09/30/2011 4:18PM

Santa Anita: Ancient Title, Oak Tree Mile options for Crown of Thorns


Crown of Thorns, second in the 2009 Ancient Title and 2009 BC Sprint, may start in next weekend's Ancient Title at Santa Anita, but is also being considered for the $150,000 Oak Tree Mile on turf the same day, trainer Richard Mandella said.

Plagued by injuries through his career, Crown of Thorns won the Grade 2 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap over 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood Park in May, but has lost his last two starts. He was third in the Pat O’Brien behind The Factor.

“I’m giving a little thought to running him in the Oak Tree Mile,” Mandella said. “We might look at the Ancient Title. With him, we’re happy to have him here.”

The list of probable starters for the Oak Tree Mile is led by the 3-year-old Mr. Commons, who won the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar in July and was second, by a nose, behind Caracortado in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile on Aug. 27.

Other candidates for the Oak Tree Mile are Jeranimo, who is winless in six starts since a win in the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes here last November, and John Johny Jak, who won the Harry Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar in August.