Jeranimo is the 8-to-5 favorite on the morning line in the Grade 3 SF Mile, Northern California’s most important turf race. Post time for the SF Mile, the seventh race on a nine-race program, is 4:25 p.m. Gates open at 10 a.m. and first post is 1:15 p.m.
“We’re going for an easier spot,” said Specht, adding that Photo Shopped will run in an allowance race Sunday at Golden Gate Fields. “I didn’t think that many horses would enter the Mile with Jeranimo running.”
Jeranimo, who will break from the rail in the SF Mile, has earned $858,400 in his 26 trips to the starting gate. Jeramino has won four Grade 2 stakes, including the 2011 Oak Tree Mile, a race in which he defeated California’s top grass miler, Mr. Commons.
Jeranimo, a Florida-bred son of Congaree, is trained by Michael Pender and owned by B. J. Wright. Smith, who on May 5 will ride top contender Bodemeister in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, will pilot Jeranimo for the first time Saturday.
The field for the SF Mile, in post position order with riders and morning-line odds, is as follows: Jeranimo, Smith, 8-to-5; Worth Repeating, Francisco Duran, 15-to-1; Positive Response, Julien Couton, 10-to-1; Sanger Silver, Abel Cedillo, 20-to-1; Calimonco, Mario Gutierrez, 7-2; Hudson Landing, Juan Hernandez, 10-to-1; Dunmore East, Kerwin John, 20-to-1; Live Sundays, Aaron Gryder, 9-to-2; Mr. Candy Bar, Inoel Beato, 30-to-1; and Gallant Son, Leslie Mawing, 10-to-1. All of the starters carry 122 pounds.
Calimonco hails from the powerful John Sadler barn and enters the SF Mile off a game victory in the Sidd Finch Stakes, a one-mile turf race run at Santa Anita on April 1.
Winner of the one-mile Wickerr Stakes on the turf at Del Mar last summer, Calimonco finished third behind Jeranimo and War Element in the Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park in November.
Gallant Son, who finished second in the 2011 SF Mile and then won the Robert K. Kerlan Memorial Handicap at Hollywood Park in his subsequent race, makes his first start of 2012 Saturday. A 6-year-old horse trained by Frank Lucarelli, Gallant Son possesses six career stakes victories and has been working well for his return to the races.
Positive Response, the 2011 California Derby winner, will make his turf debut in the SF Mile. Trained by William E. Morey, Positive Response is coming of a good second-place try in a one-mile allowance contest on Golden Gate Fields’ synthetic Tapeta racing surface on April 12.
Hudson Landing will be seeking his second stakes victory on the Lakeside Course as he captured the Alcatraz Stakes on the local lawn in 2010. Blaine Wright trains Hudson Landing, who brings a two-race winning streak – scored in allowance races on Tapeta – into the SF Mile.
Live Sundays, stakes-placed five times, scored a front-running victory in a one-mile allowance test on Tapeta in his most recent outing on March 18. Live Sundays is conditioned by Victor Trujillo, who is enjoying a fine rookie season as a head trainer.
Worth Repeating, victor of the Grade 3 Tokyo City Stakes at Santa Anita last year, will try to give Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella his third victory in the SF Mile.
Mandella won the feature with Opus Dei in 1981 and with Redattore in 2001.
Mr. Candy Bar, trained by O. J. Jaurequi, won a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes at Santa Rosa last summer. Dunmore East, from the barn of Lloyd Mason, is a stakes-placed runner who is 2-for-4 on the Golden Gate Fields turf. Sanger Silver, a talented sprinter trained by Efrain Miranda, will try to stretch his speed Saturday.