SADLER SEEKS RECORD THREE-PEAT AS HIGH WEIGHTED GIFT BOX DEFENDS CROWN IN SATURDAY’S GRADE I, $600,000 SANTA ANITA HANDICAP‘GRANDDADDY’ OF THEM ALL ATTRACTS 8 OLDER HORSES & WILL BE RUN FOR 83RD TIME AT CLASSIC MILE AND ONE QUARTER; FIRST POST FOR 12 RACES IS AT 11:30 A.M.ARCADIA, Calif. (March 4, 2020)–One of eight trainers dating back to 1940 to have saddled consecutive winners of the storied Santa Anita Handicap, John Sadler will seek an unprecedented three-peat this Saturday at The Great Race Place as his high weighted Gift Box defends his title in the 83rd running of the Grade I, $600,000 classic for older horses at a mile and one quarter.First run in 1935, the Big ‘Cap, America’s longest continually run “hundred grander,” has attracted an outstanding field of eight, including C R K Stable’s talented Midcourt, who has been assigned 123 pounds, three less than Gift Box.Kiaran McLaughlin’s up and coming Endorsed, Sadler’s Combatant, Bill Mott’s Florida-based Hofburg, the Richard Baltas-trained Two Thirty Five and others make this year’s Big ‘Cap a compelling affair.In addition to Sadler, those trainers that have won two consecutive Big ‘Caps are as follows: “Silent” Tom Smith (Kayak II, 1939 & Seabicuit, 1940), Ron McAnally (John Henry 1981 & 82), Charlie Whittingham (Lord At War 1985 & Greinton 1986), Richard Mandella (Siphon, 1996 & Malek 1997), Bobby Frankel (Milwaukee Brew 2002 & 03), Doug O’Neill (Lava Man 2006 & 07) and Bob Baffert (Game On Dude 2013 & 14).GIFT BOXOwner: Hronis Racing, LLCTrainer: John SadlerOriginally trained by Chad Brown and purchased privately prior to winning the December, 2018 Grade II San Antonio Stakes in his first start for Sadler, this 7-year-old colt by Twirling Candy outdueled Bob Baffert’s McKinzie to take last year’s Big ‘Cap by a nose under regular rider Joel Rosario. Idle since running fourth as the 2-1 favorite in the Grade II Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs June 15, Gift Box unleashed a monstrous effort in winning the San Antonio for a second time on Dec. 28, winning by 3 ¾ lengths while earning a Big ‘Cap-best last out Beyer Speed figure of 107. A winner of three out of his five starts for Sadler, Gift Box, who took the San Antonio in gate to wire fashion, will attempt to join John Henry (1981-82), Milwaukee Brew (2002-03), Lava Man (2006-07) and Game On Dude (2013-14) as the fifth two-time winner of the Santa Anita Handicap.MIDCOURTOwner: C R K Stable, LLCTrainer: John ShirreffsA true training challenge by any accounting, Midcourt’s fortunes began a steep ascent following a near 16-month freshening, which spanned from Oct. 28, 2017 until Feb. 24, 2019, an interlude which included the momentous decision to geld the now 5-year-old son of Midnight Lute. A handful both in the mornings and afternoons, Midcourt, who had been beaten a combined 27 ½ lengths in his first two starts, comes off the best race of his career, a 3 ½ length, gate to wire score in the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes on Feb. 1, which brought his record since the ultimate equipment change to five wins from seven starts. Although well fancied at 2-1 versus Gift Box in the Dec. 28 San Antonio at 1 1/8 miles, Midcourt broke slowly and never threatened while beaten 7 ½ lengths. With a 102 Beyer in hand following his triumph in the mile and one sixteenth San Pasqual, he’ll need to break running under regular rider Victor Espinoza if he’s to turn the tables on Gift Box in his first try at a mile and one quarter Saturday.ENDORSEDOwner: Godolphin, LLCTrainer: Kiaran McLaughlinLightly raced, this 4-year-old homebred colt by Medaglia d’Oro would appear to have tremendous upside, as he comes off an impressive two length allowance score going a mile and one sixteenth at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 11–his first start since running a creditable fourth in the Grade I Travers at Saratoga on Aug. 24. A first-out maiden winner going six furlongs on an off track at Saratoga Aug. 18, Endorsed, who won his most recent race in stylish off the pace fashion, has three wins from six starts and would appear to rate a huge chance on Saturday.COMBATANTOwner: Hronis Racing, LLCTrainer: John SadlerConditioned by Steve Asmussen through his first 22 starts, this 5-year-old ridgling by Scat Daddy closed much ground in his first start for Sadler, a third place finish behind Midcourt in the Grade II San Pasqual on Feb. 1. Although he would appear to be best suited at middle distances, Sadler has excelled in recent years with acquisitions of this kind and Combatant can be expected to step forward off of his San Pasqual run. A winner of a one turn mile allowance two starts back on Nov. 8 at Churchill Downs, Combatant, who with three wins from 23 starts, is in search of his first stakes