Tuesday, June 28, 2016
In his 45th career start, venerable 8-year-old gelding Soi Phet rolled to the lead into the Club House turn and dictated terms throughout as he took Sunday’s $75,000 McCann’s Mojave Handicap by 2 ½ lengths while covering a mile and a sixteenth in 1:40.80–thus turning the tables on runner-up Avanti Bello, who defeated him by a nose in the one mile Tiznow Stakes here May 28.
Breaking from the number three post position in a field of five California-bred or sired horses three and up, Soi Phet made the lead while well within himself and set fractions of 23.57, 46.75, 1:10.21 and 1:34.48.
Called upon by Desormeaux with three sixteenths of a mile to run, Soi Phet responded eagerly and left Avanti Bello in his wake with a furlong to run.
The 9-5 favorite, Soi Phet, who is by Tizbud and is out of the Siberian Summer mare Summer Jersey, paid $5.80, $3.20 and $2.10.
“The half in 46 and change is pretty much his natural cruising speed, so if he can do it well within himself, I’ll take it,” said Desormeaux, who had piloted Soi Phet to three consecutive second place finishes. “This horse is a pleasure to ride, he knows what he’s doing out there.”
As to what might be in store for his resident senior citizen, Powell said, “There’s some grass racing down at Del Mar for Cal-breds, but he’s eight years old now, so we’ll see how he comes out of this. Every year, if you look back, he does really well in the summer. This year, I won’t run him at all in the winter, just summer and early fall.”
Avanti Bello, who was ridden by Rafael Bejarano, was second best on the day and finished 5 ½ lengths in front of El Huerfano. Off at 5-2, he paid $3.40 and $2.40.
El Huerfano, who was ridden by Flavien Prat, loomed menacingly while three-wide around the far turn, but backed up readily when he straightened for home and finished three quarters of a length in front of Songforjohnmichael. Off at 7-2, El Huerfano paid $2.40 to show.
Posted by Michael at 7:56 AM
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Forest Blue has faced some quality horses......I expect Peter Miller to have him.....primed to out-run his morning line odds of four to one........Victor knows him well.......blue-blood pedigree.......a good value bet in this salty contentious sprint on the main track.
1. Forest Blue
Posted by Michael at 11:27 AM
Monday, June 20, 2016
MIKE SMITH, CHEEKABOO, WINNER: “Wasn’t that awesome? I don’t know what it looked like, but it was fun as hell to ride. I kind of feel like, ‘ok, now people can see I can ride a little bit. I can do more than just hang on to Songbird.’
“I knew I got up past the wire, but I was worried about at the wire. I was so busy, down riding but I knew I was in front when I stood up. I just didn’t know if I got it right on the wire.
“I followed Pete’s instructions, almost to a ‘T.’ I saved all the ground that I could and I cut every corner and he told me to ‘go for broke’ and to see if we could get lucky, get through, or in between. He said I should ride it that way, so I did. I have to give him the credit.
“I thought I had a shot to run well. At the sixteenth pole I thought, ‘if I can squeeze in between these two, I think I can get it.’ Then I wasn’t sure if I got it until I saw ol’ Gilligan (Quick Official for Stewards) over on the backside. He’s an eagle eye and he tells you right away. He told me I got it and I was excited.”
FLAVIEN PRAT, BE MINE, SECOND: “It’s tough to get beat by a head, but I couldn’t change anything. When she changed leads, she really took off and finished great.”
ALEX SOLIS, STAYS IN VEGAS, THIRD: “She ran hard, I can’t complain. She gave her best to the end. Just didn’t get the win today.”
PETER EURTON, CHEEKABOO, WINNER: “It was Joe’s push to run her in here. I have to give a lot of credit to Larry Zap for finding her. This distance was to her advantage because she seems to run all day.”
JOE CIAGLIA, PART OWNER, CHEEKABOO, WINNER: “Watching the race, it looked like we could be third, then second and then we had a chance to win! This is the last race on this turf course and I said ‘If she wins, I’m gonna go out there and take a piece of grass off the course and plant it in my backyard. This is just a great Father’s Day gift, it’s really special.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Joe Ciaglia, who races as Ciaglia Racing, LLC of Upland, CA, Sharon Alesia of Carlsbad, CA and Mike Burns of Rancho Mirage, CA.
