- THREE WORK FOR $1 MILLION SANTA ANITA DERBY
- ‘IRON HORSE’ MELANISTIC TO MAKE HER 52ND START
- SANTA ANITA HOSTS EASTER EGG HUNT TOMORROW
DANZING CANDY IN BULLET DRILL FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY
Danzing Candy, front-running winner of the San Felipe Stakes on March 12, worked five
furlongs on a warm Saturday morning in a bullet 58.60 under regular rider Mike Smith for the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles on April 9.
It was the swiftest of 54 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:01.47.
“I didn’t want to go quite that fast,” said Cliff Sise Jr., who trains the dark bay son of
Twirling Candy. “I wanted to go in like a minute and change, but he got some air in him today.”
Danzing Candy worked in company with Richard Baltas trainee Far Out Kailee, who was timed in 1:00.20.
Santa Anita clocker Dane Nelson gave Danzing Candy fractional times of 22.80 and 46.40, with a six furlong gallop-out clocking of 1:12 flat.
Also working Saturday for the Santa Anita Derby were San Felipe third-place finisher Exaggerator for Keith Desormeaux, and San Felipe fifth-place finisher Smokey Image for Carla Gaines. Each went five furlongs, Exaggerator in 1:00.40 under Kent Desormeaux and Smokey Image in 59.60.
Exaggerator’s splits were 24, 36 and 48.60, with a six furlong gallop out time of 1:13.80. “It was a normal work and he did it easily,” Keith said. “No complaints.”
MELANISTIC SEEKS FIRST STAKES WIN SUNDAY
Hall of Fame baseball great Lou Gehrig was nicknamed “The Iron Horse” for playing in a
record 2,130 consecutive games before his legendary career with the New York Yankees came to an end when he was stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Gehrig played 17 seasons, from 1923 through 1939. His longevity mark lasted 56 years, until surpassed by Cal Ripkin Jr. in 1995.
Santa Anita has an authentic while much-less dramatic “Iron Horse” in Melanistic, a seven-year-old mare in Sunday’s $100,000 Dream of Summer Stakes, part of the Golden State Series, this one for older fillies and mares at one mile on the main track.
“She’s an iron horse, but she’s always been a good horse, always trained well, always given a good effort,” trainer Richard Baltas said of the daughter of Ministers Wild Cat bred by Ron Goodman.
“I put blinkers on in her last race, because it seemed she hadn’t been showing interest and she ran a very good race (second, beaten a nose in an overnight event at one mile).”
Melanistic has run 51 times in a career that began on March 12, 2012, when she made her debut in a $2,500 maiden claiming race going 4 ½ furlongs at Los Alamitos. She finished third. Two starts later, she broke her maiden in the same conditions, and although she has never won a stakes while campaigning under several different trainers, she was second in the Dream of Summer last year.
She has won 11 races, finished second eight times and third seven, earning $354,090.
The field for the Dream of Summer, race nine of 10: Kiss At Midnight, Rafael Bejarano, 3-1; Lucy in Diamonds, Martin Pedroza, 20-1; Swissarella, Edwin Maldonado, 8-1; Melanistic, Tyler Baze, 8-1; Tiz a Kiss, Kent Desormeaux, 10-1; Ashley’s Sassy, Alonso Quinonez, 10-1; Light One, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1; Singing Kitty, Gary Stevens, 7-2; and Sheer Pleasure, Martin Garcia, 7-2.
EASTER EGG HUNT TOMORROW AT SANTA ANITA
Tomorrow, Easter Sunday, Santa Anita hosts the San Gabriel Valley’s largest Easter Egg Hunt, with 10,000 candy-filled “eggs” earmarked for distribution in the track’s spacious Infield.
Parking is free via Santa Anita’s Gate 6, off of Colorado Place and will be available to kids ranging in age from one year to 11 years. Three different age groups will be individually served, with toddlers aged one to three years in Group One, kids four to six years in Group Two, and kids seven to 11 in Group Three.
Easter Egg Hunt times are: 12:30 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
In addition to Easter Egg Hunts, families can have their pictures taken with the Easter Bunny and may also enjoy Santa Anita’s regular Family Fun Activities, including pony rides, face painting, bounce houses and carnival games.
The Family Fun Zone is offered free every Sunday in Santa Anita’s Infield.
Admission and parking to the Infield Area are free each weekend. There is a $2 per hunt charge for each child tomorrow.
For additional information, visit santaanita.com, or call (626) 574-6384.
FINISH LINES: Santa Anita will replay today’s Dubai World Cup won by California Chrome on track and via its simulcast network after today’s fifth race. California Chrome, winner of the San Pasqual Stakes earlier this year, became North America’s richest Thoroughbred with his victory for trainer Art Sherman and jockey Victor Espinoza. The playback will also include the post-race interview with Sherman . . . With a two-day carryover, today’s Pick Six pool is expected to approach $750,000 . . . In his first breeze back since winning the Santa Anita Handicap on March 12, Melatonin worked four furlongs for David Hofmans in 49.40, while Arcadia Stakes winner Bolo went the same distance for Carla Gaines in 48.40 . . . Texas Red, winner of the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, worked six furlongs in 1:13.60 for Keith Desormeaux, who also sent stakes-winning Swipe a mile in 1:43.40 . . . Richard Mandella said he is leaning towards the Adoration Stakes on dirt May 8 for multiple champion Beholder rather than the Royal Heroine on grass May 5 . . . Agent Craig Stephen reports jockey Santiago Gonzalez is convalescing well at home in Montclair after suffering a non-displaced fractured jaw and an injured right leg when his mount, Follini, appeared to clip heels in last Sunday’s fifth race. “His jaw isn’t wired shut,” Stephen said, “but he can’t eat. Right now he’s pretty much living on chocolate milkshakes, which is not a bad way to go. The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time. He was going to ride (Gotham runner-up) Laoban for Eric Guillot in the Blue Grass Stakes on April 9.” . . . Agent Jim Pegram has taken the book of apprentice rider David Lopez . . . “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” the old expression goes, but a bird in front of the starting gate before the race begins ain’t worth diddly. That could have impacted Ziconic, who dwelt at the start of Friday’s fourth race, finishing fifth in a field of six, beaten just over 14 lengths as the 11-10 favorite. Saturday morning, a social media picture of a bird in front of Ziconic’s gate after it opened went viral. “When the gates opened, he backed up,” trainer John Shirreffs said of the three-year-old son of Tapit out of champion mare Zenyatta. Shirreffs couldn’t be sure if the bird bothered Ziconic, but, “You never know,” he said . . . Photo finish frenzy: There was a dead-heat for win in Friday’s first race between Shysheisnot and Swiss Skimmer, while Dissension just missed completing a triple dead-heat, finishing a nose back in third . . . Nancy From Nairobi, 5-2 morning line second choice, was scratched from today’s Santa Ana Stakes due to minor colic, according to Larry Benavidez, assistant to trainer John Sadler.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, March 25)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||159||14||16||25||9%||35%||$930,167|
|J. Keith Desormeaux||48||8||6||10||17%||50%||$351,629|