Nine Expected Postward For Whittingham Handicap

Nine Expected Postward For Whittingham Handicap

Category : News - Thu 22/05/2014 - 14:20 EDT

The Grade II Charlie Whittingham Handicap on the turf highlights Saturday racing this weekend at Santa Anita Park.

A mixed field of nine, including three foreign-born invaders, are expected to go to the gate at Santa Anita on Saturday for the $200,000 Grade II Charlie Whittingham Handicap. Open to horses aged three and up, the race goes 1 1/4 miles on the turf course. The expected favorite when the gates open is the six-year-old Kentucky-bred Fire With Fire, who will also carry high weight of 124 pounds. Trained by Neil Drysdale, the son of Distorted Humor will be making his 32 lifetime start.

Fire With Fire has two wins already on the year

Enjoying something of a career resurgence in 2014, Fire With Fire has made four starts so far this year, three in graded stakes events. After opening with a fifth-place finish in the Grade II San Gabriel Stakes at Santa Anita in early January, he then shipped to Turf Paradise to win the Cotton Fitzsimmons Handicap, and followed that up with a score back at Santa Anita in the Grade II San Luis Stakes at odds of 10-1. Most recently he was second by a head in the Grade III Last Tycoon Stakes, also at Santa Anita last month.

South American invaders could challenge for a piece

The winner of that one, Chilean-bred Quick Casablanca is also in the Whittingham field, and will carry 119 pounds. Never worse than third – with a trio of wins – in 11 starts on his home soil, Quick Casablanca showed promise early after coming north, with a third-place finish in his first US start in the Good Reward Stakes at Belmont. He had four also-ran efforts before making his California debut a winning one in the Last Tycoon. A winner of a pair of Grade II events in Argentina, Dr. Action will be making his second US start after running seventh in the Thunder Road Stakes at Santa Anita in early April.

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