- CHROME’S FULL BROTHER IS SET FOR CAL CUP DERBY
- ‘CLASSY’ MARE DEBUTS FOR CASSIDY IN BUENA VISTA
- CONIAH BACK ON MAIN TRACK IN SUNDAY’S LAS FLORES
- 12 NOON FIRST POST TIME FOR SATURDAY’S PROGRAM
- BROTHERS DESORMEAUX RIDING HIGH AT SANTA ANITA
- ROCK ICON STEPHEN STILLS PURCHASES SHARE OF FILLY
CHROME’S BROTHER FAVERSHAM IN STAKES DEBUT MONDAY
California Chrome’s full brother, the maiden Faversham, goes from his first start at six furlongs on Jan. 15 to Monday’s co-feature, the $200,000 California Cup Derby at 1 1/16 miles.
The chestnut ridgling, a son of Lucky Pulpit-Love the Chase, closed from eighth and last after a slow start to finish second by a length-and-a-quarter in his debut.
“I don’t think the Derby distance will be an issue,” said Santa Anita-based Alan
Sherman, son of trainer Art Sherman, who is headquartered at Los Alamitos, which was the home of two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome.
“I wish I could have gotten maybe one more sprint into him before we routed him, but he’s doing good, training well,” Alan said Friday morning at Santa Anita.
“It’s a tough race, but it is what it is. I expect him to show more speed and hope for a good, clean trip.”
Monday is Dollar Day at Santa Anita, with beers and sodas on sale for a buck apiece, and hot dogs for just $2. First post time Monday is 12:30 p.m.
WELL-TRAVELED MARE DEBUTS FOR CASSIDY IN BUENA VISTA
Pricedtoperfection makes her first start in five months and her debut for trainer Jim Cassidy in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes for fillies and mares, four and up, at a mile on turf.
The five-year-old Temple City mare previously was trained by Graham Motion.
“We bought her at the Keeneland Sale and we’ve had her three or fourth months,” Cassidy said. “She’s a nice mare with a lot of class.”
Pricedtoperfection has a 2-2-4 record from 13 starts, and has raced at eight different East Coast tracks in those 13 races: Laurel, Monmouth, Saratoga, Belmont, Penn National, Aqueduct, Gulfstream and Keeneland, earning $279,135.
The Las Cienegas, race seven of 10 with a 12 noon first post time: Insta Erma, Brice Blanc, 7-2; Madam Dancealot, Corey Nakatani, 7-2; Sweet Charity, Rafael Bejarano, 10-1; Madame Stripes, Kent Desormeaux, 3-1; Thundering Sky, Rajiv Maragh, 8-1; Sassy Little Lila, Flavien Prat, 4-1; Fault, Geovanni Franco, 15-1; Pricedtoperfection, Mike Smith, 15-1; and Juno, Joe Talamo, 12-1.
VERSATILE CONIAH BACK ON DIRT IN LAS FLORES
Coniah, a versatile California-bred daughter of Harlington, returns to the main track in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes for fillies and mares, four and older, at six furlongs, after winning the Grade III Las Cienegas on the downhill turf course at about 6 ½ furlongs Jan. 20.
“She runs just as well on the dirt,” trainer Bill Morey said, “but the Las Flores is a tough race. There are some solid fillies in there (Selcourt and Skye Diamonds, to name two).”
In 20 career starts, Coniah has run 12 times on dirt, winning twice, and four times on grass, winning once with one second. She also raced four times on synthetics, winning once.
The field for the Las Flores, race eight of nine: Princess Karen, Mike Smith, 6-1; Citizen Kitty, Geovanni Franco, 20-1; Coniah, Kent Desormeaux, 4-1; Just a Little Hope, Drayden Van Dyke,12-1; Skye Diamonds, Tiago Pereira, 8-5; and Selcourt, Tyler Baze, 6-5.
EARLY 12 NOON FIRST POST FOR SATURDAY’S 10-RACE CARD
With a 10-race card on tap Saturday, Santa Anita will have a special early first post time of 12 noon. The Grade II, $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile on turf has been carded as race seven, with an approximate post time of 3 p.m.
This Saturday marks the second consecutive Saturday Santa Anita has opted to go with an early 12 noon post time. Last Saturday’s 10-race card, which included four graded stakes, produced a total pari-mutuel handle of $13,713,042, a $3.7 million increase over the corresponding date one year ago, which had one fewer race and was conducted over a wet/fast main track and a turf course that was listed as good.
