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A Big Field for Long Race at Santa Anita

April 16, 1998|BOB MIESZERSKI

With 11 probable starters, the $400,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap on Sunday could have its largest field since Mashkour beat 10 others in 1991.

Kessem Power, who has won six of nine races since being claimed by trainer Mike Mitchell for owner Robert Baron last summer, will be trying for his second stakes win of the meeting.

Last month, the 6-year-old scored an upset in the San Luis Rey Stakes and he will try for an even bigger victory in the Capistrano, Santa Anita's longest race at about 1 3/4 miles on the grass.

Kessem Power is the co-high weight in the field at 116 pounds with Ela-Aristokrati, a 6-year-old Irish bred who will be making his first start since finishing third in the Scandinavian Open Championship in Denmark last August. He is trained by Michael Dickinson, who won the 1996 Breeders' Cup Mile with Da Hoss and has been training in Maryland for his return.

Others likely to be entered Friday morning are Royal Strand, Star Performance, Devonwood, New Frontier, Amerique, Shanawi, Si Seductor, Belgravia and Top Glory.

Saturday, Fiji will be heavily favored to win her fifth race and second stakes of the season in the $250,000 Santa Barbara Handicap.

Horse Racing Notes

Trainer Bob Baffert left for Churchill Downs on Wednesday morning and 10 of his horses, among them Indian Charlie, Real Quiet and Silver Charm, left with him. Indian Charlie and Real Quiet are being readied for the Kentucky Derby but Silver Charm, last year's Derby winner, isn't likely to run again until the summer. "Wherever I go, [Silver Charm] goes," Baffert said. . . . Baffert picked up his 45th win of the meeting Wednesday when heavily favored Worldly Ways won the seventh race. He needs three victories to break Gary Jones' Santa Anita record of 47 victories in a winter-spring season.

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