October 20th, 2014 by John Scheidt
TAMARANDO (October 18): Three year old colt for Jerry Hollendorfer, who had been off since April,
made his comeback Saturday in the California Flag Handicap for older horses sprinting down the hill
which are Cal Breds. In a race reduced to just 4 runners due to late scratches, this son of Bertrando got a
good prep in under his belt running a solid second to the 3/5 favorite Boozer, who is a course specialist.
Being fresh, he showed more speed early on in the race than normal, but he finished up well down the
lane and will probably be stretched our for his next encounter. He is a Grade 1 winner on the poly track
at Del Mar as a two year old, and you can bet that the “Dorf” will try and find a stakes spot for him in the
upcoming 4 week Fall meet. He has hidden turf breeding as well (Bertrando/Skywalker) so he can handle
any surface. One for the stable watch in November.
PAULINA’S LOVE (October 18): Two year old filly for George Papaprodromou made her debut in
Saturday’s sixth event, a mile on the turf. Off at 6/1 in a 10 horse field, she settled in mid-pack down the
back stretch, moved to contention at the 1/4 pole, then swung wide into the lane and rallied gamely down
the stretch to run second to a wire to wire winner. It was a very good race for a first time starter as it is
very difficult to win going long first time out. She brought $100k at the Ocala 2 year old sale, is a kin to
4 winners, plus a full to a winner of $220,000, so she is cut out to be a nice filly. She should be able to
get her diploma next time out and let’s hope Nakatani takes the mount again, as she will only improve off
of this race.
DEMONICA (October 19): Three year old filly for John Sadler decided to try something new with this
daughter of First Defence, and in Sunday’s opener, he sent her two turns for the first time and on the
grass for the first time. She zipped right to the front under Joe Talamo, with a quick 1st quarter in 22.83,
slowed them down on the backside with a half in 46.92, then shut the door on them with a fast last
quarter in 23.63 to win by six going away in this Cal Bred maiden event at a mile on the lawn. This was
her fifth career start, second this year, and she had only hit the board once in 4 sprint attempts. But she
has hidden turf breeding (Unbridled’s Song) on the bottom, and she really took to turf racing. Off this
race, she will be very tough against winners for the first allowance condition and will still retain some
decent wagering value. Watch for her in the entries at Del Mar.
SUVA HARBOR (October 19): Two year old filly for underrated trainer David Hofmans made her
second career start in Sunday’s 7th, a maiden special weight event at 5 and a half on the main track. Off
at 6/1 in a full field, she unfortunately caught a monster from the Callaghan barn, (Windy Forecast), and
she was soundly beaten by 3 at the wire, but she ran a good race and it’s just a matter of time before she
breaks her maiden at this level. She ran second in her debut over at Los Al and she has the type of
breeding to run long (Rockport Harbor). Don’t be surprised if Hofmans stretches her out for start number
3 and if he does, she’ll be long gone on the front end. She looks to have a good future.
October 20th, 2014 by John Scheidt
Racing this past week was short on both quality and quantity, with many short fields, and some
races that fit better at Ferndale or Grants Pass, than a place that is going to host the Breeders Cup in
less than two weeks. Current form held very well over the weekend with the highest price on Sunday,
just $9.60 out of 9 races. The pick six came back at a paltry $3282, which probably made many of
the 10,000 in attendance quite happy. Santa Anita was not the place to be for long shot players over
the weekend. Of course there are only so many horses, and the good ones are being saved for
October 31 and November 1 where they will offer 20 stakes races over two days. 13 of those 20
races will be the Breeders Cup, but that still leaves 7 other stakes races that will have some awfully
nice horses along with some pretty full fields. Even the two allowance races that are scheduled for
Friday will offer purses of $75,000 for the first condition instead of the normal $58,000. It really
will be a “bonanza” of wagering opportunities.
• For the first time since the meet began, back on September 26, has there been a true speed bias on
the main track, and that developed this past Thursday, and stayed there Friday and most of Saturday.
