- BOLO SHOULD FANCY PACE IN SANTA ANITA DERBY
- DESORMEAUX OUTSIDE LOOKING IN WITH TEXAS RED
- STELLAR WIND CHOICE IN GRADE I SANTA ANITA OAKS
- SPEEDY BAD JU JU SET FOR EVENING JEWEL STAKES
- HAVANNA BELLE READY FOR BEST IN PROVIDENCIA
BOLO ON SCHEDULE FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY
Back on a regular training schedule after a helter skelter regimen dictated by inclement weather prior to the San Felipe Stakes on March 7 in which he finished an encouraging third behind unbeaten winner Dortmund, Bolo is coming up to Saturday’s Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby and a rematch with Dortmund in fine fettle.
“He’s back on his regular training program and it looks like there’s a lot of pace,” said Carla Gaines, who trains the Kentucky-bred son of Temple City for Golden Pegasus Racing, Inc., and Earle I. Mack.
“On paper, the race looks good for a horse with his style. He’s got tactical speed and he’s very ratable. He’ll pretty much sit wherever you want him to in the race, so that’s good.”
The field for the 78th Santa Anita Derby: Dortmund, Martin Garcia, 3-5; One Lucky Dane, Rafael Bejarano, 5-1; Cross the Line, Juan Hernandez, 15-1; Bolo, Mike Smith, 4-1; Prospect Park, Kent Desormeaux, 7-2; and Bad Read Sanchez, Mario Gutierrez, 30-1.
In other Santa Anita Derby news:
Dennis O’Neill and brother Doug, trainer of outsider Bad Read Sanchez, who has not raced in eight months: “Obviously,” said Dennis, “the idea is to have him hit the board. It’s a very, very tough race, but the horse is doing really good, he’s training great, he’s finally healthy, and we did it a couple years ago.
“We were 43-1 when I’ll Have Another won the Lewis in 2012 and we’re hoping we’re 40 or 50 to one tomorrow and shock the world.”
Added Doug: “We were doing the math. He’s just short of 12 miles in works the last few months, so he’s got a lot of foundation underneath him. He’s going to be fresh, of course, but not overly hot. If he’s going to have any chance to go a mile and an eighth against these kinds of horses, he’s got to relax early.”
Dan Ward, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer on California Derby winner Cross the Line, 15-1 on Jon White’s morning line:
“He’s coming up to a peak race and we’ll have no excuses. He’s looked good going over the track; it looks like he likes it. He’s been schooled in the gate, schooled in the paddock. This is a big test, but he’s prepared. We’ll find out a lot Saturday.”
Bob Baffert will be seeking to add to his Santa Anita Derby record of six wins, having captured it previously with Cavonnier (1996), Indian Charlie (1998), General Challenge (1999), Point Given (2001), Pioneerof the Nile (2009) and Midnight Interlude (2011).
The first 15,000 THOROUGHBREDS members in attendance at Santa Anita Saturday will be offered free an exclusive 2015 Santa Anita Derby Day T-shirt while supplies last. First post time for the 11-race program is 12 noon. Gates open at 10 a.m.
Santa Anita offers a $750,000 guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool and a $300,000 guaranteed Pick 6 pool on Santa Anita Derby Day.
ULTRA SOUND TOMORROW FOR JUVENILE WINNER TEXAS RED
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red and his trainer and part owner Keith Desormeaux will be on the outside looking in at Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby, a race Desormeaux had resolutely on his radar screen until abscess issues with the colt’s right front foot ended those plans.
“I would have liked to been part of the Santa Anita Derby festivities but the horse is still here at Santa Anita and his status hasn’t changed much,” said Desormeaux, who has handled the disappointment of missing the Triple Crown candidly and forthrightly.
“He’ll have a thorough examination and then we’ll decide if we’re going to send him off to the farm again, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
“He’s doing great, his legs look great. We’re going to do an ultra sound tomorrow to make sure things are progressing nicely, and as long as they are, he’s going to remain here. If the doc thinks the horse might benefit more by going to the farm, then we’ll do that, but in my estimation, he’ll be staying here.”
NEWCOMER STELLAR WIND FAVORED IN SANTA ANITA OAKS
In only her second start for John Sadler since a recent private purchase by Hronis Racing LLC, Stellar Wind seeks Grade I status when she runs in Saturday’s $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks at 1 1/16 miles.
“She’s doing well,” Sadler said of the daughter of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin. “She’s trained steadily and everything’s gone perfect. This is a step up in class but we’re looking forward to it. She’s doing great.”
The field for the Santa Anita Oaks: Light the City, Kent Desormeaux, 5-1; Glory, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Curlin’s Fox, Mike Smith, 4-1; Singing Kitty, Aaron Gryder, 12-1; Luminance, Martin Garcia, 5-2; Stellar Wind, Victor Espinoza, 9-5; and Wild At Heart, Flavien Prat, 8-1.
She’s a Big Winner was scratched.
MACHOWSKY EYES DOUBLE IN EVENING JEWEL
Mike Machowsky is looking for a repeat victory in Saturday’s $200,000 Evening Jewel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies bred or sired in California.
