ARCADIA, Calif. (May 10, 2017)–Eric Kruljac’s Kimbear and Bob Baffert’s American Anthem cutback in distance from last month’s Grade I Santa Anita Derby while owner Kaleem Shah’s speedy Aristocratic stretches out a furlong off a solid local stakes score as they head Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes, which has attracted a field of six 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.
Off at 10-1, Kimbear overcame a troubled start to close much ground while running sixth by 5 ½ lengths. American Anthem, who was off at 7-1, pressed the early pace in the mile and one eighth fixture for West Coast 3-year-olds but tired badly to finish 12th in a field of 13.
Trained by Doug O’Neill when victorious by 4 ½ lengths in the six furlong San Pedro Stakes here on April 16, Aristocratic, who has been transferred by Shah to trainer Simon Callaghan, will likely employ similar front-running tactics in the Barrera on Saturday.
KIMBEAR: An impressive 4 ½ length maiden winner two starts back going seven furlongs on Feb. 25, this Kentucky-bred colt by Temple City bobbled at the break in the Santa Anita Derby and finished like a legitimate Derby prospect. Beaten five lengths by Santa Anita Derby runner-up Battle of Midway, Kimbear was flattered this past Saturday when “Battle” ran a solid third in the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs. Originally pegged as a turf runner, Kimbear made his first three appearances in maiden turf routes but is obviously well suited to the main track as well. With regular rider Joe Talamo re-engaged, Kimbear rates a huge look as he cuts back in distance to seven panels. Owned by Al Lewkowitz, Frank Lewkowitz, Lou Giordano and Eric Kruljac, Kimbear is 7-1-1-3 with earnings of $74,440.
ARISTOCRATIC: A Kentucky-bred colt by Malibu Moon, he ran the best race of his fledgling career in the San Pedro, as he earned a career-top 85 Beyer Speed figure. Originally trained by Baffert, he made his last four starts for O’Neill, but was unexpectedly transferred to Callaghan this past Monday for what will be his sixth lifetime start. A $475,000 Florida 2-year-old in training sale purchase 14 months ago, he’s the leading earner in the Barrera lineup with $99,950. The speed of the Barrera field, Aristocratic has two wins and two seconds from his five starts.
AMERICAN ANTHEM: A first-out maiden winner going six furlongs on Dec. 3 at Del Mar, he came back to run a close second at even money to eventual Santa Anita Derby winner Gormley in the Grade III, one mile Sham Stakes on Jan 7, but was subsequently well beaten in Oaklawn Park’s Grade II, 1 1/16 miles Rebel Stakes on March 18 and the Santa Anita Derby on April 8. Favored in three out of his four starts, the Kentucky-bred colt by Bodemeister fetched $435,000 at a Florida 2-year-old in training sale 14 months ago and will again be well supported as he cuts back to seven furlongs on Saturday. Owned by the China Horse Club and Head of Plains, LLC, American Anthem has a win and a second place finish from his four starts and has earnings of $54,545.
THE GRADE III LAZARO BARRERA WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 5 of 9 Approximate post time 3 p.m. PT
- American Anthem–Mike Smith–120
- Kimbear–Joe Talamo–120
- Bobby Abu Dhabi–Norberto Arroyo, Jr.–120
- Taxman’s Quest–Tyler Baze–122
- Sutton Impact–Flavien Prat–120
- Aristocratic–Rafael Bejarano–122
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m. For complete racing information, please visit santaanita.com.