Star Cross can atone for a dismal effort in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) last month, heading a field of seven in the $100,000 San Bernardino Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita Saturday.
The 1 1/8-mile San Bernardino also marks the return to action this year of 4-year-old Dynever, who was third in the Breeders' Cup Classic behind Pleasantly Perfect and Medagli d'Oro at Santa Anita in October.
Star Cross won the San Pasqual (gr. II) for trainer Darrell Vienna in January and was second to Pleasantly Perfect in the San Antonio (gr. II) before finishing last in the Big 'Cap. He'll be reunited with Victor Espinoza, who won the Santa Anita Handicap aboard Southern Image.
Dynever was expected to go in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II), but trainer Christophe Clement opted to ship to Southern California instead for the San Bernardino, which is furlong shorter. He'll also carry three pounds less than the 119 assigned in Florida.
Winner of the Aventura Stakes and the Lone Star Derby (gr. III) at 3, Dynever finished fourth in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Total Impact, who won the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park in May, shares the 116-pound top weight with Dynever. He's lost four races in a row since the LeRoy, however.
Ender's Shadow, the upset winner of the Tokyo City Handicap last month, and multiple stakes-winning Calkins Road are also strong candidates Saturday.$100,000 San Bernardino Handicap (gr. III), 4 & up, 1 1/8 mile
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Dynever (KY), 116, Corey S. Nakatani
2. Star Cross (ARG), 114, Victor Espinoza
3. Even the Score (KY), 114, David R. Flores
4. Ender's Shadow (KY), 114, Mick Ruis
5. Total Impact (CHI), 116, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
6. Calkins Road (CA), 114, Javier Santiago
7. Kela (KY), 114, Tyler Baze