© Benoit Photo
Three of the most exciting horses in training–Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner Arrogate, Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner California Chrome, and Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) winner Frosted–are among the nominees for the $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita on October 1st.
The nine-furlong race serves as Santa Anita’s major prep race for the $6,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) on November 5th and is the announced target for California Chrome, who is unbeaten in five starts this year and the favorite for Horse of the Year honors. The Awesome Again is a less likely target for Frosted, who is based in New York, and Arrogate, who may not run again before the Breeders’ Cup, but the fact that all three are nominated suggests that a pre-Breeders’ Cup meeting could be a possibility.
Other notable names on the deep nominees roster include American Freedom, runner-up to Arrogate in the Travers Stakes; Cupid, winner of the Indiana Derby (gr. II) and West Virginia Derby (gr. II); Dortmund, winner of the 2015 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I); Firing Line, runner-up in the 2015 Kentucky Derby (gr. I); Hard Aces, winner of the 2015 Gold Cup at Santa Anita (gr. I); Hoppertunity, winner of the 2014 Clark Handicap (gr. I); Melatonin, winner of the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) and 2016 Gold Cup at Santa Anita (gr. I); and Mubtaahij, runner-up to California Chrome in the Dubai World Cup. The complete list of nominees can be viewed here.
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