Tuesday, May 24, 2016

American Pharoah wins the Triple Crown - 2015 Belmont Stakes (G1)

Californian Stakes (Gr. II) - Sunday, May 22, 2016 HD

TVG’s Coverage of the 2016 Adoration Stakes (G3) Featuring Beholder

The Week That Was: 5/24/16



            MARIO GUTIERREZ, SECOND SUMMER, WINNER: “Every single race he has improved a lot and he showed it today. Today, he had a good race, he pulled it through and was very game every time I asked him. I’m very happy with him.

When asked about returning from a third place finish at Pimlico Race Course yesterday aboard Nyquist- “That’s horse racing. After the race, everybody has an opinion on everything that happened. The horse came out of the race good and it looks like we’re going to run in the Belmont.”


PETER EURTON, SECOND SUMMER, WINNER: “He has an affinity to quicken and his stamina is just amazing. He was having trouble with the grass, getting ahold of it and I’ve just got to give kudos to Larry Zap. Great pick Larry!

“When I saw him at the three-eighths pole he just looked like he was loaded. It looked like he was going to get boxed in for a second (by Lieutenant Colonel and Point Piper) and when Mario made the move to go in-between the two of ’em…that was just such a great, money move.

“I can’t say enough good things about this horse, he just keeps getting better. I think we’re going to have some fun in about four or five weeks. We’re so excited about (possible run in the Gold Cup on June 25, Grade I $500,000 1 ¼ miles). It could be a fun summer. The timing allows us a chance to let him come down for a second, but not much.

“I’ve never had a colt that was this good, going long on dirt. I didn’t realize that the Gold Cup was a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In race.

LARRY BENAVIDEZ, HARD ACES, SECOND: “He ran very well, no complaints at all. The winner got a seamless trip. Right now, it’s on to the Gold Cup and we’ll be back to defend our title.”

NOTES: The winning owners are Sharon Alesia of Carlsbad, Ca, Joe Ciaglia of Upland, CA, Marc Ferrell of Yorba Linda, CA and Slam Dunk Racing.

STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN - SUNDAY MAY 22, 2016 - Santa Anita Park

STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN - SUNDAY MAY 22, 2016 - Santa Anita Park:


Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Fifth, beaten 10 lengths last time out by champion filly Songbird, trainer Phil D’Amato’s Bellamentary cut back in distance and dominated her opposition in taking Sunday’s $75,000 Angels Flight Stakes by 2 ¼ lengths under Martin Garcia. Breaking from the far outside in a field of eight sophomore fillies, Bellementary popped the gate, sat second to the far turn and took over approaching the quarter pole en route to getting seven furlongs in 1:22.10.

“She was sharp today and she’s always shown a lot of speed,” said D’Amato when asked if he thought the Kentucky-bred daughter of Bellamy Road would show so much early foot shortening up out of the Grade I, 1 1/16 miles Santa Anita Oaks on April 9. “She had a good post today and she’s always been a filly that travels well. I’d like to stretch her out (again). She’s got good tactical speed and a big stride.”

Owned by Little Red Feather Racing and R/M Racing, Bellamentary was off at 3-1 and paid $8.80, $4.00 and $3.20. The Angels Flight is her first stakes win and her third win (all at Santa Anita) from five overall starts. With the winner’s share of $47,400, she increased her earnings to $135,400.

“I had the best post and I got the best trip,” said Martin Garcia, who was aboard for the first time in the afternoon. “I’ve worked her a couple times and she’s getting more mature and she’s blossomed. Turning for home, I had a lot of confidence and I had a lot of horse.”

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Forever Darling split horses turning for home and outran longshot Kay Kay through the lane to finish second by 1 ¼ lengths. Of at 7-2, she paid $4.40 and $3.20.

Breaking from the rail, Kay Kay had two horses beat with three furlongs to go, saved ground around the turn and finished up well, finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of Everqueen. Off at 18-1 with Alonso Quinonez, Kay Kay paid $5.80 to show.

Lucky Folie, the solid 6-5 favorite, who sat a close third into the far turn and appeared full of run under Flavien Prat, flattened out badly the final furlong and finished fifth, 8 ½ lengths behind the winner.

Fractions on the race were 22.42, 44.87 and 1:09.31.




