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Horses to Watch Mar. 31 – by Rod Young Turfdom

March 30th, 2015 by

ABBEY VALE (March 27): Five year old gelding for Phil D’Amato had been on the sidelines for 11
months and returned Friday in a second allowance condition at 9 furlongs on the grass. Off at 7/1 in a 9
horse field, he raced close up early, laying third just two lengths off a moderate pace. He moved to the
leaders at the 1/4 pole, grabbed the lead quite easily at the top of the lane, then cruised home a winner by
a length and a half. This Irish bred hadn’t done much across the pond, and was only 2/17 in his career
coming into this race, but the D’Amato barn has turned this one around and he looks like he can handle
stakes company here. He is good from a mile to a mile and a quarter on the grass and D’Amato is an
excellent turf trainer. Up the ladder.
CODACIOUS (March 28): Three year old filly for Clifford Sise made the third start of her career in
Saturday’s 5th race, a five and a half furlong sprint on the main track for state bred maiden special
weights. Off as the heavy choice at 4/5 under Bejarano, Codacious broke running from the 8 hole,
crossed over to the fence with the lead, got a breather at the 3/8 pole, then opened up in hand and won by
8 geared down. The jock never even waved the whip at her, much less hit her. She won this race like the
first allowance condition will be no problem, regardless of the sprint distance. She went fast early as the
first quarter was a rapid 21.77 and she kept right on motoring. Might be a good “single” next time she
goes to post.
SELECTION (March 28): Three year old gelding for Jorge Gutierrez tried a bunch of new things in
Saturday’s finale and almost pulled it off. He had just been claimed by his new connections, was trying a
new rider, just got gelded, and added blinkers for the first time. Off at 7/1 in this maiden special weight
event at a mile on the grass, Selection relaxed nicely in 8th place down the back side, about 6 lengths off
the pace. He picked it up at the 1/4 pole, rallied widest of all into the lane, kept to his task down the
stretch and just missed by a whisker at the wire to the wire to wire winner. Being gelded certainly helped
him, and adding blinkers and returning to the grass were both positive as well. As long as they keep him
on the grass and Bejarano takes the call again, he can win his diploma in his next start. Be ready.
SPARKLING PEG (March 29): Three year old filly for Hector Palma made her second career start in
Sunday’s sixth event, a bottom level claimer for maiden 3 year old fillies. Off at 15/1, she again got away
slow from the gate and was last early. The jock then rushed her up between horses and she was third at
the quarter pole, just a length off the lead. She loomed up on the outside turning for home and held
together fairly well in the drive to be beat just 3/4 of a length at the wire. This one is no world beater by
any means, but today’s race showed she can run a bit, and it doesn’t take a lot of horse to win at the
bottom these days. Palma is having a fine meet and he will probably go with a much more established
rider in her next start. She should be in the winners circle in the near future.

