GRADE I WINNER HOPPERTUNITY & BIG CAZANOVA HEAD FIELD OF 11 IN SATURDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 SAN PASQUAL AT 1 1/16 MILES

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 7, 2015) – Grade I winner Hoppertunity returns to Santa Anita and makes his 4-year-old debut as he heads a field of 11 older horses in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes going 1 1/16 miles.

Winner of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park March 15, the former 3-year-old sensation ran second to the now Eclipse nominated California Chrome in the Santa Anita Derby April 5. Trainer Bob Baffert scratched Hoppertunity from the Kentucky Derby just days before the race citing a foot issue and was off until Oct. 29 when he returned and ran second in an allowance race here at Santa Anita.

The colt by Any Given Saturday went on to win the Grade I Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs Nov. 28, thus putting to rest any doubts of his ability as he garnered a career best Beyer speed figure of 104.

The Kentucky-bred 4-year-old owned by Karl Watson, Michael Pegram and Paul Weitman is 7-3-2-0 overall with $950,675 in earnings.

Trainer Peter Miller sends out Big Cazanova, who was placed seventh through the disqualification of Moreno (who cut off Wicked Strong during the race resulting in him clipping heels and dropping rider Rajiv Maragh) in the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Sept. 27.

Big Cazanova went on to run fifth in the Grade II Las Vegas Marathon Stakes Oct. 31 before winning the Grade III Native Diver Stakes at 1 1/8 at Del Mar Nov. 29.

The Argentine-bred ridgling by Giant’s Causeway has only run in the U.S. since April, 2014 and trains at San Luis Rey Downs.

Owned by Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, Brous Stable and Dona Licha the 6-year-old chestnut is 20-4-6-6 overall with earnings of $393,692.

Trainer Sean McCarthy sends out Majestic Harbor who last ran in the $1 Million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Nov. 1. Thirteenth, behind Bayern, California Chrome and Shared Belief, Majestic Harbor “Had a fine trip, but he just didn’t have that much to keep up,” said jockey Tyler Baze following the Grade I attempt.

Winner of the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 28, the 7-year-old by Rockport Harbor will attempt to return to form in Saturday’s San Pasqual. Owned by Gallant Stable, he is 26-6-6-4 overall with earnings of $674,014.

Trainer Jorge Inda will send out Bronzo for just the second time in his U.S. career Saturday. Fourth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile Oct. 31, Bronzo has been training consistently at Santa Anita and will stretch out in the San Pasqual with new rider, Hall-of-Famer Gary Stevens.

The Chilean-bred 6-year-old gelding by Fusaichi Pegasus is owned by Don Alberto Stable and is 20-11-1-4 overall with earnings of $272,752.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s Tonito M. comes off a second in the Zia Park Derby Nov. 26 and won the Grade III Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park Sept. 28. The 4-year-old colt by Rock Hard Ten will break from the far outside and will retain the services of current leading rider, Rafael Bejarano.

Owned by M Racing Group, he is 14-7-3-2 overall with earnings of $491,812.

The complete field for Saturday’s Grade II San Pasqual Stakes, to be run as the eighth race on a nine-race card, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Quadrivium, Mike Smith, 118; Hoppertunity, Martin Garcia, 123; Majestic Harbor, Tyler Baze, 120; Big Cazanova, Elvis Trujillo, 118; Baccelo, Tiago Pereira, 118; Bronzo, Gary Stevens, 120; Salto Dl Indio, Joe Talamo, 118; Mr. Commons, Brice Blanc, 118; Blue Tone, Kent Desormeaux, 118; Appealing Tale, Victor Espinoza, 118; Tonito M., Rafael Bejarano, 120.

                First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.

 

 

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