The track Superintendent is very cognizant of any bias that may occur and tries to rectify it
overnight, but that didn’t happen this past week. Let’s just hope the track plays fair for the two days
of the Breeders Cup, it hasn’t in the past. In 2012 there was a strong “speed bias” both days and last
year the same thing occurred on Friday, but they got it right for Saturday. The fans, the owners, and
the trainers deserve a “fair” race track for the two most important days of racing. Meanwhile, the
turf course continues to play fair, regardless of where the inner rails are placed, and lately they have
been keeping them out 30 feet, as they will be again this Thursday and Friday, and saving the inside
for the two Cup days.
• This week will be another 4 day week of racing, but the following week will be 5 days and that will
include Wednesday the 28th. We will have a “sheet” out for that day. The five day week leads up to
the Breeders Cup and the reason for Wednesday is to try and entice interest for racing. As always,
the best two days of racing in the sport ends with the “Classic” on Saturday, and as of now, they will
have 15 entries for the race, with only 14 allowed for the 10 furlongs on the main track. The 3 year
olds will get most of the wagering with Shared Belief and California Chrome getting most of the
attention. But “Belief” comes out of a very hard race right here at Anita just 3 weeks ago, and that
race could very well have knocked him out. Chrome just isn’t as good as he was in the Spring, and
he proved that in the Pennsylvania Derby. Tonalist is the “now” horse, and if he gets a fair track, I
think he’s the winner. If the track is speed biased, like it has been the last two years, then they won’t
catch Bayern. He’s faster than Big Cazanova and Moreno and although he’s not a true mile and a
quarter horse, the bias will keep him going. In the Distaff, Beholder spiked a fever this week and the
favorite is out of the race. I don’t think they beat the 3 year old sensation Untapable in this event for
trainer Steve Asmussen. I think Big Macher can spring an upset in the Sprint as Richard Baltas is
bringing this former $20,000 claimer up to this race in peak condition. He worked 5/8 on Sunday in
58.60 and is ready. Goldencents and Rich Tapestry are deserving favorites for this race. Private
Zone, who won the Grade 1 Vosburgh in New York the last two years, worked 1:09.40 on Sunday
and is also targeted for the Sprint, but that work is way too fast this close to the race.
• Some horses you may not be familiar with, yet they will be strong contenders in the Breeders Cup
races are as follows. Toronado ships in from England for trainer Rich Hannon Jr. and will be a major
player in the mile and half turf race. Also Flintshire and Telescope will be major players in the one
mile Turf race. Hootenanny for trainer Wesley Ward will be a major player in the one mile Juvenile
Turf, and he is shipping in from France. Ward also has Sunset Glow coming in from Kentucky, and
she will be stacked up against Her Emmynency in the one mile Juvenile Fillies Turf. Should be fun.
October 14th, 2014 by John Scheidt
RED MYSTIC (October 9): Two year old Decarchy filly for Ed Moger Jr. tried two turns for just her
second career start in Thursday’s opener for Cal Bred maiden special weights at a flat mile. Off at 22/1 in
just a six horse field, she had a pretty rough trip as she lugged out badly into the first turn, went six wide,
and just about ran herself right out of the race. She regrouped down the back side, moved up to 4th only 4
lengths back of the leader, then put in a move to reach contention at the 1/4 pole, but had nothing left
from there. Delgadillo just hand rode her down the lane and she checked in 4th beaten 10 lengths. This
filly has some ability but she probably needs a claiming price to break her maiden on this circuit. If
Moger elects to run her for a tag, she can score, and will probably retain good wagering value. Certainly
one to keep an eye on in the next couple of months.
ETHNIC DANCE (October 10): Four year old colt for John Sadler tried the second allowance
condition on Friday at 9 furlongs on the grass for 3 and up. In a race void of little speed, he looked like a
good play, but unfortunately he stumbled leaving the gate and veered to the right from his outside post.
