Obviously (IRE) looms a standout against eight rivals in the $150,000 City of Hope Mile (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf as he goes for his fourth consecutive graded stakes triumph Oct. 5.
Coming in off a 5 3/4-length victory in the Oceanport Stakes (gr. IIIT), Silver Max looks for a repeat performance in Saratoga Race Course's Aug. 31 running of the $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT).
Trainer Charlie LoPresti contemplated the question, scuffed his work boots in the dirt a little, answered with a thoughtful air. "Wise Dan? He's every bit as good as where I had him last season."
After a fifth-place finish in the June 5 RTN True North Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont Park, Sage Valley looks to get back to winning ways in the $100,000 James Marvin Handicap (gr. III) July 19 at Saratoga.
Lightly raced Silentio, a stylish winner of his stakes debut to begin the Santa Anita season in December, will be part of a packed starting gate for his first start as a 4-year-old in the $150,000 Arcadia Stakes (gr. IIT).
Smart Bid, who has claimed both of his graded stakes wins over the Fair Grounds turf course, will try to defend his Mervin H. Muniz Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) title against nine others in the $400,000 turf race on April 1
Former claimer Willyconker became a grade I winner when he outlasted odds-on choice Mr. Commons in a thrilling finish to the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) at odds of 10-1 March 3 on the Santa Anita turf course.
Mr. Commons, who has already captured a pair of grade II races at one mile on the turf during the Santa Anita meet, drew the rail as the likely favorite for the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) March 3.
Mr. Commons took a big step on what his connections hope will be a special campaign when he rallied from off the pace to win the $150,000 Arcadia Stakes (gr. II) on turf Feb. 4, his second graded win of the Santa Anita meet.
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