- PREAKNESS POST POSITION IMPORTANT FOR UNCLE LINO
- BEJARANO IS BACK ON WILD RIDE IN GRADE II KONA GOLD
- CHAMP STELLAR WIND BREEZES FOR GRADE I VANITY MILE
- UNDEFEATED FILLY SONGBIRD COULD BREEZE NEXT WEEK
PREAKNESS DRAW COULD IMPACT OUTCOME
Despite the fact that at age 70, Gary Sherlock will be the oldest trainer to saddle a horse in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, he will get no Senior discount for entering.
He’s got bigger fish to fry, namely undefeated Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist and runner-up Exaggerator when he sends out California Chrome winner Uncle Lino in the second jewel of the Triple Crown at Pimlico Race Course. All three horses train out of Santa Anita.
Both Sherlock and Uncle Lino leave Tuesday for Maryland, a state in which Sherlock has never raced in a career that began in 1966.
Sherlock was waiting for all the chips to fall into place before speaking extensively on Uncle Lino’s chances in the Preakness.
“The draw is important,” Sherlock said on an overcast Sunday morning at Clockers’ Corner. “Where my horse is depends on the draw and who’s in the race,” Sherlock said.
“Unless Nyquist can’t come back in 13 days, he’s going to be tough to beat. I’m hoping Uncle Lino moves forward and that coming back in two weeks takes its toll on the others (that ran in the Kentucky Derby on May 7).
“If we draw inside, we’re just going to go. It’s all about the draw now.”
Post positions for the 141st Preakness will be drawn on Wednesday.
First live race post time at Santa Anita on Preakness Day is 12 noon. Admission gates open at 7:15 a.m.
BEJARANO SEEKS FAST PACE IN KONA GOLD
Perennial Southern California riding king Rafael Bejarano reunites with Grade I winning sprinter Wild Dude in next Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Kona Gold Stakes for older horses at 6 ½ furlongs on the main track.
Bejarano rode Wild Dude to victory in the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship last Oct. 3, and has piloted the Florida-bred son of Wildcat Heir 13 times in his 21-race career, winning four.
The bay horse trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who also is part owner, along with Green Smith, is a stalker who fancies a quick pace.
“His best races are when he’s right behind the speed,” Bejarano said. “As for the Kona Gold, it depends on how fast they go, then I’ll figure it out. Hopefully, there will be two or three speed horses in there that will make it easy for me. I think he’ll be tough.”
If Wild Dude finishes first or second in the Kona Gold, he would become a millionaire. With a 7-5-4 record from 21 starts, he has earned $975,232 to date. First money is worth $120,000, second, $40,000. Wild Dude worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Sunday with Bejarano up in 1:01 flat.
Also working Sunday for the Kona Gold were Cherubim under Tiago Pereira and Coastline, both for Phil D’Amato, off to a flying start this meet with six wins from 20 starters to lead all trainers through seven racing days.
Cherubim worked five furlongs in a bullet 58.60, fastest of 62 drills at the distance, while Coastline went the same distance in 59.80.
Probable for the Kona Gold: Cherubim, Tiago Pereira; Coastline, Tyler Baze; Dream Saturday, Mike Smith; Kafister, Flavien Prat; San Onofre, Edwin Maldonado; and Wild Dude, Rafael Bejarano.
STELLAR WIND WORKS ‘VERY WELL’ FOR VANITY
Stellar Wind, champion three-year-old filly of 2015, worked six furlongs under regular rider Victor Espinoza Sunday in 1:13.40, going in company with stablemate That’s a Lady, who was timed in 1:13.60.
Stellar Wind is ticketed for the Grade I, $400,000 Vanity Mile June 4 and an expected meeting with three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder and Taris, winner of eight of 13 starts including the seven furlong, Grade I Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs May 7.
“She went very well,” trainer John Sadler said of Stellar Wind. “She went out (seven furlongs) in (one) 26 and change. She usually works in company when she’s getting ready to run. She’s right on schedule.”
FINISH LINES: Unbeaten and untested champion Songbird, a candidate for the Grade II Summertime Oaks on June 18, continues to gallop towards her return and could have her first breeze next week since recovering from a fever that caused her to miss the May 6 Kentucky Oaks, according to Dan Ward, assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer . . . Follow Me Crev worked six furlongs Sunday with Alonso Quinonez aboard in 1:13.80. The gelded son of Quality Road is nominated to next Sunday’s Grade II Californian Stakes but after the drill, trainer Vladmir Cerin said he is “40-70” to run . . . Agent Tom Knust reports that Mario Gutierrez leaves Tuesday for Maryland where he pilots Nyquist in the Preakness on Saturday before returning to ride at Santa Anita next Sunday . . . Ohio, the well-regarded Brazilian import that finished last at odds of 3-2 after an eventful trip in the American Stakes on May 6, is doing well and scheduled to breeze next week, according to Paulo Lobo. The trainer hopes to find a race for the five-year-old in Santa Anita’s next condition book due out Wednesday . . . Toowindytohaulrox, winner of the Daytona Stakes on opening day of Santa Anita’s Winter Meet last Dec. 26, is ticketed for the $75,000 Siren Lure Stakes for three-year-olds and up at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf June 4, trainer Phil D’Amato said . . . With no mount in the Preakness after winning five of the last seven Triple Crown races, Victor Espinoza is characteristically taking things in stride, resigned to plying his trade regularly at Santa Anita again after a world-wide, two-year wild ride that included victories aboard American Pharoah, California Chrome and Stellar Wind, each an Eclipse Award winner and the first two Horse of the Year honorees. Victor waxed philosophically about missing the Preakness, which he won in 2014 with California Chrome and last year with American Pharoah. “I’ll be here until I find the next champion,” he said.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Saturday, May 14)|
|Hector O. Palma||6||3||2||0||50%||83%||$54,945|
|Edward R. Freeman||5||3||1||1||60%||100%||$84,520|
|Michael W. McCarthy||4||2||1||0||50%||75%||$78,745|