Now he had to be “used” to make the lead and this would cost him later in the race. He did make the lead
with a fairly quick first quarter and was able to slow down the pace on the back side. When the favorite
came to him at the top of the lane, he dug in gamely and fought him to the wire, but his poor start came
back to haunt him and he was beaten a length at 9/2. With a better start he can win this condition and he
has some back class to boot as he won the Del Mar Derby as a three year old. The Sadler barn is ice cold
right now, but they have too many good horses to stay cold for very long. I can see this colt winning at
Del Mar in their 4 week Fall session. Be ready!!
RASPBERRY ALA MODE (October 12): Three year old gelding for Hector Palma made his second
career start in Sunday’s second race, a bottom level affair of maiden claimers at 7 furlongs for $20,000.
These races bring out some of the worst horses stabled at Santa Anita, but a gem may have come out of
this race as “Raspberry” blitzed this field by 12 widening lengths under Kayla Stra at 7/2. He broke
running from the 11 hole and took the lead through fractions of 22.60 and 45.45, opened up by six at the
top of the lane, went 3/4 in a fast 1:09.30, and won in hand. He tipped his mitt with a bullet 46.8 drill on
Sept. 28 which was the best of the day from 58 workers at that distance. You won’t see this one in for a
tag now and off this race, he can handle a starter allowance field, non winners twice. Tab and follow.
HENNYTHELOVEPENNY (October 12): Two year old filly for Peter Miller made her third career
start in Sunday’s 7th, a 7 furlong sprint on the main for maiden special weights. Off at 28/1 in a full field,
she broke among the early leaders and battled for the lead on a pretty brisk pace with two others, put
them away at the 1/4 pole, then just eased clear of the field to win by six going away. There were some
awfully nice fillies behind her in this race and her first two starts were in maiden claimers at Del Mar,
hence the long odds today. The difference was the race track, as she just couldn’t handle the synthetic
track down South, but trained like a different filly on real dirt. Based on the fact she hated Del Mar,
Miller probably won’t race her back until the winter meet here in December. She’s one to put on your
stable watch for later on.
October 14th, 2014 by John Scheidt
After 3 weeks of racing on the “El Segundo Sand”, the track continues to play very fair. Most of the
winners on Monday were either on the lead or very close to it, but that was the first day that has
happened in the last two weeks. The turf course is also playing fair, even when the rails are moved
out to 30 feet, where they will be this Thursday and Friday. If a horse gets an uncontested lead on
this course now, he/she is gone.
• With all of the Breeders Cup preps already run, the stakes schedule is very light these days at the
Great Race Place. They do have $100 granders on the weekends but they are not graded stakes. The
hillside course draws the headlines this weekend with the California Flag stakes down the hill for
older Cal Breds on Saturday and then the Uniformity Stakes for 3 year olds on Sunday.
• Familiar names top the jockey and trainer standings after 3 weeks with Bejarano leading the riders
with 13 victories. Elvis Trujillo won 4 on Monday to tie Joe Talamo for second with 11 and then
Tyler Baze rounds out the top four with 10 wins. Jerry Hollendorfer won two on Monday and tops
the trainers with 8 victories, closely followed by Bob Baffert with 7. Mike Puype is third with 5
wins. Jockey Kent Desormeaux is still taking it day to day with his return to the saddle after being
kicked by a horse two weeks ago, although he is walking/riding without pain. Jockey Fernando
Perez has a new agent in Tommy Ball after breaking off with Vince DeGregory.
• Barring the unforeseen, the first four favorites for the Breeders Cup Classic this year will be 3 year
olds, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen before. Shared Belief, California Chrome, Tonalist,
and Bayern would top the list, although Bayern may run in the Mile at this point. All 4 worked this
past weekend. Tonalist went an easy 5/8 at Belmont, all by his lonesome, in 1:03.16. Bayern went
much faster at Santa Anita with 5/8 in 58.40, California Chrome zipped 5/8 at Los Alamitos in 59
and change, while S.B worked a half at GGF. Big Macher, a sleeper in the Sprint, went 3/4 in
1:11.40 and galloped out a mile in 1:38 for Richard Baltas. He really likes this track and will run big
in the Sprint. Tapiture is at Santa Anita for Steve Asmussen and worked 5/8 in 59.20. He will be
double entered in both the Mile and the Classic. Two time Grade 1 winner Iotapa worked 5/8 for
Sadler in 1:00.40 and is targeting the B.C Distaff along with Beholder, who will have his most
serious drill this weekend. Baffert’s Tiz Midnight, who is also going in the Distaff, went 5/8 in 59.80.
