Ashleyluvssugar and jockey Gary Stevens win the Grade II, $ 250,000 Del Mar Handicap, Saturday, August 20, 2016 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA.© BENOIT PHOTO
Back to Southern California following his second consecutive turf stakes score, French-bred Itsinthepost, along with consistent California-bred Ashleyluvssugar heads a deep and competitive field of 10 three year olds and up in Saturday’s Grade II, $ 200,000 Charles Whittingham Stakes, to be run at a mile and a quarter over the Santa Anita turf.
Named for the legendary late Hall of Fame trainer, the Whittingham, originally known as The Hollywood Turf Handicap, began in 1969 and was taken by the Elliot Burch-trained Fort Marcy, who was piloted by Manny Ycaza.Affectionately known as “The Bald Eagle,” Whittingham, a Marine combat veteran who passed away in 1999, won the Hollywood Turf a record seven times.
ITSINTHEPOST: A true stayer, Itsinthepost is a one-paced sort who comes off a 1 ¼ length win in the Grade II, 1 ½ miles turf Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland April 22. He also captured the mile and a half, Grade II San Luis Rey Stakes on turf two starts back here on March 25.A 5-year-old gelding, Itsinthepost is owned by Red Baron’s Barn, LLC and is 11-3-2-2 on the Santa Anita lawn.With earnings of $ 512,712, his overall mark stands at 25-5-6-5.
ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR: Ridden by Gary Stevens, he showed the way early in the Grade II San Luis Rey on March 25, but tired to finish third, 2 ¾ lengths behind Itsinthepost.A winner of the 2015 Whittingham, this 6-year-old California-bred gelding by Game Plan is a four-time graded stakes winner and he’s won five out of his 10 starts on the Santa Anita turf.Owned by his breeders, Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing, LLC, “Ashley” has been expertly managed, dating back to his debut in August, 2013, by trainer Peter Eurton.
THE GRADE II, $ 200,000 CHARLES WHITTINGHAM STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 7 of 9 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT
Liam the Charmer—Victor Espinoza—122
Prince of Arabia—Santiago Gonzalez—122
Up With the Birds—Flavien Prat—124
Frank Conversation—Mario Gutierrez—124
A Red Tie Day—Corey Nakatani—122
Texas Ryano—Joe Talamo—124
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