Santa Anita Park Report (Jan. 31-Feb. 2)
Santa Anita Recap for Thursday (1-30-20)
Fast main track and firm turf course. Two front running dirt sprint winners (6f, 6.5f). The winning turf course running styles were a presser/stalker at one mile and a stalker at 5.5 furlongs (rail at 20 feet).
No riding or training doubles on Thursday.
The Rainbow 6 pool was $51,725 and multiple winning jackpot ticket paid $905.34 each. There will be a jackpot carryover of $50,049 when live racing resumes on Friday, Jan. 31.
Jan. 30 Claims: None.
Santa Anita Recap for Friday (1-31-20)
Fast main track and firm turf course. One front running winner at six furlongs on dirt. The winning turf course running styles were a stalker at 5.5 furlongs, and a pair of stalkers at one mile (rail at 30 feet).
Hat trick for Joel Rosario, and a riding double for Flavien Prat. Richard Baltas saddled two winners and Rosario rode both.
The Rainbow 6 pool was $72,309 and multiple winning jackpot ticket paid $215.12 each. There will be a jackpot carryover of $66,604 when live racing resumes on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Jan. 31 Claims: Race 2 – Busy Paynter ($20k, Mark Glatt), Mongolian Humor ($20k, Peter Miller).
Santa Anita Recap for Saturday (2-1-20)
Fast main track and firm turf course. Three front running winners on dirt (6f, 8f, 9f). The winning turf course running styles were a front runner at 5.5 furlongs, a stalker at 5.5 furlongs, a stalker at a mile and a quarter, and a patient midpack closer at one mile.
Hat trick for Flavien Prat (2 graded wins). Bob Baffert saddled two winners.
The Rainbow 6 pool was $208,630 and multiple winning jackpot ticket paid $946.44 each. There will be a jackpot carryover of $114,370 when live racing resumes on Sunday, Feb. 2.
Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) Recap (2-1-20) – Winner: Thousand Words ($3.20)
These early winter Derby preps at a mile and a sixteenth are not particularly important. They key is to keep earning points and moving forward, and hopefully stay healthy. Things will get serious at a mile and an eighth in March and April. High Velocity got out there and gave his chalky stablemate a target. Tizamagician chased outside and Thousand Words was patiently ridden inside and behind horses under Flavien Prat. The favorite came off the rail and engaged High Velocity in the stretch, and fought hard to the end to prevail by a bit less than a length. Surface switcher Royal Act nabbed 2nd late, and High Velocity was another neck back in 3rd. Tizamagician could not go with the top runners late and ended up an even 4th. He was followed by Encoder and Zimba Warrior. As for the winner, this was a solid beginning to his 3yo campaign. I love his tactical speed and heart, and nothing seems to bother him (track condition, racing inside, eating dirt, etc). He is now 3-for-3 with 20 Derby points. I doubt he was fully cranked for this. No reason to be. He should be sharper, faster, and fitter next time.
San Marcos Stakes (G2) Recap (2-1-20) – Winner: United ($3.60)
United finally got his much deserved first graded victory. Brown Storm carved out the fractions and Chosen Vessel was in chase mode. United found a nice stalking spot outside under Flavien Prat. The favorite took a short lead in the stretch and Celopatra’s Strike and Oscar Dominguez were breathing down his neck. United was plenty fit for this and got the job done by a 1/2 length in this mile and a quarter test. Cleopatra’s Strike was a neck better than Oscar Dominguez for runner-up honors, and Brown Storm was right behind them in 4th. Multiplier and Chosen Vessel were the final two runners in this tight six pack.
San Pasqual (G2) Recap (2-1-20) – Winner: Midcourt ($6.40)
Midcourt got back on the beam after a troubled trip in the San Antonio. Victor Espinoza did not fool around this time. He shot straight to the front and lead them on a merry chase. That is the second time the versatile gelding set the pace in the stakes ranks, and he seems just as comfortable stalking and closing. The Big ‘Cap on March 7 is probably next, and he is a very strong contender if he opts for that spot. Two Thirty Five stalked from 4th and was clearly second best. Combatant rallied for 3rd from the outside post. That has been the story of his career. He loves to purse nibble. King Abner found 9f a bit out of reach and ended up 4th, and Restrainedvengence chased the winner and weakened to 5th. Instagrand did not show speed and checked in 6th, and Roadster never got involved as the beaten favorite. He has now dropped six straight since the 2019 SA Derby. I thought he might bounce back here, but no dice. Maybe he is best in longer sprints. California Street and Bold Endeavour trailed.
Feb. 1 Claims: None.
Santa Anita Recap for Sunday (2-2-20)
Fast main track and firm turf course. Three front running winners at six furlongs on dirt. The winning turf course running styles were a stalker at a mile and an eighth, and dueling front runner at 5.5 furlongs (rail at 10 feet).
Richard Baltas saddled two turf winners.
The Rainbow 6 pool was $93,356 and multiple winning jackpot ticket paid $1,022.80 each. There will be a jackpot carryover of $135,744 when live racing resumes on Friday, Feb. 7.
Feb. 7 Claims: Race 3 – Sheza Factor ($16k, Victor Garcia). Race 7 – Rstars and Stripes ($50k, Steve Knapp).