ARCADIA, Calif. (April 9, 2014)–A winner of the Grade II, six furlong Palos Verdes Stakes two starts back on Feb. 2, top sprinter Wild Dude heads a competitive field of eight older horses set to go 6 ½ furlongs in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Potrero Grande Stakes at Santa Anita.
Trained and owned in-part by Jerry Hollendorfer, Wild Dude had a three game winning streak snapped when he finished a close fourth, beaten three quarters of a length, by multiple graded stakes winner Sahara Sky in the Grade II, seven furlong San Carlos Stakes on March 8.
A 4-year-old Florida-bred colt by Wildcat Heir, Wild Dude has four wins, two seconds and a third from nine starts and he has earnings of $280,220. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano in his last three starts, he sat a close third in the San Carlos behind fast fractions of 22.60, 44.60 and 1:08.40 and was unable to hold off the late surge of Sahara Sky, who was also a winner of the prestigious Grade I Metropolitan Handicap last year at Belmont Park.
In addition to Hollendorfer, Wild Dude is owned by Green B. Smith, Jr.
Hollendorfer will also saddle multiple stakes winner Zeewat, and although he has five added-money victories to his credit, is still in search of his first graded stakes win. A winner of the six furlong Lost In the Fog Stakes at Golden Gate Fields Feb. 17, Zeewat was away slowly in the San Carlos at 18-1 and finished last in a field of 10.
A 4-year-old Pennsylvania-bred colt by Harlan’s Holiday, Zeewat has proven effective on the lead and from off the pace. Owned by Hollendorfer and George Todaro, Zeewat has earnings of $361,700 from an overall mark of 15-7-0-2.
Head and head for the early lead, California-bred Big Macher finished a big second, beaten a half length by Sahara Sky in the San Carlos and is on the improve for trainer Richard Baltas. A handy winner of the Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint two starts back on Jan. 25, Big Macher was claimed out of his debut run on July 17 at Del Mar for a $20,000 tag.
A 4-year-old gelding by Beau Genius, Big Macher is 9-3-2-2 overall with earnings of $196,428. Owned by Tom Mansor and Tachycardia Stables, he’ll be ridden for the first time by Tyler Baze on Saturday.
An even sixth, beaten 4 ½ lengths in the San Carlos, Midnight Transfer was second in a highly rated classified allowance two starts back on Feb. 7 and has kept good company throughout his 14-race career for trainer Carla Gaines.
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred horse by Hard Spun, Midnight Transfer ran evenly in the San Carlos and has run well when up close or from off the pace early. Owned by Warren B. Williamson, he has three wins, three seconds and a third with earnings of $202,470.
Second as the 9-5 favorite in the Bill Thomas Memorial Stakes at Sunland Park March 23, Wine Police, a 6-year-old gelding by Speightstown, will make his first start for trainer Peter Miller in the Potrero Grande. A close second in the Grade II Pat O’Brien Stakes at Del Mar Aug. 25, Wine Police is a two-time minor stakes winner who ran a respectable eighth, beaten 4 ¾ lengths, in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita two starts back on Nov. 2.
Owned by Kirk and Judy Robison, Wine Police is 13-5-2-2 overall with earnings of $353,537.
Fast early, California-bred Cyclometer was a winner of the six furlong Midnight Lute Stakes three starts back on Jan. 4 and finished next to last in the San Carlos after breaking a bit slow. Trained by Bruce Headley, who is also his co-owner and breeder, the 6-year-old horse by Cyclotron has amassed earnings of $333,004 from an overall mark of 19-5-5-3.
Florida invader Mongolian Saturday figures to be asked for a dose of his considerable early speed as he drew the rail with Aaron Gryder. A second condition gate to wire allowance winner going 5 ½ furlongs on Feb. 15 at Calder, he comes off a third place finish in a minor stakes going six furlongs on March 2 at Gulfstream.
Trained by Enebish Ganbat and owned by Mogolian Stable, Mongolian Saturday is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Any Given Saturday. He is 11-3-2-2 overall with earnings of $165,465.
Although he has but one win from 50 starts, Crimson Giant was a fast closing third in a first condition allowance for California-breds going six furlongs on March 27 and will hope for a fast pace in his first graded stakes engagement.
Owned by his breeder, Bryan Carney and trained by Charlie Stutts, Crimson Giant, a 5-year-old gelding by Formal Gold, likes to compete–early and often, as evidenced by the fact he’ll be making his eighth start of the year and his ninth overall at the current meeting. Along with his lone win, he has three seconds and 11 thirds, good for earnings of $115,804.
The complete field for the Grade II Potrero Grande, to be run as the eighth on a nine-race card Saturday with jockeys and weights in post position order: Mongolian Saturday, Aaron Gryder, 118; Wine Police, Martin Garcia, 118; Zeewat, Mario Gutierrez (alt) 118; Midnight Transfer, Joe Talamo, 118; Crimson Giant, Modesto Linares, 118; Wild Dude, Rafael Bejarano, 123; Big Macher, Tyler Baze, 118, and Cyclometer, Edwin Maldonado, 118.
First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m.