win, would be flattered by a fast early pace in the Big ‘Cap.HOFBURGOwner: Juddmonte Farms, Inc.Trainer: William MottFavored in two out of his last three starts, this Florida-based homebred 5-year-old horse by Tapit appeared to have a rough trip when seventh at 7-2 in his most recent race, the Grade III, 1 1/16 miles Mineshaft Stakes at Fairgrounds in New Orleans. Seventh, beaten 8 ¾ lengths by eventual Triple Crown winner Justify in his only try at a mile and one quarter, the 2018 Kentucky Derby, Hofburg skipped the Preakness and was third, beaten 3 ½ lengths in the Belmont, which would suggest distance shouldn’t be a problem on Saturday. A winner of three out of his 10 starts, Hofburg, who calls Payson Park home, will be seeking his first graded stakes win in the Big ‘Cap.TWO THIRTY FIVEOwner: Richard Baltas, Tom Mansor, Tammi Nielson & Kim RasmussenTrainer: Richard BaltasOn the improve for Baltas at age six, this gelding by Stay Thirsty has been competitive facing Midcourt in his last three starts, most recently finishing second, beaten 3 ½ lengths by Midcourt in the San Pasqual Feb. 1 at odds of 22-1. Third, beaten seven lengths two starts back in the 1 1/8 miles Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar Nov. 23, he was second, beaten a neck by Midcourt three races back in the one mile Comma to the Top here on Oct. 27. Well beaten in his lone try at a mile and quarter, Two Thirty Five, who is 21-5-4-5 and a reformed claimer, is in with a puncher’s chance from a hot barn.THE GRADE I SANTA ANITA HANDICAP IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTSRace 10 of 12 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PTMultiplier–Tyler Gaffalione–113Two Thirty Five–Ruben Fuentes–118Brown Storm–Hector Berrios–114Gift Box–Joel Rosario–126Midcourt–Victor Espinoza–123Combatant–Umberto Rispoli–116Hofburg–Flavien Prat–115Endorsed–Drayden Van Dyke–115Special early first post time for a 12-race card on Saturday is at 11:30 a.m., with admission gates opening at 9:30 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
Usain Bolt, AthleteBrand Ambassador, HublotBrand values that you relate toThe value of ‘be the first, be the different and unique’ echoes perfectly with my belief. Favourite watchOne of my favourites is the Big Bang Unico All Black Blue, an all-black matte chronograph. I also love to wear my very own,Usain Bolt, AthleteBrand Ambassador, HublotBrand values that you relate toThe value of ‘be the first, be the different and unique’ echoes perfectly with my belief.Favourite watchOne of my favourites is the Big Bang Unico All Black Blue, an all-black matte chronograph. I also love to wear my very own King Power Usain Bolt as it has several details that represent me. At 9 o’clock, there is anthracite grey silhouette of my signature sprint pose. The timepiece is predominantly black but the 12-hour chronograph counter located at 6 o’clock is decorated in green, the colour of Jamaican flag. The strap is made of the same gold-coloured synthetic leather as my lucky running shoes.First timepieceI was not a watch lover, so my first watch was gifted by my dad. But as I got associated with Hublot, I got much more interested in watch-making. Now, I have only Hublots.Favourite brand momentThe launch of Hublot King Power Usain Bolt, my very own watch was one of my favorite moments at Hublot. I’m really happy with the way they made it, and I’m really proud to be an ambassador.Personal style mantraI’m a simple type of person. I don’t try to over-do it unless it’s a big function, but I like wearing suits. I think I look really good wearing suits. I like Gucci and Brioni tailored suits with a slim look, and they have to be custom made because I’m so tall. It’s hard to get the right fit sometimes.Favourite luxury posessionsMy Hublots, Ferrari, BMW, and a Rum Cay Island property at Bahamas are a few of my favourite luxury possessions.advertisementNicole Kidman, ActorBrand Ambassador, OmegaWhat is your relationship with time?It’s precious. Slowing down and trying to enjoy life, and not cramming everything in, that is always the balance of life.Association with the brandThey feel like family to me. I’ve known them now for a decade and the company is very tight, they have an enormous amount of integrity, they’re the loveliest people to work with.Personal favouritesI love it when a watch can be worn as jewellery. Then I love sports watches, because I’m athletic. I like a watch that can give me a lot of data, I love a seconds hand, so I can tell how much time I’ve spent on certain things too.What do you do if you have one minute free during the day, one hour, and one day?One minute I’ll daydream or mediate. I love just sitting quietly mediating. An hour free, it depends. I love getting down on the floor and playing with my kids. I read