News and Notes Mar. 31 – by Rod Young Turfdom

March 30th, 2015 by

Although the temperatures were very warm this past week at the Great Race Place (in the low 90′s),
the main track continued to play fair. With a good crowd expected this Saturday for the Santa Anita
Derby, along with an excellent race card, the temps will be at least 10 degrees cooler. The turf
course has changed and closers no longer have the best of it, as front runners have been able to hold
on in both sprints and routes. Overall the course has held up well as they continue to have 3 races
per card for the turf. The rails are moved out each week for Thursday and Friday, then brought in for
the weekend.
• The stakes races were pretty soft once again this past weekend with Baffert’s Sky Kingdom ($7.60)
taking the Grade 3 Tokyo Cup on Saturday, while Blue Tone ($11.60), a Turfdom Best Bet, taking
the ungraded Santana Mile on Sunday. “Kingdom” was coming off a long layoff to win the mile and
a half Tokyo Cup, and there is no trainer better than Baffert, winning off a layoff. It’s just not that
easy to win going 12 furlongs off a 5 month break. Blue Tone won his race rather easily, and as long
as he can stay away from Shared Belief and California Chrome, he’s a pretty solid runner. He will go
next in the Precisionist Stakes on May 2.
• As mentioned earlier, they have 5 stakes races lined up for Saturday, headed by the $1 million Santa
Anita Derby at 9 furlongs on the main track, a leading prep for the Kentucky Derby 4 weeks later. It
looks like a field of 7 will go post ward and Baffert’s undefeated Dortmund (5/5), will be the 4/5
favorite. He worked 3/4 this past weekend in 1:11.60 in company at Santa Anita and is all set to
make it 6/6. Based on the field, it’s hard to imagine him getting beat. His biggest competition out
here seem to be Firing Line and American Pharoah, but “Line” just ran last week at Sunland and
“Pharoah” goes the following week in the Arkansas Derby. Prospect Park will probably be the
second choice in the wagering, and though he is improving, he doesn’t appear to be as good as
Dortmund. Should the favorite mis-fire, Baffert’s other runner, One Lucky Dane, may be the
upsetter. He has never faced stakes company, but he just beat an allowance field by 10, and has
worked well since that race. He may be this good. Bolo seems the best of the other runners and gets
top rider Mike Smith, never a bad thing when the big money is on the line. The winner of the Santa
Anita Derby has gone on to win the Kentucky Derby 17 times in the long history of both races. The
other Grade 1 on the card will be the Santa Anita Oaks, for 3 year old fillies going a mile and a
sixteenth on the main track. The field will be headed up by Callback, Light the City, and Stellar
Wind. Glory, Curlin’s Fox, Achiever’s Legacy, and Lady Lake will also be in the field.
• They ran the richest race in the world this past Saturday in Dubai called the Dubai World Cup, with
$10 million up for grabs. As most of you know by now, California Chrome ran a good second as the
wagering favorite and earned $2 million for his effort. Going to Dubai and back is a “grind” and it
knocks most horses out for 4-6 months. “Chrome” is no different, and Sherman was looking forward
to giving him a much needed rest back at Los Al. But the “clowns” who own this horse had different
thoughts, and are sending Chrome to London to race on the grass at Royal Ascot in about six weeks.
Chrome is no grass horse and never will be. He beat an allowance field when he won the Hollywood
Derby last year and will be no match for the Euros. Chrome started out as an $8000 horse, and that’s
about what he will be worth when they finally get him back to California, if they ever do.
Also on the Dubai card was the UAE Derby for 3 year olds, at about a mile and 3/16. I don’t
know how tough this field was but the winner could not have been more impressive. His name is
Mubtaahij (don’t ask me to pronounce it) and his next stop is the Kentucky Derby. With Dortmund,
American Pharoah, Firing Line, and Carpe Diem getting most of the wagering action for this race,
Mubtaahij just might be the “value” play.

Horses to Watch Mar. 24 – by Rod Young Turfdom

March 23rd, 2015 by

GRANDIOSE TACTICS (March 20): Six year old mare for Ron Ellis tried the second allowance
condition on Friday at a mile and a sixteenth on the main track. Off at 5/2, bet down from a morning line
of 4/1, “Tactics” set in 4th off a dueling pace down the back side and was in a good position to win this
race. Turning for home, Baze was “loaded” with horse and just needed a seam to get through. He found it
at the top of the lane, but then drove him straight to the rail, where the footing wasn’t nearly as good, and
he got nipped by a front runner, who actually came back on from the deep outside part of the track. This
six year old was just unlucky and I think he was the best horse in the race. Trainer John Sadler thought
enough of him to drop the claim slip for $62,500 as this was an optional claimer. This was just his 11th
career start and he has hit the board in 9 of those. Sadler will find the right spot and may just change
riders to boot.
SAVANNAH SKY (March 20): Three year old filly for Richard Baltas made her second career start in
Friday’s sixth event, a maiden special weight race at a flat mile on the main. Off at 18/1 in a full field and
breaking from the 8 hole, she got caught extremely wide into the clubhouse turn to lose valuable lengths
on the leader, and was well back in the pack down the back side, yet still 6 to 7 wide. The front runners
started to die at the 1/4 pole and she moved into contention, yet still very wide. She stuck her nose in
front at the top of the lane and she looked like a winner. But she ducked out at the 1/8th pole from left
handed whipping and lost her momentum. She got beat a neck at the wire but was much the best. This
was her first try going two turns and she raced pretty “green” most of the way. However, she will get a
lot out of this race and the Baltas barn remains hot. She will be posing for pictures in the very near future.
THE MAD HUNGARIAN (March 21): Four year old gelding for Peter Miller, who was making his
1st start off a $20,000 claim, showed a new dimension in Saturday’s opener, by winning from off the
pace. Off at 6/1 in just a six horse field, and breaking from the one hole, it looked like “Hungarian” was
the speed of the race in this $25,000 claimer for older runners going two turns. But Gladding wanted the
lead right out of the gate, so “Hungarian” sat off the pace and let him go. In fact he was in 4th all the way
down the back side, then found a seam at the top of the lane, and finished strongly down on the rail for
the victory. This is the first time he has come from off the pace and going from Palma to Miller may have
been the answer. All 4 of his wins are at this track and he is now 4/7 here. Up the ladder!!
IMWITHTHEBLONDE (March 21): Five year old mare for John Sadler made her return to the races
in Saturday’s 7th event, a first condition allowance race at six furlongs on the main track. She had not
been to the post since July of 2013 and was off at 10/1 in this 9 horse field. She broke with the leaders
and got caught up in a quick pace duel with fractions of 21.70 and 44.64 for the half. She hung in there
till very late in the race and finished third beaten just over a length at the wire. She has had her issues
getting to the post as this was just her 7th career outing, but she showed she still has her speed. Sadler is
0/45 off long layoffs and is now 0/46, but he does much better after they have had a race. I think she can
win this condition and her speed is always dangerous. This race should help her a lot and she may be
posing for pictures in the very near future. Tab and follow.

