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Jarrod Horak's Santa Anita Park Report (June 16-18)

Friday SANTA ANITA PARK Recap: June 16

Fast main track and firm turf course. Two front running winners on dirt (5f, 8f). The winning turf course running styles were a closer at nine furlongs, a front runner at nine furlongs, and a front runner at ten furlongs (rail at 20 feet).

Tyler Baze and Kyle Frey both booted home a pair.

Empress of Love showed good speed from an inner post and was an easy maiden winner in the second race (five furlongs). Runner-up Spiced Perfection pressed and stalked while wide throughout from the outside post and was clearly second best as the favorite.

In the slower of the two five furlong juvenile sprints, first timer Powerful Thirst broke slow and was tenth and last for the opening three furlongs before finishing with interest for 4th under Prat.

Mr. Roary stole the optional claiming turf feature at ten furlongs and Newsman ran well to land the place. The latter was second after a 1/4 and found himself four lengths back while saving ground in fourth after a mile, and he swung out and finished willingly (beaten 3/4ths of a length) under Prat.†

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Saturday SANTA ANITA PARK Recap: June 17

Fast main track and firm turf course. Two front runners scored on dirt (5.5f, 6f). The winning turf course running styles were a midpack stalker down the hill, a stalker at nine furlongs, a front runner at one mile, and a midpack stalker at one mile.

Flavien Prat, apprentice Evin Roman (5.5f dirt), and Gary Stevens (turf) each booted home a pair.

First time starter Microrithms (race 3) looked okay graduating for Baffert. He dueled with Stone Hands (clearly second best) and edged clear in the stretch (drifted in) to post a 4-1/4 length victory under sharp apprentice Roman. †

Sircat Sally keeps on winning (7-for-7) but I never thought she was much better than Beau Recall and Pacific Wind and still feel that way after the Grade II Honeymoon. The undefeated winner gamely held on by a neck but Beau Recall was getting to her and lightly raced Pacific Wind would have been much closer with clear sailing. The latter was moving with Sircat Sally into the second turn but ran into traffic woes while the eventual winner enjoyed clear sailing.

In a highly competitive running of the Grade II Summertime Oaks (race 9), Faypien stretched out successfully and edged experienced route rival Mopotism. Spooky Woods was disqualified from 3rd (placed 5th) for interfering with post time favorite It Tiz Well (placed 4th). My value top Majestic Quality rallied from last to finish 4th (placed 3rd). She appeared to have dead aim on the leaders in the lane but could not muster the necessary kick to go by. This was not a strong race visually and the top SoCal runners in this division (Abel Tasman, Paradise Woods, Unique Bella) should continue to dominate. †

I have been waiting for Oregon to put it all together and he took all of the late money and broke his maiden comfortably in the flat mile maiden finale. The Shirreffs trainee was experiencing wide trips recently but sharp turf rider Stevens guided him to the rail behind the speed before easing out around the far turn. He was hand ridden across the wire while under a snug hold.

Sunday SANTA ANITA PARK Recap: June 19

Fast main track and firm turf course. Two front runners scored on dirt (5f, 8f). The winning turf course running styles were a front runner at one mile, a stalker at a mile and a half, a midpack stalker at one mile, and a downhill stalker (rail at 10 feet).

Kent Desormeaux (turf route) and apprentice Evin Roman both guided home two winners.

Itís The Ice was my value play of the day and he almost stole the candy in the 5th. I was hoping Tiago Pereira would take the early initiative from the rail aboard Itís The Ice and he was dictating terms in the turf marathon. Unfortunately for me, Kent D saw what was going on and put French Getaway in perfect tactical position and wore down my top by a neck. Klondike Creek followed the top two but was in an uncomfortable spot inside in the stretch and ended up 3rd under Prat. †

Moonless Sky sat the right midpack stalking trip and got the job done as the favorite in the grassy 8th but Girl Downstairs is the one I want out of this event. The latter was last after a half and finished with interest to miss by less than a length under Nakatani.

The nine race was an interesting contest on paper and Giant Influence scored the upset victory from the outside post. Honor and Courage was a decent 2nd and continues to improve and Show Me Da Lute ended up splitting the 10-horse field as the favorite. The latter found his best stride late in a race he likely needed (first start in 6+ months). My top choice Pioneer Lad did all of the pace dirty work in his first two turn try and finished 3rd (beaten a length) at 9-1. Front runner Karma King hung in there throughout while making his first start in 11+ months. My feeling going in was that he was prepping for Del Mar.† †

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