If you saw Desert Code's dramatic come-from-behind win in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint last fall, this victory was nothing like that one. Instead, Desert Code took the lead shortly after the start of the $100,000 Daytona Handicap (gr. IIIT) Feb. 15 on the same hillside turf course at Santa Anita and was never threatened.
Desert Code, 35-1 upset winner of the inaugural Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint last fall, makes his 5-year-old debut in the $100,000 Daytona Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Park Feb. 15, regardless of whether the race remains on the hillside turf course.
Charlotte M. Wrather's Cheroot, a 28-1 outsider, squeezed through a narrow opening in the final stages to register a nose victory over Moth Ball in Santa Anita's $98,650 Daytona Handicap on the hillside turf course Feb. 17. Notional, sidelined since last March's second-place finish in the Florida Derby (gr. I), finished third in his comeback effort.
Grade II winner Notional, runner-up in last year's Florida Derby (gr. I) but sidelined by a fractured ankle soon after, begins his 4-year-old campaign on Santa Anita's hillside turf course in the $75,000 Daytona Handicap Feb. 17.
Santa Anita's leading trainer Doug O'Neill won his seventh stakes of the meeting Sunday when Grand Appointment took the $137,875 Sensational Star Handicap for older horses bred in California.
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