The feature race at Santa Anita this Saturday is the GR 2 San Gabriel Stakes for older horses going 1 1/8 Mile on the Turf. The race appears solid with a full field of twelve entered. In post position order:
- 12-1 Blue Tone : 4.7 Best. Modest Circle Back pattern. Has never raced on the Turf and has mediocre Grass bloodlines. Has regressed after posting that fast 4.7 Best. Solid connections. Could be competitive if he takes to the Turf and if he can turn things around. Asking a lot.
- 8-1 Point Piper: 3.7 Best. Modest Circle Back pattern. Similar pattern as Blue Tone; although faster and he has previous Turf form. Excellent trainer and solid jockey. If he takes to the Grass, he is Very Dangerous!
- 6-1 Flamboyant: 7.9 Best. Modest Circle Back pattern. He posted that 7.9 Best in winning this event last year at 46-1. He tailed off after that score, but has shown recent improvement. Solid connections. Will need improvement.
- 20-1 Syntax: 11.0 Best. Fading pattern and Layoff. Has been off for 3 months and has never posted a Number that would be competitive with these. On the plus side, he is now in the excellent D’Amato barn and jockey Talamo is solid. He is bred to run all day. Needs the race of his life.
- 10-1 Itsinthepost: 7.2 Best. Marching pattern. Very nice Marching pattern as he made the lead in the lane before being caught in his latest. I call that The Move and accompanied with the Marching pattern, there is a strong indication that there may be more improvement to come for this guy. Very good connections. Dangerous longshot!
- 15-1 Conquest Daddyo: 10.4 Best. Layoff. He sported a nice Marching pattern prior to the recent 3 month layoff. First time in the very solid Sadler barn and rider Contreras has good stats. Must show more off of the layoff.
- 6-1 A Red Tie Day: 6.7 Best. Marching pattern. Leaped to his 6.7 Best in his most recent, a close-up 5th in a GR 2 against Ring Weekend. That was a big (3.3 point) improvement over his previous Best, so a possible Bounce is a concern. Very good connections. Worth a long look!
- 15-1 Quick Casablanca: 9.4 (Turf) Best. Even pattern. Numbers are slow for these, and pattern is not positive. Connections have modest stats. Would surprise me.
- 4-1 Twentytwentyvision: 7.0 Best (Extended card). Fading pattern. His overall pattern appears on the decline. His latest was a small improvement, but he has been on the bench again for over 2 months. His connections are stellar. Will need a big turnaround.
- 8-1 Perfectly Majestic: 7.2 Best. Marching pattern. He scored nicely in his most recent, improving to that 2 Best. Very good connections. Leave him out at your own risk!
- 5-2 Ring Weekend: 3.1 Best (1.0 Best on the Extended Card). Marching pattern. Posted that very fast 3.1 Best in his most recent, a gutsy score against Vyjack and Om. Going back 2 years, he posted a sizzling 1.0 Best in winning the GR 1 Kilroe Mile, so you could make the case that this guy is actually in a LONG Circle Back pattern. He has been given 6 weeks to freshen after that recent score, so I do not expect a bounce. Connections are excellent. My top choice!
- 20-1 Some in Tieme: Unknown Best. Layoff. Brazil import has been on the bench for 10 months. Certainly ran well in Brazil, but I think South American racing is a notch below the US horses. Connections have very modest stats. Would surprise me.
I consider Ring Weekend clearly the one to beat. There are a couple of others with fast Numbers and positive patterns.