01/05/2012 3:39PM

Santa Anita: San Pasqual rivals left to guess what Tres Borrachos will do

Benoit & Associates
Jockey Rafael Bejarano will use his own judgment as to whether Tres Borrachos will vie for the lead or come from off the pace in Saturday's San Pasqual.

ARCADIA, Calif. – In his last two starts, Tres Borrachos has proven to be dangerous from the front and off the pace. The style of racing that will be employed in Saturday’s $150,000 San Pasqual Stakes at Santa Anita rest solely in the hands of jockey Joel Rosario.

In the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5, Tres Borrachos closed from last in a field of nine to finish third. In the Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap at Hollywood Park on Dec. 3, Tres Borrachos led to deep stretch, finishing a half-length behind Kettle Corn.

“Joel decided to put him on the lead, and I didn’t have any trouble with that,” trainer Marty Jones said of the Native Diver.

In the San Pasqual, run over 1 1/16 miles, Tres Borrachos can win his first stakes since the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap over the same distance at Del Mar last July. Race strategy for the San Pasqual was undetermined earlier this week.

“We’ll look at the competition and leave it up to Joel,” Jones said.

A win by Tres Borrachos in the San Pasqual would be the 7-year-old gelding’s first at Santa Anita in his eighth start at the track. In October, he was fifth in the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes here after setting a quick pace. In the Native Diver over 1 1/8 miles at Hollywood, Tres Borrachos led by a half-length at the eighth pole but could not hold off Kettle Corn, who closed on the inside.

“I think that horse surprised him on the rail,” Jones said of Kettle Corn.

The presence of Thirtyfirststreet in the San Pasqual Stakes could alter Rosario’s plans. Thirtyfirststreet, the winner of the Lone Star Derby on turf last year, tends to run near the front. He has had mixed results with that strategy. It worked in the Lone Star Derby, but not in the Del Mar Derby when he faded to finish eighth. In the Zia Park Derby in New Mexico last month, Thirtyfirststreet set the pace and finished second.

If the pace is too quick, Massone and Uh Oh Bango will be well-placed. Another contender is Tweebster, who was third in the Native Diver.

Massone was fourth in the Native Diver, his first start since August. In early fall, Massone was sidelined by a quarter crack, trainer Tim Yakteen said.

“I thought he ran a big race,” Yakteen said of the Native Diver. “He was wide on both turns. With that race under his belt, he should run an improved race.”

Uh On Bango won the Grade 3 Berkeley Stakes at Golden Gate Fields last May. He was fourth after a poor start in the Grade 3 All American Stakes there on Nov. 25.

“He kind of lunged at the gate and he was positioned where I didn’t want him to be,” trainer Kory Owens said.



San Pasqual S. (G2), Post Time: 1:31 PT Saturday

Purse: $150,000; 1 1/16 mile





ML Odds



J. Hollendorfer

J. Talamo




D. O'Neill

H. Berrios



Java Man

J. Sadler

G. Gomez




B. Baffert

R. Bejarano




J. Shirreffs

C. Sutherland



Tres Borrachos

M. Jones

J. Rosario



Uh Oh Bango

R. Owens

M. Smith




T. Yakteen

M. Garcia