Mr. Commons Draws Outside for Arcadia
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 2/1/2012 7:33:54 PM
Last Updated: 2/4/2012 1:34:23 PM

Sir Beaufort Stakes winner Mr. Commons faces 7 in the Arcadia.
Photo: Benoit Photo

After registering his first graded stakes win with a powerful effort in the Sir Beaufort Stakes (gr. IIT) to open the meet, Mr. Commons is a clear standout in the $150,000 Arcadia Stakes (gr. IIT) Feb. 4 at on the Santa Anita turf.

Mr. Commons, a 4-year-old Artie Schiller   colt trained by John Shirreffs for St. George Farm Racing, will be challenged by seven others in the one-mile Arcadia. Mr. Commons connected at the same distance over the same course Dec. 26 in the Sir Beaufort by 3 1/2 lengths as the 11-10 favorite.

Mike Smith rides the bay colt, who prior to the Sir Beaufort was a troubled fifth in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs. His 4-2-1 record in 10 career starts has spawned earnings of $473,660.

The Arcadia, with a 1:31 PST post, is the third race on Santa Anita's program. It is the first of three grade II features on the card, followed by the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes for 3-year-olds (race 6), and the $200,000 Strub Stakes for 4-year-olds (race 8). 

Mr. Commons will have to deal with the far outside post in the eight-horse Arcadia field. A two-time winner with one second in three tries on the Santa Anita turf, the bay has been working forwardly across town on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track for his return.

An opponent that bears watching in the Arcadia is newcomer Pathfork, who makes his first U.S. start for trainer John Sadler. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Distorted Humor   was unbeaten in three races as a 2-year-old in Ireland. After winning the group II EBF Futurity Stakes, Pathfork returned to capture the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (Ire-I) at the Curragh.

He raced only once last year when chasing the incomparable Frankel in the 2000 Guineas (Eng-I) at Newmarket before giving way. The colt, owned by Silverton Hills Farm, has been training well for his local debut with a steady string of works, mostly on grass. Joel Rosario has taken the riding assignment.

Also coming out of the Sadler barn is Pam and Marty Wygod's homebred Calimonco  , co-owned by Ballena Vista Farms. The 6-year-old Storm Cat horse is making his first appearance since finishing third in the Citation Handicap (gr. IIT) over the Hollywood lawn Nov. 26.

M One Rifle, who has won just once in 10 starts since taking the 2009 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) on Santa Anita's former synthetic track in December 2009, will try the turf for the first time.

$150,000 Arcadia Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 3, 1:31 p.m.), 4 & Up, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Dewey's Special (CA), J Valdivia Jr., 118, J Mullins
2. Pathfork (KY), J Rosario, 118, J W Sadler
3. M One Rifle (CA), J Talamo, 118, B Headley
4. Calimonco (KY), V Espinoza, 118, J W Sadler
5. El Gato Malo (KY), M Garcia, 118, C Dollase
6. Willyconker (IRE), R Bejarano, 118, D F O'Neill
7. Massone (KY), C S Nakatani, 118, T Yakteen
8. Mr. Commons (KY), M E Smith, 123, J A Shirreffs



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