an article that says it’s so important to actually get down on their level and play with them for an hour a day.Do you consider watches just as an accessory of time or as special jewellery around your wrist, and do you have a favourite?I’ve collected watches now for years. Obviously, Omega has just done this exhibition, which has their line of watches all the way from 1902, which, of course, I love. I’ve always been like ‘you’ve got to show your vintage watches, because they’re exquisite and they show the history of the brand.’Hrithik Roshan, ActorBrand Ambassador, RadoAssociation with the brandMy relationship with Rado goes back to 2011. I personally relate to brand Rado because I identify with the spirit it stands for. Rado is about ‘uncompromising commitment to excellence’. It’s about taking dreams to another level and having the courage, intelligence and determination to make them come true.Favourite watchFor me a watch is an accessory that epitomizes my style. I like watches that are subtle yet elegant. My watches reflect my mood and I have enough Rado watches to match every mood and occasion. My favourite is the Rado HyperChrome collection.First timepieceMy first watch was a Swatch that my parents gifted me. It was a cool and trendy design and I loved flaunting it in my school days.What does the luxury of time mean to you?The demands of modern-day work schedules and lifestyle ambitions have translated into lesser time for ourselves. We need to rediscover the art of spending ‘me’ time, time well spent doing things solely for pleasure or doing things that we love to doTop luxury possessionsMy precious Rado, and my new prized possession, a Rolls Royce. These two that are top of my mind.Personal style mantraClassic, casual and effortless always work best for me. I am usually dressed for the occasion but my personal style is a tee layered with a well-fitted hoodie and a pair of denims. For a formal occasions I love a classic black or grey suit. Accessories are important to get the complete look. My Rado watch and bracelets/ beads are a must wear.advertisementVirat Kohli, CricketerBrand Ambassador, TissotAssociation with the brandMy association with the brand has been excellent. The brand is elegant and they are pioneers of innovation. I love the watches personally. The detailing is unimaginable.What brand values do you relate to?Brand values are very simple. Dedication, vision and hard work are the brand values I relate to. I believe in these things myself.Favourite watchI love watches. The Tissot I own is Chemin des Tourelles, the detailed craftsmanship of the watch is amazing. I have started my collection of Tissot watches.What does the luxury of time mean to you?Luxury is more about comfort for me. While I was growing up, I wasn’t as brand conscious as I was brand aware. I always aspired to own the luxury products. But now, it is more of their comfort, utility that matter to me.How do you relate to Tissot as a brand?I want to get better at what I do and be dedicated towards it. Tissot believes in precision and my sport requires one to be precise in everything on the field.Personal style mantraYour style is a reflection of yourself and the more comfortable you are with what you are wearing, the more your style grows. As far as accessories go, a watch is the only accessory I love wearing. You will always see me with it.Top luxury possessionsAudi, Tissot, LV bagRonaldo, FootballerBrand Ambassador, TAG HeuerWhat brand values do you relate to?Tag Heuer’s motto is also mine, which is #dontcrackunderpressure#. The only real pressures are those I put on myself. Sure, sometimes it’s difficult to always be on display. It can be a challenge sometimes trying to keep part of your world private. I love my fans, and I feel a duty to them. But I don’t have to answer to anyone but myself.Favourite watchMy favorite watch is TAG HeuerAquaracer 300m Calibre 16. In fact’, the whole collection is something to be admired and owned.First timepieceIt’s better we talk about the current watch I wear.What does the luxury of time mean for you?Being comfortable in whatever one does and wears is luxury to me. When one can do things as per one’s own discretion and be appreciated as well. Also to spend time with one’s friends.How do you relate to TAG Heuer as a brand?I like watches that can take me from the football field to a meeting to a family moment, and that’s exactly the versatility and aesthetic the brand offers.Favourite brand momentI feel fortunate to have received the TAG Heuer connected with the watch-face designed by my son. Accuracy, precision, dependability and finesse have a huge role to play on the football pitch. It is a tactile expression of these qualities, making it a watch that brings together elements of power and playfulness.advertisement