The 49-year-old trainer sent out Rovenna to win the race last year and has the speedy Bad Ju Ju set go in the 6 ½ furlong sprint on Saturday.
“We’ve had this race picked out for her the last few months,” Machowsky said. “She doesn’t have to be on the lead. She’s trained off horses in the mornings, and she’s a pretty talented little filly.”
Bad Ju Ju is a daughter of Desert Code owned and bred by Machowsky’s Lo Hi Racing Stable and Dick Barton. She was off slow from the rail in her debut in which she finished fifth last Nov. 7 at Del Mar, but won her next two starts on the front end under Kayla Star, who rides in the Evening Jewel.
The field for the Evening Jewel: Long Hot Summer, Joe Talamo, 7-2; Niassa, Martin Garcia, 8-1; Desert Thief, Agapito Delgadillo, 12-1; Ashley’s Sassy, Mike Smith, 8-1; Bad Ju Ju, Kayla Star, 4-1; Can Can Babe, Elvis Trujillo, 20-1; Tribal Express, Alonso Quinonez, 50-1; Alwazabridesmaid, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1; Sheer Pleasure, Tyler Baze, 5-1; Jenna’s Faith, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Grand Yodeler, Kent Desormeaux, 12-1; Princess Bertrando, Edwin Maldonado, 12-1; and Easter Fever, Victor Espinoza, 8-1.
NO DEFECTION FOR HAVANNA BELLE IN PROVIDENCIA
Havanna Belle is ready for her close up in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Providencia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
An Irish-bred daughter of Teofilo trained by Phil D’Amato for owner Michael House, Havanna Belle finished sixth in her U.S. debut in the restricted Sweet Life Stakes on Feb. 14, but was beaten less than four lengths despite hopping at the start of the race at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf. It was her first start in nearly four months.
The nine furlongs of the Providencia should be well within her comfort zone. “She needed her last race,” D’Amato said. “She’s just crying to go longer. I think this is more her trip. Rafael (Bejarano) breezed her on the grass last time and loved her.
“She should be fit and ready to run a much better race this time.”
The field for the Providencia: Lutine Belle, Alex Solis, 12-1; Ol’ Fashion Gal, 12-1; Miss Boom Boom, Kent Desormeaux, 12-1; Entrechat, Flavien Prat, 4-1; Jaded Glory, Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1; Spanish Queen, Brice Blanc, 6-1; Frosty Friday, Mike Smith, 6-1; Prize Exhibit, Victor Espinoza, 7-2; Havanna Belle, Rafael Bejarano, 12-1; Spirit of Xian, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Lady Zuzu, Tyler Baze, 6-1; and Sister of Mercy, Fernando Perez, 30-1.
Show Stealer was scratched.
VEHICULAR TRAFFIC REROUTED ON DERBY DAY
Those wishing to spend the morning at Santa Anita’s Clockers’ Corner on Santa Anita Derby Day Saturday are advised that Baldwin Ave. will be closed to vehicular traffic between the 210 Freeway and Huntington Drive from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. in order to accommodate foot traffic related to Santa Anita’s annual Derby Day 5K Run and Walk.
Accordingly, Santa Anita’s Gate 8, which adjoins the Westfield Shopping Mall on Baldwin Ave., and Gate 7, at the track’s northwest end, will also be closed to vehicles during the same time frame.
Those wishing to visit Clockers’ Corner Derby Day morning will be able to enter the track on Santa Anita’s northeast perimeter, through Gate 5, or on the track’s southern perimeter, through Gate 3. Gates 3 & 5 will be open for easy access to Clockers’ Corner beginning at 5 a.m. and will remain open throughout the day. Santa Anita’s main track will be closed for training at 7:30 a.m.
Gate 3 is located at the intersection of Holly Ave. and Huntington Drive. Gate 5 is located at the confluence of Colorado Place and Huntington Drive.
For additional information on the Santa Anita Derby and on the Derby Day 5K Run and Walk, fans are encouraged to visit santaanita.com/events, or call (626) 574-RACE.
FINISH LINES: Agent Tony Matos reports that Corey Nakatani visited with Dr. James Tibone yesterday and got word that he could resume riding in two weeks. Nominated to the Hall of Fame this year, the 44-year-old Nakatani suffered a broken left collarbone in a riding mishap March 15 . . . Sunland Derby winner Firing Line worked four furlongs under Gary Stevens in 48 seconds flat as the son of Line of David owned by Arnold Zetcher prepares for the Kentucky Derby on May 2. “He went on the steady side and really relaxed, which is good,” trainer Simon Callaghan said. “I think we’ll probably do our last work here and then ship him (to Churchill Downs).” . . . As stated yesterday, Millie Ball has joined Santa Anita’s simulcast broadcast team and will be sharing her insights throughout the current meet along with Michelle Yu and Jon White . . . Omar Figueroa is the 6-1 favorite among jockeys to capture their division of tomorrow’s Santa Anita Derby Day 5K run. Jesus Camacho (9-5 against men) and Jennifer Cirillo (3-1 vs. women) are the picks among employees.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Thursday, April 2)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||201||23||25||24||11%||$1,434,597|
|A. C. Avila||25||7||2||3||28%||$208,298|