Six Set For San Antonio As Pegasus World Cup Looms
By Margaret Ransom
Traditionally, Santa Anita’s San Antonio Stakes (GII) had served as a prep race for the track’s signature event, the Santa Anita Handicap (GI), which is contested every year in early March. For decades, horses with their eyes on the Big ‘Cap prize would line up in early February to race the San Antonio’s 8 ½ furlongs and earn a ticket to the big dance. Names like Round Table, Gun Bow, Hill Rise, Ack Ack, Ancient Title, Vigors, Criminal Type, Farma Way, Gentlemen, Game on Dude and Hopportunity took home the San Antonio trophy, many en route to Santa Anita Handicap success and even greater glory.
This year, the San Antonio has been moved back a few weeks on the track’s racing calendar to sit on the prestigious opening-day card and, while it may not be a signature prep for the Big ‘Cap anymore, it’s more than made up for that loss by serving as the West Coast’s main prep for the $16 million Pegasus World Cup (GI), set to be held on Jan. 27 at Gulfstream Park. The connections of at least two of the six runners in this year’s San Antonio are eyeing the world’s richest horse race, so a top performance is essential if they’re going to risk $1 million to make the Pegasus World Cup gate.
Hoppertunity, who won the last two runnings of the San Antonio, is back seeking a third and will have his work cut out for him, especially against… (more)