Simply brilliant in two gate to wire triumphs over the course, trainer Peter Miller's Conquest Tsunami returns to Santa Anita as he heads Sunday's Grade III, $100,000 San Simeon Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course. Conquest Tsunami is one of three Miller-trained runners in a field of eight 3-year-olds and up and it could be up to William Morey's 5-year-old California-bred mare, Coniah, to try and apply some early pace pressure if there is to be an upset on Sunday.
On the other end of the spectrum is English-bred Double Touch, who rallied from last to win his hillside debut here on Feb. 23. Trained by Dan Blacker, Double Touch will hope to run down the top selection as he seeks his first stakes victory.
Owner: Gary Barber Trainer: Peter Miller
Most recently a close third in a Group I stakes going six furlongs on turf in Dubai, this 6-year-old Stormy Atlantic gelding ran the best race of his life two starts back, taking the Grade III Daytona Stakes by 2 ½ lengths while earning a career-top 106 Beyer Speed figure. A 4 ¼ length winner down the hill three starts back in a second condition allowance on Jan. 20, Conquest Tsunami would appear to loom a complete standout, with the possibility of a trans-world hangover looming as perhaps Miller's only real concern.
Owner: Radley Equine, Inc., Roadrunner Racing, R. Gold, Scott MacDonald and K. Smole
Trainer: Dan Blacker
This 4-year-old English-bred gelding made a dazzling run from far off the pace to win a second condition allowance going away by a half length on Feb. 23 and will almost certainly employ similar tactics in the San Simeon as he tries to win his second straight race down the hillside turf. In addition to facing tougher competition, Double Touch's biggest obstacle to victory could be that if no one engages Conquest Tsunami early, he could well be running for second money. However, Double Touch has the look of a horse on the improve, further evidenced by his career-best Beyer Speed figure of 92 on Feb. 23 and it'll be up to Flavien Prat to try and time his run in the hopes the favorite has been softened up some in the early stages.
THE GRADE III SAN SIMEON STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 8 of 9 Approximate post time 3 p.m. PT
- Conquest Tsunami—Victor Espinoza—126
- Miss Julia Star—Drayden Van Dyke—119
- Coniah—Kent Desormeaux—121
- Belvoir Bay—Tyler Baze—121
- Isotherm—Geovanni Franco—122
- Double Touch—Flavien Prat—122
- Mongolian Saturday—Stewart Elliott—122
- Anatolian Heat—Israel Ocampo—122
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