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2016 awesome again stakes preview entries and odds


The Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes will be run at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California this Saturday, August 1. A purse of $300,000 will be on the line when horses three years old and upward take to Santa Anita's dirt track and race 1 1/8 miles.

A solid field of seven have been confirmed for the Awesome Again Stakes - race 7 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 3:30 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all seven entries for this intriguing Grade 1 stakes -a "Win and You're In" event for the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic .

2016 Awesome Again Stakes Race Preview at Santa Anita Park

California Chrome 1-5 - two-time Eclipse Award winning Art Sherman trained 2014 Horse of the Year had a terrific six race win streak early that year and looked absolutely untouchable - the Preakness Stakes, a four length win in the Kentucky Derby, the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes and two minor stakes scores. He also had a fourth in the Belmont Stakes that year - a race that could have made him the first Triple Crown winner in decades. He had just one start in 2015 - a runner-up finish in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan. He has been untouchable again in 2016 however - a great win last time out in wire-to-wire fashion in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 20 (a race he registered a 112 Beyer Speed Figure) followed a victory in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap here July 23, a dominant win by 3 3/4 lengths in the $10 million Group 1 Dubai World Cup in March, a Handicap score also at Meydan February 25 and an impressive win in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes at Santa Anita January 9. California Chrome now has 23 career starts with 14 wins, three seconds and a third place finish and has won five straight ahead of this week. He will have regular rider Victor Espinoza aboard looking to make some more noise as the obvious favorite from an unfavorable rail position.

Dortmund 4-1 - was last seen running third behind California Chrome and Beholder in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 20. That followed a second, a half length behind California Chrome in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap July 23, eight months away, a win the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths November 28, another win in the minor Big Bear Stakes at Santa Anita in October, an OK fourth in the 2015 Preakness Stakes and a respectable third in the Kentucky Derby. He won his first six career starts before that including the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby April 4, 2015, in gate-to-wire fashion in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes March 7, the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes February 7, the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity, an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Churchill Downs November 29 and maiden score in his debut - at Santa Anita November 2, 2014. He now has eight wins, a second and two third place finishes in 12 career starts - impressive. Rafael Bejarano is scheduled to ride the morning line second choice from gate 2 Saturday.

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Hoppertunity 8-1 - defending fourth place finisher in this race - Bob Baffert trainee was one of the favorites for the 2014 Kentucky Derby but missed that race. He won the 2015 San Pasqual Stakes January 10 and the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 28, 2014. He enters off consecutive fourths - 8 1/2 length back in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 20 and in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 25. They followed a respectable third place finish behind California Chrome in the $10 million Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan March 24, a good win in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita February 6, an OK third behind California Chrome in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes January 9 and three straight runner-up finishes - the 2015 Clark Handicap November 27 at Churchill Downs, the Grade 2 Haygard Fayette Stakes October 30 at Keeneland and the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes in September. Hoppertunity has five wins, six seconds and four third place finishes in 21 starts overall but has looked just OK lately. Flavien Prat has been tabbed with snapping a three race losing streak from post 3 Saturday.

Hard Aces 20-1 - John Sadler trainee won the 2015 Gold Cup at Santa Anita in upset fashion and hadn't posted another win until two starts back when he won the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar July 24. He followed that with a dud - an eighth, 25 lengths back in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic August 20. His most recent win was preceded by a third in the 2016 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 25, a respectable second in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes May 22, a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic April 23, a decent second with an impressive 101 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap March 12, a fifth in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes February 6, a fourth in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes January 9 and a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Hard Aces now has seven wins, five seconds and eight third place finishes in 34 career starts and has placed in three of his last four starts overall. Santiago Gonzales will try for the strong bounce back from post 7.

Win the Space 20-1 - has three wins, a second and three third place finishes in 13 career starts for trainer George Papaprodromou. He enters off a disappointing DNF after being pulled up in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic August 20 after a respectable third behind Hard Aces in the Grade 2 Cougar II Handicap July 23, a very nice second at 24-1 odds in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 25, an Allowance Optional Claiming score May 15 and a fourteenth place finish in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. He had been decent before last time out and looks for his first stakes score from gate 4.

Soi Phet 20-1 - 2013 third place finisher in this race Leonard Powell trained gelding has 48 career starts with 11 wins, six seconds and four third place finishes. He enters in decent form - two straight minor stakes scores ahead of this weekend - the E.B. Johnston Stakes at Los Alamitos and the Harry F. Brubaker Stakes August 24. They followed a sixth in the minor California Dreamin' Stakes July 24 and another good win in the McCann's Mojave Handicap on this track in June. Soi Phet has been decent against lesser competition lately and hopes for a first graded stakes score from post 5.

El Huerfano 30-1 - Peter Miller trained colt has 18 career starts with four wins, a second and three third place finishes - his best results were a win in the minor Golden Bear Stakes at Sacramento last July and a third in the minor Robert Dupret Derby in August, 2015. He arrives off a fourth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap at Del Mar August 20 after a third in the minor McCann's Mojave Handicap at Santa Anita June 26, a sixth in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes May 22 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score March 30. El Huerfano has been just OK so far and will need a special effort to contend Saturday. Martin Pedroza rides from gate 6.

2016 dixiana elkhorn stakes preview entries and odds


The Grade 2 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes will be contested this Saturday, April 23 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. Horses four years old and upward will be featured when they take to Keeneland's turf track and race 1 1/2 miles searching for the winner's share of the $250,000 purse.

