Tamarando hopes to regain his stakes-winning form as he heads a field of eight sophomores bred or sired in California in Saturday’s $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Tamarando was last seen as the 2-1 favorite in a field of 12 after shipping in to Turfway Park for the Spiral Stakes. Ridden by Russell Baze, Tamarando was away slowly and never threatened en route to an eighth-place, 11 1/2-length defeat. He had come off an impressive half-length winner under Baze two starts back in the El Camino Real Derby.
The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee has a grinding style, and he benefits from a fast early pace.
The colt by Bertrando, is a three-time stakes winner on synthetic surfaces. He’ll be trying turf for the first time in the Snow Chief. In addition to his three stakes wins, he has been stakes-placed four times.
With an overall record of 11-4-2-3, his earnings of $630,120 exceed the combined winnings of his seven rivals. He’ll get the services of Rafael Bejarano in the Snow Chief.
Hollendorfer will also saddle Pray Hard, who will try two turns for the first time and help to ensure a solid pace. A gelding by Kafwain, Pray Hard was an impressive three length Cal-bred allowance winner as the 3-5 favorite two starts back going six furlongs and he comes off a fourth place finish at 6 1/2 furlongs in the Echo Eddie Stakes April 5. He has earnings of $130,900 from an overall mark of 8-2-3-1.
Northern California-based trainer Blaine Wright got his first Santa Anita stakes win with Alert Bay in the Echo Eddie, as the City Zip gelding exploded late to win by a half-length under Russell Baze. A one mile turf maiden winner three starts back at Golden Gate Feb. 2, Alert Bay seeks his fourth consecutive win in the Snow Chief.
Alert Bay has three wins and three seconds from six starts and earnings of $187,800.
The complete field for the Snow Chief Stakes, to be run as the 10th race on an 11-race program Saturday: Frensham, Mario Gutierrez, 118; Alert Bay, Tyler Baze, 123; Aotearoa, Mike Smith, 123; Awesome Return, Joe Talamo, 118; Kukaluka, Victor Espinoza, 115; Tamarando, Rafael Bejarano, 125; Pray Hard, Corey Nakatani, 120, and Patriots Rule, Fernando Perez, 118.
Edited Santa Anita release