High percentage eastern-based trainer Jorge Navarro's brilliant sprinter Shancelot will square off with Richard Mandella's comebacking sophomore Omaha Beach, in Saturday's Grade I, $300,00 Santa Anita Sprint Championship, a Breeders' Cup “Win and You're In” Challenge Race qualifier to the $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint here on Nov. 2.
With Shancelot and Omaha Beach, idle since winning the Grade I Arkansas Derby April 13, leading the way, a field of six 3-year-olds and up have signed on for Saturday's Sprint Championship at six furlongs.
Owner: Ivan Rodriguez and Albert and Michelle Crawford
Trainer: Jorge Navarro
A 12 ½ length winner of the Grade II, 6 ½ furlong Amsterdam Stakes two starts back at Saratoga on July 28, this 3-year-old colt by Shangai Bobby earned an incredible 121 Beyer Speed figure and was thus sent off as the 1-5 favorite in the Grade I, H. Allen Jerkens at seven furlongs Aug. 24, a race in which he opened up turning for home, but finished second, beaten a head. Headquartered at Monmouth Park following his defeat in the Jerkens, Shancelot has trained brilliantly, with his most recent work a half mile here at Santa Anita in 47.20 on Sept. 29—third best of 65 at the distance.
Owner: Fox Hill Farms, Inc.
Trainer: Richard Mandella
Entered to run and the morning line favorite in this year's Kentucky Derby, this striking colt by War Front was scratched shortly after Derby entries were taken and was subsequently operated for an entrapped epiglottis. Idle now since winning the Grade I Arkansas Derby as the 8-5 favorite, Omaha Beach will make his much anticipated return Saturday over a track on which he broke his maiden going seven furlongs by some nine lengths three starts back on Feb. 2. A nose winner of the Grade II Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn in his next start, he'll be sprinting for the second time in what will be his eighth career start. Although it remains uncertain as to whether or where he would run in the two-day Breeders' Cup, Omaha Beach is training in sensational fashion and may be up to the task of winning on Saturday, despite a lack of recency.
Owner: Lane's End Farm & Hronis Racing LLC
Trainer: John Sadler
An impressive half length allowance winner going six furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 18, this lightly raced 5-year-old gelding by Speightstown is on the upswing and looms dangerous for solid connections in what will be his first stakes assignment. With two wins from three sprint starts at Santa Anita, Flagstaff, who will be ridden for the fourth consecutive time by Victor Espinoza, is 7-3-2-1 overall.
THE GRADE I SANTA ANITA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS FROM THE RAIL OUT
Race 9 of 10 Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PT
- One Flew South—Evin Roman–118
- Omaha Beach—Mike Smith—122
- Shancelot—Emisael Jaramillo—120
- Flagstaff—Victor Espinoza–121
- California Street—Drayden Van Dyke—121
- Horse Greedy—Martin Pedroza–121
For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
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