(Trainer John Sadler / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
From the Santa Anita Media Team:
Fresh off a big first-out maiden score sprinting, John Sadler’s Rock Your World stretches out and rates top billing among six sophomores going one mile on turf in Saturday’s $100,000 Pasadena Stakes at Santa Anita.
Proven at the distance, Phil D’Amato’s rapidly improving Irish-bred Cathkin Peak, a winner of the one mile turf Eddie Logan Stakes Dec. 27, and John Shirreffs’ Red Flag, a disappointing fourth in the Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity Dec. 19, both rate huge chances and figure to be well backed in a short but very competitive field.
A $650,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, Rock Your World exploded off the turn for home in his maiden victory and went on to win in-hand under turf ace Umberto Rispoli, who’s back aboard in the Pasadena. Owned by Hronis Racing, LLC and David Michael Talla, Rock Your World, a Kentucky-bred colt by Candy Ride, out of Charm the Maker, by Empire Maker, was bred by Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally and his wife Deborah.
Off as the 2-1 favorite in a field of 12 on Jan. 1, Rock Your World won in eye catching fashion and appears to be a colt with any kind of future.
A respectable fourth in his five furlong turf debut over soft ground in his native Ireland on Aug. 29, Cathkin Peak was purchased privately and made his U.S. debut for D’Amato at Del Mar on Nov. 29, rallying to take a one mile turf maiden special weight by three quarters of a length versus 11 horses. Subsequently off at 4-1 in the seven-horse Eddie Logan, he hesitated a bit at the break but was handled confidently by Flavien Prat as he rallied for a one length victory.
With leading man Prat back aboard for the third consecutive time, Cathkin Peak will be well supported as he bids for his third consecutive win at a mile on grass.
The biggest question mark in Saturday’s Pasadena would appear to be the John Shirreffs-trained Red Flag. Well beaten first time out on dirt Sept. 6 at Del Mar, he rallied to break his maiden by a neck going 5 ½ furlongs on turf at Santa Anita Oct. 10. Dismissed at 10-1 in the Grade III Bob Hope Stakes at seven furlongs on dirt Nov. 15, he responded with a freakish 7 ¼ length victory.
Subsequently sent off as the 4-5 favorite in the Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity at 1 1/16 miles Dec. 19, this colt by the Speighstown stallion Tamarkuz was never a factor while finishing fourth, beaten 8 ½ lengths. Owned by Jerry and Tina Moss, Red Flag, who will be making his fifth career start, will be ridden back by apprentice Ricky Gonzalez.
THE $100,000 PASADENA STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 8 of 9 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT
- Mac Daddy Too–Abel Cedillo–124
- Cathkin Peak–Flavien Prat–124
- Red Flag–Ricardo Gonzalez–120
- Commander Khai–Juan Hernandez–120
- Rock Your World–Umberto Rispoli–120
- Harlan Estate–Ruben Fuentes–120
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com.