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John Shear Stakes 2024 | Santa Anita Park Picks
Heart Headed (Benoit Photo)

John Shear Stakes 2024 | Santa Anita Park Picks

Heart Headed, who just missed in his turf and stakes debut last out in the Baffle Stakes Feb. 17, gets another crack on the Santa Anita Park hillside turf course Sunday in the $100,000 John Shear Stakes for 3-year-olds.

First post Sunday is 1 p.m. and admission gates open at 11 a.m.

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Trained by John Sadler, Heart Headed was beaten by just a head when second to Stay Hot in the about 6 ½ furlongs Baffle on the hillside course. Stay Hot would return a month later to win the one-mile Pasadena Stakes on turf.

By hot sire Oscar Performance, Heart Headed made his first two starts last year on dirt in Kentucky for trainer William Walden. He broke his maiden second time out in a restricted maiden special weight going seven furlongs at Churchill Downs.

Heart Headed was subsequently entered in the Keeneland November Horses of Racing Age. He was purchased for $135,000 by David Ingordo, agent. Heart Headed resurfaced here Jan. 15 for Sadler and Hronis Racing. He promptly scored in a starter allowance/optional claimer going 6 ½ furlongs on dirt.

Heart Headed, the 8-5 morning line favorite, is 2-1-0 in four starts with $96,553 in earnings. Juan Hernandez, who was aboard in the Baffle, again has the call Sunday.

King of Gosford looms the major threat for trainer Phil D’Amato. After making his first six starts in Ireland last year, King of Gosford debuted locally on March 10 in first-level allowance going six furlongs on turf. The Zoustar colt attended the pace and kicked clear late to win by 1 ¾ lengths.

Installed as the 3-1 second choice, King of Gosford is campaigned domestically by Benowitz Family Trust, CYBT, Michael Nentwig, Saul Gevertz and Jeremy Paskoff. Overall, the England-bred is 7: 2-0-1 with $49,192 in earnings. Jockey Antonio Fresu will ride King of Gosford for the first time.

Practically Broke will be making his first start since a promising debut win going five furlongs on turf at Del Mar last November. Trained by Mark Glatt, he is the 5-1 third choice on the morning line.

In his unveiling, the Practical Joke colt set the pace and bested E J Won the Cup by a half-length. E J Won the Cup became a stakes winner last month for Doug O’Neill and is entered in Saturday’s GI Santa Anita Derby.

Practically Broke was purchased at auction last year for $72,000 by Dr. Rod Orr, who campaigns the colt with co-owner Dan J. Agnew. He will be ridden by Umberto Rispoli for the first time.


Race 5 of 11 | Approximate post time 3 p.m.

  1. King of Gosford—Antonio Fresu—122
  2. Miracle Mark—Diego Herrera—120
  3. Raging Torrent—Kazushi Kimura—120
  4. Heart Headed—Juan Hernandez—120
  5. Charge for Gold—Ricky Gonzalez—120
  6. Practically Broke—Umberto Rispoli—120