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San Carlos Stakes 2024 | Santa Anita Park Picks
The Chosen Vron (Lindsay Affleck)

San Carlos Stakes 2024 | Santa Anita Park Picks

California-bred The Chosen Vron, a 15-time winner and earner of more than $1.2 million, looks to add a fourth graded stakes win to the resume Saturday in the Grade III, $100,000 San Carlos Stakes presented by FanDuel TV going seven furlongs at Santa Anita Park.

With nine races, including two stakes, first post time will be 1 p.m. Admission gates will open at 11 a.m.

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Trained by Eric Kruljac, The Chosen Vron earned his 14th career stakes win most recently on Jan. 13 when breezing to a 2 1/2-length victory over statebreds in the six-furlong California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita. The 6-year-old gelding by Vronsky has tasted defeat just once in his last 11 starts dating back to September 2022, which was a fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint here Nov. 4.

Jockey Hector Berrios has been aboard for the entirety of that run and again has the call on Saturday. On Tuesday night in Arcadia, The Chosen Vron was honored as the 2023 Cal-bred Horse of the Year, champion sprinter and champion older horse. Kruljac was also named Trainer of the Year at the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Awards Dinner and Annual Meeting.

Owned by Sondereker Racing LLC, Kruljac, Robert S. Fetkin and Richard Thornburgh, The Chosen Vron has record of 15-1-2 in 20 career starts. His three graded stakes wins have come in the 2023 GI Bing Crosby at Del Mar, and both the GIII Lazaro Barrera and GIII Affirmed Stakes in 2021 as a 3-year-old at Santa Anita.

Elwood Blues makes his stakes debut riding a three-race win streak for Bob Baffert, all at six furlongs. The 4-year-old Justify colt graduated at Los Alamitos in December and followed with back-to-back allowance wins at Santa Anita, the most recent coming by 1 ¾ lengths Feb. 18.

Campaigned by Michael Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Elwood Blues was purchased for $300,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sales. He is out of the Arch mare Blingismything, a graded stakes winner on turf.

Elwood Blues will be ridden by Santa Anita’s top jockey Juan Hernandez, who has been aboard for all three prior wins.

I’m A Gambler, a 5-year-old No Nay Never gelding bred in Ireland, will be making his dirt debut for trainer Mark Glatt. A nine-time winner in England, he arrived stateside ahead of the 2023 season for owner Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal LLC.

I’m A Gambler has been running exclusively on turf with six out of his seven stateside starts being stakes but with only limited success. Most recently, he was a disappointing seventh in the restricted Clockers’ Corner on the hillside turf course Jan. 28.

I’m A Gambler will be ridden by Brandon Boulanger and has an overall record of 9-4-3 in 31 starts with $317,196 in earnings.

Glatt also entered Ghost of Midnight, a winner of three straight and five of six time lifetime. The 6-year-old Ghostzapper gelding cleared his first two allowance conditions in December and came back to cruise by 2 ¼ lengths in a starter allowance at a mile here Jan. 26.

Ghost of Midnight will be ridden by Antonio Fresu, who has been aboard for two of his victories. Ghost of Midnight is a homebred for Allan K. Kirkwood and Saundra S. Kirkwood.


Race 8 of 9 | Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PT

  1. The Chosen Vron – Hector Berrios – 124
  2. Elwood Blues – Juan Hernandez – 120
  3. I’m A Gambler – Brandon Boulanger – 122
  4. Ghost of Midnight – Antonio Fresu – 120
  5. See Through It – Tiago Pereira – 122
  6. McLaren Vale – Joel Rosario – 120
  7. Super Chief – Kyle Frey – 120