• Two time Horse of the Year and two time B.C. Turf Mile winner, Wise Dan, has been retired due to
a fracture of his right front cannon bone. He is 4/4 this year and was aiming for a three peat in the
Mile. He had a filling in his ankle and x-rays revealed the fracture on Monday. He is 7 years old
now and has nothing left to prove in his career, as he has done it all.
• Trainer Art Sherman, the 77 year old trainer of California Chrome, will receive the “Mr. Fitz” award
on October 29 in Arcadia. The award is given by the National Turf Writers in honor of the legendary
trainer “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons, for someone who “typifies the spirit of racing.” Jay Privman of
the Daily Racing Form will MC the program which will be held at the Derby Restaurant near Santa
Anita in Arcadia. Tickets are $100 per person, including dinner. All are invited.
October 6th, 2014 by John Scheidt
COMANCHE RULER (October 3): Two year old colt for Adam Kitchingman is vastly underrated but
he ran another good race on Friday in the first allowance condition sprinting on the main track for Cal
Breds. Off at 29/1 in just a 7 horse field, he broke on top, then settled in off the pace from the outside
post. Made a nice bid turning for home, dug in gamely down the lane, but could not hold off at the 3/2
favorite late. He got beat a length in another fine effort which was just his third career start. With his
speed he will always be dangerous and has learned how to rate as well. He’ll find a group he can beat in
the near future and clear this condition. Being a son of Tribal Rule, he should be able to turf as well, and
always seems to be a good price at the windows. Tab and follow.
SKY MEGA (October 3): Three year old filly for Victor Garcia made her debut in Friday’s sixth event,
a sprint for maiden special weights at 3/4 of a mile on the main track for maiden special weights 3 and
up. Off at 10/1 in a 9 horse field, she broke on top from the outside post, but then took back a bit for the
first quarter mile. She engaged for the lead again at the 3/8 pole and then went head and head for the lead
until the top of the stretch. There she put away the other speed, dug in gamely down the lane and just got
nailed very late in the closing strides, beaten a head. They paid $80k for her at the Keeneland two year
old sale and she is by the win quick sire, Sky Mesa. She’s been patiently handled by the underrated
Garcia barn and she won’t be a maiden for very long. Watch for this one in the entries before the meet is
JIMMY BOUNCER (October 4): Three year old colt for the soon to be suspended Doug O’Neill ran
lights out in start #2 for owner/breeder J. Paul Reddam. After breaking his maiden in gutty fashion in his
debut, this Cal Bred was sent off at 7/2 in this 6 furlong sprint allowance on the main track for Cal Breds.
He broke running and set all of the fractions while being pushed most of the way by a long shot on his
outside, put him away turning for home, then found another gear to win by 5 in 1:08.62 over a “glib” race
track. His fractions were 21.80, 44.50, 56.38. He shut the door on his competition with a final quarter in
24.12 and did it stylishly, and it was just his second career start. He may be able to tackle State bred
stakes competition off this race and this son of Square Eddie looks to have a nice future. Not sure when
O’Neill’s suspension will start, so he may be racing under the assistant, Leandro Mora, next time to the
post. Be ready!!
RED BUTTON (October 5): Two year old colt for Mark Glatt tried 3 new things in the Zuma Beach
stakes for 2 year olds on Sunday and ran a bang up second at 9/1. He tried turf for the first time, two
turns for the first time, and wore blinkers for the first time. He settled in 4th down the back side in this 10
horse field, moved to the leader at the 1/4 pole from the inside, then battled gamely down the lane with
the 5/2 second choice and was beaten 2 lengths in a much improved effort. He showed he likes the turf
and he has the right style to score somewhere in the near future. They paid $260k for him at the
Keeneland yearling sale so he is pretty well thought of by his Washington owners. Tab and follow.
