McKinzie Assigned High Weight Of 123 Pounds For Santa Anita Handicap

by | 03.03.2019 | 5:30pm
McKinzie and Mike Smith win the opening day Malibu on Dec. 26

Multiple Grade I winner McKinzie, who finished second by a half-length as the 1-2 favorite in the Feb. 2 San Pasqual Stakes under 123 pounds, has been assigned one pound less for Saturday's Grade I Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Casino at a mile and a quarter.

Next on the list is Gift Box at 122 pounds, the same weight the six-year-old son of Twirling Candy carried winning the Grade II San Antonio Stakes on Dec. 26.

Among others expected in Santa Anita's marquee race for older horses offering $600,000 in purse money are Dabster (118 pounds, Joe Talamo), Mongolian Groom (114, Geovanni Franco), and Noble Commander (115, Flavien Prat).

Mike Smith rides McKinzie, while Joel Rosario retains the mount on Gift Box.

Smith, still on top of his game at 53, is enjoying a sensational Winter Meet while remaining highly selective with his mounts.

Through 40 days, the Hall of Fame member has 23 wins from 67 rides, a gaudy 34 percent. More remarkably, he is the show bettors' salvation, finishing in the money 22 additional times, a total of 45, for an average of 67 percent.

Fans will be treated to five stakes Saturday, greatest interest focusing on the Grade II, $500,000 San Felipe Stakes expected to match Bob Baffert's two leading undefeated Triple Crown contenders, champion Game Winner and Improbable in the Grade II test.

Additionally, the prestigious Frank E. Kilroe Mile with Grade I status will be showcased on turf; the Grade II San Carlos Stakes will attract sprint stars going seven furlongs; and for good measure, three-year-old fillies will vie in the $75,000 China Doll Stakes at a mile on grass.

First post time on Big 'Cap Day will be 12 noon.

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