Texas Red returns in Thunder Road

Profile Picture: James Scully

April 7th, 2016

Along with the main events, the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1) and $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks (G1), Santa Anita will offer a quartet of stakes races on Saturday’s blockbuster program, including the return of Texas Red in the $100,000 Thunder Road (G3).

Winner of the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Texas Red was forced to miss the Triple Crown and made only four starts last year. He captured the Jim Dandy (G2) and recorded runner-up finishes in the San Vicente (G2) and Dwyer (G3) before heading to the sidelines after a fifth in the Travers (G1).

The one-mile Thunder Road will mark the turf debut for the Afleet Alex colt. Trainer Keith Desormeaux believes the 4-year-old can be a successful grass performer going forward, but his main goal this summer is the $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) over the main track on June 25.

There’s a chance the Thunder Road could come off the turf due to wet weather, but Desormeaux expects to run Texas Red either way. Joe Talamo will pick up the mount aboard the 4-1 second choice on the morning line.

What a View is the early 5-2 choice in the 14-horse field, which includes a pair of also-eligibles, and Kent Desormeaux will retain the mount on the 5-year-old gelding instead of riding Texas Red for his brother. Conditioned by Kenneth Black, the California-bred What a View stretched his win streak to three while making his first stakes attempt against open rivals in the Frank Kilroe Mile (G1) on March 12, leading wire to wire for a 3 ¾-length decision.

Other runners include Eddie Read (G1) runner-up Twentytwentyvision, who will make his first outing since capturing a Del Mar allowance in late August; $1.5-million earner Finnegans Wake, who is prepping for a title defense in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 7; and Grade 3 scorer Poshsky.

The $150,000 Providencia (G3) kicks off the stakes action with a field of nine sophomore fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Mirage and Lady Valeur, the 1-2 finishers in the China Doll on March 12, are top contenders.

The $200,000 Echo Eddie and $200,000 Evening Jewel, a pair of 6 1/2-furlong races for California-breds, will also be offered. Tough But Nice is listed as a lukewarm 3-1 choice in the nine-horse Echo Eddie, and Pacific Heat is the prohibitive 9-5 favorite among 10 fillies in the Evening Jewel.

Texas Red (red hat) defeating Frosted in the Jim Dandy courtesy of Adam Coglianese Photography