10/04/2012 4:11PM

Santa Anita: Mr. Commons will try to catch Obviously in Arroyo Seco Mile

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Benoit & Associates
Obviously, ridden by Joe Talamo, holds off Mr. Commons and Brice Blanc to win the Del Mar Mile in August.

ARCADIA, Calif.– The stretch run between Obviously and Mr. Commons in the Del Mar Mile was one of the highlights of the summer meeting. There is every chance they can produce an encore in Saturday’s $150,000 Arroyo Seco Mile on turf at Santa Anita.

The two could not have more diverse running styles.

When the 4-year-old gelding Obviously gets rolling on the lead, he is impossible to stop. Mr. Commons is a closer whose late rallies sometimes work and sometimes do not. In the Del Mar Mile, Mr. Commons finished a nose behind Obviously, who set a course record of 1:32.10.

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There are only five starters in the Arroyo Seco Mile, and Obviously and Mr. Commons will be easy to find. Jockey Joe Talamo has no intention of trying to throttle Obviously’s speed.

“That’s his style,” Talamo said. “The more you fight him, the tougher he gets. You have to give him his head.”

Trained by Mike Mitchell for Anthony Fanticola and Joe Scardino, Obviously was stakes-placed in turf sprints earlier this year. He is unbeaten around two turns. A win in the Grade 2 Arroyo Seco Mile would put Obviously closer to a start in the Breeders’ Cup Mile here on Nov. 3.

Mr. Commons was fifth in the 2011 BC Mile at Churchill Downs as a 3-year-old. Since that race, he has won two of six starts, with the wins in two Grade 2 races – the Sir Beaufort Stakes and Arcadia Mile on turf.

In four subsequent starts, Mr. Commons has finished second in three races and fourth in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Betfair Hollywood Park. Brice Blanc rode Mr. Commons for the first time in the Del Mar Mile and retains the mount for the Arroyo Seco Mile.

Trainer John Shirreffs said he was encouraged by Blanc’s ride aboard Mr. Commons in the Del Mar Mile and expects the same sort of performance.

“We want to see him run like he did at Del Mar,” Shirreffs said. “It was much better. He’s back to where he really finishes. He’d gotten away from that.”

Despite the small field, the race has an international flavor.

Trailblazer, a 5-year-old Japanese-bred horse, makes his U.S. debut in the Arroyo Seco, using the race as a prep for the BC Turf here on Nov. 3.

Fourth in the 2011 Japan Cup, Trailblazer won the Group 2 Kyoto Kinen over about 1 3/8 miles in February but was ninth in the Group 2 Meguro Kinen at Tokyo Racecourse in May. Trailblazer will be treated with Lasix for the first time for the Arroyo Seco.

Kettle Corn and Midnight Interlude will be longer prices.

Kettle Corn won the Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park last December but is winless in five starts this year. He has been second or third in those races, all stakes.

Midnight Interlude, who won the 2011 Santa Anita Derby, is winless in five starts since the minor Tsunami Slew Stakes on turf at Hollywood Park in June 2011.