SADLER’S GIFT BOX & BAFFERT’S MCKINZIE SQUARE OFF IN GRADE I, $600,000 SANTA ANITA HANDICAP ON SATURDAY

first_imgSADLER’S GIFT BOX & BAFFERT’S MCKINZIE SQUARE OFF IN GRADE I, $600,000 SANTA ANITA HANDICAP ON SATURDAY MILE AND ONE QUARTER BIG’ CAP TRACES BACK TO 1934 & MARKS 82ND RENEWAL;  SPECIAL EARLY FIRST POST TIME FOR 11-RACE CARD IS AT 12 NOON, GATES OPEN AT 10 A.M.  ARCADIA, Calif. (April 3, 2019)–Two of the top older horses on the West Coast, John Sadler’s Gift Box and Bob Baffert’s McKinzie, head a field of six 4-year-old and up in the 82nd running of the Grade I, $600,000 Santa Anita Handicap this Saturday.  Originally run in 1934, the Big ‘Cap, America’s longest continually run “hundred grander,” will again be contested at a mile and one quarter.Idle since winning the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles San Antonio Stakes here on Dec. 26, 6-year-old Gift Box appears to be at the top of his game and although he was well beaten in his only other try at 1 ¼ miles at age three, give every indication he should relish the distance at this stage of his career.Beaten a half length by former Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile Champ Battle of Midway as the 1-2 favorite in the Grade II, 1 1/8 miles San Pasqual Stakes over a sloppy track on Feb. 2, 4-year-old McKinzie has trained extremely well for the Big ‘Cap, which will also be his second try at 1 ¼ miles.GIFT BOXOwner:  Hronis Racing, LLCTrainer:  John SadlerOriginally headquartered with trainer Chad Brown in New York, this 6-year-old Kentucky-bred horse by Twirling Candy made his first start for Sadler in the San Antonio and was dismissed at odds of 6-1.  With the San Antonio counting as his first graded stakes win, Gift Box is now 14-4-5-2 overall.  Although he was fourth, beaten 18 ¾ lengths by superstar Arrogate in the 2016 Travers Stakes going 1 ¼ miles, Gift Box appears primed for a huge effort and will no doubt be head and head with McKinzie in the battle of the tote.McKINZIEOwner:  Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul WeitmanTrainer:  Bob BaffertA smashing 4 ¾ length winner of the Grade I, seven furlong Malibu Stakes here on Dec. 26, this ultra-talented 4-year-old colt by Street Sense was outrun late by Battle of Midway in the San Pasqual, but has trained in sensational fashion for Baffert since.  A two-time Grade I winner and four-time graded stakes winner, McKinzie simply did not fire when distanced in his only other try at a mile and one quarter, the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic three starts back at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3.  The leading money earner in the field with $1,126,000, he has an overall mark of 8-5-2-0 and will likely be the post time favorite on Saturday.THE GRADE I SANTA ANITA HANDICAP WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER Race 10 of 11 Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PTMcKinzie–Mike Smith–123Mongolian Groom–Geovanni Franco–114Prime Attraction–Kent Desormeaux–116Gift Box–Joel Rosario–122Prince of Arabia–Joe Talamo–114Campaign–Rafael Bejarano–115 Special early first post time for an 11-race card on Saturday is at 12 noon.  Admission gates will open at 10 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.last_img

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