Forbidden Kingdom wins the G2 San Vicente
Richard Mandella’s classy sophomore Forbidden Kingdom, idle since the Grade 1 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby in April, returns to action this Saturday at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., and looms the horse to beat among a field of seven 3-year-olds and up in the Grade 2, $200,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship.
By 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Forbidden Kingdom, on the strength of powerful victories in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes Jan. 29 and the Grade 2 San Felipe March 5, was the even money favorite in the Santa Anita Derby April 9, but ended up sixth and last, beaten 14 ½ lengths by top-tier colt Taiba.
Owned by MyRacehorse and Spendthrift Farm, LLC, Forbidden Kingdom has won two of his three Santa Anita starts and is 6-3-1-1 overall as he likely prepares for a berth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Keeneland Nov. 5 with regular rider Juan Hernandez up.
Although Forbidden Kingdom may be the new kid on the block in the Sprint division, C Z Rocket is anything but. A miracle $40,000 claim on April 30, 2020 at Oaklawn Park, this 8-year-old City Zip gelding took the 2020 Santa Anita Sprint Championship and was subsequently second in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Keeneland some 11 races back.
Most recently a troubled eighth in the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien Stakes going seven furlongs on Aug. 27, C Z Rocket’s most recent win came two starts back in a six-furlong allowance at Del Mar on July 23.
Based at San Luis Rey Downs with trainer Peter Miller, C Z Rocket is owned by Altamira Racing Stable, Madaket Stables, LLC, Gary Barber and former Glendora, Calif., youth football coach Tom Kagele. With one win and a third from three Santa Anita starts, C Z Rocket is 33-12-4-5 overall with earnings of $1,572,641. He’ll be ridden by Ramon Vazquez, who guided him to victory in the Del Mar allowance July 23.
GRADE II, SANTA ANITA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP
WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST ORDER
Race 6 of 10 – Approximate post time 3 p.m. PT
- C Z Rocket—Ramon Vazquez—122
- Forbidden Kingdom—Juan Hernandez—120
- Howbeit—Mike Smith—122
- None Above the Law—Joe Bravo—122
- Super Ocho—Hector Berrios—122
- Kid Corleone—Edwin Maldonado—118
- Todo Fino—Umberto Rispoli–122
First post time on Saturday for a 10-race card that will include five other stakes is at 12:30 p.m.