- SALUTOS AMIGOS, CAUTIOUS GIANT VIE SUNDAY
- HORSEMEN VARY ON SUPER BOWL SELECTIONS
- CHAMPION NYQUIST WORKS SUNDAY MORNING
SALUTOS AMIGOS, CAUTIOUS GIANT IN PALOS VERDES
Salutos Amigos doesn’t have to carry his track with him as he showed in the Grade III Midnight Lute Stakes on Jan. 2 when he finished a willing second to San Onofre, beaten just a half-length in the 6 ½ furlong sprint.
It marked the 35th career start for the six-year-old gelded son of Salute the Sarge trained by David Jacobson who owns a share of the bay Kentucky-bred along with Southern Equine Stable, LLC.
Salutos Amigos has won 10 times racing from coast-to-coast, at Santa Anita, Belmont, Aqueduct, Saratoga and Keeneland.
“His best races have been when the rider takes a hold of him, but he could probably do whatever we want him to, include going to the lead,” Jacobson said in assessing the Palos Verdes, “but we’ll probably let the speed go and fall right in behind it.”
Salutos Amigos blew out four furlongs Friday morning in 50 seconds flat.
Kristin Mulhall hopes to continue her winning streak with Cautious Giant in the Palos Verdes. She claimed the five-year-old Giant’s Causeway gelding for $40,000 three races back and has won two overnight races with him since. The Palos Verdes marks his stakes debut.
“He’s doing really good,” Mulhall said. “He’s getting better and better. I claimed him because I liked his form. It looked like he wanted to run shorter and be a late-running sprinter.
“We took a shot, put blinkers on him, and got lucky.”
The Palos Verdes, race six of eight: Kobe’s Back, Gary Stevens, 5-2; Salutos Amigos, Rafael Bejarano, 2-1; Mystery Train, Tyler Baze, 12-1; Pulling G’s, Victor Espinoza, 7-2; Rocket Heat, Edwin Maldonado, 9-2; and Cautious Giant, Santiago Gonzalez, 4-1.
HORSEMEN HAVE MIXED VIEWS ON SUPER BOWL 50
With apologies to Hemingway, Super Bowl 50 on Sunday could be labeled The Old Man and the “C,” the Old Man being quarterback Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos who turns 40 on March 24, and the “C” for Cam Newton, the youthful, Hummer-sized quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, who are favored by about six points, with the over-under around 45.
With those two storylines the main focus of the championship game in San Francisco’s Levi’s Stadium starting at 3:30 p.m., it has generated international interest, including among horsemen at Santa Anita, which will have an 11 a.m. first post time Sunday so fans can be parked in front of their TV’s in time for the kickoff.
According to Sports Illustrated, the American Gambling Association says Americans are projected to wager $4.2 billion on Super Bowl 50, with 97 percent made illegally.
Following is a random sampling of horsemen based at Santa Anita, where wagering on horses is legal:
Barry Abrams: Denver to cover the spread, but Carolina to win the game.
Ricky Agarie: They’re two good teams but Peyton deserves it.
A.C. Avila: Is it soccer?
Bob Baffert: Now that I’m a semi-celebrity, I can’t tick anybody off with a selection, but I’m rooting for Manning.
Richard Baltas: Carolina.
David Bernstein: I’m a Manning fan but I think Carolina is the better team.
Simon Callaghan: Panthers.
James Cassidy: Carolina for obvious reasons.
Vladimir Cerin: Carolina, 45-17.
Phil D’Amato: Denver of course.
Keith Desormeaux: Carolina’s going to kill them. It’s not even going to be a game. That’s what my gut tells me.
Caesar Dominguez: The Panthers 33-17. It’ll be a blowout.
Neil Drysdale: Who’s Cam Newton? I’ll see him Sunday. It’s my only football game of the year.
Ron Ellis: Sentimentally, I’m going with the Broncos. Peyton deserves a good ending.
Peter Eurton: Denver. They have an awesome defense.
Paddy Gallagher: The Galaxy.
Victor Garcia: Carolina easy.
Mark Glatt: Denver and the points.
Dean Greenman: I want to see Manning go out winning, but it’s going to be very tough.
Jorge Gutierrez: Carolina is the best team. My team, the Minnesota Vikings, didn’t make it.
Karen Headley: I only pick the coin toss, and I’m going with heads.