News and Notes Mar. 24 – by Rod Young Turfdom

March 23rd, 2015 by

Overall, the main track is playing fair, but the one thing that I have noticed the past few weeks, is
that early speed is dominant in the early part of the program. Then from about the fifth race on,
closers are able to make an impact and win some races. That’s probably because the maintenance
crew has the track in the best shape it’s ever going to be, just before the first race. Then it gets dug
up a bit as the horses travel over it. This is not an exact science, but something you need to be aware
of when handicapping the main track day in and day out. The turf course is playing fair regardless of
where the rails are placed. Closers have won when the rails are out 30 feet, yet horses can go wire to
wire when the rails are only out 8 feet, like with Birdlover yesterday. It generally depends on the
pace in the race, and that’s the way it should be. Management is having a good meet so far. Handle
was up over $1 million this past Saturday vs. the corresponding one in 2014, and it was a no-nothing
Saturday. The weather has been exceptional most of the meet, as California cannot buy an ounce of
precipitation, as the drought continues.
• The stakes races were pretty weak this past weekend. The feature on Saturday was the Grade 2 San
Luis Rey stakes at a mile and a half on the lawn for older runners. Finnegans Wake was the 3/5
favorite and was seeking his 4th straight stakes victory for Peter Miller and on paper, it appeared a
slam dunk. But “Wake” was a bit flat on Saturday and Ashleyluvssugar ($13.20) got the money
under a heady ride from Gary Stevens. “Ashley” appeared out classed, as he just won the first
allowance condition, and had never been anywhere near a mile and a half. It even surprised his
trainer, Peter Eurton, who is having a fine meet, especially on the turf. The other stakes on the
program was the Pasadena, at a mile on the turf for three year olds. Papacoolpapacool got the money
at $12.40 under an excellent ride by the underrated Elvis Trujillo. This time Gary Stevens acted like
an apprentice, moving the 3/1 2nd choice Soul Driver way too soon, and he had nothing left in the
stretch. He was probably best and is one to mark down next time he shows up on the grass. Trainer
Phil D’Amato, who trained the winner and took over the Mike Mitchell barn, is another excellent
grass trainer. Sundays stakes race, the Dream of Summer, was limited to just 4 runners due to late
scratches, and is not even worth mentioning.
• I don’t know who is going to win the Kentucky Derby in just six weeks, but the Southern California
contingent is extremely strong, and if I had to pick a winner right now, it would be Dortmund. He is
big and strong, can get the distance, and we haven’t seen his best race yet. Plus he’s undefeated at 5/5
and has showed his grit and determination several times already. He has beaten Firing Line twice
now, and the latter just won the Sunland Derby on Sunday by 14 lengths. Granted, it was an inferior
field, but the purse was $800,000, and usually some decent horses show up for that kind of money.
Baffert’s other kingpin, champion two year old American Pharoah, also shipped out of town, and
easily won the Rebel stakes in Oaklawn by six lengths. However, he doesn’t quite have the
seasoning that Dortmund has. Prospect Park, runner up to Dortmund in the San Felipe, is still
improving. He worked six furlongs down at San Luis Rey over the weekend in an awfully fast
1:10.40. That’s like going 1:09 flat at Santa Anita. Baffert has yet another nugget in One Lucky
Dane, who won an overnight allowance race by 10 lengths on Thursday, and he may show up for the
Santa Anita Derby in just two weeks. All in all, it’s a very strong group of sophomores.
• On the jockey front, Nakatani should be back to riding in about 4 weeks after a spill when coming
down the hill a week ago. He did break his collarbone at the tip, but no surgery was required. Both
Joe Talamo and Kent Desormeaux will be in New Orleans this Saturday with mounts in the
Louisiana Derby. Edwin Maldonado leaves today, Monday, for Dubai to ride Distinctiv Passion for
Jeff Bonde in a million dollar sprint race, the Al Quoz at 5 furlongs on the turf this Saturday.
“Passion” is very fast, loves the turf, and they will not beat him. Bejarano is 27 wins ahead of the
runner up, Tyler Baze, in the jockey standings and is winning at an excellent 25% clip.

