The Wildcat, the traditional prep for the marathon closing-day feature 1 7/8 mile Hasta la Vista Handicap, will be run at 1 3/8 on the turf and drew a field of ten. The Arizona Stallion Stakes, which came up with six entrants, will be run at one mile on the main track.
Wildcat Handicap (8th Race)
There’s talent a plenty in this race filled with grass specialists with three of the ten entrants coming off wins, including the winner of the Turf Distance series, Tiger by His Tail, at the 1 ½ mile distance. That one will be looking for his fourth consecutive victory and retains leading rider Francisco Arrieta who cruised to an easy 2 ¾ length win in his last start.
Where Tiger by His Tail likes to play the game on the lead, Spooky Channel, likes to bide his time watching the competition and then come roaring late. The 4-year-old son of turf ace English Channel, has won his last three grass efforts in this wait and pounce fashion and has won of four of six career efforts.
Crown the Kitten shipped over from Santa Anita and won locally at first asking on March 19. The 7-year-old son of prized grass stallion Kitten’s Joy has won five of 35 efforts on the grass with 11 seconds and 6 thirds. His $361,551 bankroll outranks all the other entrants’ purse summaries by far.
Yo Y Me, second in earnings with over a quarter of a million dollars, found his path blocked in his turf debut on March 19.
Stratton, who finished third in this race last year on his way to winning the Hasta la Vista, has shown an affinity for the local grass course, having won five of 15 outings with 2 seconds and 5 thirds.
Arizona Stallion Stakes (3rd Race)
Trainer Kevin Eikleberry has half of the six-horse field, with Loud N Proud and the fillies Diva’s Diva and Let Me Fly. The remaining three starters are the first-time starter Tapit at Midnight, Linemans Check and the filly Hit the Deck.