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 read more

Mayoral, the final decision

first_imgReal Madrid have to make a definitive decision this summer with Borja Mayoral. The striker, who is facing his second consecutive year on loan at Levante, contract ends in 2021 with whites, reason why it will enter the next season facing his last year of connection with the Madrid club.Therefore, two options are opened. The first, and least likely, is to renew it and transfer it again for the third consecutive year. This is an option that would not convince Mayoral, who already stated last summer that his priority was to go traded to have stability in a club. It could not be given and he left on loan, but repeating the formula for the third consecutive year is an option that he does not value.The other possibility, preferred by the player and most likely, is a transfer in which Madrid reserves a buyback option during the first years. It is the formula that Borja would have wanted last summer, but the white team requested a transfer that none of the interested teams could assume. This finally led to the acceptance of a pure transfer, with no purchase option, to Levante. Now the situation changes a lot. With the striker entering the last year of the contract, Madrid will have to lower its claims, even more after the coronavirus crisis. Among the best placed is Levante, which is the club that has bet the most on the player these years. “As you all know and I always say, I am happy here, in Valencia and with the club in general for how they have behaved with me from the first moment. It was not easy for me to be here and it has been two years in a row that I have been. Of course there are options to follow, but the reality is that it is not only up to me. When I return to Real Madrid, I only have one year left on my contract and not like the previous seasons, “Mayoral said in an interview with AS on Wednesday.In this interview, he also valued the option of renewing with Madrid: “I personally have not been contacted. That is what my representative takes more, but I think they have not contacted. I also believe that when this happens everything will return to normal and there will be more conversations facing my future. ” Mayoral is a footballer who is highly valued by white leaders, both professionally and personally. We must not forget that he is a player who has gone through all the lower categories of the club. In that sense, in the summer they will sit down to find by mutual agreement an option that is positive for all parties …last_img read more