October 6th, 2014 by John Scheidt
In spite of the very “hot” temperatures at Santa Anita over the weekend, the main track called “El
Segundo Sand”, played very fair, with horses winning from on and off the pace. On Saturday the
inside was very good with most of the winners coming from the inside post positions. With the
Santa Ana winds sweeping in from off the desert, the track played a good 3 to 4 lengths faster than
normal, with many sprinters running 1:08 and change, a number normally reserved for stakes type
runners. The turf course also is very fast and very firm. The course has played fair through two
weeks of the meet regardless of the placement of the inner rails.
• They ran three graded stakes on Saturday with the Grade 1 Sprint Championship at 6 furlongs
topping the card. The Hong Kong invader, Rich Tapestry, pulled off the upset, coming from just off
the pace and nailing the 4/5 favorite, Goldencents, right at the wire in a very quick 1:07.57.
“Tapestry” will stay here and train up to the Breeders Cup Sprint for Chinese trainer, Michael Chang.
The Grade 2 City of Hope Mile on the grass for older runners came up very soft, with Big Bane
Theory getting the money as the wagering choice at $7.60. The top 3 milers on the circuit,
Obviously, Tom’s Tribute, and Silentio, sat out the race and are training up to the Breeders Cup Mile.
“Theory” won by a length and a half in very fast time, 1:32.38, but he may not go in the Cup as he
would be quite a long price in spite of this victory. Jerry Hollendorfer’s sprinter/miler Top Kisser,
took the other graded event on the card winning the Grade 3 L.A. Woman by 4 lengths as the second
choice in the wagering. The favorite, the undefeated Stopshoppingdebbie, ran a very disappointing
fifth and bled through the Lasix. Her career may be over, so says Tom Wenzel, her trainer who had
her 9/9 at Emerald Downs including 8 consecutive stakes. There were no graded stakes on Sunday,
but 2 year olds got a chance at stakes money on the turf with the Zuma Beach for colts and the
Surfer Girl for fillies, both at a mile on the lawn. Luck of the Kitten easily won the colts division at
$7.40 and will go in the Juvenile Turf on October 31. However, the one to watch is the filly winner,
Her Emmynency, who won handily by 3 and was very impressive. She should be very tough in the
Filly Juvenile on the same day.
• A very light stakes program set up for this coming weekend but there will be 5 days of racing, with
special Holiday racing on Monday the 13th, Columbus Day. Two year olds will go six furlongs for
$100 grand in the Speakeasy Stakes. On Saturday, older fillies/mares will sprint down the hill for
$100 grand in the California Distaff Stakes limited to Cal Breds.
• Trainer Doug O’Neill got nailed again and has started a 45 day suspension courtesy of the New York
gaming commission. He was nailed with a medication violation dating back to June of last year and
was fined $10,000 as well. Since June of 2009 he has had 18 medication violations against him. He
of course denies any wrong doing but that’s a lot of violations even though he has a very large stable.
Generally where there’s smoke, there’s some fire. His assistant, Leandro Mora, will take over the
stable and the horses will be listed in his name on the program beginning this week.
• Top rider Kent Desormeaux has been sidelined for a month or so to recover from injuries and 5
broken ribs when he was kicked by a horse in the post parade a week ago Sunday. He is recovering
well and was at Clockers Corner over the weekend. The protective vest he was wearing saved his
life as he got nailed right in the chest by a horse’s hoof.
September 30th, 2014 by John Scheidt
MEDICINE BUTTE (Sept. 26): Two year old filly for Robertino Diodoro made her debut in Friday’s
third event for Cal Bred maiden special weights in a full field at 6.5 furlongs on the main. Off at 13/1,
she broke running and set some awfully fast fractions for a two year old filly of 21.81 and 44.72.
Although the main track was very fast on opening day, she kept right on running even though she was
corralled by the second choice at the top of the lane. She got beat a half at the wire but was very game
down on the inside through the entire stretch. This one is bred to win early and it won’t be long before
she’s in the winners circle right here at this track. Tab and follow.