Horses to Watch Mar. 17 – by Rod Young Turfdom

March 16th, 2015 by

MISSING GROOM (March 13): Four year old gelding for Jerry Hollendorfer tried the first allowance
condition for Cal Breds Friday at a flat mile on the main track for older runners. Off at 7/1 in a 9 horse
field, he got caught wide into the first turn coming out of the 9 hole, and ended up sitting fifth down the
back side, but only 5 lengths off the pace. He put in his run at the 1/4 pole to reach contention, got fanned
wide again at the top of the lane, but finished courageously on his own to get second beaten a length and
a half by the favorite. This was his second start off a 3 month layoff, and he looks primed to run a
winning race for this condition in his next start. He had faced “open” allowance runners up at GGF last
Fall and was very competitive. Van Dyke handles him well and he is sitting on a victory.
VOCALIST (March 14): Four year old filly for Mark Glatt tried the starter allowance condition for non
winners twice at 6.5 furlongs on the main track in Saturday’s 4th event. Off at 4/1 in an 8 horse field, she
broke well from the 7 hole and tracked the dueling leaders just two lengths off the pace. On her own, she
went to the lead at the 1/4 pole and in this race, that was a bit too soon, as she was caught by a late runner
at the 1/8th pole and dueled gamely to the wire from the inside, beaten a head. This filly has run 4 times
now and has never been worst than second. She is all race horse and each race has shown improvement
over the other. Although not bred for two turns, she acts like she can get a mile. Either way, she can win
this starter allowance condition in the very near future. Watch for her in mid April.
GO WEST MARIE (March 14): Four year old filly for Eddie Truman tried the Irish O’Brien stakes on
Saturday at six and a half down the hill for state breds four and up. Off as the 7/5 wagering choice, she
settled in 4th down the hillside about 4 lengths off the lead. Stevens drove her to the rail at the top of the
lane, but that hole closed quickly and she was in no mans land with nowhere to go. He swing her to the
outside at the 1/8th pole and she was loaded, quickly drew clear to win by 3/4. Twice she had to check in
the lane and she was much the best in here. This was her third win in a row and all since Stevens became
her rider. She can go short or long and she is ready for “open” stakes company. She may come back in
the Grade 3 Las Cienegas on April 11 against open company, a race which is also down the hill, where
she has never missed the board in 5 trips. Be ready.
UPTOWN RYTHEM (March 15): Four year old colt for Carla Gaines made his third start of his brief
career in Sunday’s 4th, a 5.5 furlong dash on the main for maidens 3 and up in for a claiming price of
$40,000. This was his first start in the claiming ranks, and thus he went off at the 2/1 choice in a 9 horse
field. “Uptown” went right to the front out of the gate and set some fast fractions for the level in 21.76
and 44.81. He was collared at the 1/4 pole, but dug in deep down on the rail, and didn’t give it up till very
late, and was beaten a length. They paid $220k for him at Keeneland and this son of Speightstown has
turned out to be a disappointment so far. But this was just his third start and he can break his maiden at
this level, while he still has time to be a good race horse. His kind of speed is always dangerous. Should
get his diploma next time