Posted by Michael at 11:00 AM
With more than three days in which to pour over past performances, fans will be greeted on Thursday at Santa Anita with a Pick Six carryover of $64,204. With an eight race card on tap, track officials project the total Pick Six pool should exceed $250,000.
First post time on Thursday is at 1:30 p.m. and the Pick Six will begin with race three, which is scheduled to go at approximately 2:30 p.m. PDT.
Posted by Michael at 10:57 AM
SONGBIRD GIVES ANOTHER ‘WOW!’ PERFORMANCE
IMPERATIVE WEARS BLINKERS FOR RICH GOLD CUP
TRIPLE BEND IS STILL AN OPTION FOR WILD DUDE
BEHOLDER, STELLAR WIND COULD VIE AT DEL MAR
UNBEATEN QUEEN SONGBIRD ‘ZENYATTA IN REVERSE’
If Secretariat moved like “a tremendous machine,” Songbird moves like something “rarely seen,” although when it comes to styles, she is Zenyatta in reverse.
Songbird goes to the front and improves her position.
Zenyatta spotted her rivals seemingly insurmountable leads before running them down with laser-like precision in the stretch.
As the odds-on favorite in six of her eight victories, there is little gain in betting on Songbird except for “bridge jumpers.” In Saturday’s Summertime Oaks, which Songbird captured by 6 ½ lengths, there was a minus place pool of $9,594.35 and a minus show pool of $201,400.83. Of the $244,136 bet to win, $189,093 backed Songbird.
But aside from the mutuel aspect, she is worth the price of admission.
That was the case yesterday when Songbird treated her fans to another dazzling triumph, earning $120,000 for the Fox Hill Farms of Rick Porter, boosting her bankroll to $2,102,000.
Jerry Hollendorfer couldn’t have asked for a more fitting birthday present.
So what if her detractors say she has beaten up on a bunch of tomato cans. That’s not her fault. Joe Louis beat anybody they dragged into the ring against him. They dubbed his opponents members of “The Bum of the Month Club.”
Sunday morning, Hollendorfer, who turned 70 yesterday, was back at his grandstand perch as is his wont.
“It was fantastic. Everybody’s happy, Mr. Porter’s happy, Mike Smith, everybody,” said the Hall of Fame trainer, with more than 7,100 wins and counting.
As to Songbird’s next race, it likely will be east of California, and not against males.
Said Porter on Facebook: “Songbird came out of the race great and we are looking forward to a race back east. The Coaching Club American Oaks (Grade I, $300,000, 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga July 24) is the obvious choice but the Delaware Oaks (Grade III, $300,000, at 1 1/16 miles July 9) has the same purse and is home base for me (Wilmington, Delaware).
“Even though it is a Grade III we have to consider purses since she has already won multiple Grade I’s including the Breeders’ Cup. Jerry and I will decide shortly.”
Added Hollendorfer: “There’s not going to be much for her at Del Mar, so unless something changes, we would have to go elsewhere to run.
“I don’t know why people keep talking about running her against males. What would the point be? Mr. Porter wants to run her next year, for sure, so why gamble going against colts now?”
Zenyatta did beat males, namely in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita. Her trainer, John Shirreffs, who spent time in Hawaii hanging 10’s after serving with the Marines in Vietnam, liked what he saw when he watched Songbird run in a race for the first time.
“Yesterday was the first time I saw her race live,” he said. “I’ve seen her work a few times and I’ve seen her run on television. I thought she was magnificent yesterday. She looked so good.
“I saw Mike (Smith) kind of hunch over on her a little bit, get down on her out of the gate, and she went to the lead so easy. Then Bellamentary came up on her, matched strides briefly, and she said, ‘OK, I’ll let her go out in front for a little bit.’
“Then as soon as Bellamentary did, Songbird latched on and said, ‘Let’s see how well you want to run with me.’ She was just cruising, and she’s got such a great stride on her. She just picked it up. It looked like she was cantering home.
“It was a really hot day, but you didn’t even see any sweat on her neck or in between her legs. She was so composed.”
