ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 31, 2014)–Eastern invader Dynamic Sky and locally-based Tom’s Tribute head a strong field of nine older horses in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Gabriel Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Santa Anita.
Trained by Mark Casse, who now has a stable of 28 horses in Arcadia, Dynamic Sky has been idle since winning the Grade III, 1 3/8 miles Red Smith Handicap over a yielding turf on Nov. 15 at Aqueduct. An Ontario, Canadian-bred 5-year-old horse by Sky Mesa, Dynamic Sky was second in his only try at 1 1/8 miles on turf, which came five starts back in the Grade II Nijinsky Stakes at Woodbine on July 19.
Like Tom’s Tribute, Dynamic Sky enjoyed a productive 2014, as he earned $432,361 from two wins, two seconds and two thirds in nine starts. With an overall mark of 20-5-4-5, he would appear to be best suited if he gets a stalking-type trip in the San Gabriel. Owned by John Oxley, Dynamic Sky has overall earnings of $938,797 and will seek millionaire status with Corey Nakatani engaged to ride for the first time.
Trained by Jim Cassidy, 5-year-old Tom’s Tribute comes off the best year of his career, as he won three of his eight starts and earned $483,650. A close third as the 3-2 favorite in Del Mar’s Grade II, 1 1/16 miles turf Seabiscuit Handicap Nov. 28, his lone career try at 1 1/8 miles on turf was a resounding success, as he took the Grade I Eddie Read Stakes four starts back on July 20.
A versatile sort, Tom’s Tribute has demonstrated that he is equally effective laying close to the pace or running from well off of it. Owned by the Braly Family Trust, he has an overall mark of 15-6-3-2, with earnings of $622,880. (All six of his wins have come with Mike Smith up, who rides back on Saturday).
Trainer Peter Miller’s Finnegans Wake and Casse’s Patrioticandproud, 1-2 finishers in the Grade II, 1 ½ miles Hollywood Turf Cup, are both deep closers and would benefit from a fast pace.
The complete field for Saturday’s Grade II San Gabriel Stakes, to be run as the eighth race on a nine-race card, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Edge of Reality, Flavien Prat, 118; Big Bane Theory, Joe Talamo, 120; Dynamic Sky, Corey Nakatani, 118; Patrioticandproud, Drayden Van Dyke, 118; Persuasive Paul, Elvis Trujillo, 118; Finnegans Wake, Victor Espinoza, 123; Power Ped, Tyler Baze, 118; Skyring, Kieren Fallon, 120, and Tom’s Tribute, Mike Smith, 123.
First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.