News and Notes Mar. 17 – by Rod Young Turfdom

March 16th, 2015 by

The main track continues to play fair at the Great Race Place with a good mix of front runners and
off the pace horses winning the races. The turf course is playing fair now as well, and when they
move the inner rails out, as they always do on Thursday and Friday each week, the course is starting
to favor front runners. However, it usually comes down to how much speed is in the race and how
fast the pace is going to be. The temps have been “hot” as in the low nineties, both Saturday and
Sunday, but that will subside this week.
• They ran two graded stakes over the weekend and they were both for fillies and mares. Warren’s
Veneda ($5.00) continued to be razor sharp as she cruised to a 7 length win in the Grade 1 Santa
Margarita on Saturday, the signature race at the meet for fillies/mares. She has now won 3 in a row,
all dominating performances, and she may tackle the boys next in the Charles Town Classic in West
Virginia on April 18. What’s interesting about that race is that Hollendorfer may send Shared Belief
back East for that race as well. Honor Code, who just won the Gulfstream Handicap is also pointing
for that race and Richard Mandella is looking at that race for Catch a Flight, who was third in the
Big Cap, although well beaten by Shared Belief. On Sunday, eastern trainer Graham Motion saddled
3 runners in the Grade 2 Santa Ana stakes at 9 furlongs on the grass, and got one of them home
when Hoop of Colour got the money at $26.80. As it turned out there was very little speed in the
race, which compromised the late runners, and none of the wagering choices even hit the board. The
six furlong split was 1:13.73 which is very slow for this turf course, especially stakes horses. This
was the second straight stakes win for Drayden Van Dyke/Motion as they won with Ring Weekend
the previous Sunday.
• One of the most important aspects of handicapping is post position, and it’s one of the least issues
taken into consideration when players are breaking down a race. Every one concentrates on pace,
class, trainer, rider, conditions of the race, etc., but seldom is there enough emphasis on where the
horse is drawn in the starting gate. As Bill Shoemaker quoted long ago, way back in the late sixties,
“I want to be drawn outside going short and inside going long”. No truer words were ever spoken.
For example, through 12 weeks of the meet, there has not been a single winner from the one hole at
five and a half furlongs, a distance used quite often. Going into this past weekend, coming down the
hill at 6.5 furlongs, the rail post was 3/51 with two of the winners being heavy favorites. However,
there was one winner from the rail on both Saturday and Sunday to bring the total to 5/55, still only
9% winners. Just about everyone knows drawing the rail post at six or six and a half furlongs on the
main track is the kiss of death. The rider either has to “send” their horse from the rail, and use up
precious energy early, or risk being shuffled back as the field comes over on them after leaving the
gate. However, going two turns, the rail is a good spot, especially on the grass at a mile or a mile
and a sixteenth. That post has won 20% of the races on the grass this meet. Food for thought.
• On the jockey front, Mike Smith became the 4th leading rider of all time in the history of the sport
in earnings, with his third place finish in the Santa Margarita on Saturday. He trails John Velasquez,
Pat Day, and Jerry Bailey in that category, all eastern riders. His mounts have won over $264
million to show that he really is the “money” rider. Corey Nakatani, the best grass rider on the
circuit, went down in a spill Sunday in the fifth race, and probably has a broken collarbone. He
should know as he has broken it 3 times before in his career. Nakatani is on this year’s Hall of Fame
• On Friday morning, California Chrome worked 7/8 at Los Al in a fast 123.80 and is dead fit for the
trip to Dubai. The World Cup is run March 28 for a $10 million purse. There is no Lasix and no
“Bute” allowed for the race, so he better be dead fit.

