C.T. Grether Inc.'s Crafty C.T. set the early pace and drew away in the stretch, winning the $200,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) by four lengths over Palmeiro on a fast track at Santa Anita on Saturday. Under jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, Crafty C.T. completed the one-mile race for 3-year-olds in 1:35.79.
Santa Catalina Stakes runner-up Palmeiro worked four furlongs in :47.60 over Santa Anita's main track Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's grade II San Rafael Stakes for 3-year-olds going one mile. Probable starters in the race, with jockeys, are: Palmeiro, Kent Desormeaux; Swordfish, David Flores; Victory Roar, Gary Stevens; Crafty C.T., Eddie Delahoussaye; Early Flyer, Chris McCarron; Media Mogul, Alex Solis and Wild And Wise, Victor Espinoza.
How about a little diversionary game on the way to next Saturday's Fountain of Youth and Risen Star stakes? Picture the Derby trail as a maze. The object is to find your way through the maze and reach Churchill Downs without running into D. Wayne Lukas, Bob Baffert or Nick Zito. Well, we didn't say it would easy. But with racing's three-headed monster concentrating on blocking all the major roads, this past weekend's smattering of minor stakes was an excellent chance for trainers to take another step in achieving their goal. Not to mention taking home some decent cash as well.
Wild And Wise wore down Swordfish in the final furlong and edged clear for a half-length victory Friday in the $96,750 Sham Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Park.
Turnberry Isle will be looking to recapture his European form when he faces off against Millennium Wind in the grade III, $100,000 Santa Catalina Stakes Sunday. The Santa Catalina is the first major prep race for aspiring 3-year-olds on the road leading into the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby. Turnberry Isle and Millennium Wind will break alongside each other as they have drawn post positions No. 5 and No. 6 respectively.
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