Zoe Metz

Kanthaka Dials Back for Lazaro Barrera

Jimmy Creed colt is undefeated at seven furlongs.

West Point Thoroughbreds' Kanthaka will drop in class and cut back to a distance he's proven at in the $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park May 12.

Both of the 3-year-old Jimmy Creed  colt's wins have been at the Barrera's seven-furlong distance, including his breakthrough, 3 1/4-length score in the  Feb. 10 San Vicente Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita.

BALAN: Kanthaka Charges Home to Take San Vicente

Then came some tries around two turns on the Triple Crown trail—a third in the San Felipe (G2) and a sixth in the Toyota Blue Grass (G2)—but a return to one turn and a hot pace in front of him could suit the late-running Jerry Hollendorfer trainee.

"He's won at that distance, so we thought he'd be competitive at that distance again," Hollendorfer said. "That's not saying his other races were bad races, because those were some pretty good horses."

Kanthaka won't be facing the likes of grade 1 winners Good Magic, Bolt d'Oro, or McKinzie like he has in his previous two starts, but he'll still take on a talented group of 3-year-olds, albeit without a graded win.

The main two threats appear to be from the barn of trainer Bob Baffert, who will send out Zulfikhar and McKale, who ran first and second, respectively, and a half-length apart in a 6 1/2-furlong optional-claiming allowance April 15.

Facing a talented Baffert-trained duo is not unfamiliar for Kanthaka, who won the San Vicente at odds of 11-1 and defeated highly regarded Baffert trainees Nero (second) and Ax Man (fourth) in the process.

"That's why when you train in California, if you can get them to win in (conditional allowances) and in stakes, they can be tough everywhere," Hollendorfer said. "We may not have a high number of horses, but the competition level is very high."

The field is completed by stakes winner Beautiful Shot, who last won the Oct. 15 Speakeasy at Santa Anita and finished third in the Bob Hope (G3) at Del Mar Nov. 11 before off-the-board finishes two Triple Crown preps in 2018; maiden winners Calexman and King Cause; and maiden Bocephus, who is winless in eight starts but has placed in three stakes at Turf Paradise.

Later on the card at Santa Anita, 3-year-old fillies will also go seven furlongs in the $75,000 Angels Flight Stakes.

The favorite figures to be multiple grade 1 winner Moonshine Memories, who is returning to racing off a six-month layoff. The Del Mar Debutante (G1) and Chandelier Stakes (G1) winner finished seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) to end her 2-year-old season, then had her training delayed in March because of a slight fever.

Simon Callaghan said her main summer target will be the Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course, a race the trainer won last year with American Gal.

Entries: Lazaro Barrera S. (G3)

Santa Anita Park, Saturday, May 12, 2018, Race 5

  • Grade III
  • 7f
  • Dirt
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo
  • 2:40 PM (local)
11Kanthaka (KY)Flavien Prat124Jerry Hollendorfer9/5
22Calexman (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateAlonso Quinonez120Vladimir Cerin8/1
33McKale (MD)Keeneland Sales GraduateDrayden Van Dyke120Bob Baffert2/1
44Zulfikhar (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMartin Garcia120Bob Baffert5/2
55King Cause (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateGeovanni Franco120Doug F. O'Neill20/1
66Bocephus (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateStewart Elliott120Molly J. Pearson30/1
77Beautiful Shot (FL)Kent J. Desormeaux122J. Keith Desormeaux6/1

Entries: Angels Flight S.

Santa Anita Park, Saturday, May 12, 2018, Race 8

  • STK
  • 7f
  • Dirt
  • $75,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 4:18 PM (local)
11Show It N Moe It (CA)Rafael Bejarano124Gary Sherlock6/1
22Moonshine Memories (KY)Flavien Prat124Simon Callaghan5/2
33First Dudette (FL)Stewart Elliott120Brian J. Koriner15/1
44Emboldened (KY)Martin Garcia120Bob Baffert8/1
55Surrender Now (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateVictor Espinoza124Peter Miller15/1
66Uppercut (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMike E. Smith120Peter Eurton7/2
77Highland Lass (KY)Tyler Conner120John W. Sadler12/1
88True Royalty (FL)Drayden Van Dyke120John W. Sadler8/1
99Thirteen Squared (KY)Joseph Talamo120Bob Baffert4/1
1010Film Actress (KY)Brayan Pena124Margie Cantrell30/1