CALCULATOR (Sept. 27): Two year old maiden colt for Peter Miller tried the Grade 1 Frontrunner
Stakes on Saturday against Baffert’s odds on favorite American Pharoah going two turns. Off at 12/1 in
an 8 horse field reduced by two due to late scratches, Calculator, breaking from the 10 hole, took a quick
right hand turn right out of the gate and quickly spotted the field 3 lengths. He righted himself and was in
contention early into the clubhouse turn, but got caught 4 wide. He stayed back in 4th down the back
side, but the heavy favorite was on an easy lead which he took all the way to the wire. Calculator made a
big move turning for home and stayed with the favorite till the 1/8th pole, but that was it. He settled for
second beaten 3.5 lengths. Considering the trip, he would have been right there with Pharoah at the wire.
Being still a maiden, Miller has many options, but this one is a runner and he’ll be in the winner’s circle
some time in the near future.
BULLWINKLE BABE (Sept. 28): Two year old filly for Mike Machowsky made her third career start
in Sunday’s 2nd event and first around two turns at a flat mile on the main track for a $40,000 tag. Off at
5/1 in a 10 horse field, she zipped right to the front from the #1 post under Maldonado, set fast fractions
for a two year old filly, of 22.94 and 46.72, and didn’t really tire until very late in the race. The 3/5
favorite caught her at the top of the lane and she easily won off by five, but “Bullwinkle” stuck to her
guns pretty well down the lane, and it was a good six lengths back to the third horse. Her sire, The
Pamplemousse, hasn’t done much yet, but they are best at two turns, and this filly woke up today with her
first chance going long. She’s no world beater, but she can break her maiden as long as they keep her
around two turns and running for a claiming tag. Worth following for the next couple of months.
DADDY’S DUO (Sept. 28): Two year old filly for Keith Desormeaux made her 4th career start in
Sunday’s 6th event, a bottom level claimer sprinting on the main track for $30,000. Off at 3/5 as the
heavy favorite, she broke running just outside the rail horse, and they went head and head to the 1/4 pole.
“Daddy” put away her foe at that point and then just opened up on her competition to win going away by
12 open lengths and the jock, brother Kent, never moved a muscle in the lane. This was her first time on
the dirt, and couple that with the drop in class, she was a different filly today. The barn has many options
available now and they will probably try some type of allowance race to protect her. Wherever they go,
she can win right back. Watch for her in the entries.
September 30th, 2014 by John Scheidt
As advertised, the newly renovated dirt surface at Santa Anita known as “El Segundo Sand”, was an
instant success. The surface played fair all 3 race days this past week, the times were good but not
overly fast, and the trainers are happy with the “bounce” the surface provides. The turf course started
off favoring late closers on Friday but speed held up much better over the weekend, and this was
with the inner rails drawn all the way in. So both surfaces are playing “fair” and that’s all any punter
can expect from this game.
• They ran five Grade 1 stakes at the Great Race Place on Saturday and Hall of Fame trainers won 4
of the 5. The one they didn’t win was the Chandelier for two year old fillies and Todd Pletcher will
be in the Hall in the near future. Hollendorfer got the Awesome Again with Shared Belief, Mandella
got the Zenyatta with Beholder, Mott got the Rodeo Drive with Emollient, and Baffert won the
Frontrunner with American Pharaoh. All 4 winners were the favorites in the wagering. When the
dust had settled, all the talk was about Shared Belief staying unbeaten and winning the Awesome
Again stakes in spite of the “mugging” that took place. Jockey Victor Espinoza (California Chrome
fame) went after the undefeated S.B. right out of the gate and parked him 5 wide into the first turn
and kept him 5 to 6 wide all the way down the back side, while his stable mate, Fed Biz, was having
an easy time on the lonely lead. It looked like Baffert had set this up to make sure S.B. couldn’t win
this race under any circumstances, of course he denied this after the race. But good horses overcome
trouble, and Shared Belief is an outstanding animal. He still overcame the extremely wide trip and
got the money, but the race will take it’s toll. This is the kind of race that can knock a small horse
out, and Belief was dead tired on his way back to the barn. Espinoza said it was just good race riding
but the Stewards saw it differently. They suspended the rider for 7 days. I don’t think Belief can
recover in 5 weeks and be at the top of his game for the B.C. Classic, and with “Chrome” off his
game as well, it looks like an Eastern horse may well win the big one on November 1. Tonalist and
Zivo are on their way.
