ARCADIA, Calif.—Distant one-two finishers when last they met 10 months ago, Cezanne and Brickyard Ride will square off again as they head a field of nine older horses going seven furlongs in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Carlos Stakes presented by Fan Duel at Santa Anita.
A 5-year-old horse by Curlin, Cezanne rallied from off the pace to defeat heavily favored Brickyard Ride by 9 ¾ lengths after “Brickyard” was pressed through unworldly splits of 21 flat and 43.60 in the Grade III, 6 ½ furlong Kona Gold Stakes on April 18, 2021. Idle until resurfacing in the Grade III Palos Verdes Stakes on Jan. 29, Cezanne finished third, beaten three lengths as the 3-5 favorite in a race that he should benefit considerably from.
Trained by Bob Baffert and owned by Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor, Cezanne, a 5-year-old horse by Curlin, has come out of his most recent start to train in high profile fashion. Dating back to Feb. 7, he has worked four times, with his last three moves, two at five furlongs and his most recent at six furlongs on Feb. 27, accomplished in bullet fashion.
With a recent race under his belt, Cezanne will hope to have Brickyard Ride in his sights at the top of the lane as he seeks his second graded stakes win in what will be his sixth start.
A lightning quick 5-year-old California-bred horse by Clubhouse Ride and the defending San Carlos champ, the Craig Lewis-trained Brickyard Ride will no doubt take some catching in the race he won by four front-running lengths last year on March 6.
Fresh off a massive 7 ½ length victory in the one mile Tiznow Stakes versus statebreds here on Feb. 21, Brickyard wheels back on 12 days notice as he seeks his sixth stakes win and his 11th win from 21 overall starts.
A gate to wire winner of the six furlong Cal Cup Sprint at six furlongs Jan. 15, Brickyard Ride, an imposing chestnut out of owner/breeder Alfred Pais’ Southern Image mare Brickyard Helen, is in search of his third consecutive win, the last two resulting in Beyer Speed Figures of 100 and 101.
There’s no question that Lewis and Pais have been anxious to get back in the ring with Cezanne, as it was his stablemate, Ax Man who pressed Brickyard Ride through what turned out to be suicidal fractions in last year’s Kona Gold. Easily the leading money earner in the field with $620,977, Brickyard Ride, no matter the early splits, will be extremely tough to catch if he’s clear turning for home.
C R K Stables’ Canadian Pride, a 5-year-old gelding by Creative Cause, comes off a vastly improved effort in a 6 ½ furlong allowance on Feb. 4, a race he won by 2 ¼ lengths and in which he earned a 101 Beyer—18 points above his previous start on Dec. 31. Trained by Peter Eurton, Canadian Pride, who will be facing stakes competition for the first time in his 13th career start,` will be ridden by Edwin Maldonado, as Flavien Prat opts for Cezanne.
Third in his last three starts, all graded stakes around two turns, Baffert’s Eight Rings has routed in his last five starts, but has proven ability sprinting. A respectable fourth six starts back in the Grade II Pat O’Brien Stakes going seven furlongs on Aug. 28, he was second, beaten a neck by top sprinter Dr. Schivel in the Grade I Bing Crosby at six furlongs July 31.
Owned by Coolmore Stud, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, LLC, et al, Eight Rings, a 5-year-old horse by Empire Maker, took the Grade I American Pharoah Stakes at age two and will thus be seeking his second graded stakes win. With an overall mark of 14-3-1-3, he has earnings of $474,451.
Claimed for $50,000 two starts back on Jan. 2, Shooters Shoot stalked the early pace and ran what appeared to be the race of his career in finishing second, beaten a neck at 20-1 in the Grade III Palos Verdes on Jan. 29. In earning a career-best 96 Beyer, he also finished 2 ¾ lengths clear of Cezanne.
Owned by Bella Cavello Stables, LLC, Shooters Shoot will be making his second start for trainer Richard Baltas.
THE GRADE II SAN CARLOS WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 4 of 11 Approximate post time 1:30 p.m. PT
Brickyard Ride—Juan Hernandez—122
American Theorem—Mike Smith—120
Canadian Pride—Edwin Maldonado–120
Principe Carlo—Kyle Frey—120
Eight Rings—John Velazquez—120
Phantom Dance—Ramon Vazquez—120
Wicked Trick—Abel Cedillo—120
Shooters Shoot—Victor Espinoza–120
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: Cezanne/Benoit Photo