- SADLER HAS STELLAR WIND ‘BACKUP’ IN ZENYATTA
- ‘WIN AND YOU’RE IN’ FIELDS ARE POISED TO ENTER
- PENA ON VERGE OF WINNING FIRST RIDING CROWN
- SURGERY GOES WELL FOR INJURED LAURA WERNER
- SANTA ANITA TO AGAIN OFFER FREE GOLD LINE SHUTTLE
SHENANDOAH QUEEN STEPS UP FOR ZENYATTA STAKES
John Sadler will train streaking Grade I champion Stellar Wind up to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 3 rather than tune up in the Zenyatta Stakes on Sept. 30, opting to run stablemate Shenandoah Queen in that race instead.
“She’s a new up-and-comer,” Sadler said of Shenandoah Queen, a five-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes obtained by Sadler’s principal owners, Kosta and Peter Hronis.
“She was a private purchase out of Florida because we thought there was room in the division and it was kind of a backup for Stellar (Wind). We ran her on the grass the first time (fifth in an allowance race at Del Mar Aug. 2).
“She ran OK but didn’t love it, so we switched her to the dirt and she ran really well the second time.”
That sagacious move paid dividends with a three-quarter length victory at 20-1 in the restricted Tranquility Lakes Stakes on Aug. 25.
“We had her pegged at like 8-1, but she was definitely a big overlay that day,” Sadler said. “If you looked at her, she shouldn’t have been.”
Stellar Wind, meanwhile, “is doing beautiful,” Sadler said. “She’s been (working) every Sunday (since winning the Clement L. Hirsch July 30, adding that to the Grade I Beholder Mile and the Grade I Apple Blossom earlier this year).
“She’ll breeze again this Sunday. Last year, she had to work so hard to beat Beholder (by a neck in the Zenyatta) we wanted to give her more time between races and it’s been beneficial, because it hasn’t taken a toll on her.
“We wanted to go fresh this year and she’s doing great.”
Stellar Wind, Eclipse Award winner as outstanding three-year-old filly of 2015, is unbeaten in three starts this year and 10 for 15 lifetime, with earnings of $2,233,200.
In addition to the Zenyatta, Santa Anita will showcase four other Grade I, $300,000
“Win and You’re In” Challenge Races: the Awesome Again Stakes for three-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles; the FrontRunner Stakes for two-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles; the Chandelier Stakes for two-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles; and the Rodeo Drive Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at 1 ¼ miles on turf.
First post time Sept. 30 will be 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. On opening day, Sept. 29, first post time is 1 p.m., with admission gates opening at 11 a.m.
Friday’s feature is the Grade III Eddie D. Stakes for three-year-olds and up at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
PROBABLE FIELDS FOR ‘WIN AND YOU’RE IN’ STAKES
Saturday’s five Grade I “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge races will be drawn next Wednesday, Sept. 27, as will the races for Sunday, Oct. 1. Entries for the opening day card next Friday, Sept. 29, will be taken this Tuesday, Sept. 26.
Following are probable entrants for Saturday’s Grade I events: Accelerate, Breaking Lucky, Cupid, Curlin Rules, Donworth, Dortmund, Midnight Storm and Win the Space (Awesome Again Stakes); Faithfully, Midnight Toast, Motown Lady, Paradise Woods, Shenandoah Queen; Vale Dori (Zenyatta Stakes); Alluring Star, Dancing Belle, Just a Smidge, Moonshine Memories, Piedi Bianchi, Spectator, Super Good, Terra’s Angel and True Royalty (Chandelier Stakes).
Also: Axelrod, Ayacara, Bolt d’Oro, City Plan, Solomini, Texas Wedge and Zatter (FrontRunner Stakes); Amboseli, Avenge, Decked Out, Fourstar Crook, Frenzified, Goldy Espony, Goodyearforroses, Harmonize, Insta Erma, Madame Stripes, Majestic Heat, Rainha Da Bateria and Responsibleforlove (Rodeo Drive Stakes).
‘GRAND SLAM’ HAS PENA TIED FOR LOS AL LEAD
Brayan Pena reached a personal milestone Thursday at Los Alamitos, winning four races in one day for the first time in his career, putting him in a first-place tie with Evin Roman for the riding lead.
Each has 11 wins with three days left in the L.A. County Fair Meet at Los Al that ends Sunday.
“I won three at Fresno when I was a bug boy in 2014,” said Pena this morning at Clocker’s Corner. A 27-year-old native of Guatemala who is represented by agent Patty Sterling, Pena brings a ready smile and industrious perspective to his current position. “I don’t want to put any pressure on myself, but we’re going to try and win the title. It would be my first. and if I can get it, we’ll take it.
“I was 17 when I came to this country. I started as hot walker, so right now I’m happy with where we are but always looking to do better with Patty. She’s a hustler.”
Pena’s landmark day started with Nehemiah winning the fourth race for trainer Molly Pearson; Rick’s Dream taking the fifth for Hector Palma, the career leader in daytime training titles at Los Alamitos; Poco Suenos in the sixth, again for Pearson; and Senator Robert in the seventh for Genaro Vallejo, a four-race sweep.
PROMISING APPRENTICE WERNER RECOVERING AFTER SHOULDER SURGERY
Promising apprentice rider Laura Werner, 22, who suffered a broken left collar bone in a spill at Los Alamitos last Sunday, was operated on Thursday at the Miracle Mile Medical Center in Los Angeles.
“Surgery went very well,” according to her agent, Carolyn Conley. “The surgical team of Dr. Daniel Capen and Dr. Gil Tepper performed an open reduction and plating of a severe clavicle fracture.
“Midge (Werner’s nickname) will see Dr. Capen at his office on Monday where he will perform additional X-rays and determine her recovery process and return to play.”
