ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2016)–Fresh off an impressive gate to wire triumph June 18 at Belmont Park, 8-year-old gelding Obviously, along with 4-year-old Om, head a deep and competitive field of 10 three year olds and up in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 City of Hope Mile (turf) at Santa Anita, which will serve as a major prep to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile here on Nov. 5.
OBVIOUSLY: Trained by Phil D’Amato, Irish-bred Obviously has ranked among the nation’s top turf milers for the better part of five racing seasons. Off as the 2-1 favorite in the Grade III, one mile turf Poker Stakes June 18 at Belmont, Obviously made an easy lead under Jose Lezcano and cruised to a 3 ¾ length win while earning a career tying top Beyer Speed figure of 108. Tyler Baze will try his hand for the first time on Saturday as Obviously shoots for his fifth win from 13 starts on the Santa Anita turf en route to what his connections hope will be a fourth try in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (turf). Owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino, Obviously has 9-17 at a mile on grass and sports an overall mark of 27-12-6-3, with earnings of $1,747,751.
OM: Trained by Dan Hendricks, this 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Munnings comes off a solid second, beaten a half length, in the Grade II, Del Mar Mile (turf) Handicap Aug. 21 and will also hope to use the City of Hope as a springboard to a start in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Although winless from three starts this year, Om showed marked improvement at Del Mar, posting a career high 105 Beyer. With regular rider Gary Stevens up, Om will hope to ration his speed with Obviously drawn outside of him. Owned by the Sareen Family Trust, Om is 13-5-2-3 and has earnings of $614,845.
HOOTENANY: Lightly raced since taking the one mile, Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 31, 2014, trainer Wesley Ward’s 4-year-old colt by Quality Road comes off a come from behind win in a one mile turf allowance at Belterra Park in Cincinnati, Ohio and may find the City of Hope pace situation to his liking. With Obviously and Om signed on, it would seem a swift early cadence would be assured. Veteran jockey Julio Garcia is scheduled to ride Hootenany back for owners Smith, Magnier and Tabor. Unbeaten in two turf mile starts, Hootenanny is 11-5-2-1 overall with earnings of $834,671.
THE GRADE II CITY OF HOPE MILE IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS AND WEIGHTS
Race 8 of 10 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PST
- Frank Conversation–Rafael Bejarano–118
- Joe Bay–Santiago Gonzalez–121
- Patriots Rule–Joe Talamo–121
- Om–Gary Stevens–123
- Ed Johnson–Martin Garcia–118
- Hootenany–Julio Garcia–121
- Express Himself–Victor Espinoza–121
- Obviously–Tyler Baze–121
- Perfectly Majestic–Norberto Arroyo, Jr.–121
- Vyjack–Flavien Prat–121
First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For scratches, late changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com.