• American Pharoah easily won the Frontrunner for two year olds and he’s the real deal. I don’t think
they can beat him in the Cup. On the other hand, Beholder looked like a very tired horse down the
lane in winning her race and she’s no match for Close Hatches. Emollient beat a very weak Grade 1
field and she won’t hit the board against the Euros. Angela Renee didn’t beat much in winning the
Chandelier, but her win was noteworthy and if Bejarano rides her back, she’ll be tough in the Cup.
• Bright Thought won the Grade 2 John Henry on the turf Sunday at 7/1 and though he dearly loves
this race course, I can’t see him being competitive with the Euros in the Cup. Home Run Kitten won
the Grade 3 Eddie D. stakes on Friday at six and a half down the hill at 10/1 and trainer Dave
Hofmans says he will try the B.C. race. He won by a very short nose and is now 2/2 down the hill.
• The two big races this Saturday are the Grade 1 Sprint Championship on the main track and the City
of Hope Mile, a Grade 2 on the turf for older runners. Goldencents, last year’s B.C mile winner, will
hook up against Secret Circle, last year’s B.C. Sprint winner in the Sprint. Also in the mix will be
Merit Man and then Royal Tapestry, who just shipped in from Hong Kong. “Tapestry” was second
in the rich Golden Shaheen sprint in Dubai this year. Two of California’s top turf milers, Obviously
and Tom’s Tribute, will both skip the City of Hope race and train up to the B.C Turf Mile.
• Through August of this year, wagering on California thoroughbreds is up 1% in the State vs.
2013.These figures were released by the California Horse Racing Board this past week
September 22nd, 2014 by John Scheidt
Majestic Santa Anita kicks off their 6 week Fall meet this Friday with a brand new racing surface
which has drawn high marks from most of the locally stabled trainers. The new dirt surface was
installed by track superintendent Dennis Moore using what is called “El Segundo Sand”, a material
taken from a construction project near the L.A. airport. Initially, the surface was deeper and slower,
which was intentional, but has quickened the last couple of weeks. Trainers have been training on it
since the first week of September. The surface seems to be getting better every day and has
considerable “bounce” to it and it appears it will be a fair surface. Del Mar will use the same sand
when they convert their synthetic surface over the Winter. The meet will run through November 2
highlighted by two days of the Breeders Cup on October 31 and November 1. First post will be 1 PM
on most racing days with a Thursday through Sunday schedule. There will be racing on Monday
October 13, which is Columbus Day, and originally they were not going to race again till Friday of
that week. But the track did get clearance to add two days to the meet and the first one will be that
Thursday, October 16. The other new day will be Wednesday, October 29, which is designed to
gather business for the Breeders Cup that weekend.
• The feature race this Friday will be the Eddie D. stakes for older horses coming down the hill at 6.5
furlongs, a Grade 3 event. Named for one of the classiest riders of all time, Delahoussaye has since
retired in his native Louisiana, but will be on hand to present the trophy to the winning connections.
Then on Saturday there will be some outstanding racing with five Grade One events headed up by
the Awesome Again stakes for 3 and up at 9 furlongs on the main track. Undefeated and mainly
untested in six lifetime starts, 3 year old Shared Belief heads the field and will be tested by Fed Biz,
Footbridge, Imperative, Majestic Harbor, and Soi Phet among others. This is a key prep race for the
Breeders Cup Classic at 10 furlongs on this very track. Miss Serendipity heads the field for the
Grade 1 Rodeo Drive for fillies/mares at 10 furlongs on the turf, Beholder will be a heavy favorite
for the Grade 1 Zenyatta stakes at a mile and a sixteenth on the main, American Pharoah heads the
field for the Grade 1 Frontrunner Stakes for 2 year olds, and Her Emmynency will head the field for
the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes for two year old fillies. All five races are major preps for the Breeders
Cup races later in the meet. Then on Sunday, older runners will compete in the Grade 2 John Henry
Stakes at 10 furlongs on the grass. A really good opening weekend.
