ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 21, 2016)–Graded stakes winning Home Run Kitten, idle since this past May, recent graded stakes placed finishers Coastline and Rocket Heat, as well as stakes winning Bench Warrant, all figure prominently in a wide open field of 10 older horses at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course Sunday in the $75,000 Clockers’ Corner Stakes.
Trained by David Hofmans, Tarabilla Farms’ Home Run Kitten, who has been on the bench since well beaten here in the Grade III, one mile turf American Stakes May 9, was a downhill winner of the Grade III Eddie D. Stakes in Sept. 2014, and has two wins and a third from four starts down the unique layout. A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred horse by Kitten’s Joy, Home Run Kitten is 15-4-2-5 overall with earnings of $342,050.
Separated by a neck at the finish, Coastline and Rocket Heat ran two-three in Santa Anita’s Grade III Daytona Stakes Dec. 26, as Toowindytohaulrox prevailed down the hill by a neck over Coastline.
Trained by Phil D’Amato for the first time in the Daytona, Agave Racing Stables’ Coastline, who had been based primarily in the Midwest, rallied strongly to just miss in his first hillside try at odds of 52-1. A close third as a sophomore in the Grade III Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park in March, 2014, the 5-year-old horse by Speightstown is 18-4-3-3 with earnings of $290,006.
Trained by Vann Belvoir, the aptly named Rocket Heat broke running in the Daytona, opened up by 3 ½ lengths approaching the quarter pole, but was run-down late, finishing third, beaten a half length. Claimed out of a nine length maiden $30,000 win 11 starts back on Feb. 12, 2015, Rocket Heat enjoyed a terrific year, banking $187,080 while compiling an overall mark for the year of 12-5-3-1.
A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Latent Heat, Rocket Heat will try to pose an elusive target in this third career try down the hill.
Last and 12 lengths off the pace after a half mile in the Daytona, trainer John Sadler’s Bench Warrant flew late to be fifth, beaten three quarters of a length and thus looms a stout threat from behind in the Clockers’ Corner. A winner of the minor Baffle Stakes down the hill six starts back on Feb. 15, the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Street Boss will be ridden for the first time by Drayden Van Dyke.
Owned by Doubledown Stables, Inc., Bench Warrant is two for four over the course and has three wins from 11 overall starts, with earnings of $186,790.
A multiple graded stakes winner, 7-year-old Silentio comes off an even seventh place finish in the Grade III Berkeley Handicap, run at a 1 1/16 miles on Golden Gate Fields’ Tapeta on Nov. 29. Trained by Gary Mandella and owned by his breeders, Wertheimer and Frere, Silentio was well beaten in his only lifetime try down the hill, the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, on Nov. 1, 2014.
The leading money earner in the field, Silentio has banked $712,565 from an overall mark of 18-4-1-7.
Eleventh, beaten 4 ½ lengths in the Daytona Dec. 26, trainer Jim Cassidy’s Holy Lute figures to get a stalking trip under Victor Espinoza and try to hold off the late runners the final sixteenth. Owned by Class Racing Stable, the 6-year-old horse by Midnight Lute has a win and four seconds from six hillside tries.
Lightly raced Ocho Ocho Ocho, who was a well beaten ninth in the Grade II Mathis Mile (turf) here Dec. 26, cuts back in distance as he seeks his first win since taking the Grade III Delta Jackpot as a juvenile in November, 2014. A close fourth two starts back in the Grade III Pennsylvania Mile (turf), “Ocho” will try the hillside turf for the first time on Sunday.
The complete field for the Clockers’ Corner, to be run as the seventh race on a nine-race program Sunday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Rocket Heat, Edwin Maldonado, 119; Holy Lute, Victor Espinoza, 124; Cape Wolfe, Flavien Prat, 119; County Lineman, Alonso Quinonez, 119; Fleet Eagle, Tiago Pereira, 124; Silentio, Mike Smith, 119; Coastline, Tyler Baze, 119; Home Run Kitten, Joe Talamo, 119; Ocho Ocho Ocho, Santiago Gonzalez, 119, and Bench Warrant, Drayden Van Dyke, 124.
First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.