SHARED BELIEF POSTERS TO BE OFFERED FREE TO FIRST 4,000 ON-TRACK FANS AS GREAT RACE PLACE OPENS FOR 25-DAY AUTUMN RUN, TWO-DAY BREEDERS’ CUP TO HIGHLIGHT MEET OCT. 31 & NOV. 1
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 23, 2014)–Trainer Steve Asmussen’s Unbridled’s Note heads a solid field of 12 older horses in Friday’s Grade III, $100,000 Eddie D. Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course, which headlines a nine-race card on opening day of the track’s 25-day Autumn Meet, which will be highlighted by the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Oct. 31 & Nov. 1.
Named in honor of retired Hall of Fame riding great Eddie Delahoussaye, who will be on-hand to present the trophy, the Eddie D. has been carded as the afternoon’s ninth and final race.
A winner of the 2012 Eddie D., Unbridled’s Note is a three-time stakes winner over the unique hillside layout and has been idle since running fourth as the even money favorite down the hill in the Joe Hernandez Stakes on Feb. 23.
A 5-year-old horse by Unbridled’s Song owned by Mike McCarty, Unbridled’s Note has been in steady training at Churchill Downs for his return and will again be handled by Corey Nakatani, who has guided him to all three of his wins at Santa Anita. Unbridled’s Note has five wins, three seconds and four thirds from 18 overall starts–good for earnings of $653,267.
Blessed with a good measure of tactical speed, Unbridled’s Note has proven effective both on the lead or near the early pace and looms the likely favorite.
Like Unbridled’s Note, up and coming Ambitious Brew comes into the Eddie D. fresh, having last run on Feb. 22–a 1 ½ length win in the state-bred Sensational Star Stakes down the hill. A 4-year-old California-bred by Tizbud, Ambitious Brew is trained by Marty Jones and owned by her breeder, Pamela Ziebarth.
A perfect three for three over the course, Ambitious Brew has prepped for his return at Los Alamitos and has two bullet works on his recent tab, including a six furlong move of 1:12.20 on Sept. 8. Ridden by Brice Blanc on Feb. 22, he’ll be reunited with Mike Smith on Friday, who had ridden him in his previous six starts. Ambitious Brew has an impressive resume that shows four wins and three seconds from seven starts, with earnings of $227,920.
A non-threatening fifth in the 1 1/8 miles turf Del Mar Derby Aug. 31, Home Run Kitten is a minor stakes winner at one mile on grass and he was an impressive maiden special weight winner coming down the hillside turf course in his second start on Jan. 11. Owned by Tarabilla Farms, Inc., and trained by David Hofmans, Home Run Kitten would benefit from a fast early pace. He’ll be ridden by Joe Talamo, who has been aboard for all eight of his career starts. A 3-year-old colt by Kitten’s Joy, he has three wins, a second and two thirds, with earnings of $157,800.
Perennial top rider Rafael Bejarano will hope to make his presence felt aboard Texas-bred Pure Tactics, who was a minor stakes winner down the hill three starts back on June 1. Trained by Doug O’Neill, the 5-year-old horse by Pure Prize came back to take a five furlong turf sprint in his next start on July 18 at Del Mar and was then a disappointing seventh and last as the favorite in a five furlong turf stakes at Santa Rosa on Aug. 9.
Owned by Nita Winner, LLC, Pure Tactics is one for three over the course and is 17-7-2-2 overall with earnings of $261,166.
The venerable Global Power, a three-time stakes winner conditioned by Tom Amoss, will make his Southern California debut in the Eddie D. Campaigned primarily in the Midwest and on the East Coast, the 6-year-old horse by Pulpit was well beaten Aug. 10 at Woodbine in the Grade II, seven furlong turf Play the King Stakes.
A close third two starts back on June 7 in the Grade III, six furlong turf Jaipur Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park, Global Power rates an upset chance with a resurgent Kent Desormeaux, who in his only previous pairing, guided him to a third place finish seven starts back in a 5 ½ furlong stakes at Arlington Park on July 6, 2013. Owned by Loooch Racing Stable, Inc., Global Power is 26-7-2-5 with earnings of $400,227.
