Named in honor of George Plimpton’s fictional baseball player and subject of a notorious article and April Fools’ Day hoax “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch,” which was first published in Sports Illustrated on April 1, 1985, Sunday’s Finch figures to be a compelling read for handicappers.
Joe Talamo, fast closing in on 1,000 career wins, will be aboard trainer Art Sherman’s 5-year-old comebacker who has earned $337,980 from a 5-1-3 record in 16 starts. He will be seeking his first victory in his third start over Santa Anita’s Camino Real Turf Course.
His competition includes a pair of runners exiting Santa Anita’s Grade II Arcadia Stakes at one mile on turf on Feb. 4: Calimonco and Dewey’s Special.
A 7-year-old gelding who had been on the shelf for 23 months, Dewey’s Special led into the stretch of the Arcadia before fading to fifth while making his first start for trainer Jeff Mullins. Rafael Bejarano will take over atop the son of Skimming who has posted a career record of 5-2-2 in 15 starts while earning $274,484. He is owned by Moore Racing.
Calimonco had been off for over two months when he ran fourth in the Arcadia which was won by the highly regarded Mr. Commons. Alonso Quinonez will replace injured Victor Espinoza in the saddle. He will carry high weight of 123 pounds.
Calimonco is coming out of four straight Grade II races, twice finishing third, since taking Del Mar’s Wickerr Stakes at one mile on turf last July. Trained by John Sadler for breeder Martin Wygod and partners, the Storm Cat offspring has compiled a career record of 4-7-7 in 28 starts for earnings of $303,466.
The field includes the enigmatic Dancing in Silks, who won the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint in a 25-1 upset at Santa Anita. The 7-year-old gelding, however, has not finished better than third in nine races since the Grade I stunner. He will make his first start for trainer Anthony Saavedra on Sunday.
The complete field for the Sidd Finch Stakes, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Dancing in Silks, Alex Bisono, 116; Dewey’s Special, Rafael Bejarano, 116; Make Music for Me, Martin Garcia, 116; Donato, Agapito Delgadillo, 115; Calimonco, Alonso Quinonez, 123, and Haimish Hy, Joseph Talamo, 116.
The Sidd Finch will be contested as the eighth race on a program of nine races with first post at 12:30 p.m.