02/21/2012 3:47PM

Santa Anita: Gladding going to Big Cap

Tom Keyser
Gladding ran 10th in the 2011 Santa Anita Handicap.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Gladding, the winner of the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes in 2010, will make his next start in the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 3, trainer John Sadler said on Monday.

Gladding is entered for Saturday’s $125,000 Mineshaft Handicap at Fair Grounds, but Sadler said the 5-year-old gelding will remain in California. Owned by Lee and Susan Searing, Gladding has not started since finishing fourth in the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.

Sadler said a factor in the decision to run in the Big Cap was Gladding’s seven-furlong workout in 1:24.60 on Sunday. “He worked well the other morning,” he said.

Gladding was 10th in the 2011 Big Cap, a race won by Game On Dude. This year, Game On Dude heads the list of candidates though Baffert has not stated that he is a definite runner. The $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 31 is a possibility.

Sadler considers Game On Dude to be a worthy favorite. “It’s Game On Dude and he fits in the group below that,” he said of Gladding’s position in the race.

Run over 1 1/4 miles, the Big Cap field will include Strub Stakes winner Ultimate Eagle, 2011 runner-up Setsuko, Uh On Bango, who was second in the San Antonio to Game On Dude, as well as Boxeur des Rues, Holladay Road, Ron the Greek, and Twice the Appeal.