SPECIAL EARLY FIRST POST TIME ON SATURDAY AT 12:15 P.M. WITH 11-RACE PROGRAM
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 25, 2017)–Bob Baffert’s indefatigable Hoppertunity, an earner of more than $4.2 million and idle since March 25, heads a field of seven 3-year-olds and up going a flat mile in Saturday’s $70,000 Comma to the Top Stakes at Santa Anita.
As Saturday is the penultimate day of Santa Anita’s current 19-day Autumn Meet, fans will be treated to a special 11-race program, with adjusted first post time at 12:15 p.m. (Regular weekend first post is 15 minutes later, at 12:30 p.m.)
A Grade I winner with an incredible multiple stakes winning resume that includes two wins in Santa Anita’s Grade II San Antonio Stakes and victory in the Grade I Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs, Hoppertunity has faced some of the best horses in the world over a stellar career that dates back to January, 2014.
In addition to Hoppertunity, Baffert will also be represented by Irish Freedom, who earned a career-best 99 Beyer Speed figure in winning a first condition allowance race on Aug. 13.
Doug O’Neill’s speedy Avanti Bello, a classified allowance winner going a flat mile on Sept. 24 at Los Alamitos, Vladimir Cerin’s talented Top of the Game, idle since taking a first condition allowance here on Feb. 10, and John Sadler’s hard knocking Curlin Rules, well beaten in the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes Sept. 30, will all share the role of prospective spoilers on Saturday.
HOPPERTUNITY: A virtual gold mine for owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, he was third, beaten four lengths by California Chrome in last year’s Group I Dubai World Cup and has been idle since running sixth, beaten 10 ¾ lengths by superstar stablemate Arrogate in this year’s World Cup in Dubai. Based at Santa Anita throughout his remarkable career, “Hop” is 13-4-4-2 at The Great Race Place, where he annexed his second San Antonio Stakes win two starts back on Feb. 4. With earnings of $4,266,425, his overall mark stands at 26-7-6-4.
THE $70,000 COMMA TO THE TOP STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 5 of 11 Approximate post time 2:15 p.m. PT
1. The Lieutenant–Victor Espinoza–122
2. Top of the Game–Kent Desormeaux–122
3. Irish Freedom–Rafael Bejarano–118
4. Hoppertunity–Flavien Prat–126
5. El Huerfano–Corey Nakatani–122
6. Curlin Rules–Drayden Van Dyke–122
7. Avanti Bello–Evin Roman–126
Special early first post time for an 11-race card on Saturday is at 12:15 p.m. For additional racing information, please visit santaanita.com