ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 24, 2016)– Five-year-old gelding Alert Bay heads a field of 11 in Saturday’s $100,000 Sensational Star Stakes for California-bred or sired older horses going 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.
Easily the most successful in the Sensational Star by earnings alone with over a $1,000,000 to his credit, Alert Bay, trained by Blaine Wright will be seeking his first win down the hill. Dominant over Santa Anita’s turf course in recent years, Alert Bay has run in the money in six out of seven lifetime tries over the grass here in Arcadia, with four wins.
A winner of the Grade II City of Hope (turf) Mile on Sept. 27, 2015 at Santa Anita, ‘AB’ went on to run seventh in the Grade II Seabiscuit Handicap in late November over Del Mar’s turf course after winning up north in the Bay Area at odds of 1-5 in a turf allowance. He then went on to run sixth in his first-ever try down the hillside in the Grade II Daytona on Dec. 26, though beaten only a length.
Alert Bay’s latest try over the turf, when favored at 2-1, resulted in a second to What a View in the Cal Cup Turf Classic at Santa Anita Jan. 30 going 1 1/8 miles. With two bullet works serving as his most recent over Golden Gate’s Tapeta surface up at his home base in Berkeley, CA, Alert Bay looks ready to fire.
“He does quite well at Santa Anita, he really likes this place,” said Wright following his win in the City of Hope. “I’ve never had such a versatile, hard-hitting horse as him; he can run on any surface. Obviously, he’s best on turf but he can run on dirt and even Tapeta.”
By City Zip, out of the Dushyantor mare Hickory, Alert Bay is owned by Peter Redekop of British Columbia and is 23-11-5-2 overall with $1,028,235 in earnings.
The complete field for the Sensational Star, to be run as the 6th race on a nine-race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Image of Joplin, Agapito Delgadillo, 122; Solid Wager, Victor Espinoza, 124; Aotearoa, Drayden Van Dyke, 120; Pay the Fine, Mario Gutierrez, 122; Lucky J Lane, Santiago Gonzalez, 120; McHeat, Fernando Perez, 122; Forest Chatter, Mike Smith, 124; Richard’s Boy, Flavien Prat, 122; Alert Bay, Martin Garcia, 124; Boozer, Gary Stevens, 120; Poshsky, Joe Talamo, 124.