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Santa Anita Horses To Watch – June 24, 2019

OIL CAN KNIGHT (June 21): Three year old gelding for Doug O’Neill got away slowly in this 5/8 run on the turf for maiden claimers for a $75K tag in Friday’s opener. Off at 9/2 in a 9 horse field, he hesitated at the start from the 9 hole, then was rushed up by the rider Cedillo and was actually fighting for the lead by the ¼ pole. He dug in gamely down the lane, looked like a winner at the 1/16 pole, then got nailed right on the wire for the win. This was his 1st start on the turf and he showed a liking for the surface. They will run these 5/8 sprints on the grass at Del Mar and “Oil Can” is sitting on a win for the leading barn at the meet.

CLEM LABINE (June 22):  Three year old gelding, named for the former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher from the fifties, made his first start of 2019 in the first allowance condition for Cal breds on Saturday at six and a half on the main track for Steve Miyadi. Off at 8/1 in just a six horse field, he broke a tad slow from the gate and was near the rear of the field early. By the half mile pole he was tucked in on the fence just four lengths off the pace. Cedillo kept him on the rail throughout and he made a nice move down the lane and came up just a head short while racing on the duller side of the track most of the way. He galloped out well past the winner and this son of the good stallion Grazen, out of a Tribal Rule mare, will win this condition down at Del Mar. This was just his second career start and he won his debut by three going away at the wire. He is all race horse. Tab and follow.

MESSAGE (June 22): Three year old filly for Bob Baffert made her 1st start of 2019 on Saturday in a maiden special weight affair at six and a half on the main track for fillies/mares 3 and up. Off as the second choice in the wagering at 9 to 5, she broke well from the outside and tracked the speed down the back stretch about 3 lengths off the pace. When Garcia asked her for run at the ¼ pole, she quickly swept into the lead and won convincingly down the lane and was four in front at the wire. Over a track that is still playing very dull, she went through the six furlong marker in 1:09.72, very quick for a second start maiden, and she left some good fillies in her wake. Baffert will probably find a sprint stakes for her at Del Mar and this daughter of Warrior’s Reward will be up to the task. Follow.

RAILSPLITTER (June 23): Two year old colt for Doug O’Neill made his debut on Sunday in a maiden special weight event at four and a half on the main track. Off at 7/1 in a 7 horse field, he was pretty much void of any early speed and fell well off the pace, like 10 lengths down the back side. He stuck to his guns under Bejarano and put in a good run down the lane to finish fifth, but was only beaten 3 at the wire. This son of Bodemeister has some talent but he needs more furlongs, and he will get that down at Del Mar. He can win sprinting and will probably show more early speed with more racing. He’s a soon winner for a top barn that does very well with juveniles. Follow.

AMALFI SUNRISE (June 23): Two year old filly for Simon Callaghan, who snuck in from the A/E list and the ten hole, was bet down to even money in her debut and responded with a six length rout in this maiden special weight event at four and a half on the main. She broke running from the outside, caught the leader at the ¼ pole, re-broke at the 1/8 pole, and quickly opened up to win by six while geared down the final 50 yards. She had worked very well for this barn coming into the race and this daughter of Constitution has stakes written all over her. They paid $185,000 for her at the Ocala sale and that may turn out to be a bargain. Up the ladder for this Kentucky bred.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)

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