ARCADIA, Calif. (May 11, 2016)—Jerry Hollendorfer’s talented I Will Score returns from Arkansas and promising sophomores Smokey Image, Denman’s Call and Iron Rob will try to rebound off disappointing runs in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 9 as they cut back in distance to seven furlongs in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes for 3-year-olds.
Named for the late Hall of Fame conditioner who won the 1976 Kentucky Derby with Bold Forbes and the 1978 Triple Crown with Affirmed, the Barrera has attracted a field of seven and will be run as the sixth race on an 11-race program at Santa Anita on Saturday.
I WILL SCORE: Second as the 3-2 favorite in a six furlong stakes on April 15 at Oaklawn Park, Hans Poetsch’s homebred I Will Score looms the horse to beat on Saturday. With two wins from five starts, the Kentucky-bred colt by Roman Ruler’s best race was likely a close third place finish in the Grade III, 1 1/16 miles Robert B. Lewis Stakes here three starts back on Feb. 6. After showing the way early, he ended up tiring late at 5-2 and was beaten two lengths by Mor Spirit. In his next start, he finished last, beaten 19 ¼ lengths by Danzing Candy in the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles San Felipe Stakes on March 12. Although untested at seven furlongs, both of his career wins have come sprinting.
SMOKEY IMAGE: Undefeated in his first six starts, California-bred Smokey Image will try to rebound off a pair of graded stakes defeats as he cuts back in distance for the Barrera. Beaten 18 ¾ lengths by Danzing Candy in the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles San Felipe Stakes on March 12, Smokey Image was battered by some 37 ½ lengths when seventh to Exaggerator in the Santa Anita Derby. Trained by Carla Gaines and owned by Irvin Racing Stable, Smokey Image was a winner of the $200,000 Golden State Juvenile in his only try at seven furlongs on Oct. 30 at Del Mar. With six wins from eight starts, “Smokey” has earnings of $443,445.
DENMAN’S CALL: Trained by Doug O’Neill, his best race to date was a third place performance in the Grade II, seven furlong San Vicente Stakes here on Feb. 15, as he sat close to the pace and finished four lengths behind his stablemate, eventual Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist. Subsequently second in the six furlong San Pedro Stakes March 20, the chestnut gelding by Northern Afleet finished sixth, beaten 24 ½ lengths, by Exaggerator in the San Anita Derby. Owned by his breeders, W.C. Racing, LLC, Westside Rentals.com or Gilman Racing, Denman’s Call was a first-out maiden winner going 5 ½ furlongs here on Jan. 9 and will be making his fifth start on Saturday.
IRON ROB: A winner of the 6 ½ furlong Baffle Stakes here on Feb. 21, this Florida-bred colt by Twirling Candy came back to win the six furlong San Pedro Stakes on March 20 prior to being eased in the Santa Anita Derby. Trained by George Papaprodromou, Iron Rob has three wins and two seconds from 11 overall starts. Owned by Kretz Racing, LLC, he has earnings of $157,665.
THE GRADE III LAZARO BARRERA STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS
Race 6 (of 11) Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PDT
- Bistraya—Santiago Gonzalez–120
- Iron Rob—Stewart Elliot—122
- Mrazek—Mario Gutierrez—124
- Denman’s Call—Rafael Bejarano—120
- Smokey Image—Victor Espinoza—122
- Westbrook—Tiago Pereira—120
- I Will Score—Martin Garcia—120
First post time on Sunday is at 2 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m. For scratches, late changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com.