United On the San Marcos Scene

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By Emily Shields

There are three stakes races at Santa Anita Saturday, with a Kentucky Derby prep and top race for older horses in the lineup. There is also the $200,000 San Marcos Stakes (G2) for males on the grass, which features the return of United.

United has been second in both his last two starts, including the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) behind Bricks and Mortar. The 2019 Horse of the Year defeated him by just a head in the 1 ½ mile contest, which brought together some of the best horses in the world. United then wheeled back and ran second, beaten a neck, in the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) at Del Mar. Richard Mandella trains the LNJ Foxwoods runner, who is by Giant’s Causeway.

Defeating United in the Hollywood Turf Cup was Oscar Dominguez, the 5-2 third choice in the San Marcos. The son of Zoffany (Ire) has four wins on this course, and has been top three in five of nine at the 1 ¼-mile distance. Richard Baltas trains, and Joel Rosario will ride.

Cleopatra’s Strike is 2-1 on the morning line. He was second by a nose in the 2019 San Gabriel over this course, then second by a neck here in the same race last month. The son of Smart Strike initially ran in Canada where he was a top-class allowance horse, but has become a solid grade 2 runner for Phil D’Amato in California. Abel Cedillo will ride.

Multiplier will start for Peter Miller. He was a winner in his lone start on the course, which was way back in May of 2018. This is his first start since returning from a stint with Bill Mott back East. The son of The Factor has not run over the distance.

Chosen Vessel and Brown Storm (Chi) round out the seven-horse field. Watch and wager on every race from Santa Anita live on TVG.

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