With runaway leading rider Flavien Prat engaged, the Richard Baltas-trained Neptune’s Storm, idle since Sept. 7, will garner plenty of attention as he heads the Grade 3, $100,000 American Stakes at one mile on turf this Sunday at Santa Anita. For 3-year-olds and up, the American has attracted a wide open field of six.
Hall of Fame conditioner Neil Drysdale, who is winless in 36 starts at the current meet, has a big shot to get off the schneid with Majestic Eagle, who won the 2019 American and will be ridden on Sunday by Mario Gutierrez.
With two wins from his first seven starts when trained by William Morey, Neptune’s Storm blossomed in the care of Baltas, winning his first start for him, the ungraded Singletary Stakes at one mile on turf, on April 28, 2019. A winner of the Grade 2 Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park eight starts back on Oct. 5, 2019, Neptune’s Storm notched his second graded stakes win three races back by taking the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile on June 14, 2020.
Subsequently third, beaten one length by classy United in the Grade 2 Eddie Read Stakes July 26, Neptune’s Storm went to the sidelines following a fourth place finish in an ungraded one mile turf stakes Sept. 7, 2020 at Kentucky Downs.
A 5-year-old gelding by Stormy Atlantic, Neptune’s Storm has a pressing style that has enabled him to avoid trouble and has resulted in a total of 10 finishes in which he has run first, second or third dating back to his win in the 2019 Singletary.
Owned by John Rochfort, Saul Gevertz, Lynn Gitomer, Mike Goetz, Michael Nentwig and Daniel Weiner, Neptune’s Storm is 19-6-3-6 and is the leading money earner in the field with $848,085.
Second, beaten 1 ¼ lengths in his first start of the year, the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs on turf May 29, Majestic Eagle, who had been idle since Nov. 28, should improve with the race under his belt and a return to a route of ground. A game neck winner of the 2019 American, Majestic Eagle, a 6-year-old gelding by Medaglia d’Oro, is 11-1-4-1 at one mile on turf.
Owned by Rave Green Racing, Majestic Eagle brings an overall mark of 28-3-7-3 and earnings of $340,541.
THE GRADE 3 AMERICAN STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 7 of 11 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT
- Tiz Plus—Trevor McCarthy—122
- Restrainedvengence—Tyler Baze—124
- Neptune’s Storm—Flavien Prat—122
- Border Town—Mike Smith—122
- Majestic Eagle—Mario Gutierrez—122
- Sash—Juan Hernandez—122
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