Del Mar, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Imperative, winner of the Charles Town Classic, headlines a field of 11 evenly matched thoroughbreds for the 73rd running of the $200,000 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on Saturday.
The 1 1/16-mile stakes is a prep for the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 24.
Trained by George Papaprodromou, Imperative will start from post 2 with Kent Desormeaux again in the saddle. The veteran jockey will be making his fifth consecutive appearance aboard the 4-year-old gelding.
Imperative, owned by KM Racing Enterprise, is coming off a third place finish behind Majestic Harbor in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita four weeks ago. The 4- year-old son of Bernardini defeated Game On Dude by 1 1/2 lengths in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic on April 19.
Earlier this year he was second to Blingo in Santa Anita's San Antonio Stakes and seventh in the Santa Anita Handicap behind Game On Dude. The gelding has banked $1,194,620 with three wins, four seconds and two thirds from 16 career starts.
Dance With Fate is the only 3-year-old in the field and will break from post 6 with Corey Nakatani on board.
Trained by Peter Eurton, Dance With Fate will be making his first start since finishing sixth in the Kentucky Derby to California Chrome. He won the Blue Grass Stakes after getting second in Golden Gate Field's El Camino Real Derby.
As a 2-year-old he posted seconds in the Del Mar Futurity and FrontRunner Stakes, and was eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Dance With Fate has won three of nine lifetime starts for $680,050.
Here is the field for the San Diego from the rail out: Battier, Victor Espinoza; Imperative, Kent Desormeaux; Frac Daddy, Joe Talamo; Soi Phet, Mike Smith; You Know I Know, Edwin Maldonado; Dance With Fate, Corey Nakatani; Honduran, Drayden Van Dyke; Summer Hit, Rafael Bejarano; Handsome Mike, Mario Gutierrez; Footbridge, Tyler Baze and Fed Biz, Martin Garcia.
Post time will be approximately 8:30 p.m. ET for the San Diego.