Jerry Hollendorfer's talented Battle of Midway, most recently third in the Grade I Kentucky Derby, stands out among a field of five sophomores in Saturday's Grade III, $100,000 Affirmed Stakes, to be run at a mile and a sixteenth over Santa Anita's main track.
Trained by the late Lazaro Barrera, the great Affirmed won the 1978 Santa Anita Derby with Laffit Pincay, Jr. up and would go on to immortality with jockey Steve Cauthen, winning that year's Triple Crown.At age four, Affirmed won the Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup with Pincay.Affirmed, Barrera, Cauthen and Pincay are all members of Racing's Hall of Fame.
BATTLE OF MIDWAY: Purchased for $410,000 as a Fasig Tipton Saratoga yearling, this Smart Strike colt stalked the early lead in the Run for the Roses on May 6 and ended up third, beaten 7 ¾ lengths.Second, beaten a half length two starts back in the Santa Anita Derby, look for him to force the early issue in the Affirmed as he seeks to establish himself as an “A-Lister” in the 3-year-old division.Owned by Don Alberto Stable and Winstar Farm, LLC, he's 5-2-1-2 with earnings of $490,000.
B SQUARED: With two wins and a second from four tries in state-bred competition, this Reddam Racing homebred colt by Square Eddie tries the deep end of the pool on Saturday, as this will be his initial try in graded stakes competition.A disappointing sixth as the 2-1 favorite in the 1 1/8 miles turf Snow Chief Stakes here May 29, B Squared can be expected to show good speed on Saturday, as he sat close to the early lead in a first-out maiden score going seven furlongs on March 4 and forced the issue throughout when second, beaten a nose in the 6 ½ furlong Echo Eddie Stakes on April 8.A prompt 1 ¼ length winner of the one mile turf Silky Sullivan Stakes two starts back at Golden Gate Fields on April 30, B Squared has demonstrated versatility and must be respected as he returns to dirt.With an overall mark of 4-2-1-0, he has earnings of $134,400.
TERM OF ART: Although a Grade III winner on an off track going a mile at Del Mar on Nov. 27, this Kentucky-bred colt by Tiznow has been well beaten in his last five starts, most recently a last place finish, beaten 16 lengths, in the Grade I Preakness Stakes on May 20.Owned by Calumet Farm and conditioned by Doug O'Neill, his connections are hoping he'll bounce back with an improved effort on his home ground.With Battle of Midway and stablemate B Squared in the lineup, Term of Art figures to be back off the early pace and will hope to make his presence felt late.Well seasoned, Term of Art is 10-2-1-2 overall with earnings of $170,105.
THE GRADE III AFFIRMED STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 4 of 10 Approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PT
1. B Squared—Mario Gutierrez—122
2. Battle of Midway—Flavien Prat–120
3. Quiet Dude—Tiago Pereira—120
4. Term of Art—Tyler Baze–122
5. Arms Runner—Norberto Arroyo, Jr.–120
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