Santa Anita Horses To Watch – June 9, 2020

BUYBACK  (June 5): Four year old filly for Matt Chew is a real trier every time she goes to the post. She took on 9 others Friday in a $35,000 claimer, non winners of three, at a mile on the lawn 3 and up. Off at 7/1, she broke running under Van Dyke with a good trip on the outside of horses just two lengths off the lead. She looked all in at the ¼ pole when Van Dyke started scrubbing on her, but she never stopped trying. She found another gear at the 1/8 pole and almost caught the even money favorite at the wire coming up a length short. This was her 8th trip to the post and she has hit the board in 7 of those with a 4th place finish in her debut. She can run short or long, turf or dirt, and though limited somewhat in talent, her heart is as big as Secretariet. She has lots of options and eligibility with two wins, one of which is a maiden claimer. Look for the underrated Chew barn to find a spot for her soon.

SONIC BREES (June 6): Talk about a bad trip. This two year old ridgling for Doug O’Neill made his debut on Saturday at 5/8 on the main track for maiden special weights. Off at 9/2 in a 7 horse field, he went right to his knees when the gates opened and Roman was very lucky to stay aboard. In spite of the start, he gathered himself quickly and was 4th by the half mile pole just 4 lengths back of the leaders. He swung wide at the top of the lane to start a late rally, then was forced to check sharply and alter course when another horse ducked out at him. He still regained his momentum and was flying late at the odds on favorite, but came up two lengths short at the wire. 75 yards past the finish he galloped out in front of the winner. This son of Maclean’s Music is a runner and he’s a “single” next time he goes to the post. By the way, he is no relation to quarterback Drew Brees.                                                                                                                                                              

EL TIGRE TERRIBLE (June 6): Three year old gelding for Peter Miller tried the Desert Code stakes on Saturday at five and a half on the turf for sophomores. Off at 7/2 in a six horse field, he was up much closer than usual and was 4th down the back side but just three off the leaders. He stayed on the fence turning for home and Fuentes was loaded with horse, while waiting for a seam to develop. The seam never came as the riders kept him boxed in and he was forced to angle out at the 1/16 pole to finally find some room. He finished with a flourish, but was too late as he got beat just a half at the wire by his stable mate. This son of Smiling Tiger was MUCH the best in here and if Miller can keep him healthy, he can make a small fortune with this one as he’s a Cal bred with lots of conditions available. He is best as a sprinter but he handles turf or dirt, yet I think Miller will keep him on the turf. This was his first start since last October. He should love those 5/8 turf sprints at Del Mar. Be ready.                                                                                                                                                  

CHARLITO (June 6): Four year old colt for Richard Mandella made his first start since last September, and just the third start of his career, on Saturday in a maiden special weight event at six and a half on the main, 3 and up. Off at 16/1 in a 7 horse field, he broke well under Rispoli and was fifth down the back side 4 lengths off the leaders. He picked it up at the ¼ pole, circled the field five wide and made a run at the leaders, but ran into one of Baffert’s first timers, who cost $3.6 million, and had to settle for second. It was a fine effort just the same and this son of the good sire Fed Biz also added blinkers for his first start this year. He’s a soon winner for a barn that’s just loaded with talent this year.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                RED DIAMOND (June 7) Three year old filly for Ron McAnally, who owns, bred, and trains this daughter of Afleet Alex, made her debut on Sunday at five and a half on the turf for a tag of $62,500, 3 and up. Off at 8/1 in a full field, she was unhurried from the rail and fell a good 10 lengths off the pace. She was bumped around on the fence at the 3/8 pole, but once Valdivia got her to the outside, she had a nice kick down the lane and only got beat a length and a half while finishing third. She ran the final quarter in a very respectable 23.95, not bad for a first time starter. McAnally doesn’t have many runners these days, not when you are 85 years young, but he does well with what he has. He’ll spot this one to win in the near future. Follow.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)