Dan Hendricks: I’ll go out on a limb and pick Denver
Bob Hess Jr.: Denver. I’d like to see Manning go out on top. I’m old school for Manning and Elway.
David Hofmans: I’m rooting for Denver but I think Carolina will win.
Jerry Hollendorfer: I like Denver but Carolina is tough.
David Jacobson: Broncos. My sentimental pick is for Manning.
Steve Knapp: Denver. The old guy goes out a winner.
Craig Lewis: If Denver’s defense can slow down or stop ’em, that’s the whole game. No pick. Just enjoy the game.
Gary Mandella: I’m rooting for Peyton.
Ron McAnally: Denver. Manning beat Tom Brady and Brady’s hard to beat, but Newton’s good. He can run, he can do anything.
Sean McCarthy: Denver. I’m pulling for Peyton.
Jeff Metz: Denver. It’s Peyton’s last game and he’s going out on top.
Steve Miyadi: Denver. Everyone here picks Carolina and they’ve been wrong all year.
Dennis O’Neill: Denver because everyone is taking Carolina.
Doug O’Neill: The Broncos plus the points. I’ll be a contrarian.
Hector Palma: Carolina. They’re too good.
George Papaprodromou: Denver.
Mike Pender: It’s a no-brainer. Cam Newton is one of the 10-best quarterbacks ever to hit the big stage.
Mike Puype: Carolina. They’re playing with passion right now.
John Shirreffs: Denver.
Cliff Sise Jr.: Carolina. They’re strong right now.
Gary Stute: Carolina.
Eddie Truman: I think Carolina will win but I’m rooting for the Broncos.
Danny Velasquez: I’m a Denver fan, but Cam can be tough.
Tim Yakteen: The Panthers.
FINISH LINES: Undefeated Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion Nyquist will work five furlongs under regular rider Mario Gutierrez at 10:15 a.m. Sunday before the first race at 11 a.m. as he prepares for his three-year-old debut in the Grade II San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs on Monday, Feb. 15 . . . Through 25 days, Rafael Bejarano and Santiago Gonzalez were deadlocked for the lead in the jockey standings at 25 wins each. Phil D’Amato led Doug O’Neill in the trainers’ race, 14-11 . . . According to Santa Anita’s crack statistician Jason Hom, favorites are winning at a 36.28 clip (78 out of 215), while favorites on dirt stand about the same, 36.02 (58 of 161). . . Agent Tom Knust reports that Mario Gutierrez will be at Golden Gate next Saturday to ride Frank Conversation for O’Neill in the El Camino Real Derby. Frank Conversation worked five furlongs at Santa Anita today in 1:02.20 . . . La Brea Stakes winner Birdatthewire, prepping for next Saturday’s Grade II Santa Maria, worked five furlongs on the main track today in 59.60 for Tom Proctor, while Ocho Ocho Ocho, ticketed for Saturday’s Arcadia, went five furlongs in 1:00.60 for Jim Cassidy . . . The Race Track Chaplaincy of America will hold its annual golf tournament March 3 at Eagle’s Nest at Pebble Creek, 3645 Clubhouse Dr., Goodyear, AZ, 85395. Donations to the non-profit charitable organization are tax deductible and can be made to RTCA-AZ, 1501 W. Bell Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85023. For more info, contact Chaplain John Shumaker at 623 810-6013 or Chaplainshu@gmail.com . . . David C. Lopez, the meet’s third-leading jockey with 19 wins, has been suspended three days (Feb. 11, 12 and 13) for an infraction in Thursday’s fourth race on It Behooves Me, who won by a length-and-a-half and was not disqualified . . . Former All Pro Washington Redskins quarterback Billy Kilmer will present the trophy for tomorrow’s Super Bowl Starter Handicap, which goes as the fifth race. (Kilmer came out on the wrong end of a 14-3 Miami Dolphins’ win in Super Bowl VII).
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, Feb. 5)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||72||7||8||9||10%||33%||$447,164|
|J. Keith Desormeaux||23||5||1||6||22%||52%||$147,390|
|J. Eric Kruljac||23||4||2||5||17%||48%||$91,100|
|Clifford W. Sise, Jr.||14||3||3||1||21%||50%||$130,995|
|Hector O. Palma||19||3||2||4||16%||47%||$73,410|