ARCADIA, Calif.— Richard Mandella’s classy sophomore Forbidden Kingdom, idle since the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby in April, returns to action this Saturday at Santa Anita and looms the horse to beat among a field of seven 3-year-olds and up in the Grade II, $200,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship.
By 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Forbidden Kingdom, on the strength of powerful victories in the Grade II San Vicente Stakes Jan. 29 and the Grade II San Felipe March 5, was the even-money favorite in the Santa Anita Derby April 9, but ended up sixth and last, beaten 14 ½ lengths by top-tier colt Taiba.
Owned by MyRacehorse and Spendthrift Farm, LLC, Forbidden Kingdom has won two out of his three Santa Anita starts and is 6-3-1-1 overall as he likely prepares for a berth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Keeneland Nov. 5 with regular rider Juan Hernandez up.
Although Forbidden Kingdom may be the new kid on the block in the Sprint division, C Z Rocket is anything but. A miracle $40,000 claim on April 30, 2020 at Oaklawn Park, this 8-year-old City Zip gelding took the 2020 Santa Anita Sprint Championship and was subsequently second in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Keeneland some 11 races back.
Most recently a troubled eighth in the Grade II Pat O’Brien Stakes going seven furlongs on Aug. 27, C Z Rocket’s most recent win came two starts back in a six-furlong allowance at Del Mar on July 23.
Based at San Luis Rey Downs with trainer Peter Miller, C Z Rocket is owned by Altamira Racing Stable, Madaket Stables, LLC, Gary Barber and former Glendora CA youth football coach Tom Kagele. With one win and a third from three Santa Anita starts, C Z Rocket is 33-12-4-5 overall with earnings of $1,572,641. He’ll be ridden by Ramon Vazquez, who guided him to victory in the Del Mar allowance July 23.
THE GRADE II, SANTA ANITA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST ORDER
Race 6 of 10 – Approximate post time 3 p.m. PT
- C Z Rocket—Ramon Vazquez—122
- Forbidden Kingdom—Juan Hernandez—120
- Howbeit—Mike Smith—122
- None Above the Law—Joe Bravo—122
- Super Ocho—Hector Berrios—122
- Kid Corleone—Edwin Maldonado—118
- Todo Fino—Umberto Rispoli–122
First post time on Saturday for a 10-race card that will include five other stakes is at 12:30 p.m.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Forbidden Kingdom wins the G2 San Felipe (Benoit Photo)
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