American Handicap Winner Returns Saturday

Racing News
Posted 12.27.12 at 1:57

Wilkinson pulled the biggest surprise in the long history of the $150,000 American Handicap. © Benoit Photo

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (December 27, 2012)—Wilkinson will make his first start since his shocking victory in the Grade II American Handicap May 26 at Betfair Hollywood Park in the $100,000 Daytona Stakes Saturday at Santa Anita.

A Grade III at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf, the Daytona is the eighth of nine races. Post time is 12:30 p.m. Track gates at Betfair Hollywood Park will open at 10:15 a.m. for simulcasts.

Owned by E.K. Gaylord II and trained by Jeff Mullins, Wilkinson was 44-1 when he won the American by 1 ¼ lengths over favored Mr. Commons in his first start in California.

A 4-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid and the Afternoon Deelites mare Tasha’s Delight, Wilkinson has won five of 18 and earned $336,994.

The field of 12 also includes 2010 CashCall Futurity winner Comma to the Top.

Trained by Peter Miller for owners Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Kevin Tsujihara, the 4-year-old Bwana Charlie gelding out of the Stormy Atlantic mare Maggies Storm will be seeking his 11th win. The Florida bred has earned $967,696 in 24 races, so a victory Saturday will make him a millionaire.

Comma to the Top, who was fourth in the Grade III Vernon O. Underwood in his last start Dec. 2 at Betfair Hollywood Park, has won twice on the turf. The first of those victories came in the Grade III Generous Stakes in 2010 at Betfair Hollywood Park.

From inside out, the field for the Daytona Stakes: Great Mills, Rafael Bejarano rides, 119 pounds; Byrama, Garrett Gomez, 114; Comma to the Top, Corey Nakatani, 119; Starspangled Heat, Mike Smith, 119; Circa’sgoldengear, Joe Talamo, 119; Clubhouse Ride, Aaron Gryder, 119; Capital Account, David Flores, 124; Guest Star Victor Espinoza, 119; Red Sun, Julien Leparoux, 119; Wilkinson, Martin Pedroza, 121; Ain’t No Other, Juan Hernandez, 119 and Tale of a Champion, Tyler Baze, 119.

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