- CHAMPION STELLAR WIND BREEZES FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
- VAN DYKE SCORES ‘ACE’ IN CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT
- WHITE HOUSE ACKNOWLEDGES CHILDRENS’ RACING BOOK
- BARRETTS FALL YEARLING SALE HELD AT FAIRPLEX OCT. 17
STELLAR WIND IN ‘GOOD’ WORK FOR BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF
Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza worked champion Stellar Wind six furlongs at 6:30 this morning in 1:13.60 for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 3, the penultimate breeze at Santa Anita for the daughter of Curlin before her move south for the Big Dance.
Trainer John Sadler worked Stellar Wind in company with That’s a Lady, who was timed in 1:14.20.
“It was a good work for her,” Espinoza said of the Distaff favorite. “The track was a little slow so the time was good. She’s getting ready. She’s going in the right direction right now and she’s doing good.”
Also working for the Breeders’ Cup were Pacific Classic winner Collected for Bob Baffert (six furlongs in 1:14 for the Classic) and Accelerate for Sadler (six furlongs in 1:14 flat for the Dirt Mile).
Sadler expects to give Stellar Wind one more breeze at Santa Anita before shipping to Del Mar, while Richard Mandella has a similar agenda in mind for Paradise Woods (Distaff) and Avenge (Filly & Mare Turf).
“They’ll have one more work here and maybe one small one at Del Mar,” Mandella said.
VAN DYKE POSTS HOLE IN ONE IN CHARITY EVENT
Drayden Van Dyke was back on the beat working horses Saturday morning, five days after posting a hole in one on Tuesday in the sixth annual John Morris Golf Classic at Santa Anita Golf Course in Arcadia, which benefited the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund, Easter Seals Cardinal Hill and Project Walk (Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Center).
One hundred percent of the proceeds benefited the aforementioned three charities.
The 23-year-old Van Dyke, Eclipse Award winner as outstanding apprentice rider of 2014, won a John Deere Gator for his efforts.
“The vehicle is worth like $7,500,” Van Dyke said. “I’m going to sell it and donate the money to the Jockeys’ Fund.”
As to his ace, Van Dyke took it in stride, just like riding a winner, which he has done seven times this meet.
“The shot set up normal, but I was playing (lousy) all day long,” he said. “On the last hole, I hit the best shot of the day. It bounced once and then it disappeared. I was thinking I hit it a bit too far and the ball rolled off the back of the green, but my teammates didn’t.
“We drove up to the hole and the flag was sitting catty-corner, leaning a little bit. I was playing with the (club’s) next pro and he said, ‘Your ball’s in the hole.’ I think it was a 197-yard hole. I used a four hybrid (wood).
“I took lessons when I was maybe 14 or 15 and had been playing off and on since then,” the Louisville, Ky. native said, “but I’ve played the most since I moved to California.”
AUTHOR OF BEST PAL BOOK RECEIVES LETTER FROM WHITE HOUSE
When James Val authored a children’s book eight years ago called “Best Pal” on the champion California-bred, it became an instant favorite with racing fans but he never dreamed he would get the surprising response he did all these years later.
“After several book signings at Hollywood Park, Del Mar and Santa Anita,” said Val, also a racing correspondent for the San Gabriel Valley Reporter, “the first printing edition was sold out. The book also has been very popular with the general public.
“Several months ago, I read an article about President Trump’s 11-year-old son, Barron, which stated that he had a fondness for horses. I thought it would be fun to send him an autographed copy of ‘Best Pal,’ never expecting to receive any kind of response from The White House.
“I had forgotten about sending the book after four months, but last week I received a very special surprise, an envelope postmarked from The White House!
“To my astonishment, when I opened the envelope, there was a personal thank you card from the First Lady of the United States, with a gold-embossed symbol of the President. It was signed personally, ‘Mrs. Melania Trump.’
“Needless to say, I was overwhelmed. After all, how often does one receive a personal letter from the President of the United States, or from his wife?
“What makes this event extra special is that not only is this children’s book now in the personal library of the First Family, but that somehow, through this little book, the First Family has become more aware of our beloved sport of racing!”
FINISH LINES: All horsemen please note–The Barretts Fall Yearling and Horses of All Ages Sale will be conducted this Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Fairplex Park. “Game time” is 11 a.m. . . . There is a Pick Six carryover today of $75,117.60 and a Pick Six Single Ticket Jackpot carryover of $322,036.29 . . . The 90s revisited: With Kent Desormeaux and Corey Nakatani tied for the Autumn Meet riding lead at nine wins each, it’s remindful of nearly three decades ago when each was winning races in bunches on the Southern California circuit. Both jockeys are 47 but seem to have found the Fountain of Youth, thanks in no small part to their agents, Mike Ciani and Matt Nakatani, Corey’s 25-year-old son . . . Rigoberto Sevilla, the regular exercise rider for trainer Hector Palma, rides 12-1 morning line chance Colonial Power for Palma in today’s fifth race. A 10-pound apprentice, the 50-year-old Sevilla broke his maiden in Mexico, won a race at Los Alamitos, and has four wins overall, according to Palma assistant Jose Valdez. Speaking of Hector Palma, he was a featured guest this morning on the “Down the Stretch” radio show on Sirius XM Radio. The show is hosted by Dave Johnson and Bill Finley and the Palma interview was conducted yesterday morning at Clockers’ Corner by correspondent Jonathan Murrietta.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, Oct. 13)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||45||7||2||3||16%||27%||$449,770|
|J. Keith Desormeaux||19||3||2||3||16%||42%||$190,955|