Grade I winner Siren Lure goes after his seventh stakes victory since being claimed by current owners Stuart Kesselman and Tony Melkonian for $50,000 on May 8, 2005, in Saturday's $150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita.
Trainer Art Sherman says Siren Lure would prefer a strong pace in the seven-furlong event that drew a field of 11. The 121-pound high weight seems likely to get it with Proud Tower Too (120) in the line-up.
The 6-year-old gelded son of Joyeux Dancer makes the most of limited opportunities. In only 22 career starts, the 6-year-old gelding has won 12, with one second and three thirds. He has earned $789,909, the majority of that for Kesselman and Melkonian.
Siren Lure has won eight times from 13 starts since the claim, including the Triple Bend Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. I) in July.
Sherman says Siren Lure is ready although he hasn’t raced since Dec. 2, when he was second in the Vernon O. Underwood (gr. III).
“He’s like a lot of old horses that have wear and tear on them,” said former jockey Sherman. “But if you run a horse like him sparingly, you’re going to keep him around a lot longer. If he had been running consistently in claiming races, he probably wouldn’t have lasted as long. We nurse him and baby him. You have to do a lot of special things with old horses that have a lot of aches and pains.”
The late-running Siren Lure will be ridden for the first time by Richard Migliore.
“He’s got to sit and make one run, and it would help if he could save some ground,” said Sherman, who turns 70 Saturday. “You’ve got to save ground around the turn. You can’t be four and five wide and give another horse that many lengths. You’ve got to ride a heads-up race.
The two-time grade I winner Proud Tower Too should have a favorable pace scenario. The 5-year-old Proud Irish horse was a game second in the Sunshine Millions Sprint, 3 1/4 lengths behind victorious Smokey Stover, after battling with Bordonaro on the lead most of the way in the six-furlong race.
David Cohen, who has ridden the California-bred Proud Tower Too in his last seven races – four of them victories – is looking forward to the San Carlos.
“He’s set now,” the 22-year-old jockey said. “He came out of the Sunshine Millions real well, real strong, just like always. He definitely seems much sharper since his last race. The lack of speed in the San Carlos should give him a breather the first quarter mile. We’ll just go from there and let him do his thing.”
Trained by Sal Gonzalez, Proud Tower Too has a 7-4-2 record from 21 starts, with earnings of $1,705,572 for the Tricar Stable of Daniel Cardenas of Nogales, AZ.
Not to be overlooked in Saturday's field is two-length Malibu (gr. I) winner Latent Heat, trained by Bobby Frankel. Edgar Prado comes west for the mount.
Raise the Bluff and Harvard Avenue will run coupled as an entry for owner Ron Crockett.
$150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II, Race 9, 4:30 p.m)
4 & Up, 7 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. a-Raise the Bluff (MD), 113, Tyler Baze
2. Publication (KY), 113, Michael C. Baze
3. Majestic Stream (LA), 114, William Antongeorgi III
4. Latent Heat (KY), 118, Edgar S. Prado
5. Swing Your Partner (FL), 113, Jorge F. Chavez
6. Proud Tower Too (CA), 120, David Cohen
7. Tontine Too (FL), 114, Garrett K. Gomez
8. Siren Lure (KY), 121, Richard Migliore
9. Ramsgate (KY), 114, David R. Flores
10. Northern Soldier (KY), 115, Aaron T. Gryder
11. a-Harvard Avenue (KY), 118, Victor Espinoza
a- Ron Crockett-owned entry.