scenario," Lukas said. "But I don't think he needs the lead to win. I may get a surprise -- he's pretty fresh -- but he's acting like we'll be able to manage him."
John Paul Reddam's Momentum returns from a one-length victory over Euchre and other older horses in the Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) to face horses his own age once again. The Craig Dollase trainee finished second in his only other North American start – to Mizzen Mast in the Bien Bien Stakes on turf – after winning three of seven starts in England. Momentum (Nureyev--Imprudent Love, by Foolish Pleasure) will tote 118 pounds in the San Fernando.
The Strub Stakes (gr. I), the final race in the series, will be run on Feb. 2.
The field for the San Fernando will consist of:
1--Discreet Hero, Laffit Pincay Jr., 118
2--Momemtum, Corey Nakatani, 118
3--Mo Mon, Jose Valdivia Jr., 116
4--Sigreto, Matt Garcia, 118
5--Reef Diver, Mike Smith, 116
6--Western Pride, Garrett Gomez, 122
7--I Love Silver, Eddie Delahoussaye, 116
8--Stormin' Heaven, Kent Desormeaux, 116
9--Fancy As, Gary Stevens, 120
10--Pie N Burger, David Flores, 116
11--Bring Home Thegold, Victor Espinoza, 116
12--Orientate, Chris McCarron
(More, Globeform Ratings of 3-year-olds of 2001