Meteor Storm Looms in 'Anita Curtain Closer
Santa Anita Park concludes its 67th season of racing Sunday featuring the $250,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) at about 1 ¾ miles on turf, the longest graded race in North America.
Meteor Storm, coming off a victory in the San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 ½ miles March 20, carries high weight of 116 pounds in a field of nine. The 5-year-old British-bred son of Bigstone is trained by Wally Dollase. Meteor Storm has a lifetime record of 4-3-3 from 12 starts, and is 1-for-2 in American stakes races.
Other graded stakes winners in the nine-horse field are Ringaskiddy and Runaway Dancer. Reflecting the open nature of the race, the weight spread from Meteor Storm is two to three pounds.Ringaskiddy won the San Juan Capistrano in 2002. He would become the first horse since Niarkos in the late 1960s to win the race twice and the first ever to win it in non-consecutive years. But Ringaskiddy has yet to win a race or even finish second in five starts since his San Juan Capistrano victory. On Sunday's undercard, leading trainer Jeff Mullins saddles Glick and Cayoke in the $100,000 San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT) as he looks to wrap up the 2003-2004 Santa Anita training title. The San Simeon is for older horses at about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course.Through Thursday, Mullins led his nearest competitor, Doug O'Neill, 41-39. Mullins was scheduled to start seven horses over the final three days, while O'Neill had six. Summer Service has a good turn of foot but Bill Spawr says the 4-year-old California-bred gelding doesn't have to be in front to win.
"The way the race sets up I think he'll be laying in a good spot just off the leaders," Spawr said.
Summer Service is unbeaten in two starts on the downhill course and has a 7-4-2 record from 16 career starts, with earnings of $290,760.$250,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT), 4 & up, about 1 3/4 miles on turf
PP. Horse, Jockey, Wgt.
1. All The Boys, Alex Bisono, 114
2. Special Matter, Tyler Baze, 113
3. Gene de Campeao, Omar Berrio, 113
4. Meteor Storm, Jose Valdivia Jr., 116
5. Runaway Dancer, Mike Smith, 114
6. White Buck, Jon Court, 113
7. Rhythm Mad, Alex Solis, 114
8. Gigli, Javier Santiago, 114
9. Ringaskiddy, Victor Espinoza, 114 $100,000-added San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT), 4 & up, about 6 1/2 furlongs on turf
PP. Horse, Jockey, Wgt.
1. Island Light, Kent Desormeaux, 112
2. Van Rouge, Javier Santiago, 114
3. Spinelessjellyfish, Jose Valdivia Jr., 114
4. Grandiser, Victor Espinoza, 115
5. Summer Service, Corey Nakatani, 114
6. Echo Eddie, David Flores, 116
7. Glick, Alex Solis, 117
8. Cayoke, Tyler Baze, 116
9. De La Costa, Frank Olivares, 112
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