Multiple grade II winner Surf Cat is such a standout Sunday in the $200,000 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita that only four have been entered to oppose him in the 6 1/2-furlong event.
The Bruce Headley-trained 4-year-old son of Sir Cat
is coming off a dynamite 2 1/4-length win in the seven-furlong San Carlos (gr. II) and looks for his third straight victory as the likely odds-on choice in the small field. The San Carlos win came after more than a four-month layoff for the dark bay Kentucky-bred.
Surf Cat drew the outside post and will be ridden by regular pilot Alex Solis.
The lightly raced Surf Cat, expected to stretch out during the upcoming Hollywood Park meeting, captured the Swaps (gr. II) as a 3-year-old. A winner of five of nine career starts with three seconds and earnings of $412,420 for Headley's wife Aase and Marsha Naify, Surf Cat will carry top weight of 119 pounds, six more than his nearest rival.
That would be the graded stakes winner Areyoutalkintome, who will be guided by the 41-year-old Felipe Martinez in his final ride. The Doug O'Neill-conditioned 5-year-old Smokester gelding ran sixth in an allowance race March 15 but has the past credentials to make a race of it on his best day.
Seven-year-old Oceanus ran third behind Surf Cat at odds of 37-1 in the San Carlos and most recently finished sixth after a slow start in an optional allowance/claiming event at Santa Anita over seven furlongs March 4. That race was won by Grinding It Out, a 6-year-old son of Grindstone
who returns Sunday as the probable pacesetter for trainer Neil French.$200,000 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II, Race 4, 2 p.m.), 4 & Up, 6 1/2 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Areyoutalkintome (CA), 113, Felipe Martinez
2. Keep On Punching (KY), 111, Patrick Valenzuela
3. Grinding It Out (KY), 109, Jose Valdivia Jr.
4. Oceanus (BRZ), 112, Omar Berrio
5. Surf Cat (KY), 119, Alex Solis