Bob Baffert's Mucho Gusto and Jeff Bonde's Sparky Ville headline the Grade III, $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes at seven furlongs this Saturday at Santa Anita. The Barrera, which is restricted to 3-year-olds, has attracted a field of six.
A disappointing third as the 4-5 favorite in the Grade III Sunland Park Derby March 24, Mucho Gusto, a Kentucky-bred colt by Mucho Macho Man, will cut back in distance from a mile and one eighth, while Bonde's Sparky Ville returns from Golden Gate Fields where he was sixth in the California Derby at 1 1/16 miles on synthetic Tapeta April 27.
Named for the late Hall of Fame conditioner, who was best known as the trainer of 1978 Triple Crown Champion Affirmed, the Barrera was originally run at Hollywood Park as the Playa del Rey Stakes.
Owner: Michael Lund Petersen
Trainer: Bob Baffert
A galloping 4 ¾ length winner of the Grade III, 1 1/16 mile Robert B. Lewis over a sloppy track, Mucho Gusto has three wins from five starts and has never been off the board. Second to A-List sophomore Improbable three starts back in the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity, he followed up a first-out maiden win going six furlongs on Sept. 20, with a 1 ½ length score in the Grade III Bob Hope Stakes going seven furlongs on Nov. 17 at Del Mar, a race in which Sparky Ville finished third. An odds-on favorite on three separate occasions, Mucho Gusto has been the post time favorite in four out of his five starts.
Owner: Del Secco DCS Racing
Trainer: Jeff Bonde
A game nose winner of the Grade III, seven furlong San Vicente Stakes on April 10, he was dispatched at odds of 2-1 in the California Derby at Golden Gate and was really never a factor, finishing sixth, beaten eight lengths. A Kentucky-bred gelding by Candy Ride, Bonde has stated that he'll be much better suited to the Barrera distance of seven furlongs.
THE GRADE III LAZARO BARRERA STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 8 of 10 Approximate post time 4:55 p.m. PT
- Mucho Gusto—Joe Talamo—124
- Sparky Ville—Victor Espinoza—124
- Principe Carlo—Ruben Fuentes—120
- Vantastic—Flavien Prat—120
- Manhattan Up—Tiago Pereira—120
- Synthesis—Rafael Bejarano—120
First post time for a 10-race card on Saturday, which is also Preakness Day from Pimlico Race Course, is at 12 noon. Admission gates will open for simulcast wagering on Saturday at 7 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
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