A total of 99 horses have been entered for Saturday, with 97 eligible to run, putting average field size for the 10-race program at 9.7 runners per race. Saturday’s entries are now available at santaanita.com. For additional information, please call (626) 574-RACE.
BROTHERS DESORMEAUX JES’ KEEP ROLLIN’ ALONG AS DALMORE EYES BIG ‘CAP
Team Desormeaux is on a roll.
Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux won three races Thursday to move within two of leaders Evin Roman and Flavien Prat, each tied with 25 victories through 29 days of the Winter Meet, while older brother Keith saddled two winners, Bedeviled ($9) in the fourth race and Dalmore (11.80) in the sixth, giving him seven wins from 30 starters, an enviable 23 percent.
Kent, who turns 48 on Feb. 27, leads all riders in stakes wins this meet with seven and is second in money won with $1,228,496.
Dalmore, making his first start since July 23, won by 8 ½ lengths and now is being considered for bigger and better things.
“I’ll take that any day,” Keith said Friday morning of his two-wins Thursday. The 51-year-old trainer now has his sights set on more gold and glory with a possible start for Dalmore in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Casino on March 10.
“I’ve never thought a mile and a quarter was his game, but yeah, we’d entertain the thought. You’d have to, wouldn’t you?”
As to his brother Kent seemingly still riding with the skill and aplomb he displayed in the 90s,” Keith said, “He is in good form right now, isn’t he?”
ROCK LEGEND STEPHEN STILLS BUYS SHARE IN FILLY
New owners are music to racing’s ears, and in this case, it’s not too far from the truth.
Rock legend Stephen Stills has bought a share of a filly named Probable trained by Matt Chew, who hopes to have the two-year-old ready to race at Del Mar this year, “if all goes well.”
Chew also owns a piece of the two-year-old daughter of James Street, who stands in California for $10,000.
“I was introduced to him through a mutual friend,” Chew said of the 73-year-old Stills, a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
“Stephen asked me for a barn tour, but his interest in racing goes way back. He mucked stalls and galloped horses at Del Mar when he was young and always had a passion for racing.
“Now that he’s not touring as much, he can spend more time in the game, and when I offered him a share of the filly, he accepted.”
FINISH LINES: Octavio Vergara Jr., 31-year-old son of 62-year-old former jockey Octavio Vergara Sr., is scheduled to make his Santa Anita debut shortly. “Most recently, I was riding in Florida,” said the well-spoken newcomer, who was born in Hollywood, Florida, but graduated from West High School in Torrance, California. “I grew up in California and since I’ve been a little kid it’s always been my dream to ride here, and I feel this is a time in my career where I’m ready to take the opportunity to come back home and live my dream.” Vergara, who tacks 115 pounds, galloped horses for Shug McGaughey for about five years and holds an equine associate’s degree from Blue Grass Technical College in Lexington, Ky. . . . Robert B. Lewis Stakes winner Lombo, a candidate for the Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 10, worked four furlongs Friday for Mike Pender in 50 seconds flat, while Doug O’Neill sent 2017 Smarty Jones winner Pavel the same distance in 49.40 for the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Casino, also on March 10. Santa Ynez winner Midnight Bisou went six furlongs for Bill Spawr in a bullet 1:12.60, while Astra winner Plein Air breezed five furlongs for Bob Baffert in 1:03 . . . Tom Quigley‘s guest handicappers this holiday weekend will be horseplayer Tom Reynolds Saturday at 10:50 a.m.; XBTV’s Jeff Siegel Sunday, and TVG analyst/host Scotty McKeever Monday, both days at 11:20 a.m., all in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Bruce Headley got a belated 84th birthday present when first-time starter Surfing Star won Thursday’s eighth race by 2 ¼ lengths under Rajiv Maragh at $28. The trainer, who turned 84 on Wednesday, also bred the three-year-old Surf Cat colt along with Old English Rancho . . . Happy New Year to our Chinese friends today on the start of the Year of the Dog.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Thursday, Feb. 15)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||96||15||10||8||16%||34%||$1,035,738|
|William E. Morey||21||9||0||6||43%||71%||$348,313|
|J. Keith Desormeaux||30||7||1||5||23%||43%||$238,765|