• ‘AGGRESSIVE’ MOR SPIRIT WORKS FOR SAN FELIPE
  • CHAMPION SONGBIRD BREEZES FOR SANTA YSABEL
  • BEJARANO LEADS JOCKEYS; TWO TRAINERS TIED

 

BAFFERT ‘HAPPY’ WITH MOR SPIRIT AFTER DRILL  

            Working in company with stablemate Hoffenheim, Mor Spirit had his mind on business Sunday morning, breezing five furlongs in 59.80 under Martin Garcia for the Grade II San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on March 12.

The son of Eskendereya never completed a scheduled workout under regular rider Gary Stevens last Tuesday when he “lost interest,” but was back on the beam Sunday.

“He went well,” Bob Baffert said of his leading Triple Crown contender. “He’s tough to work. He’s a very laid back horse, which is good. He shows us more in the afternoon, which is what you want.

“We’re going work by work (for the San Felipe). We’ll play it by ear. Gary will ride him if we run. The horse seemed to be more aggressive today. Last time, he lost focus. He worked well today and galloped out strong.

“That’s him. He’ll show you more in the afternoon. There’s not a whole lot we need to do with him. He’s pretty fit. I’m really happy with him.”

Hoffenheim was clocked in 1:01.20.

The San Felipe is shaping up as the most competitive steppingstone to the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9, with Danzing Candy, Exaggerator, unbeaten Smokey Image and Uncle Lino also scheduled to run.

 

SONGBIRD IN ‘IMPRESSIVE’ WORK FOR SANTA YSABEL

Undefeated champion Songbird had an impressive four furlong workout Sunday under regular rider Mike Smith for next Saturday’s Grade III Santa Ysabel Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro trained by Jerry Hollendorfer for Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm was timed in 48 seconds flat, breezing.

“It was just a little blowout, a nice work in decent time,” Hollendorfer said after the 7:45 a.m. drill over Santa Anita’s fast main track on a picturesque morning. “There are a progression of races that you run in to get to the (Kentucky) Oaks (on May 6).

“You have the first one (Las Virgenes Stakes Feb. 6), then this one, then the Santa Anita Oaks (April 9). If you’re lucky enough after that, you can try a bigger race, although these are plenty big enough for us right now.”

Songbird is scheduled to walk the shed row tomorrow, then jog and gallop into the race.

The Hall of Fame trainer also has Kiss N Scat and Surfside Tiara nominated to the Santa Ysabel, but said he would consider entering one or both “if it comes up a real short field.”

Smith, meanwhile, was succinctly effusive in his praise of the work.

“Every breeze is different,” he said. “A horse wakes up in a different mood, but right now, she’s absolutely just loving what she does. That was probably one of the best half miles I’ve ever gone, about as easy and as smooth as you could possibly go; very impressive.”

 

FINISH LINES: FINISH LINES: Perennial Southern California riding king Rafael Bejarano has a 39-36 lead over runner-up Santiago Gonzalez in Santa Anita’s standings through 38 racing days, but Phil D’Amato and Doug O’Neill are in a flat-footed tie for the training lead with 20 wins each. Bejarano has ridden 180 horses, Gonzalez 193. Flavien Prat, third behind Bejarano with 32 victories, leads in purse earnings with $1,834,716. Bob Baffert, third behind D’Amato and O’Neill in wins with 16, leads in purse earnings with $1,210,385 . . . Follow Me Crev, working on a four-race winning streak but out of the Santa Anita Handicap picture with a quarter crack, could be back on the track soon. “We’ll get new shoes on him this week,” trainer Vladimir Cerin said . . . Donworth, third behind Hoppertunity and Imperative in the San Antonio Stakes Feb. 6, worked six furlongs Saturday in 1:14.40 for the Big Cap. “He came out of it great,” O’Neill said. “We’re excited about the race.” . . . San Marcos winner Flamboyant, headed for the $6 million Dubai Turf at 1 1/8 miles on March 26, worked six furlongs on the main track under Brice Blanc for Paddy Gallagher in 1:14.40 . . . Santa Monica winner Lost Bus, ticketed for the $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf March 19, worked four furlongs under Fernando Perez for Gary Sherlock in 48.20 . . . Jockey Iggy Puglisi escaped serious injury when unseated from Thisonesforyou shortly after the start of yesterday’s fourth race. “I’d like to thank everyone for checking in on me and making sure I was all right,’ Puglisi posted to his Twitter account Saturday at 7 p.m. “They just released me & nothing too serious just a bit sore Thank You.” . . . Santa Anita, in association with the National Chili Society and Fire It Up Events, is proud to donate over $2,000 to the Wounded Warriors Project. Thanks to all the participants in the 2016 Santa Anita Chili Cook Off.

