The $200,000 Charles Whittingham Stakes (G2) is set to run at a mile and one quarter on turf on May 23. The event will showcase an east vs. west battle with Richard Mandella’s United and Chad Brown’s Rockemperor.
There will be a field of six three-year-olds and up in the Grade II event.
Here is a look at some of the runners in the field for the Charles Whittingham.
Owned by LNJ Foxwoods and trained by Richard Mandella, United comes in as the 4-5 favorite. In the Feb. 1 Grade II San Marcos Stakes, he ran late to win the race.
Since arriving from Woodbine before his first local start in February 2019, he has started nine times.
Two starts back, United finished second beaten by a neck in the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) at Del Mar Dec. 1, which ran at a mile and one half. Three starts back, he performed his best when he finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf on Nov. 2. In that race, he was beaten a head by Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar.
United’s earnings are sitting at $1,013,549. He has one win, a second, and a third from three starts at 1 1/4 miles on turf. His overall record is 12-4-3-1.
Rockemperor is trained by Chad Brown and owned by Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, Wonder Stables, Michael Kisber, and Bethlehem Stables.
Rockemperor tends to run late, and the 4-year-old Irish-bred colt will make his Southern California debut. The Charles Whittingham will be his second start of the year.
Three races ago, United finished third in his U.S. debut in the 1 1/4 miles turf Grade I Belmont Derby on July 6, 2019. In his most recent start, he finished third at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans on March 21. In that outing, he went 1 1/8 miles on turf in the Grade II stakes.
Rockemperor will do best with a fast pace going a furlong, and he will be joined by jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Others in the Field
Originaire will also be part of the field. Owned by B G Stables and trained by Jeff Mullins, he finished second three starts ago in the Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile on Dec. 28.
In his entire 16-race career, his best start came in a Feb. 29 victory in a second condition allowance. He won by 5 1/4 lengths at a mile and one eighth on turf and earned a 100 Beyer Speed figure.
In the Grade II Del Mar Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf on Sept. 1, 2019, he finished second. Originaire will be trying a mile and one quarter for the first time.
He will be joined by jockey Umberto Rispoli for the fourth time.
Other runners in the field include Desert Stone, Bold Endeavor, and Synthesis.