MATHIS BROTHERS MILE IS ONE OF FOUR GRADED STAKES ON OPENING DAY OF WINTER MEET
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 21, 2017)–In what appears to be a completely wide-open race, Big Score, Bowies Hero, Colonist and Harbour Master all rate solid chances among a field of eight sophomores in Tuesday’s Grade II, $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile on turf.
One of four graded stakes on Santa Anita’s nine-race opening day program, the Mathis Brothers Mile will be run as the sixth race.
The primary Mathis Brothers Mile contenders are as follows:
Owner: George Krikorian Trainer: Tim Yakteen
Most recently third, beaten one length in the Grade I Hollywood Derby at a mile and one eighth on turf Nov. 25, this Kentucky-bred colt by Mr. Big has enjoyed a most productive year, as he’s banked $364,500 from a 2017 mark of 7-1-3-2. Second to highly regarded Sharp Samurai in both the Grade II Del Mar Derby Sept. 3 and the Grade II Twilight Derby two starts back at Santa Anita on Oct. 28, Big Score has two wins from five tries at a mile on turf and should therefore be comfortable cutting back in distance a furlong off the Hollywood Derby. Bred by his owner, George Krikorian, Big Score could go favored in a deeply contentious affair.
Owner: Agave Racing Stable Trainer: Phil D’Amato
By turf specialist Artie Schiller, Bowies Hero was a winner of the restricted one mile turf Oceanside Stakes four starts back on July 19 and ran well in three subsequent graded stakes–finishing second in the Grade II Del Mar Derby on Sept. 3, third in the Grade II Twilight Derby here on Oct. 28 and most recently, fifth, beaten 2 ½ lengths, in the Grade I Hollywood Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf Nov. 25. With Desormeaux back for the third consecutive time, Bowies Hero would be well suited by a fast pace.
Owner: Stonestreet Stables, LLC Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer
A close fourth from off the pace in the Grade II Del Mar Derby, this Kentucky-bred colt by Pioneerof the Nile was third, beaten three quarters of a length in the Grade III La Jolla Handicap two starts back on Aug. 6. Although both of his career wins have come on dirt, Colonist is obviously more than capable on turf and will try to “break through” with his first stakes win on Tuesday. Ridden three times by Corey Nakatani this past spring, he’ll be reunited with the veteran reinsman in the Mathis Brothers Mile and he’s one of several who would benefit from a fast early pace.
Owner: Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. Trainer: Armando De La Cerda
A Florida-bred invader who ships west following a three wins and a second at Gulfstream Park and Gulfstream West, this Florida-bred gelding by The Factor looms extremely dangerous with four-time Eclipse Champ Javier Castellano set to ride for the first time. A two-time minor stakes winner at Gulfstream on Aug. 19 and Sept. 24, he comes off a second place finish as the even money favorite in a one mile turf stakes Nov. 4 at Gulfstream Park West. Quick from the gate, he may be able to dictate terms under Castellano.
Owner: D P Racing Trainer: James Cassidy
Although he was a sharp one mile turf allowance winner on Nov. 18, he loses the services of Kent Desormeaux, but will be ridden by another Hall of Famer, Victor Espinoza. Well beaten in his only other graded stakes attempt when 10th in the Grade II Del Mar Derby four starts back on Sept. 3, English-bred Harbour Master is in good recent form and therefore rates an upset chance on Tuesday.
THE GRADE II MATHIS BROTHERS MILE WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 6 of 9 Approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PT
1. Kroy–Javier Castellano–120
2. B Squared–Mario Gutierrez–122
3. Colonist–Corey Nakatani–120
4. Harbour Master–Victor Espinoza–120
5. Bowies Hero–Kent Desormeaux–122
6. Holiday Stone–Rafael Bejarano–120
7. Hootie–Drayden Van Dyke–120
8. Big Score–Flavien Prat–122
Special early first post time on Tuesday is at 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. For more information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.