01/05/2013 3:23PM

Santa Anita: San Gabriel remains Jeranimo's favorite race

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Benoit & Associates
Jeranimo will make his third consecutive appearance in the San Gabriel after winning the race in 2010 and finishing second in 2012.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Jeranimo could only finish fourth in the Grade 2 Citation Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on Nov. 23, a loss that trainer Mike Pender has shrugged off in recent weeks.

“He came out of the race as good as ever,” Pender said.

The next goal is the $150,000 San Gabriel Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on turf on Sunday at Santa Anita. Owned by B.J. Wright, Jeranimo is making his third consecutive appearance in the Grade 2 San Gabriel, having won the race in December 2010 and finishing second in January 2012. The stakes was not run in 2011.

A 7-year-old who has won 8 of 31 starts and $1,107,400, Jeranimo was a Grade 1 winner in 2012, in the Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park in June. He was later sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita.

In the San Gabriel, Jeranimo will face a field that will include another Breeders’ Cup runner in Slim Shadey, who was eighth in the BC Turf on Nov. 3. Slim Shadey was fourth in the Hollywood Turf Cup over 1 1/2 miles on turf on Dec. 15, a distance that may be beyond his best trip.

Slim Shadey won two Grade 2 races over 1 1/4 miles on turf here in 2012. He was also effective at 1 1/8 miles on turf, finishing second in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs in May.

The San Gabriel is Sunday’s top race. Saturday, the $150,000 San Fernando Stakes over 1 1/16 miles for 4-year-olds can provide clues for the $200,000 Strub Stakes for 4-year-olds on Feb 2 and the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 2.

Spencer accepts mount in Arcadia

European-based jockey Jamie Spencer will ride at Santa Anita later this meeting, and has the mount on the Strong Suit in the $150,000 Arcadia Stakes for turf milers on Feb. 2.

Spencer signed a two-year deal in October to be first-call rider for Sheikh Fahad al Thani’s Qatar Racing.

Strong Suit, owned by Sheikh Fahad, has yet to start in the United States. In England, he won four stakes in 2010 and 2011, including the Group 2 Challenge Stakes at Newmarket in 2011. Trainer Simon Callaghan said on Friday that Strong Suit will be pointed for the two major turf miles for older horses at this meeting – the Arcadia and the $300,000 Frank Kilroe Mile on March 2.