News and Notes June 30 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Santa Anita’s long 27 week Winter/Spring, Spring/Summer meet came to an end this past weekend
with two very good 10 race programs. Triple Crown winner American Pharoah paraded between the
7th and 8th race on Saturday and all fans in attendance got a good look at this outstanding race horse.
On track attendance was up over 9000 people vs. the corresponding Gold Cup day last year,
however on track handle was actually down a tad. That means the “newbies” who came out to see
Pharoah simply watched but didn’t wager. Hopefully they liked what they saw and will be back
another day to put some dollars through the machines. The all-sources handle overall was strong and
topped last year by almost $2 million. 27 weeks of continuous racing takes it’s toll on both the main
track and the turf course, and the maintenance crew at Santa Anita did an excellent job of
maintaining both surfaces in tip top shape. For those that like to bet on favorites, chalk players were
in their glory as favorites won at a 40% clip throughout the meet, 7 points above the National
average. In the money favorites were at 74% while odds on favorites won at nearly 90% for the meet.
Rafael Bejarano once again easily won the riding title by 12 wins over Tyler Baze with Joe Talamo
third. Two other riders who had outstanding meets were Fernando Perez and top turf rider Flavian
Prat. On the trainers side, both Peter Miller and Doug O’Neill each won a race closing day and were
deadlocked at 22 wins apiece. The best turf trainer on the circuit, Phil D’Amato, had an outstanding
meet and was third with 20 victories. Other trainers with outstanding meets were Richard Baltas,
Richard Mandella and Eddie Truman.
• They ran 4 graded stakes on Saturday with the Grade 1 Gold Cup highlighting the card. Hard Aces
at $17.80 slipped through on the fence to catch 8/5 favorite Catch a Flight, then had to hold off a
furious rally by Hoppertunity to prevail by a nose. The fractions were awfully fast early and set the
race up for the closers. Overall the field was fairly weak for a Grade 1 and the final time portrayed
that fact in 2:02 and change, on a track playing very fast. Shared Belief missed the race recovering
from an injury and California Chrome is on a world wide tour trying to become a grass horse. The
top 3 finishers will now aim for the Pacific Classic at Del Mar in late August. For the second time
this month, trainer John Sadler and his owners, the Hronis brothers, won an all fees paid trip to the
Breeders Cup in Keeneland October 31 with their victory. The other Grade 1 on the card was won
by a true Grade 1 horse and that was the Triple Bend stakes at 7 furlongs on the main track. The
even money favorite Masochistic toyed with this field and won easily in race horse time of 1:20.25
by three and a half lengths. Trainer Ron Ellis, who has had this horse for such a short time, has
really been able to get him to relax early. Tyler Baze never really asked him to run till the 1/8th pole
and he had plenty left in the tank. His long term goal is the Breeders Cup Sprint on October 31 but
will race once or twice at Del Mar, either the Bing Crosby on July 26 or the Pat O’Brien stakes on
August 22. Hard knocking speedster Fanticola ($10.20), took the Grade 2 Royal Heroine on
Saturday at a flat mile on the turf. She has been knocking heads with the best fillies/mares on this
circuit recently without getting a victory, but she put it all together Saturday for top turf trainer Phil
D’Amato. She also will be racing at Del Mar this Summer. Ed Moger’s classy mare, Stormy Lucy,
ran a good third in here at 10/1 after being on the sidelines for about 8 months.
• The circuit now moves to Los Alamitos for two weeks starting this Thursday. We will NOT be
doing selections for this two week meet, as we will gear up for a terrific 8 week meet at Del Mar
with opening day on Thursday, July 16. Del Mar races five days per week while it’s only 4 days the
rest of the year. We will be notifying you of the costs for Del Mar’s selections by email or a “flyer.”
• Texas Red, who won the Breeders Cup Juvenile last year at Santa Anita, had his final work over the
weekend and will ship East this week to run in the $500,000 Dwyer stakes at Belmont on the 4th of
July. Keith Desormeaux trains this 3 year old and is part owner as well. Brother Kent will have the
riding assignment.

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