Despite the fact that at age 70, Gary Sherlock will be the oldest trainer to saddle a horse in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, he will get no Senior discount for entering.

He’s got bigger fish to fry, namely undefeated Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist and runner-up Exaggerator when he sends out California Chrome winner Uncle Lino in the second jewel of the Triple Crown at Pimlico Race Course. All three horses train out of Santa Anita.

Both Sherlock and Uncle Lino leave Tuesday for Maryland, a state in which Sherlock has never raced in a career that began in 1966.

Sherlock was waiting for all the chips to fall into place before speaking extensively on Uncle Lino’s chances in the Preakness.

“The draw is important,” Sherlock said on an overcast Sunday morning at Clockers’ Corner. “Where my horse is depends on the draw and who’s in the race,” Sherlock said.

“Unless Nyquist can’t come back in 13 days, he’s going to be tough to beat. I’m hoping Uncle Lino moves forward and that coming back in two weeks takes its toll on the others (that ran in the Kentucky Derby on May 7).

“If we draw inside, we’re just going to go. It’s all about the draw now.”

Post positions for the 141st Preakness will be drawn on Wednesday.

First live race post time at Santa Anita on Preakness Day is 12 noon. Admission gates open at 7:15 a.m.


Perennial Southern California riding king Rafael Bejarano reunites with Grade I winning sprinter Wild Dude in next Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Kona Gold Stakes for older horses at 6 ½ furlongs on the main track.

Bejarano rode Wild Dude to victory in the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship last Oct. 3, and has piloted the Florida-bred son of Wildcat Heir 13 times in his 21-race career, winning four.

The bay horse trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who also is part owner, along with Green Smith, is a stalker who fancies a quick pace.

“His best races are when he’s right behind the speed,” Bejarano said. “As for the Kona Gold, it depends on how fast they go, then I’ll figure it out. Hopefully, there will be two or three speed horses in there that will make it easy for me. I think he’ll be tough.”

If Wild Dude finishes first or second in the Kona Gold, he would become a millionaire. With a 7-5-4 record from 21 starts, he has earned $975,232 to date. First money is worth $120,000, second, $40,000. Wild Dude worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Sunday with Bejarano up in 1:01 flat.

Also working Sunday for the Kona Gold were Cherubim under Tiago Pereira and Coastline, both for Phil D’Amato, off to a flying start this meet with six wins from 20 starters to lead all trainers through seven racing days.

Cherubim worked five furlongs in a bullet 58.60, fastest of 62 drills at the distance, while Coastline went the same distance in 59.80.

Probable for the Kona Gold: Cherubim, Tiago Pereira; Coastline, Tyler Baze; Dream Saturday, Mike Smith; Kafister, Flavien Prat; San Onofre, Edwin Maldonado; and Wild Dude, Rafael Bejarano.


Stellar Wind, champion three-year-old filly of 2015, worked six furlongs under regular rider Victor Espinoza Sunday in 1:13.40, going in company with stablemate That’s a Lady, who was timed in 1:13.60.

Stellar Wind is ticketed for the Grade I, $400,000 Vanity Mile June 4 and an expected meeting with three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder and Taris, winner of eight of 13 starts including the seven furlong, Grade I Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs May 7.

“She went very well,” trainer John Sadler said of Stellar Wind. “She went out (seven furlongs) in (one) 26 and change. She usually works in company when she’s getting ready to run. She’s right on schedule.”

