HOLLENDORFER’S GUNMETAL GRAY & BAFFERT’S MUCHO GUSTO HEAD SATURDAY’S GRADE III, $150,000 ROBERT B. LEWIS STAKES AT 1 1/16 MILES
FIRST POST TIME AT 12 NOON; WINNER TO RECEIVE 10 KENTUCKY DERBY QUALIFYING POINTS
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2019)–In a key prep to the $1 million Santa Anita Derby April 7, Jerry Hollendorfer’s Gunmetal Gray and Bob Baffert’s Mucho Gusto head a field of six sophomores in Saturday’s Grade III, $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.
In his best performance to date, Gunmetal Gray rallied from off the pace to take the Grade III, one mile Sham Stakes by one length here on Jan. 5 and thus stamping himself a serious Derby hopeful.
A first-out maiden winner going six furlongs at Los Alamitos Sept. 20, Mucho Gusto then took the Grade III, seven furlong Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar on Nov. 17 prior to running second in the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity Dec. 8.
The Lewis winner will receive 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, with the second, third and fourth place finishers receiving four, two and one point(s), respectively.
Owner: Hollendorfer, LLC, Pearl Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds
Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer
Well beaten at 8-1 in his debut going six furlongs on July 29, this grey colt by Exchange Rate surprised many observers by taking a one mile maiden engagement by 6 ¾ lengths going a flat mile on Aug. 22 at Del Mar. Subsequently second, beaten 4 ½ lengths by eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Game Winner in the Grade I American Pharoah Stakes here on Sept. 29, he was then well beaten by Game Winner in the Juvenile Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs. With the Sham victory in hand, Gunmetal Gray, who will be ridden for the second consecutive time by Mike Smith, looks like the horse to beat in the Lewis on Saturday.
Owner: Michael L. Petersen
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Quick from the gate in all three starts, look for this chestnut colt by Mucho Macho Man to be winging early under regular rider Joe Talamo. Favored in his first two starts, Mucho Gusto was off at 4-1 in the Los Alamitos Futurity, a race in which he was beaten five lengths by his well fancied stablemate Improbable.
THE GRADE III ROBERT B. LEWIS STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 6 of 10 Approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PT
- Kid Cantina–Geovanni Franco–120
- Magnificent McCool– Flavien Prat–120
- Easy Shot–Rafael Bejarano–120
- Gunmetal Gray–Mike Smith–124
- Mucho Gusto–Joseph Talamo–122
- Nolo Contesto–Joel Rosario–120
Named for one of the most highly respected men in American racing history, Robert B. (Bob) Lewis passed away at the age of 81 on Feb. 16, 2006. The following year, Santa Anita renamed the Santa Catalina Stakes for Mr. Lewis, who along with his wife Beverly, campaigned six Eclipse Award winners and two Kentucky Derby winners–Silver Charm in 1997 and Charismatic in 1999.
First post time for a 10-race card on Saturday is at 12 noon. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.