- ABEL TASMAN TACKLES UNIQUE BELLA
- FOLLOW ME CREV ‘BETTER THAN EVER’
- FABOZZI OK FOR HIS DOWNHILL DEBUT
- HIGH FLYING CONSTELLATION HEADS SUNDAY’S LAS FLORES
- WHITE ADDRESSES UNIQUE BELLA’S LOFTY STATUS
IS TALAMO’S FILLY ‘ABEL’ TO PULL SANTA YSABEL UPSET?
On paper, it appears every horse is running for second against 1-5 morning line favorite Unique Bella in Saturday’s Santa Ysabel Stakes for three-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
But they still have to run the race, which is why Joe Talamo, who has ridden Abel Tasman in each of her four career starts, winning the last three in a row including the Grade I Starlet at Los Alamitos, has an optimistic outlook for the Grade III event.
“(Jerry) Hollendorfer has a real nice filly in Unique Bella, but I know one thing: my filly’s been training really well. I worked her a couple times and tracked a workmate four or five lengths behind and we passed her and galloped out really good, so we’ll see.”
Abel Tasman’s lone loss came in her debut when she got off slow and finished fifth by nearly 12 lengths in a six furlong sprint at Del Mar last August.
“She was always one that needed to route,” Talamo said of the bay daughter of Quality Road trained by Simon Callaghan for China Horse Club or Clearsky Farms, also the breeder.
“It was her first race, she was going short, but after that she stretched out to a mile, won going the seven-eighths and then the Starlet at a mile and a sixteenth.”
The Santa Ysabel, race six of 10: Unique Bella, Mike Smith, 1-5; Tap It All, Santiago Gonzalez, 20-1; Spooky Woods, Flavien Prat, 20-1; Mistressofthenight, Corey Nakatani, 30-1; What What What, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Noted and Quoted, Martin Garcia, 6-1; and Abel Tasman, Joe Talamo, 5-1.
HOLLENDORFER’S CONSTELLATION HEADS SUNDAY’S LAS FLORES STAKES
Originally based in New York with Steve Asmussen and currently unbeaten in two starts for Jerry Hollendorfer, Constellation, fresh off victory in the opening day Grade I La Brea here on Dec. 26, will cut back a furlong in distance as she heads a field of five older fillies and mares in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes at six furlongs.
Owned by LNJ Foxwoods, the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Bellamy Road won’t be anywhere near the 12-1 odds she generated in the La Brea, as Jon White has installed her as the 8-5 morning line favorite on Sunday.
A minor stakes winner going six furlongs two starts back at Turf Paradise on Nov. 12, she was ridden for the first time in the La Brea by leading man Flavien Prat, who guided her to a half length win while pressing the pace throughout.
Based at Los Alamitos with Hollendorfer assistant, Don Chatlos, Constellation has half a dozen five furlong works to her credit since her La Brea triumph, the most recent a bullet 59.20 on Feb. 24–best of 22 at the distance.
The Las Flores, race three of nine on Sunday: Ponder Lea, Rafael Bejarano,12-1; Watch This Cat, Corey Nakatani, 5-2; Sensitively, Tyler Baze, 5-2; Pretty N Cool, Martin Garcia, 3-1; and Constellation, Flavien Prat, 8-5.
LAS FLORES TRIVIA: Dating back to 1951, who’s the only jockey to win the race three years in a row?
Answer: Below today’s Finish Lines…
BETTER LUCK THIS YEAR FOR FOLLOW ME CREV IN BIG ‘CAP
“It looks like he came back in style and if he can get a little fitter for the Big ‘Cap, he’s got a chance, especially if Arrogate doesn’t run.
“He missed the Big ‘Cap last year because he got really sick at Del Mar. After the San Diego (Handicap, fourth by 17 ¼ lengths behind California Chrome), he was just never right.
“Then he had quarter cracks, nothing major, but he needed a little time and he came back better than ever.”
