ARCADIA, Calif. (May 7, 2015)–Hronis Racing, LLC’s Yiannis, undefeated in two starts and a stakes winner last time out, heads a field of seven sophomores in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes at seven furlongs.
Trained by John Sadler, Yiannis pressed the pace and won the six furlong San Pedro Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths April 12. A nose first-out maiden winner going 5 ½ furlongs over subsequent stakes winner Gimme Da Lute on Jan. 31, Yiannis, although lightly raced, is battle tested and merits top billing in the Barrera. A Kentucky-bred ridgling by Midshipman, Yiannis will have the rail to contend with and will be ridden back by Victor Espinoza.
Heavily favored at 3-5 in the San Pedro, Jerry Hollendorfer’s Kentuckian had trouble going to the far turn and finished third, beaten 3 ½ lengths. A dazzling 11 length first-out maiden winner going six furlongs at Golden Gate Fields March 7, Kentuckian has trained well at Santa Anita since the San Pedro, with his most recent work a bullet six furlongs in 1:11.20 on May 4, best of 10 at the distance. A Kentucky-bred colt by Tiznow, he’s owned by Fox Hill Farms, Inc., draws an advantageous outside post and will be ridden for the first time by Mike Smith.
Second, beaten 1 ¼ lengths by Yiannis in the San Pedro, the Peter Miller-trained Serbian Syclone will try to turn the tables with Tyler Baze set to ride him back. In his only other try at seven furlongs, the Kentucky-bred colt by Wildcat Heir made the early lead and tired to finish sixth, beaten 11 lengths, in the Grade II San Vicente Stakes three starts back on Feb. 1. Owned by Rockingham Ranch, Serbian Syclone has two wins from six overall starts and has earnings of $84,950.
Miller, who will saddle a total of three horse in the Barrera, will also be represented by St. Joe Bay, who exits a well beaten sixth place run in the Grade II, 1 1/8 miles Louisiana Derby on March 28. A close fourth two starts back in the Grade II, seven furlong Risen Star Stakes in New Orleans Feb. 21, he was a close third in his only try at seven furlongs, six starts back in the Grade III Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar Nov. 15.
Owned by Miller and David Bernsen, St. Joe Bay is by the A.P. Indy stallion Saint Anddan and is 8-1-1-2 with earnings of $88,140. Based at San Louis Rey Downs, St. Joe Bay will be reunited with Elvis Trujillo, who rode him in his first four starts, including a maiden $75,000 claiming win seven races back on Oct. 17.
Miller’s third shooter is Forest Blue, a 2 ½ length first-out maiden special weight winner going six furlongs on April 18. A Kentucky-bred gelding by Tale of Ekati, Forest Blue is owned by Gary Barber, Leslie Moonves and Kevin Tsujihara. Ridden by Victor Espinoza first time out, he’ll get the services of Martin Pedroza.
The Ron Ellis-conditioned The Gomper takes a steep drop in class and cuts back in distance after running fifth, beaten 10 ¾ lengths by eventual Santa Anita Derby winner Dortmund in the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles San Felipe Stakes March 7. Heavily favored at 1-2 two starts back, The Gomper was fourth to highly regarded Prospect Park in a one mile allowance Jan. 30 and was a close second three back to Serbian Syclone going six furlongs on Dec. 31.
A Kentucky-bred colt by Sky Mesa, The Gomper is owned by Bloom Racing Stable, LLC and has a win and a second from four starts.
Favored in three out of his four starts, the Bob Baffert-conditioned The Man was off at 4-5 and galloped to a 4 ¼ length maiden triumph going 5 ½ furlongs March 22. A Pennsylvania-bred colt by Ecclesiastic, The Man is owned by Natalie J. Baffert and Bernard Schiappa.
With all horses assigned 118 pounds, here is the complete field for the Grade III Lazaro Barrera, to be carded as the seventh race on a nine-race program Sunday, with jockeys in post position order: Yiannis, Victor Espinoza; The Man, Martin Garcia; St. Joe Bay, Elvis Trujillo; Forest Blue, Martin Pedroza; The Gomper, Rafael Bejarano; Serbian Syclone, Tyler Baze, and Kentuckian, Mike Smith.
First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m.