The featured event at Santa Anita on Saturday is the Grade 2 $150,000 San Pasqual. In the field of eight is a horse that is very familiar to Arizona racing fans, Uh Oh Bango, who came kind of close to being the first Arizona-bred to ever run in the Kentucky Derby in 2010. He didn't make the field at Churchill Downs, but nevertheless, he has had a fine career. Here is the analysis of the Grade 2 San Pasqual:
#1 Skipshot- Offspring of 1997 BC Classic winner, Skip Away. He has not won since the 2010 Swaps Stakes over the Cushion track at Hollywood Park. In fact, since that win, he has only one top three finish, a third three back at Golden Gate in November. Joe Talamo is aboard.
#2 Thirtyfirststreet- Adding blinkers for this go. Nearly won the Zia Park Derby in December after setting the pace. He was worn down by First Strike, but still held a strong second. Promises to be a part of the pace setup here and could very well be on a lone lead.
#3 Java Man- Has been off since November. This gelding posted a bullet workout on January 2 at Santa Anita, covering six furlongs in 1:12 1/5. While he is 1 for 1 over the main track at Santa Anita, he has never faced graded stakes company before. Should be considered, but potentially for the minor placings.
#4 Tweebster- Another putting on the blinkers for this effort. Only ran five times in 2011 and hit the board in four of those, but was never a winner. Did end 2010 on a three-race win streak, but that could be considered ancient history by this time. The Sire is Tapit, who of course, has been prodigious of late.
#5 Utopian- Scored at 1 1/4 miles on the turf at Hollywood last time out on November 25. This will be his first lifetime start on conventional dirt. Chantal Sutherland is the regular rider for this horse and will get the riding assignment once again on Saturday.
#6 Tres Borrachos- Could be up front, but then again could come running from the clouds as well. Rolled up late to be 3rd at 30-1 in the BC Dirt Mile behind Caleb's Posse and Shackleford. Clearly has the most glittering resume' of any of the horses in this bunch, but obviously, this will compromise his price.
#7 Uh Oh Bango- 4th in the Grade 3 All-American at Golden Gate on November 25. He has not been to the Winner's Circle since the Grade 3 Berkeley at Golden Gate in May 2010. Has been in-the-money in all three prior tries at Santa Anita, but has never won there. Mike Smith gets the call for trainer Kory Owens.
#8 Massone- Has 1967 Preakness and Belmont winner, Damascus, on the Dam side. Ran 2nd twice in three 2011 starts, but finished fourth behind two of his competitors here in the Grade 3 Native Diver last time out at Hollywood.
TOP FOUR SELECTIONS: 4-3-6-7
Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!