Bourbon Bay, who had won the only prior 1 1/2-mile turf race during the Santa Anita meet, made it two-for-two when he romped home in the $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) for his first stakes triumph Feb. 21.
Obrigado, who won the San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) in 2007, will try to capture the marathon turf race for a second time against eight rivals in the Santa Anita feature on Feb. 21.
Given his head by jockey Patrick Valenzuela, Brazilian-bred License To Run spurted away from the field on the final turn and romped to a five-length victory Saturday in the $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap Handicap (gr. II).
Sharon Fitzpatrick's millionaire Continental Red faces seven other turf marathoners as the 9-year-old gelding seeks to regain his winning form in Saturday's San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/2 miles over Santa Anita's grass.
Jockey Victor Espinoza completed a sweep of the President's Day stakes doubleheader at Santa Anita when he guided Puerto Banus through heavy traffic in the stretch for a neck victory in the grade II, $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap. Less than one length separated the top five finishers in the turf marathon.
Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) winner Fairly Ransom, unplaced as the favorite in the San Marcos Handicap (gr. IIT) in his last start, will get a chance to redeem himself in the Feb. 16 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita, Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally said.
Michael House's Nazirali, last with a half-mile to run, stormed through the stretch to win the $200,00 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Saturday. Under Brice Blanc, the lightly raced 5-year-old gelding completed the 1 1/2 miles in 2:26.09 on firm turf.
Seven turf runners will get a chance to stretch their legs in the 1 1/2 mile $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) Saturday at Santa Anita. Not surprisingly, trainer Bobby Frankel has the highweight and likely favorite, Denon.
Big-time races for fillies and mares and marathons for grass stayers usually have zero impact in the countdown to the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I). There was, nevertheless, a million-dollar ring to both the $200,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) on Feb. 18 and the $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) the day before. By the time the weekend was in the books and the results began to sink in, the only thing anyone knew for sure was there really is nothing for sure.
Persianlux, the longest shot in the race at 27-1, led every step of the way and rolled to a five-length victory Saturday in the grade II, $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap at Santa Anita Park. Ridden by Tyler Baze at 113 pounds, Persianlux ran 1-1/2 miles on a firm turf course in 2:27.70 and paid $57.20, $22.20 and $10.60. It was the first graded stakes victory for Baze, winner of the 2000 Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding apprentice jockey. The 18-year- old rider became the youngest jockey to win a graded stakes race at Santa Anita since Steve Cauthen, who was also 18, rode J.O. Tobin to victory in the 1978 Malibu Stakes.
Bienamado, who had been expected to run in Saturday's San Luis Obispo Handicap, was not entered in the grade II turf race and instead will be pointed to the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 3 for his first start on the main track, part-owner John Toffan said Thursday morning.
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