Del Mar: Summer Hit must avoid joining speed battle in California Dreamin'

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Summer Hit, winning the All American Handicap at Golden Gate Fields, is among three contenders who prefer to run on or near the lead in the California Dreamin'.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – There may be too much speed in Sunday’s $150,000 California Dreamin’ Handicap at Del Mar to suit Compari, Lucky Primo, and Summer Hit.

All three are at their best when racing on or near the lead. When they meet for the first time in the California Dreamin’ for California-breds going 1 1/16 miles on turf, their similar styles could lead to a speed battle.

Hollywood Park: Compari must step back up

Shigeki Kikkawa
Compari has won 8 of 18 starts.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Compari, the 7-year-old multiple stakes winner, was a dull fourth in an allowance race over six furlongs on turf on May 19, his first start of 2013.

Trainer Marty Jones said on Wednesday that he is ready to forget that race and is looking toward Compari’s return in a $62,000 allowance race over a mile on turf on Friday.

“I’d like to see him get back into his form,” Jones said. “The last race was pretty disappointing. Hopefully, the real Compari will show up.”

Santa Anita: Stalking role suits Compari in San Simeon

ARCADIA, Calif. – Once a speedball, Compari has mellowed with age.

The 6-year-old gelding now frequently races as a stalker, which makes him dangerous in a race such as Saturday’s $100,000 San Simeon Handicap at Santa Anita.

“He’s changed a lot,” trainer Marty Jones said. “Earlier in his career, he was a need-the-lead type. Now he runs from off the pace. It’s gratifying.”

Santa Anita: Marty Jones rises in standings with turf sprint success

Benoit & Associates
Tres Borrachos will try to add to trainer Marty Jones's strong Santa Anita meet in Sunday's San Antonio Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Success on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita has put trainer Marty Jones’s stable firmly in the top 10 at Santa Anita this winter.

Jones’s stable won three races, including two stakes, in late January and early February on the hillside turf course – the Sensational Star Stakes with Compari on Jan. 28, the Wishing Well Stakes with the remarkable Unzip Me on Jan. 29, and an optional claimer with Don Perico on Thursday. The 3-year-old maiden Zackn’mat won a seven-furlong race on dirt Jan. 29.

Santa Anita: Patience pays off for Compari in Sensational Star

ARCADIA, Calif. - A younger Compari may not have been as patient as the 6-year-old model in Saturday’s $100,000 Sensational Star Stakes at Santa Anita.

Compari was third in a field of five on the hillside portion of the race over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf course, stalking Ain’t No Other and My Summer Slew. Entering the stretch, Compari moved closer to the leaders and rallied between them to take the lead in the final furlong.

The Sensational Star Stakes was the fifth career stakes win for Compari.

How to handicap the Sunshine Millions Luck Pick Six

Here's my race-by-race rundown of this Saturday's Sunshine Millions Luck Pick 6, spanning three races each at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park. An "A" horse is a primary contender and top selection, or slightly less likely winner who you think will be an extreme overlay. A "B" is a reasonable contender who will keep you alive with other A's and B's but not with C horses.

Santa Anita: Caracortado, Compari to face off in Sensational Star Stakes on Sunshine Millions card

Benoit & Associates
Caracortado wins the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes on Jan. 8 at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Four graded stakes winners, including the multiple stakes winners Caracortado, Compari, and Unzip Me, are among the entrants for Saturday’s three California-bred stakes in the Sunshine Millions races at Santa Anita.

Caracortado and Compari lead a field of eight in the $100,000 Sensational Star Stakes over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course, the day’s fourth race and the first of three consecutive stakes in the Sunshine Millions series.

Santa Anita: Acclamation resumes training, eyes spring return to races

Shigeki Kikkawa
Acclamation has resumed light training at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Acclamation, a finalist for Eclipse Awards as the nation’s outstanding turf male and outstanding older male, has resumed light training at Santa Anita with an expected return to racing in the spring.

Trainer Don Warren said Acclamation jogged for a week in late December and was being walked at his stable this week, with a mix of jogging and walking expected in coming weeks. A winner of three Grade 1 races in 2011, Acclamation could start his 2012 campaign before the end of the current Santa Anita winter-spring meeting on April 22.

Santa Anita: Compari looms large, but Sandor a threat

Benoit & Associates
Compari, with Garrett Gomez riding, wins the Arcadia in 2010.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Big turf stakes are on the itinerary for graded winner Compari, the feature-race favorite making his second start back Thursday at Santa Anita.

At one mile on grass, the $65,000 allowance is perfect for a gelding who finished a bang-up second in his comeback sprint six weeks ago. “He’s better going a mile,” trainer Marty Jones said. “He can use his speed to his advantage.”

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