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Santa Anita: Breeders' Cup Marathon winner Calidoscopio takes aim at Santa Anita Handicap
ARCADIA, Calif. – Calidoscopio, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Marathon in his U.S. debut at Santa Anita last November, will be after another major prize at the same track in coming months.
Thursday, trainer Mike Puype said that the 10-year-old Calidoscopio is being pointed to the $200,000 San Antonio Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 3 as a prep for the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap over 1 1/4 miles on March 2.
The Big Cap is the top race of the meeting for older horses.
“I think the mile and an eighth will be short for him, but we’ll take a shot at a mile and a quarter for big money,” Puype said. ”We can evaluate him after the San Antonio and see what we’ll do.”
A winner of 10 of 40 starts and $853,154, Calidoscopio won the BC Marathon over 1 3/4 miles on the main track by 4 1/4 lengths as a 17-1 outsider. He has not started since. An intended start in the Hollywood Turf Cup in December was scuttled because of a brief illness.
Since recovering, Calidoscopio has had three workouts, including a sharp five furlongs in 1:01.40 on Wednesday at Santa Anita.
In the San Antonio, Calidoscopio will face Game On Dude, who won the 2011 Santa Anita Handicap.
“I don’t know if I can beat Game On Dude at a mile and an eighth,” Puype said. “I think I’m in the game for the Big Cap.”
Juniper Pass will focus on turf
Juniper Pass was fourth behind Calidoscopio in the BC Marathon and is on a different career path this winter and spring.
Juniper Pass is scheduled to start in four turf stakes at the meeting, beginning with Sunday’s $150,000 San Gabriel over 1 1/8 miles.
The San Marcos Stakes on Feb. 9, the San Luis Rey Stakes on March 16, and the San Juan Capistrano Handicap on April 21 are the other three races that trainer Ray Bell has in mind for the 6-year-old Juniper Pass.
In 2011, Juniper Pass won the San Luis Rey, when the race was transferred to dirt because of wet weather, and the San Juan Capistrano on turf. Juniper Pass is winless in seven starts since the 2011 San Juan Capistrano, but has run better in his last three starts since being gelded last summer.
In the BC Marathon, Juniper Pass was ridden by Frankie Dettori and was beaten 10 lengths after racing as close as third with a furlong remaining.
“We were proud of the way he ran,” Bell said. “When it was all said, he might have been a little closer than we wanted. I told Frankie, ‘He doesn’t have the same kick on the main track like he does on the turf.’ Maybe with a change of tactics he could have been closer.”
Juniper Pass was gelded after a fourth in the Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park last summer.
“I thought he could win the Sunset,” Bell said. “We cut him after that race and since then he’s been more genuine.”
The Grade 2 San Gabriel field is led by Slim Shadey, winner of two graded stakes last year; and Jeranimo, who won the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park last June.
Even though Juniper Pass was second in the minor Bull Dog Stakes over 1 1/8 miles at Fresno in October, the longer turf races this spring have more appeal, Bell said.
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