Not all the top graded action is back east this Saturday as Santa Anita is offering up a solid field of “8” older runners for the $200,000, GII Strub Stakes, for 4yo and up, at 1 1/16 mile over the Santa Anita main track.
Free Past Performances, ←Brisnet
Free Past Performances, ←DRF
Bob Baffert got a pair coming out for GII dust-up in Shakin It Up , at 7/2, winner of the GI Malibu Stakes here last month beating Central Banker by 1/2 length and going a swift 1:20.2 winning time for that 7f course! When he fires late, he wins but will have to be patient here!
Govenor Charlie , at 4/1, returns to racing after a long injury-induced layoff after winning last year’s GIII Sunland Derby for the Baffert barn “again” but was eased in the GI Preakness Stakes last year finishing back 32 lengths! A pretty tough field for a first out return to racing here on Saturday!
Hear the Ghost , at 5/2, came 2nd in the GIII Native Diver Stakes at BHP last out where he was closing in on Blueskiesnrainbows at the end but to that 1/2 length lose as he’ll be make his 3rd start off the long layoff form cycle so he should be sharp in here on Saturday. He did win the GII San Felipe Stakes over this same surface and distance here last year as a 3yo beating the likes of Flashback and Tizaminster in the process!
Zeewat , at 4/1, came a better than expected 3rd in that same GI Malibu Stakes here last out back by just 1 1/4 length! This 4yo won the California Derby up at Golden Gate with a big closing run last year and seems to like this Santa Anita surface too as he also won the Damascus Stakes here 2 back going 1:20.3 in that 7f shootout!
Heir of Storm, at 4/1, does offer graded experience with a 7th finish, 9 back in that same GI Malibu Stakes here last out! He also has graded experience as a 2yo in the GII Best Pal and GI Del Mar Futurity with off the board finishes in both! He did win a $40k alw here on Nov 1st cooking along at 1:20.4 in that 7f dust-up, winning by 4 1/4 lengths. Graded and track experience here, but he’ll need to near the early leaders to even have any shot at a piece here on Saturday!
Rookie Sensation , at 6/1, winner of the GII Twilight Derby here last fall, then went on to be the early speed in the GI Hollywood Derby last out where he faded for the 5th spot. Again, not a lot of dirt form here either, but nice connections in that he’s a son of Unbridled’s Song, Adena Springs breed, trained by John Shirreffs. Early speed might work better for him over this speed-favoring Santa Anita main!
Dice Flavor , at 15/1, who has a trip to Dubai last March on his resume, did win the GIII El Camino Reel Stakes up at GG last winter and also won the GII La Jolla Stakes down at the Del Mar meet this past summer. This one has no dirt form to speak of as only poly and turf have been his prefered surfaces thus far!
Say Ow , at 20/1, is a Doug O’Neill trainee who in 2013 was 7th in the GII West Virginia Derby and 8th in the GII Del Mar Derby but was back double-digit lengths in both and has something of a checkered past even down at the alw level.
So, a true GII quality field is on tap here at Santa Anita this Saturday as the graded season rolls on here in sunny Southern California this weekend with the $200,000, GII Strub Stakes!
Post Time – 4:00 pm Pst
|1.||Dice Flavor||J Valdivia, Jr.||123||P Gallagher||15/1|
|2.||Rookie Sensation||V Espinoza||123||J A Shirreffs||6/1|
|3.||Shakin It Up||M E Smith||118||B Baffert||7/2|
|4.||Zeewat||R Bejarano||118||J Hollendorfer||4/1|
|5.||Govenor Charlie||M Garcia||118||B Baffert||4/1|
|6.||Hear the Ghost||C S Nakatani||120||J Hollendorfer||5/2|
|7.||Heir of Storm||J Talamo||118||P Miller||4/1|
|8.||Say Ow||T Baze||118||D F O’Neill||20/1|
Picks are – 6,2,3,4 in an Exacta box with the 5 and 1 added to the back-end of a cheap super play!