Preps for this year's Triple Crown races get under way on the West Coast today with the Grade 3 San Rafael Stakes, which has produced six Santa Anita Derby winners in its 28-year history. As with several of Santa Anita's premier stakes races, the San Rafael is named for an early California rancho. The cities of Burbank, Glendale and Montrose now occupy the site of San Rafael Rancho, one of the earliest Spanish land grants, about 1785.
Garrett Gomez has the mount for trainer Bobby Frankel on Brother Keith, who is making his stakes debut.
The likely favorite will be Square Eddie, impressive winner of the Grade 1 Breeders Futurity at Keeneland and runner-up to Midshipman in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
Another to watch is The Pamplemousse, the roan son of Kafwain, who won at 1-1/16 miles Dec. 14 at Hollywood Park.
Best of luck and safe trip to all... and let's get this party started!