Saturday, February 1, 2003

Medaglia d'Oro heads Strub Stakes entries

The Associated Press

ARCADIA, Calif. - Breeders' Cup Classic runner-up Medaglia d'Oro returns to competition Saturday in the $400,000 Strub Stakes at Santa Anita.

Medaglia d'Oro's loss to 43-1 long shot Volponi in the $4 million Classic on Oct. 26 at Arlington Park might have cost him an Eclipse Award as the best 3-year-old of 2002. He finished second behind Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner War Emblem in the voting.

Medaglia d'Oro will be ridden by Jerry Bailey and carry high weight of 123 pounds in the 56th running of the Strub Stakes, a 1 1-8 mile race for 4-year-olds. The Kentucky-bred son of El Prado, who has not raced since the Breeders' Cup, has won four of 10 lifetime starts and earned $2,264,720.

The race is the third and final leg of the three-race Strub Series for horses foaled in 1999.

Pass Rush, who won the second leg, the San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes at 1 1-16 miles on Jan. 11, will be ridden by Corey Nakatani and carry 121 pounds in the Strub. Pass Rush, an Indiana-bred son of Crown Ambassador, has won five of 15 starts and earned $376,120.

The other four entries - Olmodavor, Castle Gandolfo, Easy Grades and Tracemark - will all carry 117 pounds.

Debonair Joe, who won the opening leg of the series, the seven-furlong Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26, isn't entered in the Strub.

A field of six headed by Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up Kafwain is entered in the $150,000 San Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds, to be contested earlier in the day.

Kafwain will be ridden by Victor Espinoza and carry high weight of 123 pounds in the 62nd running of the seven-furlong race. Kafwain has won three of eight starts. He finished behind stablemate Vindication in the $1 million Juvenile.

Others entered are Sum Trick, who will carry 120 pounds, and Runnin' On Nitro, Southern Image, Mr. Technique and Storm Gulch, who will all carry 116.

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