Horses to Watch Mar. 10 – by Rod Young Turfdom

March 9th, 2015 by

SPANISH QUEEN (March 5): Three year old Tribal Rule filly made her debut in Thursday’s 5th event
at a flat mile on the turf for maiden special weights which are Cal bred. Bet heavy in late wagering, she
ended up going off the 2/1 favorite in this 8 horse field, and didn’t disappoint with a terrific turn of foot at
the top of the lane and won off by 7 in impressive fashion. She did have one sparkling 5/8 move prior to
this race but the rest of her drills were on the slow side. She is bred top and bottom for the turf and she
will not have any trouble with the first allowance condition as long as they stay with Cal breds, and I’m
sure they will. She’s a solid “single” in her next trip to the post for a barn that continues to be red hot.
BIG TIRE (March 7): Four year old gelding for Mark Glatt made his 2015 debut in Saturday’s 5th after
being off since last August. This was a first allowance sprint at six and a half on the main track. Off at
24/1 in a very “salty” affair, “Tire” settled in 9th down the back side about 8 lengths off the pace. He
started to move at the 1/4 pole, came 7 wide into the lane, and was closing strongly on the extreme
outside to finish second, beaten a length at the wire to the 2/1 favorite. “Tire” is a two turn horse through
and through, and his connections had to be happy with this return to the races. He tried stakes company
as a 3 year old and although that was too tough, he is definitely a player for the first condition. Glatt
should have no problem finding the right spot in the near future.
KOBE’S BACK (March 7): Named for the brilliant Los Angeles Lakers guard, Kobe Bryant, who is
not back, this 4 year old colt for Peter Eurton is BACK. Coming off a 7 month layoff, “Kobe” picked a
difficult spot in the Grade 2 San Carlos stakes at 7 furlongs on Saturday. Off at 6/1 in a 7 horse field, he
laid off the lead down the back side on the outside, but was never more than 4 lengths off the pace. He
put in a good run on the outside turning for home, stayed with it through the lane, and was only beat three
parts of a length at the wire to a Grade 2 winner in Wild Dude. “Kobe” himself did win a Grade 2 as a 3
year old when in the John Sadler barn, and this was his first race for Eurton. He is a late running sprinter
all the way and Eurton will have plenty of options for this talented colt. “Kobe” is back!!
MEINERTZHAGENI (March 8): This 4 year old filly has a difficult name to pronounce but she is very
sharp these days. Coming off a $40,000 claim for Peter Miller, he jumped her all the way up to a Grade 3
stakes on Sunday, and she nearly pulled it off. Off at 5/1 in just a six horse field, she broke well leaving
the gate, as all sharp horses do, settled in third down the back side, rallied to the front at the top of the
lane, but couldn’t hold off a late runner out in the middle of the track. She was beaten just a length at the
wire. This filly is still eligible for the second allowance condition plus she can contend in many Cal bred
stakes. She is pretty much limited to sprints, but the Miller barn has lots of options for a filly with 4 wins
and has hit the board in 9 trips to the post from 15 starts. Tab and follow.

News and Notes Mar. 10 – by Rod Young Turfdom

March 9th, 2015 by

The main track continues to play fair at the Great Race Place with a good mix of front runners and
off the pace horses winning the races. And now the turf course is playing fair as well after many
weeks of favoring off the pace runners. The weather has been absolutely perfect with summer
conditions, and that trend will continue this week as well. The track is running 6% ahead of last year
in on track attendance and 6% ahead of last year in overall handle. On track wagering is down 1%,
but that doesn’t tell the whole story, as many players wager through their phones at the track and
don’t go to the windows.
• They only got 26,134 through the wickets on Saturday (they were hoping for 30,000 plus), but the
fans that did attend saw some great horse racing. Shared Belief easily won the Big Cap by 4 lengths
at 1/5 ($2.60) and was geared down the final sixteenth by Mike Smith. He totally outclassed this 13
horse field and Moreno ran a “gutty” race to hold on for second. “Belief” received a 111 Beyer for
the race and that was the second highest of his career (he had a 115 last summer at Del Mar winning
the Pacific Classic). He came out of the race fine and will point toward the Oaklawn Handicap next
in Arkansas in mid April, and then the Met Mile on Belmont stakes day June 4. He has now won 10
of 11 races in his career, all 3 at Santa Anita this season, and his career earnings are now over $2.9
million. Two Eastern shippers ran 1-2 in the other Grade 1 Saturday, the Kilroe Mile on the turf,
with Ring Weekend getting the money at $17.40. The rider was Drayden Van Dyke, and the 20 year
old won his first Grade 1 in the Mile. Summer Front was second under Espinoza. In the Grade 2 San
Felipe for 3 year olds with an eye on the Kentucky Derby, Dortmund made it five for five with a
relatively easy wire to wire victory for Baffert as the 4/5 choice. The improving Prospect Park was
second and Bolo ran third. All 3 will run next in the Santa Anita Derby on April 4 including Ocho
Ocho Ocho, who had a very rough trip Saturday and finished well back. The winning time was
1:41.65 and Dortmund looks like the one to beat right now in both the Santa Anita Derby and the
Run for the Roses a month later. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who is leading the meet in victories, got
his second graded stakes of the day with Wild Dude winning the Grade 2 San Carlos at 7 furlongs
on the main track under Bejarano. The Dude was the second choice in the wagering and paid $5.80
in the good time of 1:21.91. Only beaten 3/4 of a length was the come backing Kobe’s Back, and he
made our Horse to Watch list for his effort.
• There are 3 graded stakes this weekend with Grade 1 Santa Margarita headlining the list for
fillies/mares at 9 furlongs on the main track. The contenders for the race will be Warren’s Veneda,
Thegirlinthatsong, Legacy, Yahilwa, Frivolous, and the eastern shippers, Cassat and Dame Dorothy.
Should be a good race and it appears wide open, as the local contingent is a bit weak this year. Also
on Saturday will be the Irish O’Brien stakes for older fillies/mares, which are Cal breds, coming
down the hill at six and a half furlongs. It’s a female weekend with the Grade 2 Santa Ana stakes at 9
furlongs on the grass for Sunday, and you guessed it, for fillies and mares.
• Trainer A.C. Avila, who was handed down a six month suspension and a $10,000 fine, for overuse
of a tranquilizer last March with one of his horses, has decided not to appeal the ruling. Masochistic,
(the horse in question) who has turned out to be one fast race horse, has been transferred over to Ron
Ellis. Avila set up a nice betting coup last Spring, by holding back Masochistic in his debut, with the
help of tranquilizers and the jockey, then sending him to Churchill Downs where he won by 9
lengths with a 93 Beyer for start #2. Avila says he will spend the six months vacationing in South
America and Europe, probably with all the money he won with the betting coup.

