With no standout for the $150,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT), 10 trainers are taking a shot in Santa Anita's traditional closing-day turf feature April 17.
The long-distance 'Capistrano, at about 1 3/4 miles, will be the final race of the 2010-11 Santa Anita stand. It is set to go off at 5:08 p.m. PDT.
The Southern California marathon turf division has been dominated by Bourbon Bay, winner of the San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) in January and the San Juan Capistrano last year, and Champ Pegasus, who captured the San Luis Obispo Stakes (gr. IIT) in February. But both were unplaced in the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) March 26 and were not entered this time.
Haimish Hy, winner of the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) in November at 10 furlongs, is the 119-pound high weight for trainer Art Sherman. The 4-year-old Ecton Park colt is winless in three starts since the Hollywood Derby and showed little interest in the sloppy going he faced in the off-the-turf San Luis Rey Stakes (gr. III) at 1 1/2 miles March 20. He finished fourth as the 8-5 favorite, beaten by 12 1/2 lengths.
Mike Smith takes over the riding chores on Haimish Hy, who has won five of 13 lifetime starts and $314,980. The colt is owned by Sherman along with Zvika Akin, Richard Franco and Sy Goldstein.
The winner of the San Luis Rey was Juniper Pass, who registered a mild 9-2 upset to get his first career stakes win for trainer Ray Bell and owners Betty and Robert Irvin. It was his first try on dirt, with all of his previous 10 races on grass. The 4-year-old Lemon Drop Kid colt ran fifth in the San Luis Obispo at the same distance over good ground Feb. 19.
Rafael Bejarano rode Juniper Pass for the first time in the San Luis Rey and is back aboard the three-time winner. They drew the far outside post.
New Zealand-bred Dahoud nearly stole the San Luis Rey but was tagged late by Juniper Pass and finished second by a half-length. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer for Mrs. S.K. Johnston Jr., the 5-year-old Scaredee Cat gelding has a win and two seconds in four starts since debuting in the United States at Hollywood Park in December. Joel Rosario, closing in on his first Santa Anita riding title, retains the mount.
Also in the field is the third-place finisher in the San Luis Rey, Brazilian-bred Imponente Purse, who is trained by A.C. Avila. The 5-year-old returned to run last of seven in a nine-furlong allowance race at Santa Anita April 7. Romp (fifth) and Falcon Rock (sixth) also raced in the San Luis Rey.
Quindici Man ran a strong third at 69-1 in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), losing by just a half-length to Game On Dude in his most recent start March 5 for trainer Craig Lewis. The hard-trying 5-year-old son of Came Home has fashioned a 7-6-7 career mark in 32 starts and earned $483,316 for Six-S Racing Stable. He has one victory in six tries on turf.
Besides Juniper Pass, the only other starter in the 'Capistrano following a win is Celtic New Year. The 4-year-old North Light gelding led from gate to wire to take a $62,500 claiming race at 1 1/8 miles over good ground by nearly two lengths as the favorite March 3. John Sadler trains for owner Michael Jawl.
Juddmonte Farms' Kentucky homebred Power Series was a bit rank in his U.S. debut for trainer Mike Mitchell going nine furlongs in an optional claiming allowance heat April 8. The 4-year-old son of Mizzen Mast weakened to fifth after leading in the stretch. The gray/roan colt won once in eight starts in England.
Slumping Interpatation, a lifetime winner of more than $1.2 million at age 9, completes the field.
$150,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 10, 5:08 p.m.), 4 & Up, About 1 3/4 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight
1. Quindici Man (KY), M A Pedroza, 117, C A Lewis
2. Haimish Hy (KY), M E Smith, 119, A Sherman
3. Dahoud (NZ), J Rosario, 115, J Hollendorfer
4. Power Series (KY), J Talamo, 112, M R Mitchell
5. Interpatation (KY), A Jimenez, 111, J Metz
6. Imponente Purse (BRZ), C Sutherland, 116, A C Avila
7. Romp (ARG), A Quinonez, 114, K Mulhall
8. Celtic New Year (KY), V Espinoza, 113, J W Sadler
9. Falcon Rock (IRE), B Blanc, 114, S Callaghan
10. Juniper Pass (KY), R Bejarano, 118, T R Bell, II
Blinkers Off: Falcon Rock