A field of eight will give it a go in the Elkhorn Stakes - race 9 on Keeneland's Saturday card. Post time is 5:30 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all nine combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.

2016 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes Race Preview at Keeneland

Kaigun 5-2 - 2014 winner of the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes at Woodbine, Mark Casse trained gelding ended 2014 with a terrific win in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar. He also finished second in two other Grade 1 stakes in 2014 - the Manhattan Stakes in June and in the Maker's Mile here behind Wise Dan. He has enters off a nice win in the Grade 2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream Park April 2 which followed four straight runner-up finishes - the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes March 5, the Grade 3 John B. Connally Turf Cup January 30 at Sam Houston, the Grade 3 WL McKnight Handicap at Gulfstream December 26 and the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct in November. Kaigun now six wins, eight seconds and three third place finishes in 27 career starts and hasn't been worse than second in his last five overall. He tries for his second straight graded stakes score with Joe Bravo in the irons of the morning line favorite from post 7.

Da Big Hoss 7-2 - has eight wins, a second and three third place finishes in 17 career starts for trainer Michael Maker and enters off a disappointing fifth in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream March 5. Before that was one of his wins - in the Grade 3 John B Connally Turf Cup at this distance at Sam Houston January 30, an OK third in the Grade 3 WL McKnight Handicap at Gulfstream Park December 26 and a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Turf. He also has a nice four race win streak last summer - in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup at the Elkhorn distance September 14, in his stakes debut - the listed John's Call Stakes at Saratoga August 26, an Allowance Optional Claiming score in July 31 and a Claiming win in June. Da Big Hoss has won five of his last eight starts overall (three wins over Kaigun) but will be looking for a bounce back this week. Florent Geroux has the mount Saturday the rail as Da Big Hoss tries to rediscover the form he has last year.

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Up With the Birds 3-1 - Canada's 2013 Horse of the Year and Champion 3 Year Old Colt, Graham Motion trained multiple graded stakes winner looks for his first win since the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes at Woodbine in July, 2014. He was OK last year - six starts with a second and two third place finishes. Last time out was a disappointment however - a ninth in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup back in November which followed a good second in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International October 18 and consecutive fourths - the Grade 2 Commonwealth Cup in September and the Grade 1 Arlington Millions in August. Before that were two straight thirds in graded stakes company. Up With the Birds hasn't shied away from top company and has been in the mix almost every time out. He hopes to snap a nine race losing streak from gate 2 with John Velazquez aboard.

Twilight Eclipse 3-1 - is the world record holder at 1 1/2 miles on turf when he won the Grade 2 William McKnight Handicap December 28, 2013 in wire-to-wire fashion by seven lengths. He's placed in 10 of 13 races ahead of this weekend but hasn't looked great lately. Last time out was a seventh in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream March 5 which followed an eighth in November in the Breeders' Cup Turf. Before the Breeders' Cup were third place finishes in three straight races - the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, the Grade 1 Sword Dancer August 29 and the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes July 5. He also had a win in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes May 9, a third in the Grade 2 Pan American Stakes March 28, a second in the 2015 Mac Diarmida Stakes and a third in the 2014 Breeders' Cup Turf. He now has 30 career starts with seven wins, five seconds and seven third place finishes and will be after just his second win in 24 months. Twilight Eclipse has Julien Leparoux guiding him from gate 6.

Idolo Porteno 12-1 - Argentinean bred Ignacio Correas trainee has four wins, a second and a third place finish in 11 career starts and was at his best at the end of 2014 at home when he won the Group 1 Carlos Pellegrini and the Group 1 Dardo Rocha. He has just three starts since - a fourth and a fifth in Group 1 races at home in 2015 and a respectable third last time out in his North American debut - the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park March 19. Idolo Porteno has been in there with some good competition in the past and hopes his success from Argentina translates to his first win on 16 months. Paco Lopez will be in the saddle from gate 4 hoping to accomplish that goal.

Royal Albert Hall 15-1 - British bred Doug O'Neill trained gelding has just two wins in 17 career starts to go along with six seconds and four third place finishes. He has placed in six of his last eight starts - an Allowance Optional Claiming score last time out March 25 followed a second in a similar race March 5, an ugly thirteenth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby November 28, a third in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby October 24, a sixth in the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes October 3, a second in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby September 6 and a third in the Grade 3 La Jolla Handicap in August. He looks for his first stakes score Saturday from post 5 with Flavien Prat in the irons.

St. Albans Boy 15-1 - has 24 career starts with just four wins and four third place finishes. He enters off on OK fourth in the Grade 2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream April 2 which followed a third in the minor H. Allen Jerkens Stakes January 31, a fourth in the Grade 3 WL McKnight Handicap December 26, a seventh in the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap November 14, a good win in the minor Laurel Turf Cup October 31, a decent third in the Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes October 15 and a fourth in the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup in September. St. Albans Boy hopes for his first graded stakes score Saturday and enters having failed to place in three of his last four starts. James Graham is scheduled to ride from the outside gate 8.

A Red Tie Day 20-1 - lightly raced Richard Baltas trainee has three wins and four third place finishes in 12 career starts. He makes his stakes debut Saturday off an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Santa Anita March 3, an eighth in a similar race February 7 and 16 months away from the track. He also had a two race win streak against lesser competition in June, 2014. A Red Tie Day steps up in OK form but looks as though he's be in over his head in this one. Gary Stevens has been tabbed to ride from post 3.