Wide-Open Grade 2 San Antonio Features Eight Veterans

Wide-Open Grade 2 San Antonio Features Eight Veterans

Category : News - Sat 06/02/2016 - 12:42 EST

On paper, the Grade 2, $500,000 San Antonio is a bit of a head-scratcher, with a credible case to be made for each of the eight entrants in the mile and an eighth race for older horses February 6 at Santa Anita.

Imperative is the 5/2 morning line favorite after coming within a 1 1/4-lengths of California Chrome last out in the Grade 2 San Pasqual. The six year-old gelding has earned over $1.7 million in his career despite seldom finding the winner's circle. In 28 starts, Imperative has just three wins to go with seven second-place finishes and three thirds. Many handicappers will be reluctant to back a favorite with such numbers, but the Richard Baltas trainee should give another honest account of himself while breaking from post 7 with Mike Smith in the irons. Smith will take over for Mario Gutierrez who was aboard for the last two starts. 

Donworth intrigues despite layoff

Interestingly, Gutierrez opts for the younger, more lightly-raced Donworth (6/1) who is set to break from post 2 for trainer Doug O'Neill. The four year-old son of Tiznow will make his first start for the O'Neill barn and first start since winning the Stanton Stakes June 20 at Deleware Park while under the care of Graham Motion. O'Neill hits at a 20% clip with new runners and at 16% with these long layoff types. Donworth has won 2 of 4 career starts to go with a second and a third. 

Less fancied Baffert runner looks live 

Cat Burgler, one of two Bob Baffert entrants, could offer some value at 4/1 while making his second start off an extended layoff. The six year-old has been very good at Santa Anita where he's won 4 of 6 career starts with two second-place efforts. Cat Burglar returned from nearly five months on the shelf to beat optional claimers January 8 at Santa Anita and winning pilot Rafael Bejarano stays aboard while breaking from the rail 

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