Millionaires Santin, Smooth Like Strait Among Nine To Square Off In Del Mar’s Seabiscuit - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Millionaires Santin, Smooth Like Strait Among Nine To Square Off In Del Mar’s Seabiscuit

Tyler Gaffalione celebrates a G1 Turf Classic victory aboard Santin

Millionaire Santin, who ships in from Kentucky to try his luck in the $250,000 Seabiscuit Handicap (G2) Saturday, looms as the one to beat in the nine-horse lineup for the Thanksgiving weekend headliner at Del Mar.

The son of Distorted Humor figures strongly in the 1 1/16-mile turf test, which has drawn  a competitive field of nine.

Santin ran previously at Del Mar last year as a 3-year-old in the Hollywood Derby (G1) and finished a neck second to Beyond Brilliant, who he'll face again Saturday. Also in the hunt is another millionaire, the speedy 5-year-old horse Smooth Like Strait. Then, just to make the stew extra spicy, a pair of last-out stakes winners in Masteroffoxhounds and Hong Kong Harry, as well as another stakes-winning Kentucky shipper in Set Piece also are entered.

All in all, it adds up to one of the most intriguing races Del Mar fans are likely to see this fall.

Santin has a bankroll that reads $1,449,600. Among his four victories is the Arlington Million (G1), run this year at a special meet at Churchill Downs on August 13. The bay also captured the Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill on May 7. He's trained by veteran Brendan Walsh.

Beyond Brilliant is a triple stakes winner who has earned $726,780 under the care of conditioner John Shirreffs. His most recent tally was the City of Hope Mile (G2) at Santa Anita on October 1.

Smooth Like Strait rarely runs a bad race and has 19 in-the-money finishes in 23 outings, good for $1,795,573 in winnings. The quick son of former sprint champion Midnight Lute knows only one way to go – to the front – and no doubt will be the one they'll all have to catch Saturday. He's trained by Mike McCarthy.

Masteroffoxhounds is a last-out winner, having captured the John Henry Turf Championship (G2) at Santa Anita on October 1. His stablemate, Hong Kong Harry, also is a last-out winner, proving best in the Del Mar Mile (G2) on September 3. Both horses are trained by Phil D'Amato.

Set Piece was shipped west by top trainer Brad Cox. The 6-year-old Dansili gelding is an 11-time winner who sports a bankroll of $919,573.

The full field for Seabiscuit from the rail out with owners, riders, morning line odds: Godolphin's Santin, Umberto Rispoli, 3-1; Rockingham Ranch's Masteroffoxhounds (Mike Smith, 12-1); Anastasi, Ukegawa or Valazza's Hong Kong Harry (Flavien Prat, 7-2); Cannon Thoroughbreds' Smooth Like Strait (John Velazquez, 4-1); C R K Stable's Beyond Brilliant (Victor Espinoza, 4-1); Supreme Racing or Rockingham Ranch's Lincoln Hawk (Joe Bravo, 20-1); Pozo de Luna's Irideo (Hector Berrios, 10-1); Juddmonte's Set Piece (Juan Hernandez, 5-1), and BBN Racing's Kentucky Ghost (Ramon Vazques, 20-1).

Seabiscuit was one of America's great racehorses. He took part in a famed match race at Del Mar in 1938 that helped put the fledging track on the map. It also was the forerunner of his match race at Pimlico with Triple Crown winner War Admiral. “The Biscuit” won them both.

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