Santa Anita Park
The San Vicente (G2)
7 Furlongs on Dirt for Three-Year-Olds
Race 6: Post Time: 2:30 P.M.
Analysis by Michael Patricks
It was once again a solid result from the complimentary preview last week as Audible took care of Free Drop Billy and company and powered away to a five-and-a-half length score in the Holy Bull. The New York-bred son of Into Mischief turned out a 99 Beyer Speed Figure and has now won three of four starts. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Audible is unquestionably one to keep an eye on as the Road to the Derby marches onward.
Another weekend of minor three-year-old preps are on racing’s landscape this weekend with the Sam F. Davis from Tampa Bay and San Vicente from Santa Anita each offering graded-stakes events. The complimentary preview will focus on the latter.
1-Ax Man 6/5 ML– He pummeled his foes in his unveiling and made sure everyone knew that he is one of trainer Bob Baffert’s primary bullets heading into the spring. He was truly brilliant in his unveiling, cutting his rivals down to size and he’s strictly the one to beat off that effort. Ax Man will have to take his speed to seven furlongs on Saturday and step up and meet winners in a graded-stakes, but being by Santa Anita Handicap-winning Misremembered, he should embrace the added distance. Ax Man’s dam, Shameful, won four of 12 starts and competed exclusively in sprint races on dirt; her crowning achievement was the 2003 edition of the Pine Tree Lane at Santa Anita (78k); cut to run.
2-Mr. Jagermeister 6/1 ML– Had no issue clubbing Minnesota-breds at Canterbury Downs but he’s been out finished in minor events on that circuit with open company. He faces five promising Kentucky-breds on Saturday and that should give him some problems. Even though he’s got speed, he’s sandwiched by both Baffert entrants and he could feel the pinch right out of the gate. This colt has a bit of talent to be sure but he’ll need to raise his game to have any impact with the likes of these; outsider.
3-Nero 8/1 ML- Dueled from the rail before getting nostrilized in his debut at Del Mar and then was laid up for five months before returning to the races, and this time getting his nose down on the wire to graduate. Nero is by Triple Crown-siring Pioneerof the Nile and out of the Stormy Atlantic mare Ocean Goddess who competed primarily in sprint races. The 79 Beyer off the maiden score is far from sexy but he has a license to step forward instead of backward in this spot. Seven furlongs may be a bit much to handle at this point in proceedings, but there are worse stabs than Baffert at 8/1 in a Grade II.
4-All Out Blitz 7/2 ML- Was no match for the talented McKinzie in the Grade III Sham but was able to finish four lengths clear of third, acquitting himself quite nicely. Son of Concord Point actually cuts back in distance from eight to seven furlongs and draws in a sweet post outside the other speeds. Trainer Callaghan has excelled in this situation with 36 percent winners going route-to-sprint, and that’s eye-catching. The barn is also 0-for-20 on the meeting, which is eye-catching as well. If Ax Man doesn’t fire his best shot, you can expect All Out Blitz to be the likely beneficiary; intriguing prospect.
5-Kanthaka 5/1 ML- Has been unseen since being fitted with cap and gown on the Malibu undercard back in December. It’s always a positive when horses can win despite trouble as he did and this chestnut has been working a hole in the wind for King Jerry over the local strip. His prior pilot defects for Kris’ Rocket Kat but he lures the services of Flavien Prat who is on fire of late. Since he’s prevailed at Saturday’s distance already, you should at least consider him in part of your plans; contender.
6-Kris’ Rocket Kat 4/1ML- Virtually a carbon copy to Nero in terms of running lines, Kris debuted from the rail and was laid up from September until November and came back ready to run at Del Mar, coasting to victory. The 89 Beyer is a 21 point jump though, and as mentioned above, Bejarano sticks with him over Kanthaka. The cozy outside draw should help his jockey assess his placement in the race early and Kris could easily find his way into the battle leaving the backstretch. He’s been drilling steadily for his return just like the rest of his competitors; tab tote for more clues regarding his and Kanthaka’s liveliness.