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Santa Anita Horses To Watch April 30

UNION RIDE (April 26): Three year old gelding for Hector Palma made his debut in Friday’s third, a 7 furlong sprint for maiden sophomores with a claiming tag of $50K. Off at 8/1 in just a five horse field, he stumbled badly at the start, went to his knees, and almost lost the rider. The athletic Fuentes maintained his balance but he was away last and was 13 lengths back by the half mile pole. Then he was spooked by something and bolted well to the outside at the same point in the race and lost contact with the field. However, to his favor, he rallied in the stretch, even though he was still very wide turning for home and got up for second, though no threat to the winner, who won off by eight as the odds on choice. This son of Candy Ride can run some and he had solid drills coming into the race. Palma is good with 2nd time starters and this one has some win early breeding. He needs to run for a tag and if kept in the claiming ranks, he can pose for pictures in the near future.

HACKBERRY (April 26): Three year old colt for Dan Blacker made his second career start on Friday and first around two turns in a mile maiden special weight event on the lawn for 3 and up. Off at 12/1, he broke running under Martin Garcia and laid just off the pace of the heavy odds on favorite. He was second down the back side two lengths off the pace, made a nice move turning for home to get within a length, but had no answer for the favorite as he wired the field. “Hack” dug in gamely in the drive and was beaten just one length and it was a good six back to the third horse. “Hack” had a strong gallop out and was quickly by the winner just past the wire. This son of English Channel out of a Dynaformer mare is bred for the lawn and bred to run all day. I’m sure Blacker will keep him on the turf and he has a good mix of speed and stamina. He’s a soon winner.

ETTERBAY UCKLAY (April 26): Three year old Lucky Pulpit gelding, with the weird name, made his debut for Ron Ellis in the fifth on Friday for Cal bred maidens sprinting at six and a half on the main for a $50,000 tag. Off at 16/1 in a field of 8, he was very fractious in the gate, then stumbled badly at the start when veering to his left, and got away last. He was a good 16 lengths off the leaders by the half mile pole and was still dead last at the ¼ pole. Talamo swung him 7 wide at the top of the lane and he finished like a “freighter” out in the middle of the track and nailed down second late, beaten two at the wire. He ran the final ¼ six lengths quicker than any in the race, including the winner. He’s bred to get at least a mile and Ellis will have no trouble with this one breaking his maiden as long as he keeps him in the claiming ranks. He raced pretty “green” today but he does have some talent. Tab and follow.

POINT HOPE (April 27): Four year old filly for Ron Ellis made her first start in this country and her first start since last August in Saturday’s third, a five furlong sprint on the grass for the first allowance condition, 3 and up. Off at 7/2 in a 7 horse field, she broke with the field, then fell back and was 6 lengths back of the leaders into the turn. She was still well back at the top of the lane, but put in a good run out in the middle of the course to gain third, beaten 3 at the wire. This was just a prep, as 5/8 is way too short for this filly and she will do much better on the stretch out. Ellis may run her at a mile next out or even down the hill, should they start carding those races. She has enough talent to win this condition.

MAJOR CABBIE (April 27): Four year old colt for Dan Hendricks has been somewhat of a disappointment but he may have found his calling card on Sunday going long on the turf. Bet down to 7/2 early from a M/L of 12/1, and staying there throughout the wagering, he took up into the clubhouse turn, then settled and was third down the back side under Desormeaux. Never more than two lengths off the leaders, he put in his bid at the top of the lane, actually had his nose in front at the 1/16 pole, then just failed to last between horses. He got beat a length but was very game down the lane. This was not Kent’s finest ride by any means. He can win this condition on the lawn, but this one might need to be gelded, as he was all over the course. Tab and follow.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)

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