- ARROGATE LOOKS GOOD AFTER PEGASUS BREEZE
- EDWIN MALDONADO RETURNS TO WINNER’S CIRCLE
- KOBE‘S BACK WORKS FOR THE GRADE I TRIPLE BEND
ARROGATE COULD WORK AT SANTA ANITA AGAIN SUNDAY, IF . . .
Despite curve balls thrown at him by the weatherman, Arrogate remains sitting on a fastball as he awaits a rematch with the People’s Horse, California Chrome, in the inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park Jan. 28.
Arrogate, who defeated California Chrome in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 5 by a dramatic half-length after a stretch-long battle that resulted in the race becoming an instant classic, worked six furlongs late Sunday morning on a “fast” main track in 1:12.29.
“He’s fine, he looks good,” a relieved to the point of being affable Bob Baffert said Monday morning. “It was good for him. I was happy with the breeze. The track was deep, it was heavier, which is good. He got a lot out of it. He did it the right way.
“He kept going out strong on his own, so he didn’t have to be urged (by Martin Garcia). We’re good right now. He’s got to breeze at Santa Anita one more time (before shipping to Florida). I was planning on Sunday, but looking at this weather . . . I quit looking at this damn Weather Channel. It’s unbelievable.
“For the first time in California, these weathermen have been right. I can’t believe it. They’re usually so wrong. The important thing in his next work is to have him coming up to the Pegasus in peak form.”
MALDONADO WINS FIRST RACE IN COMEBACK
Edwin Maldonado is back.
The 34-year-old Ohio native won his first race Sunday since recovering from painful injuries suffered more than four months ago in a morning accident at Del Mar Sept. 4.
Maldonado piloted first-time starter Pomp and Party to a 3 ½-length victory in Sunday’s second race for owner/breeder H & E Ranch Inc. and trainer Phil D’Amato.
A three-year-old chestnut filly sired in Arizona by the Pulpit stallion Parading, Pomp and Party paid $3.40 as the no-secret favorite.
Maldonado suffered six broken ribs and a collapsed lung in the mishap, but said he was “like a little kid” as he neared his return.
“That was the ice-breaker,” said his agent, Joe Griffin, who has represented Maldonado in the past. “Edwin was tickled to death to win. The horse had been working well and he liked him, so things are looking good.”
Added D’Amato: “When he’s on his game, Edwin is as good as any rider out here. He’s come back, he looks focused, he always looks good on horses, they run for him, and hopefully we’ll put him on some more winners.”
FINISH LINES: Santa Anita’s iconic Paddock Captain, John Shear, who will celebrate his 96th birthday on Tuesday, will be honored in the Winner’s Circle following today’s fourth race . . . Horsemen continued to take advantage of the dry weather with 265 recorded workouts at Santa Anita Monday, including 31 on the dirt training track. Both courses were labeled “fast.” Multiple graded stakes winner Kobe’s Back went four furlongs on the main track for trainer Peter Eurton in 48.60. “We were going to run him in the Palos Verdes on Feb. 4, but the rain killed us,” Eurton said. “Now we’re looking at the (Grade I) Triple Bend on March 11.” . . . There is a single Pick Six Jackpot ticket carryover of $198,939.08 into today’s races . . . Leading rider Tyler Baze (15-10 over Flavien Prat) has been suspended three days (Jan. 21, 22 and 26) for causing interference on Winning Causeway in Saturday’s third race, resulting in a disqualification from first to second . . . Corey Nakatani has been suspended the same three days for causing interference at the start of Saturday’s first race aboard Place des Voges . . . Santa Anita will be dark for live racing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Live racing resumes on Friday, Jan. 20, at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Sunday, Jan. 15)|
|Norberto Arroyo, Jr.||41||7||3||1||17%||27%||$315,085|
|Drayden Van Dyke||44||4||8||2||9%||32%||$276,620|
|J. Keith Desormeaux||14||4||2||3||29%||64%||$310,595|