- DANZING CANDY DEBUTS FOR BAFFERT IN AFFIRMED
- D’AMATO EYES BANGUP FOURTH WITH SUNDAY RULES
- VERSATILE LIVING THE LIFE RETURNS TO MAIN TRACK
- FAN APPRECIATION DAY, DOLLAR DAY MONDAY, JULY 4
BAFFERT SWEET ON ‘CANDY’ IN AFFIRMED
Danzing Candy makes his first start for Bob Baffert in Saturday’s Grade III Affirmed Stakes for three-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, and the Hall of Fame trainer is anxious to see what he’s got.
“It will be interesting,” Baffert said between workers Thursday morning. “His last two races were sort of disasters. We taught him how to harness some of that speed. He’s got a good post and we should have options from there (No. five in a field of five).”
Danzing Candy won the Grade II San Felipe Stakes last March when trained by Cliff Sise Jr. prior to finishing fourth by 13 ¼ lengths in the sloppy Santa Anita Derby and 15th by 20 lengths in the Kentucky Derby after leading both races.
The Affirmed marks the first race under Baffert’s supervision.
“I’m looking forward to seeing if what we’ve done has made a difference and to see what we have,” Baffert said.
The field for the Affirmed, named for the 1978 Triple Crown winner: Curlin Rules, Victor Espinoza, 5-1; Dalmore, Kent Desormeaux, 4-1; Beaumarchais, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Prince of Arabia, Santiago Gonzalez, 6-1; and Danzing Candy, Rafael Bejarano, 2-5.
IMPROVING BEACHMARCHAIS STEPS UP IN AFFIRMED
Beachmarchais steps up from a smashing 5 ½-length victory against $75,000 maiden claiming horses to Saturday’s Affirmed Stakes, but Simon Callaghan feels the Florida-bred son of Big Drama deserves the chance.
“He’s simply getting better,” the trainer said. “Stretching out in distance for the first time last out (at a mile) he showed there’s more improvement to come. He needs to step up his game but I think he’s heading in the right direction.”
SUNDAY RULES SEEKS TO STAY PERFECT AT SANTA ANITA
Leading trainer Phil D’Amato hopes to have a bang-up Fourth of July Monday with Sunday Rules when the five-year-old mare runs in the $100,000 Spring Fever Handicap, one in the popular Golden State Series, this for fillies and mares, three and up, at six furlongs.
Sunday Rules, a daughter of the late Tribal Rule owned and bred by Nick Alexander, won three straight including the California Cup Sprint on Jan. 30 before fading to ninth after setting the pace in the Grade I Madison at Keeneland last out on April 9.
“She’s been training well; her last couple breezes were dynamite,” said D’Amato, who also could enter Sidepocket Sue in the Spring Fever. “We’re looking forward to running Sunday Rules back at Santa Anita (where she is unbeaten in five starts).”
D’Amato is well on his way to his second straight Santa Anita training title and overall his second ever, with a 22-13 lead over runner-up Jerry Hollendorfer and only eight racing days remaining in the Spring Meet.
“We’re running our horses through their conditions and they’re all firing,” he said. “We’re doing well.”
LIVING THE LIFE LOOKS FOR PASSING GRADE SUNDAY
Living the Life, a versatile Irish-bred mare trained by Gary Mandella, moves from a Grade III victory on Golden Gate’s synthetic Tapeta surface back to dirt Sunday when she runs in the $75,000 Southern Truce Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.
The six-year-old bay daughter of Footstepsinthesand has run in eight straight graded stakes prior to Sunday’s Southern Truce.
“It would be nice to get a win with her on dirt,” Mandella said, “but her races sprinting on it were really good against a little tougher competition than what she’ll see on Sunday.
“Obviously, you always have more confidence with her on synthetic, but she traded punches with some very nice fillies like (Grade I winners) Tara’s Tango and Taris on dirt and I’m happy to be away from them.”
FANS CAN WIN MERCEDES-BENZ AND MORE ON DOLLAR DAY, JULY 4
Monday, July 4, is Fan Appreciation Day at Santa Anita. Fans can enter to win a chance at a 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC, presented by Rusnak/Arcadia, reserved seating for the 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Nov. 4 and 5, VIP packages good for the track’s Autumn Meet which begins Sept. 30, and $500 betting vouchers.
Veterans and active duty military will receive free General Admission Monday at Santa Anita as well. Monday also is also Dollar Day, with one dollar beers, sodas and hot dogs available throughout the day.
Following are details on Santa Anita’s Fan Appreciation Day offerings:
- Each fan (with paid admission) will receive a contest entry card as they enter Santa Anita. The card, once completed, can be placed in a number of designated contest locations or bins throughout the facility. All entries must be submitted by 3 p.m.
- The contest cards will be used to draw the winners, who will be announced throughout the day from the Winner’s Circle.
- One lucky fan will become the final contestant entered into the drawing for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC presented by Rusnak/Arcadia. All 10 qualifiers will be on-track and will be assigned to a specific horse in a designated race on Monday. The contestants will watch their race from the Winner’s Circle and the winning horse will determine the winner of the Mercedes-Benz GLC.
- Betting vouchers worth $500 will be given away, as will four 2016 Autumn Meet “VIP Day at the Races” packages.
- Two Breeders’ Cup Reserved Seating Packages, including a Four-Pack for Friday, Nov. 4, and a Four-Pack for Breeders’ Cup Classic Day, Saturday, Nov. 5, will be given away.
VISIT http://www.santaanita.com/events-and-tickets/ FOR CONTEST RULES PLUS ALL ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING GIVEAWAYS AND VIP PACKAGES.
FINISH LINES: Rebel Stakes winner Cupid worked four furlongs for Bob Baffert Thursday in 48.40, while Sorrento winner Pretty N Cool went the same distance for Baffert with Mike Smith up in 48 flat. Baffert trainee American Cleopatra, a full sister to American Pharoah, went four furlongs in 48.60 in company with an unnamed stablemate whose dam is Fortunate Queen, also timed in 48.60 . . . Santa Anita Gold Cup Betting Challenge tournament winner Hesham Ragab and horse players Carlon Rogers and Rajiv Rishi will be Tom Quigley‘s guests, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, respectively, 12:20 p.m., in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Tomorrow, July 1 through Sunday, July 3, the largest Asian-themed night market in the United States takes place at Santa Anita in the form of 626 Night Market. The growing entertainment tradition features merchandise vendors, games, food, music, and more. For more information, visit santaanita.com/events or www.626nightmarket.com.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Sunday, June 26)|