Siren Lure, third as the 11-10 favorite in last year’s $100,000 San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Santa Anita's downhill turf course, has that failure to rectify as the 121-pound high weight on Saturday.
Trainer Art Sherman recalls vividly that the about 6 1/2-furlong San Simeon setback a year ago interrupted a six-race winning streak for his stakes star Siren Lure.
Although he hasn’t raced since Feb. 7 when seventh in the San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) on the dirt, and not on grass since last year’s San Simeon, Silent Lure is expected to be a solid choice with Richard Migliore in the saddle.
“He runs his best races when they’re spaced properly,” said Sherman, who claimed the 6-year-old gelding on behalf of Stuart Kesselman and Tony Melkonian for $50,000 in May of 2005. Sherman said Siren Lure was injured prior to the San Carlos. “He might not have been 100 percent,” said the 71-year-old trainer, “but he sure is training a lot better now than he was before.” Siren Lure owns an overall record 12-1-3 in 21 starts for earnings of $789,909.
His opposition includes Battle Won, second to Siren Lure in the Triple Bend Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park last July. Although Battle Won has won two of six starts on turf, the San Simeon marks his first start over Santa Anita’s downhill course. Battle Won, to be ridden by Martin Garcia, drew the outside post in a field of nine. A 7-year-old gelding trained by Mike Mitchell, he shows earnings of $687,236 from a lifetime record of 7-7-3 in 26 races.
A good field for the San Simeon also includes Get Funky, winner of the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) in September for trainer John Sadler, and Bonfante, a repeat winner of the California Turf Sprint at Bay Meadows on April 1 in his first start for Ron McAnally.
$100,000 San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 9, 4:30 p.m.), 4 & Up, About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Billy Allen (IRE), 110, Joseph Talamo
2. Bonfante (CA), 117, Aaron T. Gryder
3. Soul City Slew (KY), 113, Clinton L. Potts
4. Turnbolt (VA), 114, Victor Espinoza
5. Vega's Lord (GER), 114, David R. Flores
6. Get Funky (FL), 118, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
7. Salty Humor (KY), 113, Jon K. Court
8. Siren Lure (KY), 121, Richard Migliore
9. Battle Won (KY), 117, Martin Garcia