Trainer Gary Mandella entered a pair for the Eddie D., and both landed side-by-side on the far outside. French-bred Snowday will break from post 11 and No Silent, who drew post 12, is relegated to the also eligible list. (With the temporary rail at 15 feet, 11 horses will be permitted to run).
Owned by his breeders, Wertheimer and Frere, Snowday will be ridden by newly minted Hall of Famer Alex Solis, who has returned to Southern California to ride full time. A Group III winner in France, Snowday comes off a sharp second in a five furlong allowance at Del Mar Aug. 2. Winless in three stateside starts, he is 12-2-3-1 overall, with earnings of $164,150.
Victor Espinoza has been named to ride No Silent, who has three seconds from five tries over the course. A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred horse by Silent Name, he’s owned by Double JH Stable, Inc. He has earnings of $249,972 from an overall mark of 19-4-8-1.
Trainer Frank Lucarelli will send out veteran Gallant Son, an 8-year-old horse who comes off a minor stakes win going five furlongs on turf Aug. 9 at Santa Rosa–his only start this year. Owned by Randall and Rossi, LLC., Gallant Son is by far the most experienced runner in the Eddie D. lineup, as he’ll be making his 40th career start on Friday. He has a second and three thirds from five tries down the hill and has 11 wins, five seconds and six thirds overall, good for earnings of $552,278.
Claimed by trainer Phil D’Amato for $40,000 in September, 2013, Lil Bit O’Fun has won all three of his subsequent starts, including two wins down the hillside turf. Owned by Belmonte, Cohen, Gorman and partners, the 6-year-old gelding by Langfuhr comes off a 2 ½ length win in the one mile turf Wickerr Stakes at Del Mar July 23. Aaron Gryder, who has been aboard for all three wins, rides him back in the Eddie D. His overall mark stands at 32-7-5-1, with earnings of $392,773.
Trainer Kristin Mulhall’s Artest cuts back in distance off a sharp classified allowance win going a mile on turf Aug. 15. The 5-year-old Hard Spun gelding pressed the pace and went on to an impressive 1 ¼ length allowance win down the hillside four starts back on May 11. Owned by Dennis Narlinger, Artest has earnings of $288,006 from a lifetime record of 23-5-3-2.
Reddam Racing’s homebred Eddie’s First opened up in the 6 ½ furlong E.B. Johnston Stakes at Los Alamitos on Sept. 5 and finished second, beaten a nose at 2-1. The 3-year-old California-bred colt by Square Eddie seeks his first win since breaking his maiden down the hillside by 9 ¼ lengths four starts back on May 11–an effort that earned him a 100 Beyer Speed figure. He has two seconds from eight starts.
Lightly raced Mr. Sexy switches to Elvis Trujillo and could likely be winging early in his first graded stakes attempt. Owned by Kretz Racing, LLC, and trained by George Papaprodromou, the 4-year-old colt comes off a fourth place finish over synthetic Polytrack in the five furlong Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar Aug. 13. He has two wins and a second from seven starts.
Carded as the ninth and final race and with 12 horses entered and 11 set to run, here is the complete field for Friday’s Grade III Eddie D. Stakes in post position order with jockeys and weights: Eddie’s First, Mario Gutierrez, 115; Pure Tactics, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Lil Bit O’Fun, Aaron Gryder, 118; Mr. Sexy, Elvis Trujillo, 118; Gallant Son, Tyler Baze, 118; Unbridled’s Note, Corey Nakatani, 120; Artest, Edwin Maldonado, 118; Ambitious Brew, Mike Smith, 118; Global Power, Kent Desormeaux, 118; Home Run Kitten, Joe Talamo, 115, and Snowday, Alex Solis, 118. ALSO ELIGIBIBLE: No Silent, Victor Espinoza, 118.
For complete entries for opening day, Friday, Sept. 26, please visit santaanita.com.