The Chosen Vron seeks his 10th stakes victory in the $100K Sensational Star (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
Race Is Part Of Lucrative CTBA-Sponsored Golden State Series
Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Box
ARCADIA, Calif.— Never better at age five, trainer Eric Kruljac’s brilliant California-bred gelding The Chosen Vron seeks his 10th career stakes victory as he heads a field of five older horses in Sunday’s $100,000 Sensational Star Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s Camino Real Hillside Turf Course.
The Sensational Star is a part of the lucrative CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series for California-bred or sired horses.
A 1 ¼ length winner of his only hillside start, the California Flag Handicap four starts back on Oct. 16, The Chosen Vron was nothing short of sensational in taking his most recent assignment, the one mile dirt Tiznow Stakes versus statebreds on Feb. 20 by 6 ½ lengths, a race in which he earned a career-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure.
With two graded wins at age three ranking high among his nine stakes victories, The Chosen Vron has 10 wins from 14 overall starts and earnings of $672,678. By Vronsky out of the Tiz Wonderful mare Tiz Molly, The Chosen Vron has won five out of his last six starts, all stakes and all in combination with Hector Berrios. Bred by Tiz Molly Partners, The Chosen Vron is owned by Sondereker Racing, LLC, Eric Kruljac, Robert Fetkin and Richard Thornburgh.
A two-time stakes winner and second in last year’s Sensational Star, classy Indian Peak will try to regain his winning form as leading rider Juan Hernandez takes the hillside call. Winless in his last eight starts, all stakes, Indian Peak’s last win came nine starts back with Hernandez up in the 2021 California Flag Handicap.
Trained by Peter Miller and idle since a troubled 11th going one mile on the Del Mar Turf in the restricted Wickerr Stakes on July 24, Indian Peak has a steady series of main track drills at Santa Anita. With plenty of speed signed on in Sunday’s Sensational Star, Indian Peak will likely lag early and make a run, as he did in winning the Cal Flag in October of 2021.
A 6-year-old gelding by Comic Strip out of the Roar mare Ms. Booty, Indian Peak was bred in California by Dr. and Mrs. William Gray and is owned by Gary Barber and Wachtel Stable. With an overall race resume of 28-6-5-2, he has earnings of $431,122.
A for the remaining three Sensational Star runners, none are stakes winners but all appear to be well positioned for top performances, including the Andy Mathis-trained Kings River Knight, who comes off a solid fourth place finish going 1 1/8 miles on turf here in the California Cup Turf Classic here Jan. 7, and will be ridden by Flavien Prat.
Phil D’Amato’s Jack Sixpack, owned and bred by Nick Alexander, comes off a pair of statebred allowance victories on turf and dirt and will try the hill for the first time with Kyle Frey.
Idle since a game nose victory in an open allowance going five furlongs on turf at Del Mar July 22, trainer Cesar DeAlba’s Fast Buck has won three of his last five starts and could show the way early with Edwin Maldonado at the controls in his first stakes assignment.
First post time for an 11-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. with admission gates opening at 10:30 a.m.