Oh Brother! Solis opts for Arson Squad

Veteran jockey Alex Solis had a tough decision to make when choosing between 2006 Santa Anita Derby winner Brother Derek and Swaps Stakes winner Arson Squad for the opening day Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on Tuesday. Solis has ridden Brother Derek in each of the colt’s 13 races and he’s been aboard Arson Squad in seven of his eight career starts. Solis, with the help of veteran agent Scott McClellan, chose Arson Squad for the seven-furlong Malibu — the first leg of the Strub Series, which is also comprised of the San Fernando Breeders’ Cup Stakes on Jan. 13 and the Strub Stakes on Feb. 3.

“I left it up to Super Agent there,” Solis said in reference to McClellan. “That his job. Seriously, it was a tough decision. They are two really good horses. You don’t want to lose any of them, but I think it was more or less that we gave Bruce (trainer Bruce Headley) a call. We thought Brother Derek would run on the grass (in the Sir Beaufort), and that didn’t happen.” Solis had a particularly slow autumn meet at Hollywood Park, winning with only 9 of 93 starters. But he says he has some good mounts lined up for Santa Anita and he’s ready to go.

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