Here’s hoping the ebullient Werner enjoys a speedy recovery and is back in action as soon as possible.
FREE GOLD LINE SHUTTLE SERVICE TO SANTA ANITA BEGINS SEPT. 29
Santa Anita will again assist fans visiting The Great Race Place by offering free shuttle service connecting Santa Anita with the Metro Gold Line Arcadia Station beginning Friday, Sept. 29, opening day of Santa Anita’s 19-day Autumn Meet.
The Gold Line, which connects commuters throughout metropolitan Los Angeles and which will soon be expanded to reach as far east as Montclair, is a safe, clean and affordable alternative to traveling by automobile.
Beginning opening day and on all race days (Santa Anita will operate on a Thursday through Sunday schedule, with one holiday date on Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 9), the Santa Anita shuttle will run operate in conjunction with Arcadia’s Transit Shuttle, providing fans with a non-stop trip to and from the Arcadia Gold Line Station to Santa Anita.
Located just above Huntington Drive at First Ave., the Arcadia Gold Line Station is approximately 1 ½ miles from Santa Anita Park. The Santa Anita shuttle will operate with pickup and drop off service available every 20 minutes, from 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. each racing day.
In addition to the Santa Anita Shuttle, the Arcadia Transit Green Line Shuttle, which features stops at Santa Anita, Methodist Hospital, the Westfield Santa Anita Mall and the L.A. County Arboretum, will operate seven days a week from 7:10 a.m. to 6:35 p.m.
First race post times at Santa Anita are 12:30 p.m. on weekends and Columbus Day, Oct. 9, and 1 p.m. on all non-holiday weekdays. For more information, please visit santaanita.com, or call (626) 574-RACE.
PROMOTIONAL ITEM FREE TO SANTA ANITA ‘THOROUGHBREDS’ MEMBERS
In addition to a world class racing menu that will include five Grade I Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge stakes, Santa Anita will for the first time, offer fans a free Santa Anita Windshield Sunshade on Saturday, Sept. 30, day two of the track’s 2017 Autumn Meet.
This one-of-a-kind item, which features a full-color image of fillies and mares (including four-time Eclipse Champion Beholder) breaking from the starting gate in the 2015, Grade I Zenyatta Stakes, will be available to Santa Anita THOROUGHBREDS Club members, free with paid admission.
Fans are encouraged to register to become a THOROUGHBREDS Club member in person free of charge at Santa Anita at any THOROUGHBREDS Center located throughout the facility.
In addition to the Sunshade giveaway, Santa Anita will stage a two-day Trackside Oktoberfest Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1.
To purchase tickets, visit http://www.santaanita.com/events/oktoberfest/.
Also, Santa Anita will also be offering an upscale Chandelier Room Party that includes gourmet faire, cocktails, fine wines (including a wine tasting that embraces nine different red and whites), live entertainment and more on Sept. 30.
Steeped in tradition with a glamorous, modern appeal, the legendary Chandelier Room has attracted Hollywood’s elite and the stars of Thoroughbred racing dating back to the 1930s.
To purchase tickets for the Chandelier Room Party, fans are encouraged to visit http://www.santaanita.com/events/chandelier-room-party/.
Opening weekend promotions and amenities, including Santa Anita’s Infield Family Fun Zone, Forty Dollar Handicapping Contest, Bud Light Lounge, Turf Terrace, FrontRunner dining packages and more are available at santaanita.com, or by calling (626) 574-RACE.
JOHN MORRIS GOLF CLASSIC BENEFITS PERMANENTLY DISABLED JOCKEYS’ FUND
The sixth annual John Morris Golf Classic, originally staged in Lexington, Ky., will be held for the first time at Santa Anita Golf Course in Arcadia on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Proceeds will benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund (PDJF), Easter Seals Cardinal Hill and Project Walk (Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Center). One hundred percent of the charity proceeds will go to benefit these three charities.
Tournament registration is at 10:30 a.m., with an 18-hole shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Fees also include cart, lunch, refreshments, prizes and there will be a reception (that includes a silent auction) immediately following the tournament. Prices are $175 per player or $600 per team. All fees must be paid by Oct. 10 in order to participate.
For more information on the John Morris Golf Classic or to purchase tickets now, please visit: http://www.santaanita.com/events/johnmorrisgolfclassic/, or contact Santa Anita Park, Marketing, at (626) 574-RACE.
FINISH LINES: Six of Daily Racing Form’s pre-race Breeders’ Cup favorites are based at Santa Anita: Moonshine Memories (4-1) in the Juvenile Fillies; Bolt d’Oro (9-2) in the Juvenile; Unique Bella (7-2) in the Filly and Mare Sprint; Drefong (7-2) in the Sprint; Stellar Wind (3-1) in the Distaff; and Accelerate (3-1) in the Dirt Mile . . . Trainer and part owner Mick Ruis has undefeated Grade I Del Mar Futurity winner Bolt d’Oro scheduled to breeze Sunday for the FrontRunner Stakes Sept. 30 . . . Simon Callaghan will work Grade I Del Mar Debutante winner Moonshine Madness Saturday or Sunday, after which the trainer will make a decision on whether she runs in the Chandelier. If she does, Flavien Prat has the mount . . . Piedi Bianchi, second to Moonshine Memories in the Debutante, worked five furlongs for Doug O’Neill Thursday in 1:01, while San Diego Handicap runner-up Donworth, prepping for the Awesome Again, went six furlongs for O’Neill in a bullet 1:12.60. Defending Rodeo Drive winner Avenge worked seven furlongs in 1:25.60, while Majestic Heat went the same distance in 1:26.40, both for Richard Mandella.