Multiple graded stakes winner Handsome Mike and grade II winner Caracortado meet in the $100,000 Eddie D Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Park on Sept. 27, two of 14 entered for the 6 1/2-furlong turf sprint down the hill on opening day of the California oval's autumn meet. Unbridled's Note, defending winner of the Eddie D and runner-up in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT), is also among a full field of 14 older horses.
Reddam Racing's Handsome Mike will carry co-highweight of 123 pounds for trainer Doug O'Neill from post 6 with Mario Gutierrez in the irons. The 4-year-old son of Scat Daddy won the 2012 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) in a 19-1 upset and has won only once since then, back in April when he took the Commonwealth Stakes (gr. III) on the Keeneland Polytrack. Last time out, Handsome Mike was 10th in the Pat O'Brien Stakes (gr. II) going seven furlongs on the all weather track at Del Mar.
Caracortado, winner of the 2011 Del Mar Mile Handicap (gr. IIT), makes his first start off a lengthy layup of nearly 20 months. The Mike Machowsky trainee won the Jan. 8 Daytona Stakes (gr. IIIT) in 2012 at Santa Anita in his last outing, then injured the frog on his right front foot and was delayed from returning to the races for AJL Productions, Blahut Racing, and Lo Hi Racing. A win here could point the 6-year-old Cal-bred Cat Dreams gelding in the direction of the Turf Sprint, a race in which he finished fifth in 2011. Felipe Martinez rides from post 3 as part of a 118-pound impost.
After winning the Eddie D, his lone graded victory in 2012, and finishing second by half a length to Mizdirection in the Turf Sprint, Mike McCarty's Unbridled's Note finished third in the seven-furlong Malibu Stakes (gr. I) on the dirt at Santa Anita, then came back with a win in the Feb. 23 Joe Hernandez Handicap at the Eddie D distance on the downhill turf. That was his last victory for trainer Steve Asmussen; he ran second in the April 6 Potrero Grande Stakes (gr. II) on dirt, and was eighth last time out in the May 4 Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II), also on the dirt, in his most recent start. In 2012 he was third in the Amsterdam (gr. II) and King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course. Corey Nakatani rides the 4-year-old son of Unbridled's Song from post 5; Unbridled's Note carries 120 pounds.
Co-highweight Chips All In was runner-up by a nose in the Joe Hernandez for Jean Everest, John O'Brien, Danny Valdez, and Michelle Turpin, then won the April 20 San Simeon Stakes (gr. IIIT). Trainer Jeff Mullins brought the 4-year-old North Light colt back off a rest in the July 24 Wickerr Stakes, where he was fourth on the Del Mar all weather track. Last time out Aug. 22, Chips All In was second in a one mile turf allowance at Del Mar by four lengths to the highly regarded Argentinean-bred Winning Prize. Julien Leparoux rides from the 8 hole.
Mullins will also saddle Truline Racing's Sirocco Strike, winner of the Aug. 14 Green Flash Handicap by disqualification at Del Mar. The 6-year-old Forestry gelding was a neck behind Distinctiv Passion in the five-furlong turf sprint, but was moved up to get the victory due to his rival's drifting out and bumping late. Joe Talamo has the mount from post 11; Sirocco Strike seeks his first graded win.
Snowday, making his first outing for trainer Gary Mandella, was a group III winner in France in 2012 for breeders Wertheimer & Frere, and last ran second in the April 4 Prix Djebel (Fr-III) at Maisons-Laffitte. Rafael Bejarano rides the son of Falco in his U.S. debut.
Bloom Racing Stable's Majestic City took the 2011 Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (gr. III) but hasn't won for trainer Ron Ellis since then. The 4-year-old City Zip runner was fifth in the Pat O'Brien last out.
William Currin's Rosengold won the June 23 Tsunami Slew Stakes by a neck going one mile on the Hollywood turf, but finished fourth in the July 17 Oceanside Stakes and last time was ninth in the Aug. 10 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) going 1 1/16 miles on the Del Mar lawn.