King’s Drama, a 6-year-old gelded millionaire owned by Gary A. Tanaka, will carry high weight of 121 pounds against seven opponents in the 60th running of the 1 1/8-mile event.
With nine wins from 29 starts for earnings of $1,067,916, King’s Drama is clearly the most accomplished runner in the race, won last year by Frankel’s Badge of Silver. The 65-year-old trainer’s Latent Heat won the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) on opening day Dec. 26.
David Flores will take over as the rider of King’s Drama, who won the 2006 San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita. In 2005, he captured Saratoga’s Sword Dancer (gr. IT) as well as the Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) at Aqueduct. King’s Drama most recently finished second to Lava Man in Hollywood Park’s Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) on June 10.
Flores, who had ridden San Gabriel contender Hendrix in his last five starts, will be replaced by Corey Nakatani Sunday. Hendrix ran second to Ashkal Way in Hollywood Park’s Citation Handicap (gr. IT) on Nov. 24 in his last start. Trained by Craig Dollase for J. Paul Reddam, Hendrix has earned $366,150 from a career record of 5-3-4 in 23 starts.
King’s Drama will race coupled with stablemate Don Incauto, an Argentine import who is winless in four U.S. starts after being victorious in four of nine races in Argentina, including a pair of group I events.
With the first race in three months under his belt, Capitano appears set for a top effort for trainer Ray Bell.
The 5-year-old California-bred horse was third of 11 in the restricted John Henry Handicap at Bay Meadows Nov. 24. It was his first race since Aug. 5, when he was second by a head at Santa Rosa.
"He probably needed his last race," Bell said of the son of Belong to Me-Heavenly Cat. "He had a bit of a virus after the race at Santa Rosa, and it took him a while to get over it. The Bay Meadows race was a nice tightener. Hopefully, he’ll be 100 percent on Sunday."
Click link below to view Official Entries for San Gabirel Handicap from Equibase Company: