Third Time Could be the Charm in San Gabriel
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
The popular Ontario-bred gelding Cleopatra’s Strike has tried the $200,000 San Gabriel (G2) at Santa Anita Park twice. In 2019, he missed by a nose, and in 2020 the newly-turned eight-year-old lost by a neck. His third time could be the charm as he heads the field for the 2021 edition of the race.
A son of Smart Strike and the Sky Classic mare Cleopatra’s Needle, Cleopatra’s Strike was claimed last out and will start with new connections. He had been campaigned by trainer Phil D’Amato until picked up for $62,500 last out in an optional claiming event. He did not win in 2020, but has been consistent enough to finish top three 17 times in his career, with earnings approaching half a million dollars. Kent Desormeaux picks up the mount.
Next Shares drew alongside. He won this race in 2019, but has had a spotty record since. He didn’t win again until the 2019 Seabiscuit Handicap (G2) in November, and hasn’t won since. The son of Archarcharch has amassed over $1.8 million in earnings and runs for Richard Baltas. He has been top three in seven of 10 on this course.
Bob and Jackie has been knocking on the door. The son of Twirling Candy has been a stakes winner in each of the years he has raced, from 2018 through 2020, but has just eight starts to his name. He has won over this course, and is Grade 2 placed here from October. This is Baltas’s second runner.
Count Again is coming off a bold win in the Seabiscuit for trainer Phil D’Amato. The son of Awesome Again is a lightly-raced six-year-old with just eight starts, but he has won four times and been top three in seven of those races. This will be his first start on the course, as he was stabled at Woodbine until the late fall.
Anothertwistafate puts the blinkers on in his third start since a lengthy layoff. The son of Scat Daddy was off from the 2019 Preakness in May to the 2020 Longacres Mile (G3) this past September. He won that impressively, then was transferred to the barn of Peter Miller and ran fourth in his turf debut last out. Jockey Joel Rosario stays aboard for this.
Bowie’s Hero rounds out the top contenders. The seven-year-old son of Artie Schiller has earned over $1.5 million already, with eight wins in 27 starts. Flavien Prat will be aboard the D’Amato trainee, who was a Grade 1 winner at Keeneland 15 months ago but hasn’t won since.
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