FINISH LINES: Unbeaten and untested champion Songbird, a candidate for the Grade II Summertime Oaks on June 18, continues to gallop towards her return and could have her first breeze next week since recovering from a fever that caused her to miss the May 6 Kentucky Oaks, according to Dan Ward, assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer . . . Follow Me Crev worked six furlongs Sunday with Alonso Quinonez aboard in 1:13.80. The gelded son of Quality Road is nominated to next Sunday’s Grade II Californian Stakes but after the drill, trainer Vladmir Cerin said he is “40-70” to run . . . Agent Tom Knust reports that Mario Gutierrez leaves Tuesday for Maryland where he pilots Nyquist in the Preakness on Saturday before returning to ride at Santa Anita next Sunday . . . Ohio, the well-regarded Brazilian import that finished last at odds of 3-2 after an eventful trip in the American Stakes on May 6, is doing well and scheduled to breeze next week, according to Paulo Lobo. The trainer hopes to find a race for the five-year-old in Santa Anita’s next condition book due out Wednesday . . . Toowindytohaulrox, winner of the Daytona Stakes on opening day of Santa Anita’s Winter Meet last Dec. 26, is ticketed for the $75,000 Siren Lure Stakes for three-year-olds and up at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf June 4, trainer Phil D’Amato said . . . With no mount in the Preakness after winning five of the last seven Triple Crown races, Victor Espinoza is characteristically taking things in stride, resigned to plying his trade regularly at Santa Anita again after a world-wide, two-year wild ride that included victories aboard American Pharoah, California Chrome and Stellar Wind, each an Eclipse Award winner and the first two Horse of the Year honorees. Victor waxed philosophically about missing the Preakness, which he won in 2014 with California Chrome and last year with American Pharoah. “I’ll be here until I find the next champion,” he said.


For the handful of Thoroughbred horse-racing fans not following the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship currently underway in Russia – and I know you’re out there – it should be of more than passing interest that through preliminary-round play last Sunday, Gustav Nyquist was the leading goal scorer of the tournament, and that his Swedish national team was sitting second in the Group A standings with one game left to play, which assured them of a place among the final eight in the knockout round commencing Thursday in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Go … Sweden?

It’s probably easier to cheer on Nyquist when he’s skating for the Red Wings, which is why Paul Reddam named his horse for the hockey player in the first place, Detroit being Reddam’s old-school team of choice from his formative years in Ontario. But the Red Wings were knocked out in the first round of the NHL playoffs by a team from Florida, of all places, which allowed the 26-year-old Nyquist to suit up for his homeland in the World Championship while the 3-year-old Nyquist works his way through the Triple Crown.

“I’m in partnership with some horses with Erik Johnson, who plays for the Colorado Avalanche,” Reddam said last summer, shortly after Nyquist won the Del Mar Futurity. “I named the colt just to annoy him, although whenever Nyquist’s name comes up, Erik will say, ‘I scored on him, you know.’ ”

There seems to be a natural inclination to favor famous athletes when brainstorming horse names. The intersection of sporting orbits is as old as the hills, and if the horse lives up to its name, it can be a PR dream for racing.

So, owners roll the dice and grab a name from the top shelf, because who wouldn’t want to follow a racehorse named Babe Ruth (a son of Unbridled), Ayrton Senna (out of the mare Antifreeze), or Ben Hogan, a New Zealand gelding who won eight of 81 starts?

There is no record of Pete Rose ever meeting – or betting on – the Thoroughbred named Pete Rose, a foal of 1968. Likewise, there is no evidence that Jack Dempsey the fighter ever met Jack Dempsey the racehorse, a foal of 1925 who won two of 51 starts.

There is, however, archival video of Dempsey with Man o’ War in October 1920 at Rose Tree Hunt Club in Media, Pa., near the home of Man o’ War’s owner, Samuel D. Riddle. Man o’ War, just eight days removed from his victory over Sir Barton in their match race, is frisky and full of beans posing alongside the heavyweight champ, himself fresh from his first title defense in September against Billy Miske.

Let the record show that Dempsey gives Man o’ War all the room he needs but doesn’t flinch.

Chris Evert, a daughter of Swoon’s Son, was foaled in 1971, the same year that Chris Evert, a 16-year-old tennis phenom, made her grand-slam debut in the U.S. Open.

The filly Chris Evert got her name from owner Carl Rosen, whose Puritan clothing company had a line of tennis wear endorsed by the other Chris Evert. In 1974, when Chris Evert won the New York Racing Association triple crown for fillies by sweeping the Acorn, Mother Goose, and Coaching Club American Oaks, her namesake rose to the top of the world tennis rankings with victories in the French Open and at Wimbledon. Two weeks after winning in England, Chris Evert appeared at Hollywood Park to watch Chris Evert defeat Miss Musket in their lopsided match race, bringing along her boyfriend, Jimmy Connors, for the ride.

Dimaggio, a foal of 1972, was a stakes-winning son of Bold Hitter named by diehard Yankees fan John Valpredo, a California farmer who built a vegetable empire in the Central Valley. His son Don Valpredo carried on the family business in both agriculture and Thoroughbreds.