Probable for the 80th Santa Anita Handicap, a Grade I, $750,000 race for older horses at a mile and a quarter: Follow Me Crev, Gangster, Hard Aces, Hi Happy, Imperative, Isotherm, Midnight Storm, Shaman Ghost and Twentytwentyvision.
MARK TRAINER’S WORDS, FABOZZI OK FOR DOWNHILL DEBUT
Fabozzi makes his stakes debut in Saturday’s $75,000 Joe Hernandez Stakes for four-year-olds and up at about six and a half furlongs on turf.
The four-year-old gelded son of Sidney’s Candy has run all seven of his career races on turf, but only once on the downhill turf course, when he got off slow and steadied in his debut last May.
“That was his first start and I think he was a little confused but his style suggested that he might run very good down the hill,” trainer Mark Glatt said. “He’s a very good miler and there wasn’t another good opportunity for him, so we’re going to see if he’ll compete in that race.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY: From Santa Anita morning line maker, Jon White, regarding “lining” Unique Bella at 1-5 for Saturday’s Grade III Santa Ysabel Stakes: “To make Unique Bella as short of a favorite as 1-9, I would have had to raise the odds for Abel Tasman (who is 5-1) and Noted and Quoted (6-1). But it’s my feeling that there is a certain amount of respect that both of them deserve in terms of the morning line because they are both Grade I winners. Also, while there is a possibility that Unique Bella does go off at 1-9 Saturday, I would not say it’s a slam dunk…”
FINISH LINES: Notable Santa Anita works this morning: Anne Arbor Eddie, Doug O’Neill, 48.80; Prospect Park, Cliff Sise, 48.80; Accelerate, John Sadler, 1:00.40; Stellar Wind, John Sadler, 1:01.40; Big John B, Phil D’Amato, 1:14.40; Hoppertunity, Bob Baffert, 1:12.60; Mor Spirit, Bob Baffert, 1:12.60; Rockin Rudy, Doug O’Neill, 1:12.60; Bal a Bali, Richard Mandella, 1:26.40; Hard Aces, John Sadler, 1:26.40; Illiad, Doug O’Neill, 1:26.00, and Masochistic, Ron Ellis, 1:27.40…Jeff Chapman, subbing Sunday for Tom Quigley as host, will have TVG’s Britney Eurton as his guest in the east Paddock Gardens at 11:50 a.m. . . . All THOROUGHBREDS members at Santa Anita on Big ‘Cap Day, March 11, will receive a free Santa Anita umbrella with paid admission while supplies last. There will be a $1 million guaranteed Late Pick 4 and a $100,000 guaranteed Pick 6. First post time will be 12 noon, with admission gates opening at 10 a.m. . . . On Saturday, March 18, Santa Anita offers the St. Paddy’s Day Pitch, with the person who tosses a ringer winning $1 million! It’s free to enter. Just get on track, fill out a contest entry card and you could be one of four entries selected to participate, or sign up online at santaanita.com/events before March 18, as one online entry also will be chosen.
LAS FLORES STAKES TRIVIA ANSWER: Current Chief Steward for the state of California, Darrel McHargue, who won the race three years in a row, in 1977 with Winter Solstice, in ’78 with Sweet Little Lady and in ’79 with Terlingua. Note: Winter Solstice was a B.J. Ridder homebred trained by Gordon C. Campbell, while Sweet Little Lady was owned by “The Boss,” New York Yankees owner, George Steinbrenner and was trained by John Fulton. The great Terlingua, a daughter of Secretariat, who was one of D. Wayne Lukas’ first graded stakes winning Thoroughbreds, was owned by Barry Beal & Bob French, Jr.
|(Current Through Thursday, March 2, 2017 Inclusive)|
|(Current Through Thursday, March 2, 2017 Inclusive)|
|Doug F. O’Neill||110||13||23||19||12%||50%||$1,108,751|
|John W. Sadler||45||8||10||10||18%||62%||$500,164|