Horses to Watch Mar. 4 – by Rod Young Turfdom

March 2nd, 2015 by

JOES BLAZING AARON (February 27): 7 year old gelding for Jeff Mullins made his first start in 4
months in Friday’s 7th race, a second condition allowance race at 10 furlongs on the turf. Off at 5/1 in a
9 horse field, “Joe” set sizzling fractions for the distance of 22.45, 45.67, and 1:09.79 for 3/4, and led by
4 down the back stretch. He re-broke again at the 1/8th pole and still had the lead by 3, but the fast
fractions caught up with him, and two late runners nailed him just before the wire. He was beaten a little
over a length but it was a superb effort for being gone 4 months. He has already won this condition back
in Florida in the Spring, so he runs for the optional claiming price of $62,500. He can win running
shorter if necessary, and Mullins has lots of options with this turf runner who has won over $400k in his
career. This barn is off to a very slow start this meet and maybe this guy will give them a lift. Follow.
THE MAN (February 28): Baffert had his second string out in Saturday’s sixth event, a maiden special
weight race at a mile and a sixteenth for three year olds. Baffert saddled three in the race and only one hit
the board, although they were the three betting choices. The Man was the 6/5 favorite with Bejarano up
but proved he wanted no part of two turns. He broke a step slow, settled in fifth down the back side,
moved into to contention at the 1/4 pole, then readily threw in the towel at the top of the lane. Bejarano
did not abuse him down the lane and he finished 7th beaten 7 lengths. He had the blinkers off today and
raced rather sluggishly. Look for Baffert to put the blinkers back on and return him to a sprint in start
number 4. He is still very capable of beating maiden special weights sprinting on the main track.
RATTATAPTAP (February 28): Three year old filly for Jeff Bonde tried the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel
stakes for 3 year old fillies going two turns on the main track Saturday. Off at 5/1 in a field reduced to 7
with two scratches, “Tap” broke awkwardly from the gate, then was rushed up into the first turn, checked
twice as Bejarano had her up on another horse’s heels, then stood up on her, unable to ride her for a good
furlong. She was totally used up by the quarter pole, fell back to last, and was beaten 16 lengths at the
wire in a horrible trip. This daughter of Tapit is a quality filly and has ran two very good sprints. Look
for Bonde to return her to the sprint game and just draw a line through this race. Tab and follow.
SADIE CLARE (March 1): Three year old filly for Phil D’Amato made her debut in Sunday’s 4th race,
a maiden special weight sprint for Cal breds on the main track. Off at 7/1 in a 10 horse field, she
completely missed the start and found herself 20 lengths back of the leaders at the half mile pole. Talamo
got her motoring at the 1/4 pole and she made up 17 of those lengths by the time they hit the wire. Plus
she was 5 and 6 wide the entire trip. She had decent drills coming into the race and was 4/1 on White’s
morning line. She is bred to win early, and with a average start this grey filly will be in the winner’s
circle, next to the bottle of Grey Goose, in the very near

