01/27/2013 6:16PM

Santa Anita: Arcadia's large cast expected to include world traveler Vagabond Shoes

Benoit & Associates
Silentio, winner of the Sir Beaufort last month, is among a large group of probables for Saturday's Grade 2 Arcadia.

The largest field of the four major stakes at Santa Anita next weekend will be Saturday’s $150,000 Arcadia Stakes over a mile on turf.

The Grade 2 Arcadia is expected to have a double-digit field, including Akkadian, Chosen Miracle, Forest Mouse, Klisz, Sebastian Flyte, Silentio, Strong Suit, Suggestive Boy, Vagabond Shoes, Wilkinson, and Willyconker.

Silentio won the Grade 2 Sir Beaufort Stakes for 3-year-olds on turf on Dec. 26, while Strong Suit is a four-time group stakes winner in England in 2010 and 2011 who joined trainer Simon Callaghan’s stable last fall. Suggestive Boy was seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Mile here in November.

Vagabond Shoes will make his American debut in the Arcadia. Now trained by John Sadler, Vagabond Shoes was a Group 3 winner in France last spring (the Prix de Chemin de Fer du Nord at Chantilly), and was third in a Group 2 at Baden-Baden, Germany, last September.

Now owned by Kosta Hronis, the 6-year-old Vagabond Shoes has also raced in Spain, Turkey, and Dubai in his 20-race career, which includes two stakes wins.

“I expect a big effort,” Sadler said. “He’s been training forwardly.’

There are two major preps this weekend for the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 2 – Saturday’s $200,000 Strub Stakes for 4-year-olds and Sunday’s $200,000 San Antonio Stakes. Neither is expected to have a large field.

Fed Biz, Triptap, and Guilt Trip, the first three finishers of the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes on Jan. 12, will be joined in the Strub Stakes by Handsome Mike, who was fifth in the San Fernando, and the Maryland shipper Stephanoatsee.

Game On Dude, the winner of the 2011 Santa Anita Handicap, will be a heavy favorite in the San Antonio, a race he won in 2012. Game On Dude did not start in the 2012 Big Cap, but was 12th in the Dubai World Cup last March.