Songbird, as usual, was poetry in motion. Where is Keats now that we need him?
Smith, who has ridden the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro in every race, searched for adjectives Sunday to describe his experience with Songbird, superlatives seemingly depleted.
“I’m just blessed to be part of it,” said the Hall of Fame jockey, who turns 51 on Aug. 10. “She came out of the race good and she’s happy.
“I went to the barn this morning and she stuck her head out of the stall like nothing happened yesterday.”
Hollendorfer, meanwhile, didn’t deviate from his workaholic agenda Saturday night. How did he celebrate his birthday and the victory?
“I went home and went to bed.”
BLINKERS BACK ON IMPERATIVE FOR GOLD CUP
Imperative, who has not raced with blinkers in his last five races, will wear the shades when he runs in next Saturday’s Grade I, $500,000, Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Gold Cup at Santa Anita for three-year-olds and up at a mile and a quarter.
Prior to the Native Diver Stakes last Nov. 28, Imperative wore blinkers in 14 straight races, including the rich Charles Town Classic on April 19, 2014, which he won when trained by George Papaprodromou in a 26-1 upset over Game On Dude.
“He’s doing well,” Richard Baltas said of Imperative, a millionaire son of Bernardini that has been in the trainer’s care for his last seven races, each resulting in a paycheck but no wins.
Imperative was second in three straight races, the Grade III Native Diver and the San Pasqual and the San Antonio, both Grade II’s. He rallied for fourth in his last two starts, the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap and the Grade II Charles Town Classic.
“He’s been working on the training track and it’s really helped his feet,” Baltas said. “They’re ice cold, and I’m going to put some blinkers back on him and see if that helps him.
“It seems like he’s been too far out of touch in his last few races.”
Yesterday, Imperative worked six furlongs on the main track in 1:13.80 under Rafael Bejarano, who has the mount in the Gold Cup.
“His feet are good now,” Baltas said, “so we were OK working on the main track.”
WILD DUDE COULD RUN YET IN TRIPLE BEND
Turns out Wild Dude could run in the Triple Bend.
The multiple Grade I winner has been sold to interests in Ireland and will eventually stand in Korea as a stallion, said Jerry Hollendorfer, formerly part owner and the trainer of the six-year-old horse sired in Florida by Wildcat Heir.
But if paper work for the sale and shipping gets snagged in a bureaucratic morass, delaying the process, Wild Dude could remain with Hollendorfer long enough to run in the Grade I, $300,000 Triple Bend for three-year-olds and up at seven furlongs.
“If the paper work is not in order, he could still go in the Triple Bend,” Hollendorfer said.
CHAMPS BEHOLDER, STELLAR WIND COULD MEET IN HIRSCH
Champions Beholder and Stellar Wind, one-two in the Grade I Vanity Mile on June 4, could meet again in the Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar on July 30.
Each worked four furlongs early Sunday morning at Santa Anita, Beholder getting the distance in 48.60, breezing, under Janeen Painter, while champion three-year-old female of 2015 Stellar Wind went in 47.80 for John Sadler.
Beholder was given fractional times of 23.60 and 35.60, while Stellar Wind got 24.60 for the quarter mile.
“It was an easy half,” Mandella said of the drill by the six-year-old Beholder, winner of an Eclipse Award at two, three and five. The Hirsch is Beholder’s next major target.
“”Very good” is how Sadler termed the move. “She came out of the Vanity very well and this was her first work back. We’re considering several races, and the Hirsch is one of them.”
Also working a half mile Sunday was Firing Line, runner-up to Triple Crown king American Pharoah in the 2015 Kentucky Derby. He was clocked in 48.60.
FINISH LINES: All’s well with Team O’Neill and Nyquist, as the Kentucky Derby winner jogged Sunday morning, Leandro Mora reported . . . Rarest of racing rarities: Not only were four of the six scheduled starters in today’s second race sired in California by Ministers Wild Cat, they break from the gate in the 4 ½-furlong dash in adjacent stalls: Fly to Mars (two), Eichel (three), The Lion Roars (four) and Amazing Love (five) . . . Seven of the 14 entered in Saturday’s ninth race were sired by indefatigable 26-year-old stallion Unusual Heat . . . There were 307 recorded workouts at Santa Anita Sunday, including 39 on the training track . . . Kobe’s Back, prepping for the Triple Bend, went five furlongs for Peter Eurton in 1:00.60 . . . Live racing resumes at Santa Anita Thursday at 1:30 p.m. There is free General Admission Thursday and Friday and free Grandstand parking both days.
