10/05/2011 4:25PM

Santa Anita: Dollase has two for Oak Tree Mile

Shigeki Kikkawa
El Gato Malo was third in the Ralph Hinds Handicap on Sept. 25.

ARCADIA, Calif. - The 6-year-old gelding El Gato Malo and the 7-year-old horse Monterey Jazz start for trainer Craig Dollase in Saturday’s $150,000 Oak Tree Mile on turf. A win could lead to either of those veterans making a trip to Churchill Downs next month.

“We’re hoping we can get back to the big dance with both of these guys,” Dollase said.

El Gato Malo, owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, was third in the Ralph Hinds Handicap at Fairplex Park on Sept. 25.

“It’s a quick turnaround, but I don’t think that will hurt him,” Dollase said.

He was eighth in the 2009 BC Turf Sprint at Santa Anita. The Grade 2 Oak Tree Mile will be El Gato Malo’s first start on turf since a second in the Dallas Turf Cup in May 2010. A stalker, El Gato Malo has won four stakes in his 18-race career.

Monterey Jazz is likely to set the pace. Owned by Class Racing Stable, he was fourth in the restricted Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 24, setting the pace before finishing 1 3-4 lengths behind John Johny Jak.

“Neither will compromise each other,” Dollase said of his runners. “Monterey Jazz has one way to go.”

Mr. Commons, second in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile, and John Johny Jak are the leading contenders.

Saturday’s card features the top sprint of the Santa Anita Autumn meeting, the $250,000 Ancient Title Stakes over six furlongs.

The Factor, the winner of the Grade 1 Pat O’Brien Stakes against older horses on Aug. 28, will be a heavy favorite even though he drew the rail in a field of six. Amazombie, the winner of three sprint stakes earlier this year, and Mensa Heat, who was claimed for $25,000 in April, are threats from just off the pace.