- DANZING CANDY, UNCLE LINO DRILL FOR SAN FELIPE
- DONWORTH PREPS FOR RICH SANTA ANITA HANDICAP
- TIZ A BILLY SET FOR BAFFLE STAKES AFTER TIME OFF
- ZENYATTA’S EXERCISE RIDER WILLARD IS DEAD AT 72
THREE-YEAR-OLDS PREP FOR SAN FELIPE STAKES
Danzing Candy and Uncle Lino, two contenders for the Grade II, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes for three-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on March 12, worked on Santa Anita’s fast main track Saturday for the race, a major steppingstone to the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9.
Danzing Candy went five furlongs in 1:00.20, while Uncle Lino went four furlongs in 47.80 with Fernando Perez up for trainer Gary Sherlock. Danzing Candy won an allowance race at one mile by nearly six lengths on Feb. 4.
“It was a perfect work,” said Cliff Sise Jr., trainer of Danzing Candy, a son of Twirling Candy. “He just galloped. Mike was very happy with him.”
Sise was speaking of jockey Mike Smith, who has the mount in the San Felipe, which will be run for the 79th time and has been won in the past by stalwarts such as Dortmund (2015), California Chrome (2014), Pioneerof the Nile (2009), Medaglia d’Oro (2002), Point Given (2001), Fusaichi Pegasus (2000), Bertrando (1992), Sunday Silence (1989), Affirmed (1978), Hill Rise (1964), Determine (1954) and Your Host (1950).
Uncle Lino, a game second behind odds-on favorite Mor Spirit in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 6, impressed trainer Gary Sherlock.
“It was probably the best work he’s ever had by himself,” Sherlock said.
DONWORTH WORKS FOR $1 MILLION SANTA ANITA HANDICAP
Prepping for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap under exercise rider Jonny Garcia, Donworth worked four furlongs for Doug O’Neill in 48 seconds flat. Donworth was third by a half-length and a nose to Hoppertunity and Imperative in the San Antonio Stakes on Feb. 6. The Santa Anita Handicap will be run March 12 at 1 ¼ miles.
Clockers were busy Saturday morning as 251 workouts were recorded at Santa Anita.
TIZ A BILLY SHARP FOR SUNDAY’S BAFFLE
Tiz a Billy comes off a smashing maiden win followed by a bullet workout for Sunday’s $75,000 Baffle Stakes for three-year-old at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
A son of Tizway trained by Brian Koriner, Tiz a Billy broke his maiden by 6 ½ lengths on Jan. 16 in his first race in three months. He worked four furlongs Feb. 14 in a bullet 47.40 under Flavien Prat, who rides in the Baffle.
“It was just mental, because he ran three times at Del Mar and he was kind of losing his brain, so we gave him time,” Koriner said in explaining the three-month gap between races.
“He needed a little time to recover, and he’s put on weight, so we’re looking forward to the Baffle.”
The Baffle, which goes as the second race: Tiz a Billy, Flavien Prat, 2-1; Iron Rob, Santiago Gonzalez, 10-1; Hot Ore, Tyler Baze, 7-2; He’s a Tiger, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Path of David, Joe Talamo, 5-2; and True Brilliance, Fernando Perez, 7-2.
ZENYATTA’S EXERCISE RIDER WILLARD DEAD AT 72
Steve Willard, the exercise rider for 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, died Feb. 16 at the age of 72, according to The Paulick Report.
In early 2014, Willard was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He grew up in Illinois and began galloping horses at Arlington Park, later becoming a jockey and riding mainly in the Midwest for nearly 20 years.
When his riding days were over, he worked for Jack Van Berg, Jacque Fulton and Richard Mandella before joining up with John Shirreffs, trainer of Zenyatta.
FINISH LINES: Agent Vince DeGregory will undergo throat surgery Monday at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Burbank. The 83-year-old veteran currently represents Tiago Pereira, but his former riders are a Who’s Who among jockeys and include seven Hall of Fame members Angel Cordero Jr., Chris McCarron, Laffit Pincay Jr., Bill Shoemaker, Alex Solis, Jacinto Vasquez and Jorge Velasquez. DeGregory also booked mounts for Victor Espinoza, Darrel McHargue and Joel Rosario . . . Agent Derek Lawson reports Flavien Prat will ride Calculator for Peter Miller in the Grade II, $300,000 San Carlos Stakes on March 12. Prat also has been booked on Bal a Bali for Richard Mandella in the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile the same day . . . Palos Verdes winner Kobe’s Back, a candidate for the San Carlos, worked four furlongs for Peter Eurton in 49.20, while 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red went the same distance in 52.60 for Keith Desormeaux . . . Jockey Edwin Maldonado, enjoying a solid meet for agent J.R. Pegram with 21 wins good for fourth in Santa Anita’s standings, rides maiden winner Bistraya for Ricky Agarie in today’s Grade II Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds . . . The California Horse Racing Board will conduct its regular monthly meeting Thursday, Feb. 25, in the Baldwin Terrace Room at Santa Anita at 9:30 a.m. The Legislative, Legal, and Regulations Committee will meet in the same location on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend both meetings. An audio-only webcast of the Board meeting can be heard through a link on the CHRB website (webcast). The meeting agendas (Board/Committee) and supporting packages of materials (Board/Committee) also are available on the CHRB website . . . Jockey Efrain Hernandez has been suspended three days (Feb. 21, 25 and 26) for careless riding aboard Just Bookin in Sunday’s fifth race, resulting in a disqualification from first to fourth.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, Feb. 19)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||90||9||8||12||10%||32%||$537,544|
|J. Keith Desormeaux||31||6||4||7||19%||55%||$223,704|