SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP IS A BREEDERS’ CUP ‘WIN & YOU’RE IN’ CHALLENGE RACE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 4, 2017)–A veritable tiger since shipping west from Toronto four starts back, trainer Phil D’Amato’s Ransom the Moon looms the horse the beat as he faces five rivals in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship at six furlongs. A Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race, the Sprint Championship winner will be accorded a fees-paid berth in next month’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
A length and a half winner of the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes going six furlongs on July 29, Ransom the Moon has won three out of his four starts with D’Amato, including Santa Anita’s Grade II Kona Gold Stakes three races back on May 20.
Bob Baffert’s well-accomplished American Anthem, who returned to Santa Anita following a third place finish in Saratoga’s Grade I, seven furlong H. Allen Jerkens Stakes on Aug. 26; Peter Miller’s Roy H, second to Ransom the Moon in the Bing Crosby and Peter Eurton’s Giant Expectations, a winner of the Grade II, seven furlong Pat O’Brien Stakes Aug. 26, all figure prominently on Saturday.
RANSOM THE MOON: A neck away from being unbeaten in his four starts for D’Amato, this 5-year-old full horse by Malibu Moon had never run in stakes competition prior to shipping west last year and had been running primarily in allowance route races on turf and synthetic. Owned by Agave Racing Stable and Jeffry Wilke, Ransom the Moon will be ridden for the fifth consecutive time by Flavien Prat and will likely employ a stalking style. With an overall mark of 19-5-6-1, he has earnings of $520,829.
AMERICAN ANTHEM: A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Bodemeister, he’ll be facing older horses for the first time in what will be his eighth career start. A winner of Santa Anita’s Grade III, seven furlong Lazarro Barerra Stakes three starts back on May 13, he took Belmont Park’s Grade II, seven furlong Woody Stephens by 3 ¼ lengths in his next out on June 10. Off at 2-1 in the Grade I Jerkens on Aug. 26, he finished well while caught five-wide around the far turn and was beaten three lengths. Bred by Winstar Farm, LLC and owned by Winstar, Head of Plains Partners, LLC and China Horse Club and SF Racing, LLC, American Anthem is 7-3-1-1 and has earnings of $449,545.
ROY H: A scintillating 2 ½ length winner of Belmont’s Grade II, six furlong True North Stakes two starts back, this 5-year-old More Than Ready gelding earned a career-top 111 Beyer Speed figure in the process. Dispatched as the 8-5 favorite in his subsequent start, the Grade I Bing Crosby on July 29, he was fanned six wide turning for home and ended up second, beaten 1 ½ lengths by Ransom the Moon. Owned by Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch, Roy H can be expected to show good early speed as he’s been idle for nine weeks. With an overall mark of 15-4-4-1, he has earnings of $354,765.
GIANT EXPECTATIONS: An upset winner of the Grade II Pat O’Brien Stakes at 9-2, this 4-year-old New York-bred colt by the Giant’s Causeway stallion Frost Giant will be out to prove his O’Brien win was no fluke in what will be his second career stakes engagement. An off the pace winner last time out, Giant Expectations could be flattered by a fast early pace with Gary Stevens back aboard. Owned by Exline-Border Racing, LLC and Gatto Racing, LLC, Giant Expectations is 10-3-3-1 overall with earnings of $253,200.
THE GRADE I SANTA ANITA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 6 of 10 Approximate post time 3 p.m. PT
- Ransom the Moon–Flavien Prat–126
- Giant Expectations–Gary Stevens–122
- Edwards Going Left–Tyler Baze–119
- American Anthem–Mike Smith–119
- Hinx–Drayden Van Dyke–119
- Roy H–Kent Desormeaux–122
First post time for a 10-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For additional racing information, please visit santaanita.com.