Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella hopes to have found a comfortable circumstance to get the 4-year-old Gone West colt back in a winning stride after being denied in eight starts – five of them graded stakes – since capturing Hollywood Park’s Grade III Cinema Handicap in June of last year.
His competition in the Lure includes the speedy Yacht Spotter, a 5-year-old gelding whose career has blossomed on turf; Blue Chagali, a Group III winner in his native France before joining Julio Canani’s barn; French-bred newcomer Leandros, and Gothic Samurai, an Australian-bred conditioned by Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale.
The complete field for the Lure Stakes, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Blue Chagali, Garrett Gomez, 120; All Saint, Felipe Valdez, 120; Colony, Richard Migliore, 118; Gothic Samurai, Kayla Stra, 118; Tiz West, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Leandros, Alex Solis, 118; Knockout Artist, Joel Rosario, 118, and Yacht Spotter, Tyler Baze, 118.
Tiz West is coming off a fast-closing fourth in the Grade III Morvich Handicap at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s hillside turf course on Sept. 30, opening day of the Oak Tree meet. He has earned $245,621 from an overall record of 3-1-3 in 15 starts.
A 5-year-old bay gelding trained by Frank Lucarelli for Jack and Ivor Jones, Yacht Spotter was winless in six starts before being tried on turf. His grass racing record has become 5-4-1 in 12 starts. Otherwise, he is 3-0-2 in 16 races. The dedicated front-runner, who will have Tyler Baze in the saddle, came within a head of holding off Mr. Napper Tandy in Golden Gate’s Grade II San Francisco Stakes earlier this year at one mile on turf.
Prestonwood Farm’s Blue Chagali, who will be ridden by Garrett Gomez for the first time, scored his first win since coming to the United States 14 months ago when victorious in an optional claimer at Del Mar on Aug. 15 while going 1 1/8 miles on turf. The 4-year-old gelding has won 3 of 14 career starts.
A recent addition to the stable of Paddy Gallagher, Leandros has raced 21 times with a 4-3-2 record while competing in Ireland, England and the United Arab Emirates. Alex Solis rides the 4-year-old gelding who registered all of his victories in Ireland.
Gothic Samurai shows a victory and a second in a pair of U.S. starts since being imported from Australia by Arnold Kelsey. The lightly-raced 4-year-old gelding, who started only three times in his native country, will be ridden by Australian-born Kayla Stra.
The Lure Stakes will be contested as the seventh race on a nine-race program that gets underway at 12:30 p.m.