What could be more fitting than running the American Stakes on the Fourth of July?
Not much, which is why Santa Anita is on board patriotically and then some next Tuesday with the Grade III American Stakes for three-year-olds and up at a mile on turf.
Dan Hendricks has a horse well-suited to the conditions of the $ 100,000 race in Om, a five-year-old son of Munnings owned by the Sareen Family Trust. The full chestnut has run seven times on turf, winning three with two seconds and a third, and six times at a mile on the grass, winning twice, finishing second twice and third once.
Usually on or close to the lead, Om finished second by a nose to Obviously in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita last Nov. 5, then was third by a half-length in the Grade II Seabiscuit at Del Mar before Hendricks gave him a break.
“Om is ready to go and coming back really well,” the trainer said. “I gave him a short time off after Del Mar last summer (from Aug. 21 to Oct. 8), but when he came back and we had all that rain, he wasn’t going to get anywhere, so I just gave more time.”
Om once again will be ridden by Gary Stevens, who has been aboard the Kentucky-bred in his last 10 starts, winning three, all Grade II stakes, the Del Mar Derby, the Twilight Derby and the Mathis Brothers Mile.
In 16 career starts, Om has five wins, four seconds and four thirds, with earnings of $ 848,845.
Also showcased on the July 4 holiday will be the $ 100,000 Lennyfrommalibu Stakes, one in the lucrative Golden State Series for California-bred or sired horses, this for four-year-olds and up at about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf.
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