Cherubim gets Mike Smith in Sunday's San Vicente Stakes, and he figures to be a serious contender.
By Henny Hughes, Cherubim was an impressive 3 1/4-length maiden winner going six furlongs on Dec. 28 in his second start. The Simon Callaghan trainee earned the best last-out Beyer Speed figure in the short field, a 90.
A well beaten eighth in his debut going six furlongs at Hollywood Park Nov. 24, Cherubim was sent off at 20-1 when he won second time out.
“He was on the inside, and it was his first time out,” said Callaghan of Cherubim’s debut. “I’m not really sure why he didn’t run well on the synthetic, but we always felt he was a really good horse and he really showed it last time.”
Cherubim’s maiden win has proven to be a productive race. The second and third place finishers, Chelios and Pimpernel, have both broken their maidens.
Kobe's Back comes in for John Ssdler. He overcame a bad start to win by 3 1/4 lengths in his debut, the 5 1/2-furlong Willard Proctor Stakes on June 15. Second at 4-5 two starts back to Shared Belief in the Hollywood Prevue on Nov. 10, Kobe’s Back clipped heels at the half-mile pole and was a well beaten 10th in the CashCall Futurity on Dec. 14. The San Vicente is his first race since then.
Papa Turf ran second to Indianapolis, who was sidelined from the San Vicente with a cough, in the six furlong San Pedro Stakes on Jan. 20. He'll make his sixth start in the San Vicente, making him the most experienced horse in the field. The Jim Kasparoff trainee made Indianapolis earn his win in the San Pedro. He's worked three times since.
Bob Baffert’s Roger Rocket overcame a slow start to win first time out going 5 1/2 furlongs on Jan. 18 and will again be ridden by Corey Nakatani. A Kentucky-bred colt by Pulpit, he got up to win by a head at 5-2 and figures to improve second time out. Roger Rocket has worked three times since his maiden win.
Grazen’s Hope, unbeaten in two starts at Golden Gate Fields and considered for the 1 1/8-mile El Camino Real Derby, will try deeper waters. Trained by Steve Miyadi, Grazen’s Hope drew the rail and will be ridden for the first time by Martin Garcia.
Although still a maiden, trainer Denise Breuer’s Rprettyboyfloyd was a close second in his second start, a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight on Jan. 26, earning an 82 Beyer number.
The complete field for the San Vicente Stakes, to be run as the fifth race on a nine-race card Sunday, with jockeys and post position order, all horses assigned 118 pounds: Grazen’s Hope, Martin Garcia; Rprettyboyfloyd, Brice Blanc; Papa Turf, Joe Talamo; Roger Rocket, Corey Nakatani; Cherubim, Mike Smith, and Kobe’s Back, Joel Rosario.
Edited Santa Anita release