Awesome Again Stakes 2021 Entries: Medina Spirit to take on older horses

Medina Spirit looks set to take to the track for the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes this Saturday
Medina Spirit looks set to take to the track for the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes this Saturday

Eight horses have been entered for the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita this Saturday. With an all-expenses paid berth for the Breeders' Cup Classic up for grabs, the race has attracted a good field including Medina Spirit...

Awesome Again Stakes 2021 Entries & Post Positions
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  • Horse

Post Position

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  • Tizamagician
  • Midcourt
  • Express Train
  • Stilleto Boy
  • Medina Spirit
  • Azul Coast
  • Tripoli
  • Idol

After a bit of a tease and a reticence to travel across the country for an outside post, Bob Baffert has found a spot for the return of the current Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit to top-level Graded Stakes racing. He draws Post #5 of eight for the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes. The winner of this race gets an all expenses paid berth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar in early November.

This will be the first time this Protonico colt will race against older horses and will provide a good gauge of whether he’s ready to be a serious contender for the BC Classic next month.

The John Sadler trained Tripoli has already claimed an all-expenses paid trip to the BC Classic by way of his victory in the Grade I Pacific Classic back in August. On that day he beat out fellow Graded Stakes winner Tizamagician. Both of these horses should be considered as genuine win contenders heading into the race.

Six-year-old Midcourt has his second run of 2021 after victory in an Allowance Race in June saw his return to the track. Last year he won the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes but arguably more impressively, he went stride for stride with the wonderful Maximum Security in the San Diego Handicap, nearly pulling off the big upset. Taking out that Allowance Race however, he hasn’t won in his last eight, making him extremely tough to bet with any enthusiasm.

John Sherriffs’ other entry however is far more intriguing. Express Train has hit the board six times in his past seven races including victories over Tizamagician and Tripoli in the San Pasqual and San Diego Handicap respectively. He threw in a dud last time out in the Pacific Classic which will surely scare away some bettors. Real exotic interest here.

One horse who has been relatively quiet this year is Idol but outside of Medina Spirit, this Curlin colt has by far the most impressive win when he beat Maxfield (and others) in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap. Maxfield as we all know is a very real BC Classic contender so anytime you can beat him, you have to be mightily impressed. A setback in training cost him the summer but all signs are still being pointed to the BC Classic as his goal.

Stiletto Boy and Azul Coast round out a good looking field of eight.

J.N. Campbell has the Santa Anita card this Saturday and his preview of the race will go live late on Friday...

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