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Californian Stakes

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 5/28/2015 4:08:20 AM

About the Race and Track

Nine talented older runners square off at Santa Anita on Saturday in the $200,000 Grade 2 Californian at 9 furlongs.  First run in 1954 when Imbros set a track record, this race over the years has been won by some super nice horses.  Ancient Title, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, Sunday Silence and Dr. Fager count the Californian among their successes.  Bill Shoemaker, Laffit Pincay Jr. and Chris McCarron each won the Californian 5 times.  Clubhouse Ride won the last 2 renewals of this race.

A Longshot With Some Value: Sammy Mandeville

Sammy Mandeville was Grade 3 placed last year, the rail in last may have intimidated him and the pace will be right up his alley. The Pick: Moreno (Win)

From the rail out Big Cazanova will be trying to make it three for three at 9 furlongs. He took the Native Diver last summer, brings speed, but has never won a Grade 2.

Bailoutbobby is having a tough year at 0 for 5. He has a decent turn of late foot but was beaten double digit lengths in the last attempt in a Graded event.

You Know I Know sounds like what a parent would say to try to coax a kid to come clean but this racer has not won since August of 2013 and that came in an optional claimer.

Those that go all in on Hard Aces will get paid. He lost his only start at Santa Anita and this race comes up a far cry from beating stakes foes in a $72,000 affair.

Lideris is a Group 1 winner in Peru but is seeking his first success in the United States. He has not been close in his 3 starts in this country.

Blue Tone was a tiring third the last time he tried Grade 3 foes. He has won a third of his starts but has been handled by a number of today’s rivals.

Moreno is the speed of the speed and the one to beat, as he will be trying to build on his near $3 million bankroll and will be ridden again by Cornelio Velasquez. The runner proved his class taking the Grade 1 Whitney last summer at Saratoga and he pulled off the shocking upset of Shared Belief last month in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic. Shared Belief went wrong in that race but one still has to give Moreno his props. One of the best things that Moreno has going for him is that he has proven that even with his brilliant speed, he doesn’t need the lead to succeed.

Catch a Flight has a penchant for winning races and is in the good hands of Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. He was only a head off Moreno in the Big ‘Cap here in March.

Sammy Mandeville will try to overcome the marooned post Saturday. He figures to get the kind of fast pace he needs and although the stars and the moon must be properly aligned, this runner seems to be peaking at the right time and he is reunited with Rafael Bejarano, who was up for the maiden breaker.




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