UPSTART MR VARGAS & TWO-TIME BREEDERS’ CUP CHAMP STORMY LIBERAL SQUARE OFF IN GRADE II, $200,000 EDDIE D STAKES AT FIVE FURLONGS ON TURF THIS FRIDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 24, 2019)–Trainer Brian Koriner’s upstart Mr Vargas and Peter Miller’s two-time Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion Stormy Liberal head a field of eight three year olds and up going five furlongs on turf in Friday’s Grade II, $200,000 Eddie D Stakes at Santa Anita.
Mark Glatt’s Eddie Haskell, Phil D’Amato’s Pee Wee Reese and trainer Blake Heap’s Tribalist, lend considerable depth to the race named in honor of one of America’s all-time greatest jockeys, retired Hall of Famer Eddie Delahoussaye.
Owner: Jay Em Ess Stable
Trainer: Brian Koriner
Lightning quick, this 5-year-old Midshipman gelding is in top career form, as he comes off a powerful gate to wire win over both Eddie Haskell and Stormy Liberal in the Grade III Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar Aug. 17. Drawn outside in a field of six, Mr Vargas broke like a shot and led every step of the way to win by 2 ¼ lengths. A similar 2 ¼ length allowance winner at five furlongs on turf July 21, Mr Vargas will be bidding for his third consecutive win in his 12th career start on Friday.
Owner: Rockingham Ranch & David Bernsen LLC
Trainer: Peter Miller
A winner of last year’s Eddie D at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course, this 7-year-old Stormy Atlantic gelding hopes to use this year’s Eddie D as a springboard to an unprecedented third consecutive Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint win here at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. Second, beaten a head by Eddie Haskell in a classified allowance Feb. 22, his lone try at five furlongs over the Santa Anita grass, Stormy Liberal was a non-threatening third behind Mr. Vargas and “Eddie” two starts back in the Green Flash at Del Mar. Subsequently fifth at 5-1 in a Grade III turf sprint at Kentucky Downs Sept. 7, Stormy Liberal may’ve lost a step and is in need of a big effort on Friday.
Owner: Philip Wood & James Hailey
Trainer: Mark Glatt
Claimed for $50,000 13 starts back on April 26, 2018, this 6-year-old California-bred gelding by Square Eddie is enjoying his best-ever year, as he’s won four out of seven starts (including two stakes) and banked $278,104 in 2019. No match for Mr Vargas as the 6-5 favorite in the Green Flash Aug. 17, Eddie Haskell is nonetheless a beast at five furlongs on turf, as he’s 13-9-2-2. A winner of consecutive Santa Anita five furlong stakes earlier this year, the Grade III Daytona May 25 and the Siren Lure June 23, “Eddie” was all heart two starts back in going gate to wire to win by a neck in a five furlong turf classified allowance at Del Mar July 24.
PEE WEE REESE
Owner: Nick Alexander
Trainer: Phil D’Amato
Named for the late Dodgers Hall of Fame shortstop, this 6-year-old California-bred horse by Tribal Rule enters the Eddie D fresh and dangerous. Idle since taking the Sensational Star Stakes versus his fellow California-breds going 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course on March 31, “Pee Wee” will be ridden for the first time by leading man Flavien Prat. A hillside course specialist, he’ll be trying five furlongs on the “flat” for the first time and could prove bothersome to the likes of Mr Vargas on the front end.
THE GRADE II EDDIE D STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 6 of 9 Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT
- Eddie Haskell–Joel Rosario–125
- Pee Wee Reese–Flavien Prat–125
- Lombo–Geovanni Franco–125
- Boa Nova–Edwin Maldonado–120
- Stormy Liberal–Norberto Arroyo, Jr.–125
- Mr Vargas–Joe Talamo–125
- Double Touch–John Velazquez–123
- Tribalist–Victor Espinoza–123
First post time for a nine-race program on Friday is at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.