first_imgSADLER’S FLAGSTAFF HEADS SATURDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 PALOS VERDES STAKES AS OLDER HORSES GO SIX FURLONGS ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 22, 2020)–Trainer John Sadler’s talented 6-year-old gelding Flagstaff, idle since Nov. 2, heads a field of six older horses going six furlongs in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Palos Verdes Stakes at Santa Anita.A game nose winner of the seven furlong Damascus Stakes Nov. 2, Flagstaff, a lightly raced son of Eclipse Champion Sprinter Speightstown, will be making his second start in graded stakes competition on Saturday.Sadler will also be represented by the venerable 8-year-old gelding St. Joe Bay, a three-time graded stakes winner who’s been idle since winning the Grade II, seven furlong San Carlos Stakes here on March 30.Idle since March 30, Bob Baffert’s veteran 5-year-old Ax Man has trained well for his return and Baffert’s Speed Pass, a 4-year-old Bodemeister gelding who is unbeaten in two starts gets a major test for class off of a galloping seven length allowance score at Los Alamitos on Dec. 7.FLAGSTAFFOwner:  Lane’s End Racing & Hronis Racing, LLCTrainer:  John SadlerA game nose winner of the seven furlong Damascus Stakes on Nov. 2, Flagstaff has won four out of his nine starts and been in the money on eight occasions. Off as the even money favorite in the Damascus, he ran a big third at 9-1 two starts back in the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship, a race in which he was beaten 2 ½ lengths by top gun Omaha Beach.ST. JOE BAYOwner:  Hronis Racing, LLCTrainer:  John SadlerA winner of the 2017 Palos Verdes, Florida-bred St. Joe Bay could be in need of a race off the lengthy layoff, but his 14-4-5-2 record over the Santa Anita main track is well worth noting.  Based at Los Alamitos for his return to afternoon action, St. Joe Bay will be ridden for the first time by Rafael Bejarano. The leading money earner in the Palos Verdes field with $734,515, his overall mark stands at 36-7-7-6.AX MANOwner:  Patti & Hal EarnhardtTrainer:  Bob BaffertConsidered a Derby prospect two years ago, this 5-year-old gelding by Misremembered won the restricted Sir Barton Stakes going 1 1/16 miles at Pimlico in his fourth career start on May 19, 2018, but is still looking for his first graded stakes win in what will be his 10th career start. Idle since well beaten here as the 6-5 favorite going seven furlongs in the Grade II San Carlos Stakes March 30, Ax Man brings an outstanding work tab and a full serving of class to Saturday’s Palos Verdes.SPEED PASSOwner:  Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul WeitmanTrainer:  Bob BaffertA first-out maiden winner going six furlongs at Los Alamitos Sept. 20, Speed Pass relished a main track listed as “good” on Dec. 7 at Los Al, responding with a scintillating seven length allowance score at the same distance as the 6-5 favorite. Out of the Curlin mare Julie Napp, Speed Pass could be sitting on a big 4-year-old campaign as he faces much tougher horses in the Palos Verdes.THE GRADE II PALOS VERDES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 8 of 9  Approximate post time 4 p.m. PTAx Man–Drayden Van Dyke–120Captain Scotty–Abel Cedillo–120Flagstaff–Victor Espinoza–120Grinning Tiger–Umberto Rispoli–120St. Joe Bay–Rafael Bejarano–122Speed Pass–J.C. Diaz, Jr.–120First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. For additional information, please visit or call (626) 574-RACE.last_img read more