This Saturday's 76th running of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap will feature the first ever match-up of two prior winners of the race: Ron the Greek (2012) and Game On Dude (2011). The mile and a quarter Big Cap will go to post at 7:30 pm Eastern time and will be televised live by both HRTV and TVG.
2011 Big Cap winner Game On Dude leads the field of ten as the 6/5 morning line favorite. The Dude was a disappointing seventh in last fall's Breeders' Cup Classic, but has rebounded to win the G3-Native Diver and G2-San Antonio in his last two starts. He'll carry the high weight of 125 points on Saturday.
Ron the Greek, winner of the 2012 Santa Anita Handicap, finished fourth in Breeders' Cup Classic before making his 2013 debut at Gulfstream Park with an 11 length victory in the Sunshine Millions Classic. The 5/2 second choice on the morning line, Ron the Greek will carry 122 pounds.
Joining the former champions in this year's Big Cap are:
- Handsome Mike -- Winner of the Pennsylvania Derby last fall and fourth in the G2-Strub at Santa Anita in his last start.
- Called to Serve -- Winner of the Broad Brush at Laurel on New Year's Eve and the winner of the G3-Discovery at Aqueduct in mid-November.
- Clubhouse Ride -- Second to Game On Dude in the San Antonio in his last start.
- Richard's Kid -- Second in last year's G1-Hollywood Gold Cup and fifth in the Breeders' Cup Classic.
- John Scott -- Fourth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile but has never won a race on dirt in his career (3-0-0-2)
- Stephanoatsee -- A good second in the G2-Strub on Feb. 2.
- Guilt Trip -- Winner of the Strub.
Saturday's Santa Anita card will also feature the G1-Las Virgenes (post time: 5:30 pm ET) for three-year-old fillies, and the G1-Kilroe Mile (post time: 7:00 pm ET) on the turf. Fed Biz will make his turf debut in the Kilroe where he'll face last year's runner-up, Mr. Commons.
In the Las Virgenes, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Beholder will attempt to rebound from her defeat to Renee's Titan in the G2-Santa Ynez back on Jan. 21.
Below are the entries, post positions and morning line odds for Saturday's G1-Santa Anita Handicap.
|1||Ron the Greek||J. Lezcano||W. Mott||5/2|
|2||Handsome Mike||M. Gutierrez||D. O'Neill||20/1|
|3||Deacon Speakin'||A. Delgado||M. Pender||50/1|
|4||Called to Serve||G. Stevens||N. Canani||6/1|
|5||Clubhouse Ride||R. Bejarano||C. Lewis||30/1|
|6||Richard's Kid||T. Baze||D. O'Neill||12/1|
|7||John Scott||M. Garcia||C. Gaines||20/1|
|8||Stephanoatsee||J. Leparoux||G. Motion||8/1|
|9||Game On Dude||M. Smith||B. Baffert||6/5|
|10||Guilt Trip||J. Talamo||B. Baffert||6/1|