• A new rider on the circuit this Fall will be 20 year old Alex Canchari, who won the riding title at
Hawthorne on the Chicago circuit last Fall. He has won 82 races this year and was the second
leading rider at Canterbury Downs in Minnesota this past Summer. The veteran Jim Pegram will
have his book.
• One of the top race horses of his generation, 7 year old Game On Dude has been retired. Trainer Bob
Baffert made the announcement this past Thursday. “The Dude” retires with $6.5 million in earnings,
eight Grade One victories, and is the only horse ever to win three Santa Anita Handicaps.
• However Baffert has a “Little Dude” all set to take his place as Bayern went wire to wire to win the
$1million Pennsylvania Derby on Saturday in track record time. The 4/5 favorite in the race,
California Chrome, was stuck down on the inside the entire race and ran sixth. Although Chrome
hates racing on the inside, the rail was very good at Parx on Saturday. He doesn’t look like a horse
ready to take on Shared Belief in the B.C. Classic.
September 2nd, 2014 by John Scheidt
PRETTYPRICEYGIRL (August 29): Five year old mare for Leonard Powell ran a bang up race in
Friday’s fifth event, a salty $40,000 starter race for horses who ran for a claiming tag of $40,000 or less
in 2013/2014. Off at 15/1 in this 10 horse field on the lawn, she went right for the lead and dueled with
another horse through fairly solid fractions. She put that one away at the 1/4 pole, opened up a one length
lead turning for home, then got ran down late by two others near the wire. She was beaten a length in the
end but she was pretty game all the way, on a course that has been playing strong to off the pace runners.
Her next start will be her third off a six month layoff, often a horse’s best performance, and speed will
hold better up on the Arcadia surface. She is sitting on a victory if properly placed by the Powell
connections and the value should still be there. Tab and follow.
ALFA BIRD (August 30): Three year old son of Birdstone, trained by Victor Garcia is fast, and he
made his debut in Saturday’s second event at 6.5 furlongs on the main for maiden special weights. Off at
6/1 in a full field, he broke a step slow, but then quickly made the lead and held it throughout until the
favorite came to him at the 1/8th pole. He dug in gamely the last furlong and just failed to last missing by
a half at the wire. His works coming into this race were fast at both this track and Santa Anita and he’ll be
hard to beat when they get back on the regular dirt over at Arcadia. He cost $70k at the Keeneland
yearling sale and he’s cut out to be nice colt. This one is a “single” next time you see him in the entries.
MOONS OVER ME (August 30): Two year old filly for Jim Cassidy made her debut in Saturday’s 6th
race, a 5.5 furlong sprint for special weights. She took a lot of early money in the wagering but ended up
at 8/1 in a full filed of juveniles. She broke well, then dropped back on her own under Mike Smith, and
was a good 10 lengths off the pace at the half mile pole. She picked it up on the far turn and made a good
move turning for home but was a well beaten third at the wire, about 4 lengths. But all in all it was a
good debut and Cassidy seldom has them cranked up first time out. She probably won’t race again till the
Anita Fall meet but she has all the earmarks of a soon winner. A good to file away for the near future.
ELEMENTAR (August 31): Two year old filly for Richard Mandella found her hole card when they
stretched her out to a mile on the turf in Sunday’s third for maiden special weights. Off at 5/1 in a 10
horse field, jockey Tiago Pereira sent her right to the lead and she went quite fast for the first quarter. She
was able to slow it down some for the second quarter and still maintain her lead. She opened up on them
turning for home, but true to this turf course, she just couldn’t hang on and a 7/2 shot caught her very late.
It was a still a big race and this daughter of More Than Ready should get her diploma on the turf at Santa
Anita. She is a $280k purchase at the Keeneland yearling sale and is in good hands with Mandella. Don’t
be surprised if you see them add Lasix for start number 3.