Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Keven Tsujihara’s Comma to the Top returns to the races Sunday at Santa Anita Park when he takes on four rivals in the $65,000 Big Bear Stakes at one mile.
Trained by Peter Miller, Comma to the Top will be trying to return his winning ways shown when he took the $96,000 Pirate’s Bounty Stakes at six furlong over Del Mar’s Cushion Track main surface two starts back on Sept. 5. In his last race, the son of Bwana Charlie and the Stormy Atlantic mare Maggies Storm was fourth, but beaten just two lengths in the Eddie D Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita on Sept. 28 at six and one-half furlongs.
Once a $22,000 graduate of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company April Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training from the consignment of Indian Prairie Ranch, Comma to the Top is looking to add to his nine wins from 22 career starts and will be also looking for his first victory around two turns since winning the 1 1/16 Cash Call Futurity (G1) at Hollywood Park late in 2010.
Bred in Florida by Richard and Linda Thompson of Morriston, Comma to the Top will be ridden in the Big Bear by Corey Nakatani from post three.
Expected to challenge Comma to the Top for favoritism are Jaycito, from the Bob Baffert barn; and Shaun Washington, who is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer.
Like Comma to the Top, Jaycity won two races back taking a $40,000 optional claiming race on July 22 at Del Mar over their Cushion track at 1 1/16 miles. After that race, the son of Victory Gallop and Night Edition by Ascot Knight was seventh, beaten 12 lengths by winner Dullahan in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic.
Baffert has given the reins to jockey Joe Talamo aboard Jaycito and he will break just to the inside of Comma to the Top in post two.
Breaking just to the outside of Comma to the Top in post four is Shaun Washington, a bay colt that also looks to return to the winners circle having last won two races back. The 3-year-old colt won a $40,0000 optional claiming race at one mile at Del Mar on Aug. 12 then came back to finish fourth in the $100,00 El Cajon Stakes, also at Del Mar on Aug. 31. Both of those races were at one mile so the son of Elusive Quality should be accustomed to the Big Bear distance.
Hollendorfer has named Rafael Bejarano to ride.
Rounding out the field in the Big Bear are Tres Borrachos from the Martin Jones stable getting the inside post, and Riveting Reason breaking from the outside post from the barn of Cho Myung Kwon.
Photo by Benoit