In addition to the six-furlong Sprint, Santa Anita offers the $500,000 San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino Turf at 1 1/8 miles, $500,000 Distaff at 1 1/16 miles, and the $250,000 Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs. The $1 million Classic, which annually alternates between the two tracks, heads the Florida lineup of four Sunshine Millions stakes races.
Millionaire In Summation, a winner of ten stakes races including Del Mar’s Grade I Bing Crosby Handicap in 2007, ranks among the nation’s elite sprinters, and has been particularly effective over synthetic surfaces such as Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride main track.
Trained by Christophe Clement for Waterford Farm, the 6-year-old Florida-bred horse has compiled a 5-2-1 mark in 10 races over synthetics among his overall record of 11-6-1 in 27 starts for earnings of $1,175,166.
“One of the reasons In Summation was brought to Santa Anita is that he has more options on the West Coast,” said Nicholas Bachalard, assistant to Clement. “There aren’t too many sprints on synthetic tracks on the East Coast.”
Rafael Bejarano, perfect in two rides aboard In Summation while winning last year’s Grade II Palos Verdes and the Grade III El Conejo Handicap on Jan. 1 in his most recent start, has the return assignment in the field of eleven.
In Summation figures to face his most serious challenge from newly-turned 4-year-old Georgie Boy, who took the Grade I Del Mar Futurity as a 2-year-old and the Grade II San Felipe at Santa Anita last year. After a freshening, George Schwary’s California homebred son of Tribal Rule returned to action with a third-place finish in the Grade I Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26.
Garrett Gomez, who was in the saddle for trainer Kathy Walsh when Georgie Boy captured the Del Mar Futurity, will be back aboard the bay gelding who has earned $533,634 from a 4-2-2 record in nine career starts.
While not as accomplished as the other pair with a single Grade III stakes victory to his credit, Florida-bred invader Yesbyjimmy adds an interesting element to the mix in the Sprint. The son of Yes It’s True, owned and bred by Trilogy Stable, brings a six-race win streak into the race.
Elvis Trujillo, who rode Yesbyjimmy to his first graded victory in the Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap at Calder Racecourse in his last start on Dec. 13, will be here from Florida to ride for trainer Edward Plesa Jr. The 5-year-old bay brings earnings of $563,940 from an 11-4-3 mark in 21 career races.
The complete field for the Sunshine Millions Sprint, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Big Bad Leroybrown, Joseph Talamo, 122; Carnacks Choice, Eibar Coa, 122; Machismo, Mike Smith, 122; Partywithlarryz, Tyler Baze, 122; Sok Sok, Shaun Bridgmohan, 120; Cape Hatchet, Michael Baze, 120; George Boy, Garrett Gomez, 120; Devoted Magic, Joel Rosario, 122; In Summation, Rafael Bejarano, 122; Dancing in Silks, Victor Espinoza, 120, and Yesbyjimmy, Elvis Trujillo, 122.
Icy Atlantic, who has become a fixture in the Sunshine Millions Turf event, will be back for a fifth try at the age of 8 after finishing fifth, third, second and sixth dating from 2005. He is a winner of four graded stakes including Santa Anita’s Grade II Arcadia Handicap in 2007. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Florida-bred Icy Atlantic has raced 45 times while posting an 8-11-3 mark worth $990,050 for James T. Scatuorchio. Eibar Coa rides.
Soldier’s Dancer, who will have Bejarano in the saddle, was second to War Monger in last year’s Turf. The Florida-based roan gelding has compiled a 9-7-4 mark while earning $952,480 for Herman Heinlein. David Vance trains the 5-year-old.
Most accomplished of the 14 Turf entrants is another Florida-based runner, Presious Passion, a 6-year-old gelding with earnings of $1,052,018 from a 9-4-2 showing in 34 starts.
After breaking slowly in last year’s Turf and finishing ninth, Presious Passion went on to take the Grade I United Nations at Monmouth Park for owner Patricia Generazio and trainer Mary Hartmann. He is coming off a two-length win in Calder’s Grade II W. L. McKnight Handicap on Dec. 13. Trujillo rides back.
The complete field for the Turf, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Jack’s Wild, Rosario, 122; Epic Power, Corey Nakatani, 122; Presious Passion, Trujillo, 122; Swift Winds, Alonso Quinonez, 122; Liberian Freighter, David Flores, 120, Victory Pete, Smith 120; Icy Atlantic, Coa, 122; Soldier’s Dancer, Bejarano, 122; Pistol Pete Afleet, Jesus Rios, 120; Lucky J. H., Victor Espinoza, 122; Unusual Suspect, Joseph Talamo, 122; Mr. Chairman, Michael Baze, 122; Seminole Native, Jose Valdivia Jr., 122, and Screen to Screen, Gomez, 122.
Five of the 13 entrants will be taking multiple-race winning streaks into the Distaff. Briecat and Amazing are winners of three in row. Waveline, Leah’s Secret and Lady Railrider have won their last two.
Briecat is fresh off a 13-1 upset by 2 ¼ lengths in Hollywood Park’s Grade II Bayakoa Handicap for owners David and Holly Wilson. The 4-year-old filly, trained by Vladimir Cerin, has won 5 of 10 starts while banking $226,800. Jon Court rides.
Leah’s Secret, a Florida-bred trained by Pletcher for WinStar Farms, enters the Distaff following victories in a pair of Grade II events: the Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs and the Top Flight Handicap at Aqueduct. The 6-year-old mare, who will be ridden back by Coa, has earned $865,805 from an 8-4-2 record in 25 starts.
The complete field for the Distaff, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Waveline, Bejarano, 120; Briecat, Jon Court, 120; Leah’s Secret, Coa, 122; Eclatante, Valdivia, 122; Lady Railrider, Frank Alvarado, 120; Spenditallbaby, Espinoza, 122; Unforgotten, Bridgmohan, 122; Bai and Bai, Nakatani, 122; Dawn After Dawn, Gomez, 122; Annabill, Rosario, 122; Tiz a Blend, Tyler Baze, 122; Amazing, Trujillo, 120 and Perfect Hostess, Quinonez, 120.
Emmy Darling, conditioned by John Sadler for Ike and Dawn Trash, may have a class edge in the Oaks. The Florida-bred filly, who has been racing in California, won last June’s Landaluce Stakes at Hollywood Park. She finished a close fourth in both Del Mar’s Grade III Sorrento Stakes and the Grade III Miesque at Hollywood Park in her last start when beaten by less than one length for it all. Bejarano will be aboard the daughter of Graeme Hall, whom he rode to a competitive fifth-place finish in Oak Tree’s Oct. 24 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
The complete field for the Oaks (all carry 120 pounds), with jockeys in post position order: Spanish Ice, Flores; Beltene, Rosario; Ten Churros, Clinton Potts; Leigh McLovin, Coa; Hooh Why, Tyler Baze; Yodelady O, Gomez; Emmy Darling, Bejarano; Costa Marta, Talamo, and Dancing Erin, Pedro Arambula.
The Turf will lead off Santa Anita’s sequence of Sunshine Millions races while going as the sixth and followed in order by the Oaks, Sprint and Distaff. HRTV will televise the complete program from both tracks.