Friday, January 13, 2012

San Fernando Stakes

The San Fernando Stakes Grade 2 at the distance of one mile and a sixteenth for four year olds. The line up includes...

1. Prayer For Relief

Zayat Stables' Prayer for Relief drew the rail and will be handled once again by Rafael Bejarano while carrying top weight of 123 pounds. The Jump Start colt ended the year on a sour note when he finished ninth in the Clark Handicap (gr. I) Nov. 25 at Churchill in his first start against older horses. It was just his second defeat from six races in 2011.

Earlier in the year, Prayer for Relief rattled off consecutive graded stakes wins in the Iowa Derby (gr. III), West Virginia Derby (gr. II), and the Super Derby (gr. II). He has earned more than $1 million in a 10-race career that includes five victories.

2. Balladry..... gets a new rider as Gomez is injured..... making his stakes debut after two wins against softer company....

3. Riveting Reason.......looks to get back to a surface where he should more forward big time. His last two starts came on turf.... where he seems to not be a turf horse. Moreover, he was coming off a eight month layoff street starts back. I expect a big long look for a win candiate. Remember he just lost a heartbreaker in the Robert Lewis over this track last year.

4. the trainer and jockey but needs major improvement here. He was 10th of 12th in the Oklahoma Derby, in which Prayer For Relief was third....siding with other´s.


5. Irish Art

Irish Art, a restricted stakes winner on Santa Anita's hillside turf course last October, makes his debut on dirt for trainer Carla Gaines and owner Warren B. Williamson. The Artie Schiller offspring was runner-up to Mr. Commons in the Sir Beaufort Stakes (gr. IIT) on grass Dec. 26.

6. Spud Spivens.....looking for his first stakes win.... was third against older California-breds in the On Trust at Hollywood Park on Dec. 18th.... in sharp form....gets the acid test on class.

7. First Strike

First Strike, an improving son of Vindication trained by Robert Diodoro for Charles Garvey and TG Racing, won the Zia Park Derby by nearly two lengths in his stakes debut Dec. 3. The gelding was claimed for $40,000 at Santa Anita a month earlier from Mercedes Stables, which bred the dark bay. First Strike has a lifetime record of 4-2-2 in nine starts and will be ridden by Victor Espinoza.

8. Tapizar

Last seen running fifth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I), Tapizar starts off his 4-year-old campaign against Prayer for Relief in the $150,000 San Fernando Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 14 at Santa Anita.
A romping winner of Santa Anita's Sham Stakes (gr. III) last year, Tapizar is trained by Steve Asmussen.
Big things were expected last year after Tapizar destroyed a maiden field by 10 1/2 lengths at Churchill Downs in November 2010. And the Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred appeared to be right on course when he blew away the Sham by more than four lengths one year ago. But after a fifth-place finish in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) as a 3-10 pick Feb. 12 a knee chip was discovered, knocking the bay colt off the Triple Crown trail.
Tapizar was sidelined until the fall following surgery to remove the chip. He returned with a front-running tally in an allowance race last October at Belmont Park and Asmussen decided to take a shot in the BC Dirt Mile at Churchill Nov. 5. However, the head-strong colt fought restraint from jockey Garrett Gomez during the race. He ended up fading out of the money at 17-1 odds, finishing 8 3/4 lengths behind the victorious Caleb's Posse.
Corey Nakatani takes over the mount on Tapizar, replacing the injured Gomez-
“He’s very fast,” Nakatani said. “They’re going to have to pick their feet up to beat him. I worked him twice going six furlongs and he went well-
Tapizar, who starts from the far outside post for the San Fernando, has won three of eight lifetime starts with earnings of $173,032.

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