One of the best racing days of the Santa Anita meeting is set for Saturday, when three Grade II stakes will be on the 10-race card. They include the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes, a race for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles and a tuneup for the Santa Anita Derby.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, looking to showcase a couple of his Kentucky Derby prospects, will send out Liaison, winner of the Grade I CashCall Futurity in December, and Sky Kingdom, a winner by 4 1/2 lengths in an allowance race at 1 1/16 miles Jan. 12.
Liaison's primary competition could come from the improving Rousing Sermon, who has twice finished second to Liaison while rallying from way back.
Also on the card is the $200,000 Strub Stakes, a major tuneup for the Santa Anita Handicap on March 3 and featuring front-running Tapizar, who won the San Fernando Stakes last month. Tapizar will try to show he can handle the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Strub.
There's also the $150,000 Arcadia Stakes at one mile on the turf. Mr. Commons, a 4-year-old son of Artie Schiller trained by John Shirreffs, could be developing into one of the top turf horses in the country. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has the mount.
First post is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.