Congaree and D'wildcat, two horses trying to establish their credentials for the Breeders' Cup Mile, will meet Saturday in the $250,000 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita.
Post time is 3:15 p.m. (PT).
Stonerside Stable's Congaree, who carries top weight of 123 in the field of eight, will be making his turf debut. Ineffective beyond 1 1/16 mile this year, the son of Arazi won his most recent race, the Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) Sept. 2 on the dirt for trainer Bob Baffert. Mike Smith, aboard the 4-year-old for the first time in the Del Mar race, returns to ride again.
Congaree worked a bullet :46 3/5 breezing a half-mile on Oct. 1 on the main track at Santa Anita. He drilled a bullet 1:09 4/5 six furlongs with dogs up on the Santa Anita turf Sept. 21.
Fog City Stable's D'Wildcat was credited with victory in his second try on turf, the eight-furlong Live The Dream Handicap at Del Mar Sept. 11. The 4-year-old son of Forest Wildcat was placed first by disqualification after being steadied twice in the stretch while trying to get by an erratic Devine Wind. Jockey Corey Nakatani replaces Kent Desormeaux for trainer Robert Hess Jr.
Everest Stable's Night Patrol, winner of the Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 1 1/16 miles and second in the Charles Whittingham (gr. IT) at 1 1/4 miles earlier this year, will also be among Saturday's favorites for trainer Nick Canani. Night Patrol is returning off a last-place showing in the $200,000 Rodney Caeser at Delaware Aug. 24. He is winless in seven tries at the one-mile distance, however.
"He's training really well," Canani said. "We're going to take our best shot. He ran good here last year when he ran fourth, beaten two lengths, in the Arcadia (gr. IIT)."
Chilean-bred Kachamandi and French-bred Zanapour, a close-finishing third and fourth to D'wildcat in the Live the Dream, are also part of a contentious field. $250,000 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT), 3 & up
1. Congaree, Mike Smith, 123
2. I Love Silver, Gary Stevens, 119
3. Zanapour, Garrett Gomez, 119
4. Kachamandi, Patrick Valenzuela, 119
5. Nicobar, Laffit Pincay Jr., 119.
6. Spinelessjellyfish, Goncalino Almeida, 119
7. D'wildcat, Corey Nakatani, 119
8. Night Patrol, Jose Valdivia, 119