 

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS                
               
(Current Through Saturday, Feb. 27)        
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won  
Rafael Bejarano 180 39 35 19 22% 52% $1,803,767  
Santiago Gonzalez 193 36 28 24 19% 46% $1,428,344  
Flavien Prat 171 32 18 25 19% 44% $1,834,716  
Edwin Maldonado 126 24 11 12 19% 37% $834,315  
Tyler Baze 188 20 31 27 11% 41% $1,070,166  
David Lopez 113 20 8 16 18% 39% $598,201  
Mario Gutierrez 141 18 23 20 13% 43% $1,074,464  
Joseph Talamo 167 18 20 21 11% 35% $963,234  
Martin Garcia 89 14 9 9 16% 36% $869,549  
Kent Desormeaux 77 11 21 12 14% 57% $976,309  
Fernando Perez 126 11 13 18 9% 33% $634,639  
Drayden Van Dyke 107 11 13 14 10% 36% $664,784  
Martin Pedroza 72 10 8 4 14% 31% $267,275  
Gary Stevens 50 10 6 7 20% 46% $1,113,803  
Agapito Delgadillo 71 9 8 6 13% 32% $250,802  
Mike Smith 67 7 6 13 10% 39% $943,730  
Victor Espinoza 57 6 9 6 11% 37% $627,205  
Abel Lezcano 52 5 2 4 10% 21% $217,564  
Alonso Quinonez 61 4 8 4 7% 26% $206,150  
Brice Blanc 42 4 4 7 10% 36% $444,610  
               
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won  
Doug O’Neill 124 20 17 20 16% 46% $1,046,718  
Philip D’Amato 91 20 14 15 22% 54% $1,059,320  
Bob Baffert 74 16 11 12 22% 53% $1,210,385  
Jerry Hollendorfer 96 13 9 13 14% 36% $923,226  
Peter Eurton 68 12 16 11 18% 57% $739,837  
Richard Baltas 76 12 11 9 16% 42% $906,634  
Peter Miller 94 11 8 12 12% 33% $469,050  
John Sadler 59 10 8 5 17% 39% $468,849  
Steven Miyadi 46 9 11 7 20% 59% $300,059  
Vladimir Cerin 30 9 3 4 30% 53% $300,070  
Mark Glatt 64 8 7 3 13% 28% $364,425  
Kristin Mulhall 34 7 6 2 21% 44% $304,680  
William Spawr 28 7 5 3 25% 54% $187,342  
George Papaprodromou 35 7 2 6 20% 43% $203,665  
Jeff Bonde 28 7 2 4 25% 46% $168,010  
Mike Puype 55 6 11 3 11% 36% $299,320  
J. Keith Desormeaux 35 6 5 8 17% 54% $241,069  
Patrick Gallagher 27 6 3 5 22% 52% $466,643  
Jeff Mullins 24 5 6 0 21% 46% $164,634  
Ron Ellis 22 5 2 2 23% 41% $164,730  
Carla Gaines 34 5 2 2 15% 26% $417,410  
Steve Knapp 25 5 1 2 20% 32% $150,610