Wednesday, December 24, 2008


ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 24, 2008) – Trainer Bobby Frankel’s Proudinsky, second to Daytona in last year’s Grade II San Gabriel Handicap, on Sunday will strive to better his standing in Santa Anita’s 62nd running of the $150,000 turf event that attracted nine entrants bred in seven different countries.

On paper, form seems as mixed as the field’s origins. German-bred Proudinsky is coming off a fourth-place finish in Hollywood Park’s Grade I Citation Handicap last month when losing to Hyperbaric by 1¾ lengths after the rider dropped his whip in the stretch.

Garrett Gomez, aboard once previously when Proudinsky scored his last victory, takes over in the saddle. The 5-year-old has a 4-4-1 record in 16 starts for earnings of $700,337. He has gone winless in six starts since the score with Gomez on March 8 in the Grade II Mervyn Muniz Jr. Handicap at the Fair Grounds.

Italian-bred Becrux, a winner of 10 of 32 starts for earnings of $1,106,487, is the most accomplished entrant and narrowly defeated 12-1 Proudinsky when third in the Citation at odds of 23-1. Mike Smith will be back aboard for trainer John Sadler.

French-bred Obrigado seems to be coming off the strongest effort, a one-half length loss to Champs Elysees in the Grade I Hollywood Turf Cup on Dec. 6. Joel Rosario, who rode Obrigado for the first time that day, retains the mount for trainer Neil Drysdale. The 5-year-old has posted earnings of $577,504 with a record of 5-5-6 in 25 races. Obrigado, however, is riding a 10-race winless streak.

Chilean-bred Porfido, also trained by Frankel, has been knocking on the door in recent starts, but hasn’t won since January. David Flores rides the 6-year-old bay who has earned $497,306 from an 8-1-9 record in 30 starts.

British-bred Medici Code won a pair of Grade II stakes at Del Mar in the summer of last year after being imported by trainer Darrell Vienna, but the 4-year-old gelding has been winless in his last six races. Medici Code most recently finished fifth in the Citation.

The complete field for the San Gabriel Handicap, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Medici Code, Martin Pedroza, 114; Proudinsky, Garrett Gomez, 116; Sartorial, Corey Nakatani, 112; Silent Soul, Ignacio Puglisi, 112; Ferneley, Victor Espinoza, 114; Porfido, David Flores, 116; Swift Winds, Alonso Quinonez, 113; Obrigado, Joel Rosario, 117, and Becrux, Mike Smith, 117.

The San Gabriel will go as the eighth race on a nine-race program with first post at 12:30 p.m. The $70,000 Blue Norther Stakes, for 2-year-old fillies at one mile on turf, will be run as the fourth race. Internallyflawless, a fast-closing runner-up to Habaya in Hollywood Park’s Grade III Miesque Stakes last month, is the likely favorite among nine entrants. Gomez rides for trainer Bob Baffert.

The complete field for the Blue Norther, with jockeys and weights in post position order: a-Oro Blanco, Joe Talamo, 116; Acting Lady, Rafael Bejarano, 116; Internally Flawless, Gomez, 116; Malusita, Jose Valdivia Jr., 116; a-Streetscape, Michael Baze, 116; Atka, Chantal Sutherland, 116; Navigator, Espinoza, 116; April Pride, Flores, 116, and Broadway Hennessey, Rosario, 118. a-coupled.

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