Oakla San Pablo Arrives for Essex Handicap

(KATV,Source: Oaklawn) Hot Springs: Dan Bearden's San Pablo arrived in Hot SpringsTuesday for his engagement in Saturday's $100,000 Essex Handicap after flyingin from trainer Todd Pletcher's Palm Meadows base in South Florida. He wasassigned top weight of 120 lbs. for the 1 1/16-mile race.

The5-year-old Jump Start horse enters the Essex having won four of his last fivestarts, including his last two - the $75,000 Queens County at Aqueduct Dec. 8and $100,000 Swatara Stakes at Penn National Nov. 21.

His only poorperformance came three races ago in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at BelmontSept. 29. Prior to the Jockey Club, he had earned his first graded stakesvictory in the Iselin Handicap (G3) at Monmouth Park and won the BirdstoneStakes at Saratoga.

SanPablo's best races have come when he has been on or near the lead, but Pletcheris not worried about how Saturday's race might shape up.

"Heis the kind that can adapt to any pace scenario," said Pletcher via email. "Weare hoping for a good performance that could bring us back for the OaklawnHandicap."