Santa Anita Horses To Watch October 20
JEFE (October 18): Three year old colt for Keith Desormeaux finally put it all together in Friday’s first with a powerful maiden win at a mile on the main track for 3 and up. Off as the longest shot in the race at 7/1 in just a five horse field, he loped along early without any speed as usual. He was last into the clubhouse turn under Maldonado, but just five lengths off the pace. On a track that was extremely slow and deep (25.56 and 50.38 for the half), he made his move at the 3/8 pole while four wide. He hit the front at the top of the lane, then hit his best stride late to pull away and win by four at the wire. They thought enough of this Curlin colt to try him in a Grade 1 last year as a juvenile, and this was his third start this year off a 7 month layoff. They paid $220K for him as a Keeneland yearling and this year it’s time for some payback. Up the ladder.
WIN OFTEN (October 18): Two year old filly for Dean Pederson made her debut on Friday in a maiden claimer with a $50,000 price tag for Cal Breds at five and a half on the main. Off at 7/2 in a 7 horse field, she broke well from the outside post and settled in third down the back side just off the dueling leaders. She made her move at the ¼ pole, quickly grabbed the lead, then ran away from the field late to win by four and a half at the wire. This daughter of the good sire Vronsky looks to be aptly named and should win often if kept in the Cal bred ranks. She’ll be tough in a non winners twice for runners running for $50K or less. Pederson is an underrated trainer who does well with Harris Farms horses. Follow.
WARRIOR’S MOON (October 19): Two year old filly for Peter Eurton tried the turf once again in her 4th career start and finally put it all together under Flavien Prat. Off as the 6/5 favorite in a field of 7 in this Cal bred maiden race at a mile on the turf, she relaxed early in third place, four lengths back of the leaders. Prat asked her for run at the ¼ pole and she went by the leaders quite easily, all under a hand ride. She pulled away late to win by a three and the whip was never drawn. She closed into a very slow pace, 24.71 and 49.85, and still easily got the job done. She can win right back in the first Cal bred allowance race as long as they keep her on the turf, and I’m quite sure they will.
PAPSTER (October 19): Two year old colt for Mike Harrington made his debut in Saturday’s 7th, a sprint on the main track for Cal bred maiden special weights. Off at 2/1 and bet down from a M/L of 4/1, he broke OK with the field, then dropped 8 lengths off the pace by the half mile pole. Baze kept him on the fence and he made a nice move turning for home, offered a threat at the 1/8 pole, but couldn’t catch the wire to wire winner. He lost by four at the wire but had a strong gallop out. This son of Munnings had been working lights out over at Los Al and he may do his best work around two turns. Either way, he’s a runner and looks to be a soon winner for a barn that just doesn’t win much anymore. Maybe Papster can turn his fortunes around.
STRONGCONSTITUTION (October 20): Two year old colt for Doug O’Neill made his 2nd start of his career on Saturday in the restricted Sunny Slope stakes, at six and a half on the main. Off at 5/2 in a field of just 4, he bobbled slightly at the start down on the inside and was sitting third down the back side, two lengths off the pace. Garcia kept him on the fence, and he found a seam turning for home, slipped through on the rail, and fought gamely down the lane to miss by a neck at the wire. The winner had it all his own way on the front end and it was four lengths back to the third horse. This one is a runner. He broke his maiden on the grass in his debut, can go short or long, and is a very game runner. He’s a soon winner wherever O’Neill runs him, and he has all types of options. Be ready.
By Rod Young (Turfdom)