A freshened Misremembered , considered a top candidate for this year's Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), returns to action for trainer Bob Baffert as the 121-pound high weight and probable favorite in the $200,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II).
The 10-horse Strub, at 1 1/8 miles on the Pro-Ride main track, is the final leg of Santa Anita's stakes series for foals of 2006 following the Malibu (gr. I) and San Fernando (gr. II). It is the last of three graded races on the program Feb. 6, with a probable post time of 4:38 p.m. PST.
Winner of Hollywood Park’s Swaps Stakes (gr. II) and Indiana Derby (gr. II) last year, Misremembered is coming off back-to back runner-up efforts in the Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs in November and as the favorite in the seven-furlong Malibu.
In the Dec. 26 Malibu, Misremembered lagged behind hot speedster M One Rifle in a race that was probably too short for him. But it set him up nicely for the Strub, where he will face a field that includes Smart Bid and Rendezvous, second and third, respectively, behind Papa Clem in the Jan. 16 San Fernando Stakes (gr. II). Papa Clem was retired soon after the San Fernando with an injury.
Baffert bred Misremembered, who is by Candy Ride out of the Quack mare Beyond Perfection, and trains the chestnut ridgling for his wife, Natalie, and George Jacobs. Misremembered has won four of his nine starts with three seconds, the only exceptions being his maiden debut (sixth) and a reach against older horses in Del Mar’s Pacific Classic (gr. I), when he finished 10th as a 3-year-old last summer. Misremembered brings earnings of $698,589 into the Strub and regular pilot Victor Espinoza will lead him out of gate 9.
Misremembered will share high weight of 121 pounds with Rendezvous, trained by his co-owner, Jerry Hollendorfer.
Rendezvous made his Pro-Ride debut in the San Fernando. The son of Victory Gallopwon the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) at 22-1 odds on the turf in September but has lost three in a row since. He was off for more than two months before the San Fernando and owns a 4-2-5 record in 16 starts for earnings of $358,505. He will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano.
Augustin Stable's Smart Bid, weighted at 119 pounds with Mike Smith aboard, came up a half-length short to Papa Clem in the San Fernando while edging Rendezvous for the place. That was a big improvement for the son of Smart Strike after he faded to seventh in the Malibu. Trained by H. Graham Motion for Augustin Stable, Smart Bid shows earnings of $198,918 from a 3-2-2 record in nine starts.
Baffert also entered Viscount in the Strub after a fourth-place finish in the San Fernando. Viscount is seeking his first stakes win for Peachtree Stable.
Jockey Garrett Gomez, who has ridden Viscount in the colt's last six races, said he is optimistic that the son of Orientate can do better than his mild rally in the San Fernando.
“I was stuck down inside, and he’s a big horse, so he doesn’t quicken real well,” Gomez said. “He was trapped inside most of the way and I didn’t get out until the eighth pole, but he still kept trying and coming. Hopefully, we can catch a little more pace on Saturday.”
Baffert is seeking his fourth Strub victory, following Silver Charm (1998), General Challenge (2000) and Wooden Phone (2001).
$200,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II, Race 9, 4:38 p.m.), 4-Year-olds, 1 1/8 MIles (Synthetic)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Eagle Poise (KY), J R Leparoux, 117, W I Mott
2. Rendezvous (KY), R Bejarano, 121, J Hollendorfer
3. Square Eddie (ON), J Talamo, 117, D F O'Neill
4. Viscount (KY), G K Gomez, 117, B Baffert
5. Gallant Son (KY), A O Solis, 117, F Lucarelli
6. Diferentkindagreat (KY), J Valdivia, Jr., 117, D L Hendricks
7. Heavenly Wind (WA), T Baze, 117, R B Hess, Jr.
8. Smart Bid (PA), M E Smith, 119, H G Motion
9. Misremembered (KY), V Espinoza, 121, B Baffert
10. Massone (KY), J Rosario, 117, R L McAnally