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February 16, 2009

MUTADDA INVADES FOR SATURDAY’S SAN CARLOS HANDICAP

Citing limited opportunities elsewhere and a penchant for seven furlongs, Tom Amoss is bringing Mutadda to Santa Anita for Saturday’s Grade II San Carlos Handicap.

“This looked like a good spot,” Amoss said by phone Monday morning from the Ocala Breeders’ Sales in Florida. “There wasn’t too much around and seven-eighths is his best distance.” Mutadda has two wins and a third in four starts at seven furlongs. He registered his first stakes victory in the restricted Gaudin Memorial at the Fair Grounds on Jan. 10.

February 15, 2009

GEORGIE BOY IN A ZONE FOR SATURDAY’S SAN CARLOS HANDICAP

Georgie Boy found his comfort zone when he won the Sunshine Millions Sprint at six furlongs on Jan. 24. At least that’s the opinion of Garrett Gomez, who rode the California-bred son of Tribal Rule to a rail-skimming, 2 ¼-length victory in the $300,000 race.

The 4-year-old gelding was fourth in the Grade I Malibu Stakes a month before the Sunshine Millions. In the Malibu, Bob Black Jack was able to dictate the pace en route to a 2 ¼-length victory.

February 14, 2009

UNBEATEN RAIL TRIP COULD RUN IN SAN CARLOS; JOHNNY EVES INJURED

Rail Trip, who has been mentioned as a candidate for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap at 1 ¼ miles on March 7, could make his next start in next Saturday’s Grade II San Carlos Handicap at seven furlongs.

“It’s a possibility,” trainer Ron Ellis said Saturday morning. “I looked at the race, and it’s not a very strong field other than Georgie Boy, so it’s a possibility.”

Rail Trip, a 4-year-old gelding by the A.P. Indy stallion Jump Start, is unbeaten in three starts by a combined margin of more than 12 lengths.

February 13, 2009

O’NEILL HOPES HIS ‘PLAN’ IS REAL DEAL ON SYNTHETIC IN SANTA MARIA

Mistical Plan figures to be part of the pace scenario in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Santa Maria Handicap, coming off a fourth-place finish after a troubled start in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint at six furlongs. The 5-year-old California-bred mare also figures to benefit from that race, her first in five months.

“She’s doing great,” trainer Doug O’Neill said of the daughter of Game Plan, who won the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks at 1 1/16 miles in March of 2007. “She’s proven at two turns.

February 12, 2009

DELGADILLO SEEKS FIRST GRADE I VICTORY IN SANTA MARIA

Agapito Delgadillo goes for the biggest win of his career Saturday. The 42-year-old jockey, who has dealt with weight problems for the past decade, rides Tizfiz for trainer Rafael DeLeon in the Grade I Santa Maria Handicap for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

Victory would give Delgadillo his first Grade I triumph in nearly 25 years as a jockey. He registered one of his greatest wins when he rode Tizfiz to a nose victory at 9-1 in the Grade II, $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap on Jan. 4.

February 11, 2009

COMMON BOND FOR WINNING COLORS, STARDOM BOUND IS CONFIDENCE: STEVENS

If Stardom Bound were to run and win the Santa Anita Derby on April 4, she would become the fourth filly to take the West’s major steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby in 72 runnings, and the first since Winning Colors in 1988.

Winning Colors went on to capture the Run for the Roses, the last filly to do so, and only the third in 135 runnings of the historic classic. Should Stardom Bound duplicate Winning Colors’ rare double, it would be with a completely different style.

February 8, 2009

Santa Anita Derby awaits Stardom Bound, Pioneerof the Nile-If...

A potential “Dream Match” in the Santa Anita Derby on April 4 between champion filly Stardom Bound and the West Coast’s leading Kentucky Derby contender Pioneerof the Nile was questioned Sunday morning by Bobby Frankel, who saddled Stardom Bound for her fourth straight Grade I victory in Saturday’s Las Virgenes Stakes.

“I don’t know,” Frankel said when asked if the gray daughter of Tapit would make her next start against colts in the Santa Anita Derby, as firmly indicated after the Las Virgenes by Michael Iavarone

January 17, 2009

GOMEZ HOPES GEORGIE BOY MAKES SHORT WORK OF SUNSHINE MILLIONS FOES

Georgie Boy will do something he has never done before when he runs in next Saturday’s $300,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita. He will be making his first start at six furlongs.

The California-bred gelding trained by Kathy Walsh has had nine lifetime starts: three at 5 ½ furlongs; one at 6 ½ furlongs; four at seven furlongs, and one at 1 1/16 miles.

January 16, 2009

IT’S NOT UNUSUAL FOR ABRAMS TO LIKE SUNSHINE MILLIONS
When it comes to the Sunshine Millions and Unusual Heat, count Barry Abrams as a fan. The 54-year-old trainer has eight horses pre-entered in the seventh Sunshine Millions races to be decided next Saturday, Jan. 24, at Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park, and each was sired by the prolific stallion Unusual Heat, who stands at Old English Rancho in Sanger. His breeding syndicate is managed by prominent owner Madeline Auerbach.

January 15, 2009

A RACING RARITY FOR GOMEZ AS HE PURSUES ANOTHER MONEY CROWN

Garrett Gomez has ridden more than 18,000 races in a career dating more than 20 years, but he had to think twice when asked if he had ever ridden horses in three straight stakes races on the same day at the same race track that he had never ridden before.

That could happen Saturday at Santa Anita.