ARCADIA, Calif.—Atop his game at age seven, trainer Phil D’Amato’s Count Again rates top billing in Saturday’s Grade I, $500,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile, as 12 older horses compete over the Santa Anita turf.
Three for five at a mile on grass lifetime, Count Again rallied from far back in last year’s Kilroe to finish third by a half length. An Ontario, Canadian-bred gelding by Awesome Again, Count Again was winless in five starts last year but kept top graded stakes company while earning more than $132,000.
Ridden patiently in the Grade III Thunder Road Stakes at a mile on turf here Feb. 5, Count Again overhauled heavily favored Subconscious to prevail by a half length and figures to be very tough right back at his favorite distance.
Based at Woodbine Racecourse in Toronto prior to joining D’Amato’s stable in the fall of 2020, he’s won a pair of graded stakes from seven stateside starts in the interim. Owned by Agave Racing Stable and Sam-Son Farm, Count Again will be ridden back by Flavien Prat as he bids for his first Grade I win.
With an overall mark of 14-5-1-4, Count Again has earnings of $463,665.
Trained by Richard Mandella, Subconscious was off at 3-5 in the Thunder Road and appeared to be in command turning for home but raced a bit greenly a furlong out and was outrun by Count Again late. A handy 1 ¼ length winner of Santa Anita’s Grade II Twilight Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf three starts back on Oct. 31, Subconscious has a 1-1-1 mark from three tries at a mile on grass and in all three cases was prominent early.
Owned by LNJ Foxwoods, Subconscious is a 4-year-old gelding by Tapit who is 8-3-2-1 lifetime with earnings of $247,820.
Third, beaten 1 ½ lengths in Gulfstream Park’s Grade I Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational at 1 1/8 miles on Jan. 29, English-bred Space Traveller ships west seeking his first North American graded stakes victory. Trained by Brendan Walsh, Space Traveller, a 6-year-old full horse, was a Group II stakes winner at age three going a flat mile on turf in Ireland he took a Group III that summer going seven furlongs on turf in England.
Owned by Clipper Logistics, Space Traveller has two wins and a second from nine tries at one mile on grass and is 24-5-3-3 overall. A horse who would appreciate a fast early pace, he’ll be making his sixth North American start on Saturday with Jamie Spencer back aboard.
Second to Express Train in the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes on dirt Feb. 5, the Michael McCarthy-trained Law Professor was nominated to both the Santa Anita Handicap and the Kilroe Mile. A half length winner of a one mile turf first condition allowance at Del Mar three starts back on Nov. 27, Law Professor then took the Grade II Santa Anita Mathis Mile on dirt Dec. 26. Proven to be a versatile sort who demonstrated an impressive turn of foot in his turf allowance win, Law Professor’s connections have opted to tee it up on grass Saturday.
Owned and bred in Kentucky by Twin Creeks Farm, Law Professor is a 4-year-old gelding by Constitution who would seemingly benefit greatly from a hot early pace. With three wins from eight starts, he seeks his first Grade I win.
THE GRADE I FRANK E. KILROE MILE WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 10 of 11 Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PT
Beyond Brilliant—Victor Espinoza—124
Count Again—Flavien Prat—122
Whisper Not—Ramon Vazquez—122
Law Professor—Abel Cedillo—122
Tell Your Daddy—John Velazquez—122
Space Traveller—Jamie Spencer—120
Team Merchants—Mario Gutierrez—120
Bob and Jackie—Jose Valdivia, Jr.—122
Early first post time for an 11-race card on Saturday is at 12 noon with admission gates opening at 10 a.m.
Santa Anita Press Office
Photo: Count Again/Benoit Photo