ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 12, 2022)–On the improve and a winner of her last two starts, Holly and David Wilson’s Barraza figures prominently among a field of eight older horses going six furlongs on turf in Saturday’s $70,000 Clockers’ Corner Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by Vladimir Cerin, Barraza, a maiden $100,000 claim here eight starts back on April 21, 2021 appears to have hit his best stride as he approaches his 12th career start at age four.
In what appears a very competitive turf sprint, Ruben Alvarado’s hard knocking Commander, John Sadler’s Irish-bred Comradery, unbeaten in two tries over the Santa Anita lawn, Bob Hess’s classy Chaos Theory, George Papaprodromou’s upstart Barristan The Bold and Richard Mandella’s veteran gelding Border Town all appear to have big chances.
A handy 3 ½ length winner of a first condition allowance going about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course two starts back on Oct. 31, Barraza was most recently a game nose winner of a second condition allowance coming down the hill on Jan. 2, a race in which he launched a furious rally from off the pace as the 3-1 favorite in a field of 10.
The Clockers’ Corner will mark Barraza’s first start racing “on the flat” out of Santa Anita’s turf chute and he’ll hope to have the same kick with regular rider Kent Desormeaux aboard. A 4-year-old colt by Into Mischief out of the graded stakes winning mare Halo Dolly, Barraza is 11-3-1-2 with earnings of $151,860.
Although he’s facing what appears to be softer company, French-bred Commander appeared to have room between horses a furlong from home in the Grade II Joe Hernandez Stakes going 6 ½ furlongs out of the turf chute here on Jan. 1, but didn’t quicken while finishing fifth, beaten 2 ¼ lengths in a disappointing effort. A solid second condition allowance winner coming down the hillside course three starts back on Oct. 2, Commander has one sprint win out of the turf chute, which came in a $40,000 claimer 10 starts back on Feb. 21, 2021.
Owned by the Sinnott Family Trust and previously trained by Peter Miller, Commander will be making his second start for Alvarado and be reunited with leading man Prat, who was up for the Oct. 2 win. With five wins from 21 starts, this 5-year-old gelding has earnings of $236,195.
Owned by Hronis Racing, LLC, Comradery, who posted consecutive nose victories routing victories on turf here on Oct. 9 and Jan. 9, was never a factor in a five furlong turf allowance at Del Mar Nov. 4, but his connections are hoping he’ll rebound in his second turf sprint on Saturday. A respectable second versus 13 rivals in Irish debut, a seven furlong maiden race on synthetic a year ago, Comradery, who will be making his seventh career start, is 5-2-1-1 with Sadler.
A 5-year-old full horse, Comradrey will be reunited with Umberto Rispoli, who guided him to a nose win three starts back on Oct. 9, when he rallied from last going a mile and one eight on turf.
A close third two starts back in the Grade II Eddie D. Stakes coming down the hillside turf on Oct. 1, Chaos Theory was never a factor going five furlongs at 46-1 in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar Nov. 6 and will try to rebound on Saturday with Abel Cedillo trying his hand for the first time.
A five furlong turf stakes winner 10 starts back when trained by Sadler on Aug. 22, 2020, Chaos Theory, a 7-year-old gelding by Curlin, was haltered for $62,500 by Hess five races back on Feb. 13, 2021 and will hope to run back to his performance in the Eddie D., a race in which he earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure.
Owned by David Bernsen, Gary Jacobs, Jeffery Lambert, Doug Gans, Larry Katz, Peter Underhill and Todd Cady, Chaos Theory, whose most recent win came seven starts back going five furlongs on turf at Del Mar, is winless in four tries over the Santa Anita lawn. With an overall mark of 19-6-2-3, he has earnings of $369,454.
Although he gets a class test, Rockingham Ranch’s Barristan The Bold has recency in his corner as he bids for his second consecutive win over the course. Claimed for $32,000 five starts back on Sept. 4 at Del Mar, this 6-year-old English-bred gelding stalked the pace en route to a solid half length win in a starter allowance going 5 ½ furlongs on turf here Jan. 8. Off at 17-1 in a field of 10, Barristan The Bold earned a 91 Beyer Speed Figure in what was his first stateside tally in nine tries. With four wins from 25 overall starts, he’ll be ridden for the second consecutive time by Ryan Curatolo.
Although Grade III stakes placed, Border Town will be seeking his first stakes victory in what will be his 19th career start on Saturday. Owned by Ramona and Perry Bass, III, this 6-year-old gelding by War Front, who comes off a respectable fifth place finish in Golden Gates Fields’ Oakland Stakes going six furlongs on synthetic Tapeta Nov. 20, has a pair of turf wins routing over the local lawn, but will try sprinting on turf for the first time.
The meet’s third leading rider through 12 racing days, Juan Hernandez, who guided Border Town to a fourth place finish three starts back in Del Mar’s restricted Wickerr Stakes on July 18, will try his hand for the second time in the Clockers’ Corner. With an overall mark of 18-3-3-3, Border Town, who made his first two starts with Chad Brown on the East Coast, has earnings of $177,900.
THE CLOCKERS’ CORNER STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 7 of 9 Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT
- Chaos Theory–Abel Cedillo–122
- Comradery–Umberto Rispoli–120
- Commander–Flavien Prat–122
- Barraza–Kent Desormeaux–122
- Barristan The Bold–Ryan Curatolo–122
- Vanzzy–John Velazquez–122
- Weston–Mike Smith–120
- Border Town–Juan Hernandez–122
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Benoit Photo