ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2015)–A runaway winner of the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 1, Texas Red will make his 3-year-old debut in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs. Trained by Keith Desormeaux, the Kentucky-bred colt by Afleet Alex heads a field of eight in the San Vicente, an important steppingstone to the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 4.
A scintillating 6 ½ length winner of the 1 1/16 miles Juvenile, Texas Red made an eye catching run from dead last under Desormeaux’s brother, Kent, who will be back aboard on Sunday. Although winless in two sprints last summer on synthetic surfaces at Arlington Park (July 3, five furlongs) and at Del Mar (July 26), “Red” made forward moves in both races and should be plenty dangerous at seven furlongs.
Off at 13-1 in the Juvenile, Texas Red earned a San Vicente best last-out Beyer Speed figure of 104, but was narrowly outpointed for Eclipse Award honors by Bob Baffert’s American Pharoah, who defeated Texas Red by 4 ¾ lengths in Santa Anita’s Grade I FrontRunner Stakes on Sept. 27.
Owned by Brehm, Detmar, Michaels and partners, Texas Red was purchased by Desormeaux for just $17,000 as a Keeneland September yearling and has now banked $1,192,300. He has two wins, a second and a third from five starts.
Trainer Peter Miller’s speedy Serbian Syclone has won his last two races in virtual gate to wire fashion by a combined 8 ½ lengths and seeks his third consecutive win with regular pilot Elvis Trujillo aloft. Based at San Luis Rey Downs, the Kentucky-bred colt by Wildcat Heir tries stakes company for the first time in his fourth career start. Owned by Rockingham Ranch, Serbian Syclone is out of the Bertrando mare Exquisite Beauty.
A 6 ¾ length winner of Santa Anita’s Speakeasy Stakes going six furlongs two starts back on Oct. 13, Bob Baffert’s Lord Nelson disappointed as the 7-5 favorite in the Grade II, 1 1/16 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on Nov. 29 at Churchill Downs. A chestnut colt by Pulpit, Lord Nelson was a first-out maiden special weight winner going five furlongs at Del Mar on July 19.
Owned by Peachtree Stable, Lord Nelson has two wins from four starts and has earnings of $129,571. He’ll be ridden for the first time by leading rider Rafael Bejarano.
Arnold Zetcher’s Punctuate rallied smartly from off the pace for a first-out maiden win going 6 ½ furlongs on Sept. 27 with the recently retired Rosie Napravnik aboard and will be handled on Sunday by Martin Garcia. Trained by Bob Baffert, the Kentucky-bred colt by Distorted Humor will try to overcome the layoff and a lack of seasoning in the San Vicente.
John Sadler’s Bench Warrant comes off a nose allowance score at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course and seeks his third win in five starts. Trainer Brian Koriner’s Sir Samson draws the outside after breaking his maiden going six furlongs at Los Alamitos on Dec. 12. He takes a steep jump in class in career start number three with new rider Joe Talamo up.
The complete field for the San Vicente Stakes, to be run as the sixth race on an eight-race card Sunday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Lord Nelson, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Serbian Syclone, Elvis Trujillo, 118; Jazzy Josh, Flavien Prat, 118; Texas Red, Kent Desormeaux, 123; Punctuate, Martin Garcia, 118; Magic Taste, Omar Santos (alt.) 118; Bench Warrant, Tyler Baze, 118, and Sir Samson, Joe Talamo, 118.
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