“We’d listen to the Yankee games on radio all the time growing up,” Don Valpredo said. “My dad would go back to the World Series every year the Yankees were in it, which seemed like about every year, and as far as he was concerned, Joe DiMaggio was the greatest hitter he’d ever seen.”

DiMaggio was also a regular at the racetrack, especially Bay Meadows near his San Francisco home.

“My dad never got to meet DiMaggio,” Valpredo said. “But I did one day at Bay Meadows. He was a very private man but very kind, and he was aware of the horse we named for him. The photo we took together is one of my great treasures.”

If all goes well this week, Gustav Nyquist and his Swedes will be playing in one of the semifinal games of the IIHF tournament in Moscow’s Ice Palace on Saturday, the same day Reddam’s Nyquist will try to add the 141st Preakness Stakes to his victory in the 142nd Kentucky Derby. The race will go off at around 1 a.m. Sunday, Moscow time.

Hockey’s Nyquist has yet to meet racing’s Nyquist in the flesh, but he is in good company. Forty-two years ago at Hollywood Park, William Johnson of Sports Illustrated asked Chris Evert what she thought about the match-race experience.

“Well, I can’t compare it to Wimbledon,” she told Johnson. “I guess I can’t really compare it to anything because it’s the first race I’ve ever been to.”

Sunday, May 15, 2016


GARY STEVENS, BEHOLDER, WINNER: “When I got on her, she let out a big sigh, which tells you a horse is relaxed. I said, ‘That’s my mama.’ That was the only thing said between me and Roberto (pony rider) on the way to the gate.

“She left there sweet like she always does. She went over super, super quiet today. I almost thought I had her too quiet. Richard does all the work, along with (exercise rider) Janeen (Painter) and the whole crew and I get to have all the fun and that’s all that was, was fun.

“I had to let her do a little something the last sixteenth because she wanted to. She had fun, I had fun.

“Being off as long as she has is a tribute to Richard and Mr. Hughes showing that kind of patience. The sky’s the limit for her. She didn’t take so much as a deep breath when I pulled her up. She’s a very happy mare.”


RICHARD MANDELLA, BEHOLDER, WINNER: “She was supposed to win this race, and that usually makes trainers more nervous than anything, because you realize how bad you look if you get them beat, so you’ve got to live with that.

“The Vanity looks like the next step (Vanity Mile, Grade I, $400,000 on June 4). I couldn’t be happier with the way she’s come back at six years old. I’m proud of Mr. (owner B. Waynes) Hughes for letting me have her back (to train).”

Asked how Beholder stacked up compared to other great fillies he has trained: “I think she speaks for herself. I’m going to leave it at that.”

 WAYNE HUGHES, BEHOLDER, WINNER: “I don’t know how much this kind of race does for her but Richard thought it was the way to go, and he’s in charge.

“Not only am I still thinking about going up against the boys but I want Nyquist to be the Triple Crown winner. Because we got sick last year, it’s very important to us to be able to take a shot at a Triple Crown winner. I think it would be amazing.

“I don’t have any idea what’s next; Richard makes those decisions.

“It’s a very nice feeling knowing she can train and run up to the Breeders’ Cup here at home. She doesn’t do well traveling. Neither do I though at 82, so we have that in common.

“It was my decision to run her at age six but Richard approved it. If she has a good year this year, I’ll do it again next year at age seven. Why not?! She’s having a good time, she’s really happy. I had a long talk with Gary on the plane flying back this morning and he told me she’s bigger and better than she ever was before so I asked him how he knows. He said, ‘by the girth, it’s bigger!’ So why stop? I see no reason to stop.

“Richard had The Tin Man running here at age eight. He’s the kind of trainer, a rare trainer that can do that. You don’t see a lot of trainers keeping their horses around for long periods of time. Richard is the real deal.”

            NOTES: Winning owner B. Wayne Hughes resides in Lexington, Ky. There was a minus place pool of $5,103.48, and a minus show pool of $137,142.55. Of the total show pool of $747,626, $692,457 was bet on Beholder.


Hans Poetsch's I WIll Score and jockey Martin Garcia win the Grade III, $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes, Saturday, May 14, 2016 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA.


