Texas Ryano can atone in San Gabriel Stakes
ARCADIA, Calif. – Gender Agenda gave trainer Carla Gaines a successful start to the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting with an upset win in the Grade 3 Robert Frankel Stakes last Sunday. Gaines is poised for another potential upset in a stakes if Texas Ryano can run to his early autumn form in Saturday’s $200,000 San Gabriel Stakes at Santa Anita.
Texas Ryano won the King Pellinore Stakes at 1 1/4 miles on turf Sept. 27 but struggled at Del Mar, finishing fifth in an optional claimer at a mile Oct. 30 and eighth of 14 in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup on Nov. 26.
“He ran terrible,” Gaines said. “I have no excuse for Del Mar.”
Owned by Warren Williamson, Texas Ryano won his first stakes in the King Pellinore and can win his first graded stakes in the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Despite his poor recent form, Gaines is optimistic about Saturday’s race.
“He’s working well, he’s galloping well, and he’s very sound,” Gaines said. “I’m happy.”
The field includes Bal a Bali, who won the Grade 3 American Stakes here last May and was second in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar on Nov. 27; Big John B, who was second in the Hollywood Turf Cup; and Chiropractor, who won the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 28.
There are three stakes Saturday at Santa Anita, including the $200,000 Santa Ynez for 3-year-old fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs and the $100,000 Midnight Lute Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs.
Pretty N Cool, who won Grade 2 races at Del Mar and Belmont Park last year, and Treasuring, who was second in the Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar in November, meet in the Santa Ynez. Pretty N Cool and Treasuring were fourth and fifth in the Grade 1 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos on Dec. 12.
San Onofre, second in three consecutive stakes from last January to May, is a top contender in the Midnight Lute. Trained by Karen Headley, San Onofre has not raced since finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Stakes here last June.
Aqueduct: Jerome Stakes
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Though entered in Friday’s $125,000 Lost in the Fog Stakes at six furlongs, Condo King is likely to scratch from that spot and attempt two turns in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct.
The Jerome is the first of four races on this circuit for 3-year-olds with Kentucky Derby aspirations. The Jerome, at a mile and 70 yards, awards 17 qualifying points (10-4-2-1) to the top four finishers to the May 7 Derby. A field of nine, led by Remsen Stakes runner-up Flexibility, was entered in the Jerome. King Kranz, like Condo King, was cross-entered in the Lost in the Fog and the Jerome.
Condo King, a son of Tiz Wonderful, is coming off a neck victory over King Kranz in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race. Condo King set the pace that day, was passed by King Kranz, the 1-2 favorite, then battled back along the inside to prevail by a neck before galloping out several lengths in front.
“I was trying to get him ready to run a mile, but I don’t think we had him ready to run a mile that day,” trainer Rudy Rodriguez said. “With two races under him, I think he’s ready to stretch out a little bit.”
Condo King debuted in May, finishing second to Uncle Vinny in a five-furlong race at Belmont Park. He came out of that race with a shin issue and didn’t race again until Nov. 8, when he ran third behind Vorticity. That horse came back to win the Marylander Stakes and is entered in the Jerome. Condo King and Stradivari, third and fourth in that Nov. 8 race, each came back to win a maiden race next out.
Condo King drew post 7 and will be ridden Saturday by Angel Arroyo.
The Jerome field, from the rail out, is Silent Assassin, In Equality, Donegal Moon, Flexibility, Vorticity, Bird of Trey, Condo King, King Kranz, and Let Me Go First.
Gulfstream: Hutcheson Stakes
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The decision to move the six-furlong Hutcheson Stakes up on the calendar from the middle of the winter gave horsemen a second option to go with the one-mile Mucho Macho Man for their 3-yearolds here Saturday. And as a result, the races split the available talent, with the Hutcheson getting the stronger field. The Grade 3 Hutcheson attracted the stakes winners Sheikh of Sheikhs and Full Salute along with the extremely promising Awesome Banner.
Trainer Wesley Ward said the graded status of the Hutcheson lured Sheikh of Sheikhs, who closed his 2-year-old campaign with a half-length victory over Noholdingback Bear in the six-furlong Juvenile Sprint at Keeneland on Breeders’ Cup weekend. Noholdingback Bear also is entered in the Hutcheson.
The field for the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man (previously known as the Gulfstream Park Derby) includes Aggressive Driver, Awesome Speed, Bullet Gone Astray, El Charro, Fellowship, Golden Ray, and Picadilly Roadster.
Saturday’s 11-race program also includes three more stakes, all for 3-year-olds: the Grade 3 Old Hat for fillies over the main track and the Grade 3 Dania Beach and $100,000 Ginger Brew on turf.