COLORADO-BRED LONGSHOT GET HAPPY MISTER SEEKS SIXTH STRAIGHT WIN IN SO. CAL DEBUT
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 17, 2015)–Tarabilla Farms’ Home Run Kitten cuts back in distance and heads a deep and competitive field of eight older horses in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 San Simeon Stakes at Santa Anita. To be contested at 6 ½ furlongs down the track’s Camino Real hillside turf course, the San Simeon will serve as the 2014-15 Winter Meet closing attraction, as Santa Anita will reopen for its Spring Meeting on Friday, April 24.
Third, beaten 3 ¼ lengths in the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf) March 7, the David Hofmans-conditioned Home Run Kitten has two wins from three tries down the hill and will be ridden for the second time in-a-row by Gary Stevens. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Kitten’s Joy, Home Run Kitten closed much ground to be beaten four lengths in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Nov. 1, and it appears he’ll have a fast pace to run at on Sunday.
Installed as the tepid 5-2 morning line favorite, Home Run Kitten is 13-4-2-4 overall with earnings of $329,800.
John Sadler will saddle course specialist Sweet Swap, who drew the outside post with Joe Talamo. Owned by Hronis Racing, LLC, the 6-year-old Candy Ride horse comes off a front-running allowance score down the hill on March 13 and is 12-5-2-3 lifetime over the unique layout. With $390,529 in the bank, Sweet Swap is 17-7-3-3 overall.
Trainer Jim Cassidy’s Holy Lute could prove problematic to anyone with front-running aspirations, as he finished first in a pair of hillside starts two and three starts back, on Feb. 12 and Jan. 17 (disqualified and placed second). Like the favorite, Holy Lute shortens up out of the Kilroe Mile, in which he showed good early speed and tired late to finish seventh, beaten 4 ¾ lengths.
Owned by Class Racing Stable, Holy Lute will be ridden by Mike Smith, who won with him two starts back. A 5-year-old horse by Midnight Lute, Holy Lute is 13-3-2-3 overall with earnings of $243,922.
With two wins from five lifetime starts down the hill, Doug O’Neill’s Pure Tactics comes off a close third in the one mile turf Thunder Road Stakes April 4 and the 6-year-old horse by Pure Prize merits considerable respect with Kent Desormeaux set ride him back. Owned by Nita Winner, Pure Tactics broke awkwardly and made a good run from off the pace to finish fourth, beaten 2 ¼ lengths by Home Run Kitten five starts back in the 6 ½ furlong turf Grade III Eddie D. Stakes on Sept. 26. Pure Tactics is 22-9-2-3 overall with earnings of $370,496.
Idle since Aug. 16 at Arapahoe Park, Colorado-bred Get Happy Mister will try turf for the first time in his Southern California debut Sunday and will seek his sixth consecutive victory with red hot Tyler Baze aloft. Stabled at Los Alamitos for new trainer Mark Tsagalakis, Get Happy Mister worked a leisurely six furlongs over the Santa Anita turf in 1:19.40 on April 16. A winner of four consecutive stakes, the 5-year-old gelding by First Samurai’s most recent tally came in the 1 1/8 miles Arapahoe Park Classic.
Owned by Annette Bishop, Get Happy Mister has 10 wins from 13 starts and has amassed earnings of $324,928.
The complete field for the Grade III San Simeon Stakes, to be run as the seventh race on a nine-race card Sunday, with jockeys, weights and morning line in post position order: Get Happy Mister, Tyler Baze, 118, 8-1; Home Run Kitten, Gary Stevens, 120, 5-2; Joes Blazing Aaron, Edwin Maldonado, 118, 20-1; Outside Nashville, Drayden Van Dyke, 118, 15-1; Holy Lute, Mike Smith, 118, 3-1; Pure Tactics, Kent Desormeaux, 118, 7-2; U S Citizen, Victor Espinoza, 118, 6-1, and Sweet Swap, Joe Talamo, 118, 3-1.
First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.