ARCADIA, Calif. (March 25, 2015)–Bob Baffert’s Sky Kingdom heads a field of eight older horses as he seeks his second career win in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup, to be run at the marathon distance of a 1 ½ miles on Santa Anita’s main track.
An impressive winner of the 2013 Tokyo City, Sky Kingdom pressed the early pace and went on to an emphatic 3 ¾ length win two years ago under Martin Garcia, who will be reunited with the Westrock Stables, LLC color bearer on Saturday. A winner of the American Flag Stakes five starts back at Los Alamitos on July 4, Sky Kingdom, a 6-year-old Kentucky-bred horse by Empire Maker, comes off a pair of double digit defeats in the Grade II, 1 ¾ miles Las Vegas Marathon at Santa Anita Oct. 31, and in the Grade I, 1 1/8 miles Awesome Again Stakes Sept. 27.
Sky Kingdom enters the Tokyo City fresh and will be taking a significant drop in class off of his last two starts. He has a win and two seconds at a mile and a half and is 18-5-2-2 overall with earnings of $412,122.
Trainer Neil Drysdale’s Chilean-bred Bronzo comes off an even fifth place run, beaten 6 ½ lengths by America’s top rated older horse, Shared Belief, in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap and figures prominently in the Tokyo City. A Group I winner in his native Chile, Bronzo, a 6-year-old gelding by Fusaichi Pegasus, has faced top horses, including Shared Belief, California Chrome and Hoppertunity in his three stateside efforts to date.
Owned by Don Alberto Stable, Bronzo layed mid-pack early in both the Big ‘Cap and the Grade II San Antonio Invitational on Feb. 7, but was far off the early pace in his U.S. debut, the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes on Jan 10. He is 23-11-1-4 overall with earnings of $323,002 and will be reunited with Gary Stevens, who rode him in both the San Pasqual and San Antonio.
Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams’ homebred Rousing Sermon broke an eight-game losing streak with a hard fought nose win in a third condition allowance race at a flat mile on Feb. 20 and like many others in the Tokyo City lineup, will try 1 ½ miles for the first time on Saturday. Although he has yet to win a graded stakes, the 6-year-old California-bred horse by Lucky Pulpit has amassed earnings of $816,042 from an overall mark of 32-6-7-7. A versatile sort, he can lay close early or come from off the pace.
Up and coming Arlington House, who broke his maiden in front-running fashion for a $50,000 claiming tag on Jan. 16, comes off another gate to wire score in a one mile starter allowance Feb. 22 and could have theft on his mind with Tyler Baze up for trainer Jeff Bonde.
A 4-year-old Canadian-bred gelding by Harlington, Arlington House is owned by Arndt, Corsair Holdings, Roger Layarte and Mersad Metanovic. He’ll be ridden for the first time by Tyler Baze, as Rafael Bejarano opts to stay with Rousing Sermon.
The complete field for the Grade III Tokyo City Cup, to be run as the eighth race on a nine-race program Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Helm, Drayden Van Dyke, 118; Decisive Edge, Alex Solis, 118; Rousing Sermon, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Bronzo, Gary Stevens, 123; Arlington House, Tyler Baze, 118; Image of Joplin, Agapito Delgadillo, 118; Bailoutbobby, Elvis Trujillo, 118, and Sky Kingdom, Martin Garcia, 118.
First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.