ARCADIA, Calif. (May 10, 2017)–Trainer John Sadler’s versatile Cistron will try Santa Anita’s unique 6 ½ furlong hillside turf course for the first time as heads Saturday’s $75,000 Desert Code Stakes. Adding considerable depth to the Desert Code lineup are recent hillside winners Arms Runner and City Storm as they figure prominently among a field of seven sophomores.
A gate to wire minor stakes winner going a mile and a sixteenth over Oaklawn Park’s main track on April 15, Cistron has two wins and two third place finishes from four starts on grass and looms the horse to beat in the Desert Code.
CISTRON: Owned by Hronis Racing, LLC and Little Red Feather Racing, this Kentucky-bred colt by The Factor was a sharp third in the one mile turf Pasadena Stakes here two starts back and is easily the leading money earner in the field with a bankroll of $180,429. In addition to the most money-won, Cistron also has the most racing experience of all horses entered, as he sports an overall mark of 7-3-0-3.
ARMS RUNNER: An impressive first-out maiden winner over the course on April 20, this Florida-bred colt by the Tale of the Cat stallion Overdriven earned a Desert Storm-best last out Beyer Speed figure of 86 when prevailing by a half length under Norberto Arroyo, Jr. Trained by Peter Miller and owned by Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch, Arms Runner fetched $525,000 at the Ocala Breeders 2-year-old in training sale 13 months ago. With a proven affinity for the course and precocity in his corner, Arms Runner should prove plenty tough in his first assignment with winners.
CITY STORM: Trained by Phil D’Amato, he was no match for Derby prospect American Anthem in his six furlong debut on Dec. 3 at Del Mar, losing by 24 ¾ lengths at odds of 38-1 over the main track. A Kentucky-bred colt by City Zip, he showed ample gameness in breaking his maiden over the course by a head on March 2–his second career start. Owned by Gerald and Ronald Frankel, City Storm earned a Beyer Speed figure of 81 and will hope to improve upon that rating on Saturday.
THE $75,000 DESERT CODE STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 4 of 9 Approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PT
- City Storm–Stewart Elliott–120
- Big League–Edwin Maldonado–120
- Farley–Mario Gutierrez–120
- Arms Runner–Norberto Arroyo, Jr.–120
- What’sontheagenda–Tiago Pereira–120
- Rebel War–Agapito Delgadillo–120
- Cistron–Tyler Baze–124
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m. For complete racing information, please visit santaanita.com.