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Santa Anita Recap June 30 to July 4

Friday SANTA ANITA PARK Recap: June 30

Fast main track and firm turf course. Two wire-to-wire winners on dirt (8.5f, 5f). The winning turf course running styles were a last-to-first closer down the hill and two closers at one mile (rail at 20 feet).

Drayden Van Dyke chimed in with two wins.

Checking in once again with recent claims, Little Bit Lovely (Adam Kitchingman) and Not Too Shiny (Jack Carava) were were nabbed out of the third race for $32k. Three horses were tagged out of the fourth race for $20k: Logan’s Moon (Ron Ellis), Stoneys Mr Cruiser (John Brocklebank), and Best Two Minutes (George Papaprodromou). Munny Spunt (Doug O’Neill) and Social Taboo (Michael Curtis) were both claimed out of the seventh race for $20k.

In a possible prep for the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar, Double Touch rumbled from the back of the pack to score by a 1/2 length over Bird Is the Word and Elwood J in the optional claiming flat mile turf feature for 3-year-olds. Gary Stevens gave the winner a nice patient ride from the inside post and his late kick proved too much for his stalking and front running rivals. Runner-up Bird Is the Word experienced a wide trip from post 9 under Evin Roman and did well to land the place. Elwood J had a 2-length lead in the stretch under Flavien Prat but could not finish the deal (distance limitations).  


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Saturday SANTA ANITA PARK Recap: July 1

Fast main track and firm turf course. Four wire-to-wire winners on dirt (5.5f, 7f, 6.5f, 6f). The winning turf course running styles were a dueling front runner at one mile, a patient runner at one mile, a front runner at a flat mile, and a downhill stalker.

No riding or training doubles to start off the new month.

July 1 Claims: 5th Race - African Fighter ($20k, Dean Pederson), Bronzino ($20k, Doug O’Neill). 7th Race - Braddock ($30k, Jerry Hollendorfer), Caray ($30k, Gary Stute). 10th Race - Striking Appeal ($40k, Alfredo Marquez).

Trainer Phil D’Amato tried everything to beat heavy favorite Danzing Candy with dueler Coastline and stalker Ransom the Moon in the Grade II San Carlos but the latter fell a neck short. The winner was game in victory for the deadly combination of Mike Smith and Bob Baffert. Ransom the Moon had every chance to get by the chalk but could not get the job done while 6+ clear of show finisher Kobe’s Back.


Enola Gray put on an impressive display of speed in the Grade III Wilshire. Phil D’Amato’s talented CA-bred filly had no problem stretching out to a mile and reeled off fractions of 22.36, 44.72, and 1:08.73 while well clear throughout. She stopped the timer in 1:33.03 and was two lengths to the good of clear place finisher Madame Stripes. 

Sunday SANTA ANITA PARK Recap: July 2

Fast main track and firm turf course. Three front running winners on dirt (5f, 5.5f, 6.5f). The winning turf course running styles were a downhill stalker, a front runner down the hill, a front runner at one mile, and a stalker at one mile (rail at 10 feet).

Four wins for apprentice and leading rider Evin Roman. Two wins for Mike Smith. Trainer Peter Miller saddled three winners and Roman rode two.

July 2 Claims: Fourth Race - Gemini Journey ($32k, Bill Spawr). Seventh Race - Kristi’s Copilot ($40k, Mike Machowsky). Eighth Race - Winning Causeway ($8k, John Brocklebank). Ninth Race - Abbey Vale ($62.5k, Doug O’Neill).

Diamondsandpearls took heavy betting action and won like a good thing in her MSW bow (5f in 58.03) for Smith and Baffert. She figures to show up in a Del Mar juvenile filly stakes race in the coming weeks. Speaking of impressive freshman ladies, Surrender Now put on a show in the Landaluce. She dueled with Gorgeous Ginny, put that one away, and strolled across the line with eight lengths to spare under Arroyo. The final time for the 5.5f Landaluce was 1:03.84. Her five furlong clocking was 57.66.  
I have been a fan of Street Vision ever since I included him on my very early Derby contenders list in 2015. He beat Mor Spirit in a maiden race that year and was 2nd in the Speakeasy Stakes. He tailed off after that and never regained form. He returned as a gelding April 28 and finished up the track that day but finally showed some of his old spark in a clear place finish in today’s seventh race. I will definitely give him a long look next time.  


Monday SANTA ANITA PARK Recap: July 3

Fast main track and firm turf course. Two front running winners on dirt (7f, 5.5f). The winning turf course running styles were two downhill stalkers, a patient runner down the hill, and a dueling front runner down the hill (rail at 30 feet).

No riding or training doubles on Monday.

July 3 Claims: Sixth Race - Majestic Journey ($45k, Bob Hess Jr), Unnamed Source ($40k, Antonio Garcia). Seventh Race - Native Treasure ($25k, Michael Pender), Unusual Meeting ($25k, Kristin Mulhall), Hollywood Don ($22.5k, Sal Gonzalez).

Two-year-old males took center stage in the SA Juvenile and Run Away got the best of stubborn pace rival Argosy Fleet. The final time for 5.5f was 1:04.17 and note that the ladies went a tad quicker in yesterday’s Landaluce (1:03.84).

I picked Perfectly Majestic on top in the salty third race for downhill sprinters and he ran well without winning. Calculator beat Forever Juanito with Perfectly Majestic checking in 3rd after finding his best stride very late. He figures to appreciate added ground in the near future in what looked like a prep for Bob Hess Jr (0-for-14 w/turf sprint starters). 


Tuesday SANTA ANITA PARK Recap: July 4

Fast main track and firm turf course. Only one wire-to-wire winner on dirt (6f). The winning turf course running styles were a downhill stalker, a stalker at nine furlongs, a front runner at one mile, a downhill closer, and a stalker at one mile.

Hat trick for Joe Talamo. Flavien Prat won two races and ended up sharing the riding title with apprentice Evin Roman. Phil D’Amato saddled two turf winners including Pee Wee Reese in the Grade II American Stakes.

July 4 Claims: Fifth Race - Golden Atlantic ($12.5k, Gary Stute), Eighth Race - Bottle Rocket ($40k, Gary Stute).

Union Rebel burned me again in the finale and of course he had an excuse. He figured to be forwardly place but blew the break and was never a threat. The top three finishers were in the hunt throughout and his first turf test was inconclusive.


That’s a wrap at the Great Race Place! I will be back next week to preview the upcoming Del Mar Summer Meet.

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