ARCADIA, Calif. (March 26, 2014)–Blueskiesnrainbows and Segway, both committed frontrunners, will try to stretch their speed 1 ½ miles in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup at Santa Anita. Originally run as the San Bernardino Handicap, the Tokyo City attracted a competitive field of eight older horses.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Blueskiesnrainbows paid a heavy price after engaging eventual Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude in suicidal front-running fractions of 22.75, 46.26, 1:10.17 and 1:35.23 in the Grade II, 1 1/8 miles San Antonio Stakes Feb. 8, finishing next to last in a field of seven, beaten 10 ¼ lengths.
A winner of the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes on Jan. 11 and the Grade III Native Diver Stakes on Dec. 14, Blueskiesnrainbows finished a close third in his only other attempt at 1 ½ miles, the Grade III Cougar II Handicap on synthetic polytrack July 26.
A 5-year-old Virginia-bred horse by English Channel, Blueskiesnrainbows has shown an affinity for Santa Anita’s main track, posting a 10-3-3-2 mark in Arcadia and a 24-7-3-3 record overall. Owned by Bad Boy Racing, LLC and Whizway Farms, he has earnings of $669,802.
Richard Mandella’s lightly raced Segway will try the main track for the first time Saturday in what will be his eighth career start. The 5-year-old Giant’s Causeway gelding pressed the pace and ended up a close fourth, beaten 2 ½ lengths, in the Grade II, mile and a quarter turf San Marcos Stakes Feb. 8.
In his only try at 1 ½ miles, Segway showed the way for a mile and tired to finish third, beaten 2 ¾ lengths, in the Grade II Hollywood Turf Cup Dec. 14. Owned by his breeders, Wertheimer and Frere, Segway has two wins from seven starts and earnings of $102,060.
Far back early, trainer Carla Gaines’ American Blend finished well to be third, beaten 4 ¾ lengths, two starts back in the San Antonio but was subsequently distanced, finishing eighth and last in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap, beaten 20 ¼ lengths on March 8.
A 6-year-old gelding by Quiet American, he would obviously benefit from a lively pace. American Blend, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Warren B. Williamson and bred by Williamson Racing, LLC, has three wins from 12 starts with earnings of $163,780. He will be trying 1 ½ miles for the first time.
A close second two starts back in the San Pasqual, trainer Sean McCarthy’s Majestic Harbor ran an even fourth, beaten 4 ¾ lengths, in the San Antonio. A 6-year-old horse by Rockport Harbor, Majestic Harbor will be making his third start off of a 6 ½ month layoff and could improve in his first try at 1 ½ miles. Owned by Gallant Stable, he has earnings of $271,764 from an overall record of 20-4-6-3.
Claimed eight starts back for $32,000 on Feb. 9, Tiz Dynamic is an up and coming sort who, like Blueskiesnrainbows and Segway, does his best running when forwardly placed. Trained by a red-hot Richard Baltas, Tiz Dynamic comes off a sharp 2 ¼ length allowance score going 1 1/8 miles and is a nose away from having three consecutive wins.
A 5-year-old gelding by Tiznow, Tiz Dynamic is owned by the Barbara Kelly Living Trust. He has earnings of $142,520 from an overall mark of 19-6-2-1.
A Group II winner in Argentina going 1 ¾ miles on dirt four starts back on June 21, 2013, Ever Rider was eased as the 9-2 favorite in his U.S. debut Nov. 1, the Grade II Breeders’ Cup Marathon. A solid third, beaten 1 ¾ lengths by American Blend in a second condition allowance Jan. 1, Ever Rider showed the way through fast fractions going 1 1/8 miles on turf at Santa Anita March 6, and finished last, beaten 13 lengths.
Trained by Mike Puype and owned by Stud Parque Patricios, Ever Rider has two wins and a second from three tries at 1 ½ miles on dirt. He is 26-4-3-4 overall.
Niagara Falls, trained by Patrick Biancone, will try natural dirt for the first time in his 10th career start. He comes off an even run going 1 1/8 miles on turf March 6 and could improve off that race, as he had been idle since running fourth, beaten 3 ½ lengths, in the Grade II Charles Whittingham Handicap June 8. Owned by Mrs. Paul Shanahan, the 5-year-old horse by Giant’s Causeway has two wins from nine starts.
A winner of the Grade III, 1 3/8 miles Canadian Derby at Northlands Park on Aug. 25, 2012, Toccetive is a proven stayer, but hasn’t won in his last nine starts, his most recent a last place finish in a one mile turf classified allowance March 18 at Turf Paradise. Bred in-part and owned by Lyle Farkash, Toccetive is one of several horses that would appreciate a fast pace.
The complete field for the Tokyo City Cup, to be run as the eighth race on a nine-race program Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Tiz Dynamic, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Ever Rider, Victor Espinoza, 120; American Blend, Joe Talamo, 118; Segway, Gary Stevens, 118; Toccetive, Fernando Perez, 118; Blueskiesnrainbows, Corey Nakatani, 123; Niagara Falls, Aaron Gryder, 118, and Majestic Harbor, Tyler Baze, 118.
First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m.