News and Notes Mar. 4 – by Rod Young Turfdom

March 2nd, 2015 by

The main track continues to play fair at the Great Race Place with a good mix of front runners and
off the pace horses winning the races. It generally depends on how a race sets up regarding pace and
that’s the way it should be. The turf course has been favoring closers most of the meet but that
changed some this past week as a number of runners were able to win on the front end. There was a
70% chance of rain on both Saturday and Sunday, but the rains held off both days until the racing
had been concluded. The turf course was rated good Sunday but should be back to firm this week.
The weather forecast is very good for the big weekend of racing coming up.
• During the winter/spring meet at Santa Anita they have 3 large, outstanding days with quality fields
of racing. The first is opening day each year December 26. The second is this Saturday, Big Cap
Day, with 4 graded stakes. The third day is Derby Day, for the Santa Anita Derby April 4. The
premier race this Saturday is of course, the Santa Anita Handicap with a $1 million purse. When
they put that much money on the table, you would think they would draw a quality field. But it looks
like Hollendorfer’s Shared Belief has scared away the competition. They will have 10 go postward,
but other than the favorite, the rest of the field is made up of allowance horses. In fact one of the
entries is 1/66 in his career and is eligible for a non winners of two race. Unless the 125 lb. impost
on Shared Belief is an issue, and it probably won’t be, this may just be a workout for the #1 handicap
horse in the country. California Chrome should be in the race and his trainer knows it, but Sherman
just trains the horse, he doesn’t own him. The owners are going for the really big money over in
Dubai on March 28 and I’ll bet it turns out to be a mistake. I don’t think he will win the race, it will
knock the horse out, and Chrome will never be the same the rest of the year. That’s a shame, but
that’s what happens when the owners override the trainer. Jockey Mike Smith will be on Shared
Belief and will be shooting for his third consecutive Big Cap victory. He has won the last two
runnings with Game On Dude. In the history of the race, going back to 1935, no jockey has ever
won this race 3 times in a row. Johnny Longdon, Bill Shoemaker, Gary Stevens, and Corey Nakatani
have all won back to back runnings. The really good competitive races will be the San Felipe for 3
year olds on the main track at a mile and a sixteenth and then the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile for older
runners on the grass. Although Baffert shied away from Shared Belief with Hoppertunity, he is
running the undefeated Dortmund in the San Felipe. That field has come up strong with the
undefeated Ocho Ocho Ocho, the talented turf runner Bolo, the fast improving Prospect Park,
Mandella’s improving Pain and Misery, and Baffert’s other talented 3 year old, Lord Nelson. That is
a race worth watching and worth wagering on. Dortmund will go favored but he is far from a lock.
Chitu heads up the field for the Grade 2 San Carlos, also on Saturday, at 7 furlongs on the main
track for older runners.
• Trainer A.C. Avila was handed down a 60 day suspension and a $10,000 fine this past week by the
California Horse Racing Board when one of his horses, Masochistic, tested in excess of a
tranquilizer way back in March of last year. Masochistic is a very fast sprinter and won the second
allowance condition this past Saturday. This was without a doubt set up as a betting coup by the
trainer, as he purposely held the horse back in his debut, then sent him to Churchill Downs on Derby
Day and run off to win by 10 with a 93 Beyer. Avila says he will appeal the suspension, but I think
this is one time where the trainer will have to pay the price for his actions.
• On a sad note, former jockey Jerry Lambert passed away at age 74 while working at the Magali
Farms Ranch in the Santa Ynez valley. He was one of the great riders on this circuit in the sixties
and seventies, and was the regular rider for the great Native Diver, the first Cal bred to earn $1
million dollars. He was nicknamed “Clyde” and other than Bill Shoemaker, he had the softest hands
in the business and horses just ran for him. He was the leading rider at Del Mar in 67, Santa Anita in
both 67 and 68, and at Oak Tree in 1972. I cashed many a ticket with “Clyde” in the irons.

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