SANTA ANITA STATISTICS
(Current Through Saturday, June 18)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Rafael Bejarano 134 31 26 25 23% 61% $1,716,732
Flavien Prat 110 31 15 14 28% 55% $1,512,081
Tyler Baze 148 26 25 24 18% 51% $1,260,334
Edwin Maldonado 124 22 19 13 18% 44% $878,551
Joseph Talamo 103 19 17 16 18% 50% $978,408
Santiago Gonzalez 139 13 20 22 9% 40% $767,160
Martin Garcia 65 10 6 10 15% 40% $573,426
Martin Pedroza 64 9 6 10 14% 39% $309,875
Fernando Perez 72 8 9 7 11% 33% $350,628
Mike Smith 29 8 5 0 28% 45% $545,531
Tiago Pereira 80 7 14 14 9% 44% $364,597
Stewart Elliott 76 7 6 6 9% 25% $328,715
Chad Lindsay 48 6 5 6 13% 35% $139,405
Mario Gutierrez 53 5 12 2 9% 36% $479,695
Drayden Van Dyke 53 5 7 8 9% 38% $319,469
Brayan Pena 51 5 5 7 10% 33% $131,065
Brandon Boulanger 44 5 1 4 11% 23% $120,740
Victor Espinoza 43 4 6 10 9% 47% $392,698
Ignacio Puglisi 24 4 1 2 17% 29% $118,123
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Philip D’Amato 75 21 15 5 28% 55% $1,366,618
Jerry Hollendorfer 59 10 6 12 17% 47% $780,390
John Sadler 58 9 5 11 16% 43% $664,773
Mike Puype 43 9 3 5 21% 40% $269,760
Mark Glatt 52 8 11 9 15% 54% $336,371
Peter Miller 46 8 11 5 17% 52% $381,880
Richard Baltas 48 8 8 9 17% 52% $356,070
Richard Mandella 31 8 5 5 26% 58% $674,260
Doug O’Neill 73 7 14 16 10% 51% $549,811
Bob Baffert 34 7 7 4 21% 53% $328,645
Peter Eurton 34 7 4 4 21% 44% $313,330
Patrick Gallagher 23 6 1 1 26% 35% $205,725
Robertino Diodoro 14 5 5 1 36% 79% $193,050
Steven Miyadi 20 5 5 1 25% 55% $160,485
James Cassidy 36 5 4 4 14% 36% $339,470
Simon Callaghan 24 5 3 2 21% 42% $248,815
Kristin Mulhall 23 4 4 2 17% 43% $149,555
Hector O. Palma 19 4 4 0 21% 42% $83,175
John Brocklebank 13 4 3 0 31% 54% $159,360
Posted by Michael at 10:53 AM
Sunday, June 19, 2016
1. Secreto Primero
1. Mo Soul
1. Nashoba's Gold
2. My Year Is A Day.......beware!!
1. Audacious Angel
2. Always Dangerous
1. Papa Papa Papa
Friullan is well bred and cuts back in distance..........my long-shot play on today's card.......I like other's........good betting race to start the late pick four!
2. Patriotic Diamond
3. Nine Point Nine
Use Cover Story in late Pick 4 if you want to use the favorite........
1. Carlot Cowboy
2. My Samurai Warrior
3. Ain't Misbehavin
Long Shot Justonemorething
8TH HONEYMOON STAKES
Decked Out has a great turn of foot........Her last race the pace was slow and she needed more ground then one mile......Her trip and ride was suspect........a chance in jockeys to Kent who rode her in the Providencia was special.......I expect the added distance and a fast pace will help her. At four to one morning line.......good value bet!
1. Decked Out
Long Shot Jeremy's Legacy
2. Make A Million
3. Cheap O Charlie
Posted by Michael at 10:34 AM