ARCADIA, Calif. (May 24, 2017)—Trainer Peter Miller’s Stormy Liberal, in search of his fourth consecutive win going 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course, and Marty Jones’s venerable California-bred gelding Ambitious Brew head a field of six 3-year-olds and up in Saturday’s Grade III, $150,000 Daytona Stakes.
Undefeated in three hillside turf starts this year, Stormy Liberal will no doubt go favored, while 7-year-old Ambitious Brew, a close second to Stormy Liberal when last they met, has six wins from 12 tries over Santa Anita’s unique hillside layout.
STORMY LIBERAL: Owned by Rockingham Ranch, this 5-year-old Stormy Atlantic gelding has proven a profitable claim since being haltered six starts back for $40,000 on Oct. 16. With six wins and three seconds from 11 starts over the course, Stormy Liberal is equally effective on the early lead or pressing it. With a cozy outside draw, regular rider Norberto Arroyo, Jr., would appear to be in the garden spot in terms of early tactics. With an overall mark of 19-6-6-1, Stormy Liberal has earnings of $342,070.
AMBITIOUS BREW: A joy to behold over parts of five racing seasons, this California-bred gelding has been a gem of consistency throughout his career. Second, beaten three quarters of a length by Stormy Liberal in the Siren Lure Stakes down the hill on April 23, Ambitious Brew was a game nose victor versus statebreds over the course two starts back in the Sensational Star Stakes on Feb. 25. Head and head early in his last two starts, he may inherit that role again on Saturday as he’s drawn the rail with regular pilot Mike Smith. Owned and bred by Pamela Ziebarth, Ambitious Brew has six wins and three seconds from 12 hillside starts. He’s 23-8-8-0 overall with earnings of $579,425. The seven-year-old son of Tizbud was born and raised at Harris Farms. Ambitious Brew received his initial training at Harris Farms and has also enjoyed vacations and rehabilitation time at both the River Ranch and Harris Farms Horse Division.
THE GRADE III, $150,000 DAYTONA STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 3 of 9 Approximate post time 2 p.m. PT
1. Ambitious Brew—Mike Smith—124
2. Blackjackcat—Rafael Bejarano—122
3. Eddie Haskell—Mario Gutierrez—122
4. Roy H—Edwin Maldonado—122
5. Home Run Kitten—Joe Talamo—122
6. Stormy Liberal—Norberto Arroyo, Jr.—122
First post time for a nine-race card Saturday that will include four graded stakes, is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.