Triple Crown aspirations cast aside in a decisive loss in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) in March, Runflatout makes his return to action in the $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park May 15.
Runflatout, trained by John Sadler for West Point Thoroughbreds, made a huge jump from a brilliant debut maiden win sprinting in January to being one of the favorites in Santa Anita's 1 1/16-mile San Felipe. Not only was it a big step up in distance, the race is a major stop for West Coast 3-year-olds en route to the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and drew a couple of grade I winners among the field of 10.
The ridgling son of Flatter set a contested pace for a half-mile at 5-2 odds, then dropped out quickly, eventually being eased by jockey Joel Rosario.
In his synthetic surface debut in the seven-furlong Barrera, Runflatout faces just four rivals and is reunited with Garrett Gomez. The jockey was along when Runflatout earned raves for his debut, a 2 1/2-length victory in which he ran six furlongs in an eye-catching 1:07.70 at Santa Anita.
Sadler said recently that he expects a good effort in the Barrera from Runflatout, who will get a break at the weights as a maiden winner. Runflatout gets in with 115 pounds, same as a pair of Bob Baffert-trained entrants, Flightofalifetime and Sinai, and significantly less than stakes victors Bench Points (121) and Ain't No Other (123).
Runflatout, who has been working well on Hollywood's Cushion Track for his return, drew the rail for the Barrera. It is the third race on the card with a 2:01 p.m. PDT post time.
Tommy Town Thoroughbeds' California homebred Ain't No Other has won five straight races for trainer Steve Miyadi since debuting with a fourth-place finish against $25,000 maiden claimers at Pleasanton last summer. He won his debut at Hollywood Park in the Harry Henson Stakes in his first try on turf April 21.
That was also the stakes bow for the Old Topper gelding. Ain't No Other had rattled off three consecutive victories at Golden Gate Fields following a maiden-breaking triumph at Cal Expo in Sacramento.
Bench Points, another California-bred gelding, cuts back in distance for Tim Yakteen after a seventh-place showing in the Santa Anita Derby April 9. A two-time stakes winner last year over state-breds, the son of Benchmark finished a distant third in the San Felipe, nine lengths behind the victorious Premier Pegasus. He has won four of six for the partnership that owns him.
Baffert had seven of the original 14 nominees for the Barrera. He entered Flightofalifetime, a son of Werblin who broke his maiden in his second start by 2 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita April 9, and Sinai, who has dropped four stakes tries in a row since debuting with a two-length maiden win at Hollywood in December.
Flightofalifetime is owned by George Bolton, Majestic Racing Stables and Summit Racing, while Sinai, a son of Rockport Harbor , is owned by Zayat Stables.
$100,000 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. III, Race 3, 2:01 p.m.), 3YO, 7 Furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Runflatout (KY), G K Gomez, 115, J W Sadler
2. Flightofalifetime (FL), M Garcia, 115, B Baffert
3. Sinai (KY), M E Smith, 115, B Baffert
4. Ain't No Other (CA), P A Valenzuela, 123, S Miyadi
5. Bench Points (CA), R Bejarano, 121, T Yakteen