Breaking from the far outside in a field of seven sophomore colts and geldings, I Will Score made the lead while securing the rail and virtually made every pole a winning one as he took Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes by a neck under Martin Garcia. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, the Kentucky-bred colt by Roman Ruler prevailed over Mrazek late and got seven furlongs in 1:21.30.

“You know, I wanted him to get away from the gate good, which he did,” said Hollendorfer. “Martin thought they were going a bit fast so he took hold of him, to save horse. They got up (at the wire) and finished it.”

Second at odds of 3-2 in a six furlong stakes at Oaklawn Park on April 15, I Will Score, who is owned by his breeder, Hans Poetsch, was the 3-1 second choice in the race and paid $8.80, $4.40 and $3.20. In garnering his first stakes win, I Will Score improved his overall mark to 6-3-1-1. With the winner’s share of $60,000, he increased his earnings to $173,145.

Ridden by Mario Gutierrez and trained by Doug O’Neill, Reddam Racing’s homebred Mrazek, a California-bred colt by Square Eddie, broke sharply but soon found himself between dueling leaders I Will Score and Smokey Image.

“He wins that race nine out of 10 times, I’d say,” said Paul Reddam. “Smokey Image came to us on the outside, so Mario decided he didn’t want to be in between two guys in the middle of a three-way duel. If he comes out of this good, we’ll probably ship to New York and run in the Woody Stephens (Grade II, seven furlongs) on Belmont Day (June 11).

A winner versus statebreds of the 5 ½ furlong Graduation Stakes two starts back on Aug. 5, Mrazek, who finished 3 ¼ lengths in front of Smokey Image, was off at 7-2 and paid $3.60 and $3.00.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Smokey Image was also off at 7-2 and paid $3.80 to show.

O’Neill’s Denman’s Call, who was the solid 8-5 favorite, was never a factor and finished fifth, 6 ¾ lengths behind the winner.

Fractions on the race were 22.62, 44.68 and 1:08.83.

Earlier in the day, 3-5 favorite Arcature prevailed by a diminishing head over Tristan’s Trilogy to win the $75,000 Singletary Stakes at one mile on turf. A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Archarcharch, Arcature, who was ridden by Flavien Prat and is trained by Simon Callaghan, paid $3.40, $2.20 and $2.10.

Owned by Arnold Zetcher, LLC, Arcature picked up his first stakes win and his second win from four overall starts. Second early, Arcature took over from pacesetter Mr. Roary a quarter mile out and was all-out to hold off the runner-up late. Fractions on the race were 23.76, 48.03, 1:12.06 and 1:23.95.


MARTIN GARCIA, I WILL SCORE, WINNER: “Jerry (Hollendorfer) told me to see how the race happens and to go from there. My horse broke really sharp, so I took advantage.

When asked if the addition of blinkers in his more recent races, or maturity is the determining factor with I Will Score’s success: “He was just learning before, in his previous races. Now, he’s a more mature horse, he’s a better horse. He can run anywhere (regarding running style).”


JERRY HOLLENDORFER, I WILL SCORE, WINNER: “You know, I wanted him to get away from the gate good, which he did. Martin thought they were going a bit fast so he took hold of him, to save horse. They got up and finished it.”

PAUL REDDAM, OWNER MRAZEK, SECOND: “He wins that race nine out of 10 times, I’d say. Smokey Image came to us on the outside, so Mario decided he didn’t want to be in between two guys in the middle of a three-way duel. If he comes out of this good, we’ll probably ship to New York and run in the Woody Stephens (Grade II, seven furlongs) on Belmont Day.”

NOTES: Winning owner and breeder Hans Poetsch is from Scottsdale, AZ.

RACE REPLAY: 2016 Ruffian Stakes

American Pharoah Wins the Belmont and the Triple Crown

American Pharoah WINS the Preakness 2015 [HD]

RACE REPLAY: 2016 Peter Pan Stakes Featuring Unified

Singletary Stakes - Saturday, May 14, 2016 HD

Lazaro Barrera Stakes (Gr. III) - Saturday, May 14, 2016 HD

Lazaro Barrera Stakes (Gr. III) - Saturday, May 14, 2016 HD

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