Giant Expectations breezes at Santa Anita on Jan. 19

Giant Expectations is nominated to both the Triple Bend Stakes and the Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Casino next Saturday, both Grade I events, but trainer Peter Eurton is leaning towards the mile and a quarter, $600,000 Big ‘Cap over the seven furlong, $400,000 Triple Bend at seven furlongs.

“We’re still pondering, but I think it’s going to be the Big ‘Cap,” Eurton said Saturday morning. “It might come up wet, but we’ll let him run out of there and get comfortable.

“Winning the Big ‘Cap would mean a lot to me,” said the 60-year-old Eurton, a native of nearby Alhambra. “I’m totally stoked to win a race like that.”

Should Giant Expectations capture the historic race that had its first running in 1935 when Azucar won under legendary George (The Iceman) Woolf, he would join the likes of Seabiscuit, Round Table, Ack Ack, Vigors, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, John Henry, Best Pal and other titans of the turf who have been successful in the 80 previous editions.

A New York-bred chestnut horse by Frost Giant, Giant Expectations won the Grade II San Antonio Stakes on Dec. 16 in front-running fashion under Gary Stevens before the pair finished ninth by 18 lengths behind eventual Horse of the Year Gun Runner in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 27.

Still, he achieved millionaire status in that race and has won four of 14 career starts, including a 9 ¾ length maiden score at 6 ½ furlongs on a sloppy Belmont Park track last May.

Probable for the Big ‘Cap: Accelerate, Curlin Road, Fear the Cowboy, Giant Expectations, Hoppertunity, Mubtaahij, Prime Attraction and Top of the Game.

Hronis Racing’s Accelerate breezed six furlongs in 1:13.68 after Sunday’s first race at Santa Anita Park. The John Sadler trainee has been assigned the second-high weight of 123 pounds for the Santa Anita Handicap.


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