ARCADIA, Calif. (March 16, 2017)–With eight out of the 10 runners engaged coming off recent wins, Conquest Farenheit, Zakaroff, Cistron and undefeated Taco all figure prominently in Sunday’s $75,000 Pasadena Stakes, for 3-year-olds at one mile on the Santa Anita turf.
With trainer Peter Miller’s Conquest Farenheit and Steve Specht’s Zakaroff both coming off last-out stakes wins, John Sadler’s Cistron, comes off a gutty allowance win over the course. Throw in Efren Loza, Jr.’s Taco, unbeaten in four starts, his most recent triumph a minor turf stakes at Sam Houston Park, the Pasadena looms a completely wide-open affair and quite possibly the best betting race on the nine-race program.
CONQUEST FARENHEIT: Originally based with trainer Mark Casse at Woodbine, this Kentucky-bred colt by Scatt Daddy pressed the pace in the 6 ½ furlong turf Baffle here on Feb. 20, prevailing by 1 ¾ lengths as the 7-5 favorite in his second start for Miller. A sharp second at 4-5 in the one mile turf Summer Stakes (Grade II) three starts back at Woodbine on Sept. 18, he’s been favored in all four of his lifetime starts and looks like the probable Pasadena favorite as he stretches back out to two turns. Additionally, he achieved a Pasadena-best 92 Beyer Speed figure in winning the Baffle. Owned by Rockingham Ranch or Littlefield, he’s 4-2-1-1 with earnings of $110,045.
ZAKAROFF: A respectable fifth two starts back in the 1 1/16 miles California Derby on Jan. 21, this Kentucky-bred gelding by California-based Slew’s Tiznow stretched out to 1 1/8 miles on Golden Gate’s synthetic Tapeta to win the Grade III El Camino Real Derby by a half length on Feb. 18 at odds of 48-1. With many options before them, Zakaroff’s connections appear to have chosen a prudent path in trying grass for the first time in the Pasadena. A graded stakes winner on synthetic, Zakaroff can be expected to handle the turf well as he cuts back in distance a furlong. Ridden to victory in the El Camino Real Derby by Kyle Frey, he’ll get the first-time services of Joe Talamo on Sunday. Owned by longtime Specht client Antone Metaxas, Zakaroff is the leading money earner in the field with $148,120 accumulated from an overall mark of 6-2-1-1.
CISTRON: A gate to wire winner one mile turf allowance winner here on Feb. 5, he made the lead two starts back when third, beaten three quarter of a length in the one mile turf Eddie Logan Stakes two starts back on Dec. 30. Triple Crown nominated, this Kentucky-bred colt by The Factor broke his maiden at a mile turf three starts back on Dec. 4 and appears on edge for Sunday’s Pasadena. Owned by Hronis Racing, LLC or Little Red Feather Racing, Cistron could be hard pressed to make the early lead if Conquest Farenheit opts for a similar trip. With an overall record of 5-2-0-2, he has earnings of $80,889.
TACO: Unbeaten in four starts, two at Gulfstream, one at Fairgrounds in New Orleans and most recently a 1 1/16 miles turf stakes Sam Houston Park on Feb. 25, this Kentucky-bred colt by Gio Ponti looms the biggest question mark in the field in what will be his Southern California debut. Based at Gulfstream Park West (formerly Calder), Taco would appear to have the right style in what appears to be a speed-laden lineup as he’s rallied from off the pace in all four of his wins. Owned by Kathleen Amaya, Raffaele Centofanti and Daniel Alonso, Taco has earnings of $82,800.
THE $75,000 PASADENA STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 8 of 9 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PST
- Big Sky Logan–Corey Nakatani–120
- Taxman’s Quest–Flavien Prat–120
- Ritzy A. P.–Victor Espinoza–120
- Ky. Colonel–Mike Smith–120
- Taco–Jesus Rios–124
- Cistron–Tyler Baze–122
- Monster Man–Rafael Bejarano–120
- Conquest Farenheit–Norberto Arroyo, Jr.–120
- Zakaroff–Joe Talamo–124
- Bird Is the Word–Kent Desormeaux–120
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m. For scratches, changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com.