‘We’ll Be Ready’: Sadler Seeks Historic Three-Peat In Santa Anita Handicap

John Sadler seeks to become the first trainer in 84 editions of the storied Santa Anita Handicap to win the event three straight years when he sends out Gift Box in the mile and a quarter classic on March 7.

Seven trainers have won it two years in a row: Bob Baffert, Doug O’Neill, Bobby Frankel, Richard Mandella, Charlie Whittingham, Ron McAnally and Tom Smith. Sadler won the 2018 Big ‘Cap with Accelerate and last year with Gift Box, who is set to defend his title this year.

Sadler has a big day planned on March 7, with Flagstaff going in the Grade II San Carlos Stakes, Frontier Market in the Kilroe and Stela Star in the China Doll Stakes.

“Gift Box had a beautiful work here this morning (six furlongs in 1:13 under exercise rider Cerapio Figueroa), Sadler said. “He went out (seven furlongs) in (one) 27. Flagstaff also worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 (with Figueroa up), and some of the others are working tomorrow.

“Stela Star is a star. You’ll be hearing about her.”

The 3-year-old Irish-bred filly makes her U.S. debut in the China Doll, a $75,000 test for three-year-old fillies at a mile on turf. She’s had four races in Ireland, winning the last two at seven furlongs, the latter on a “heavy” turf course, the former at the same distance on a synthetic course.

“We’ll be ready,” Sadler said. “We should have a big day March 7 with a lot of runners.”

The post ‘We’ll Be Ready’: Sadler Seeks Historic Three-Peat In Santa Anita Handicap appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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