STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – FRIDAY FEBRUARY 19, 2016

 

  • GOOD SPORTS HEADED IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS
  • SON OF ZENYATTA MAKES HIS DEBUT ON SATURDAY
  • TRIP MAKES RACE IN BUENA VISTA, SHIRREFFS SAYS

 

NYQUIST GOING TO FLORIDA, EXAGGERATOR STAYS HOME

Keenly competitive on the track, both Doug O’Neill and Keith Desormeaux were uncommonly gracious and magnanimous after O’Neill’s unbeaten champion two-year-old colt of 2015 Nyquist defeated the Desormeaux-trained Exaggerator in Monday’s San Vicente Stakes.

Good sportsmanship aside, now each three-year-old is headed in a different direction on the Triple Crown trail.

“Goodness gracious,” Desormeaux said after Nyquist held off Exaggerator by a length and a half as the 2-5 favorite in the $200,000 San Vicente at seven furlongs. “Anybody not a believer in Nyquist now, that was an awesome race.

“To set those kinds of fractions and still finish in close to track record time for a three-year-old in February. Wow! Hats off to Nyquist.”

Said O’Neill Friday morning: “That was very classy. Going into the race, we both loved our colts a ton. Neither one of us thought we could get beat but only one can win and we got lucky that day, so for Keith to say what he did I’m sure took a lot of strength and a lot of class.”

Nyquist, who covered the distance in a snappy 1:20.71, a shade off the track record of 1:19.70 set by Twirling Candy in 2010, is now headed to the Florida Derby on April 2, while Exaggerator will remain at Santa Anita for the San Felipe Stakes on March 12.

“Our original plan was to run in the Florida Derby after the San Vicente,” O’Neill said. “After the Breeders’ Cup we wanted to run in the San Vicente and then the Florida Derby, so we’re going to stick with our plan.”

O’Neill expects to ship Nyquist to the Sunshine State “about a week before the race.”

As for Frank Conversation, winner of the California Derby and the El Camino Real Derby over Golden Gate’s synthetic Tapeta surface, O’Neill said the son of Quality Road, like Nyquist owned by J. Paul Reddam, will make his next start in the $2 million UAE Derby at 1 3/16 miles in Dubai on March 26.

But Exaggerator is set for the San Felipe, a Grade II, $400,000 race at a mile and one sixteenth that is shaping up as the most attractive steppingstone yet to the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9, with Mor Spirit, Danzing Candy, Uncle Lino and undefeated Smokey Image all ticketed for the race.

Robert B. Lewis Stakes winner Mor Spirit worked four furlongs in company Wednesday in 48.60 for Bob Baffert. Stablemate Uninvited was timed in 49 flat.

“We’re looking at the San Felipe, no doubt,” Desormeaux said of Exaggerator Friday morning. “It seems like a good progression to me. If Nyquist runs next in Florida, I’m fine with that. I don’t ever want to have to run against him for $200,000 again.

“It’s not enough money to run against that kind of horse.”

 

ZENYATTA’S SON DEBUTS ON SATURDAY

Ziconic, the second foal out of 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, is entered to make his debut in Saturday’s third race. He is listed as the 5-2 morning line favorite under Gary Stevens in the seven furlong maiden allowance test.

Whether the chestnut Ziconic, owned and bred by Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss, has the fairytale last-to-first running style of his dam remains to be seen, although John Shirreffs, who trains the colt as he did Zenyatta, doesn’t expect to see him out on the lead early on.

“It’s hard to say,” Shirreffs allowed, “but he’s not real quick out of the gate. Gary broke him from the gate a couple days ago and said he comes out OK, but he doesn’t break like a Quarter Horse.”

As for the chances of Keri Belle in Saturday’s Grade II Buena Vista Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile on turf, Shirreffs took a wait-and-see approach on strategy.

The six-year-old Empire Maker mare also owned and bred by the Mosses has won on the lead but came from ninth in a field of 12 to capture the Grade III Megahertz on Jan. 18, getting up by a nose at 12-1 under Alex Solis.

“I think it was just the way the race shaped up,” Shirreffs said of the Megahertz. “That’s turf racing. You’ve got to get the trip.”

The field for the Buena Vista: Keri Belle, Alex Solis, 5-1; Stylish in Black, Tiago Pereira, 50-1; Smoove It, Mario Gutierrez, 15-1; Nashoba’s Gold, Victor Espinoza, 12-1; Prize Exhibit, Santiago Gonzalez, 4-1; Lutine Belle, Brice Blanc, 30-1; Glory, Mike Smith, 6-1; Her Emmynency, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Stormy Lucy, Kent Desormeaux, 7-2; Paulina’s Love, Gary Stevens, 12-1; Theatre Star, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1; and Moanin, Flavien Prat, 12-1. Chocolatier and Minks Aprise were scratched.

 

FINISH LINES: Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza leaves Monday for Dubai where he will ride 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome on Thursday in a prep race for the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 26. Espinoza expects to resume riding at Santa Anita a week from Saturday, on Feb. 27 . . . Jockey David Lopez took off his scheduled five mounts today, still dealing with soreness suffered in a riding mishap last Friday . . . Prepping for the $500,000, Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes on March 19, La Canada Stakes winner Taris worked four furlongs Friday in 49.20 for Simon Callaghan . . . Speedy recovery to long-time agent Harry (The Hat) Hacek, 69, who is in Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Hollywood recovering from a broken left hip that happened in a fall . . . Announcer Michael Wrona and Singapore Turf Club announcer Craig Evans will be Tom Quigley‘s handicapping guests, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, 11:25 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Under the topic “Horse Racing,” this answer was on the 2016 Jeopardy calendar dated Feb. 17: “In 1934, this track opened in its current location in Arcadia, near Los Angeles.” No, the question was not Hollywood Park.

 

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS
(Current Through Monday, Feb. 15)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Rafael Bejarano 154 32 31 15 21% 51% $1,550,147
Santiago Gonzalez 159 30 24 17 19% 45% $1,203,394
Flavien Prat 143 25 15 21 17% 43% $1,594,697
Edwin Maldonado 112 20 10 9 18% 35% $732,035
David Lopez 113 20 8 16 18% 39% $598,201
Tyler Baze 159 18 26 23 11% 42% $974,176
Joseph Talamo 143 15 18 19 10% 36% $837,299
Mario Gutierrez 122 14 21 17 11% 43% $940,156
Martin Garcia 74 12 8 8 16% 38% $770,504
Kent Desormeaux 62 10 16 8 16% 55% $846,179
Fernando Perez 105 10 9 17 10% 34% $555,354
Drayden Van Dyke 88 9 8 12 10% 33% $536,679
Agapito Delgadillo 52 8 5 6 15% 37% $201,992
Mike Smith 63 7 6 10 11% 37% $917,945
Gary Stevens 43 7 6 5 16% 42% $885,058
Martin Pedroza 59 7 5 3 12% 25% $182,875
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Philip D’Amato 82 18 14 13 22% 55% $1,012,170
Bob Baffert 65 15 9 10 23% 52% $1,138,495
Doug O’Neill 109 14 15 19 13% 44% $854,278
Richard Baltas 66 10 9 8 15% 41% $730,319
Jerry Hollendorfer 86 10 7 13 12% 35% $795,231
Peter Miller 75 10 4 8 13% 29% $384,945
Peter Eurton 60 9 15 10 15% 57% $636,423
Vladimir Cerin 27 9 2 3 33% 52% $291,125
Steven Miyadi 37 7 7 5 19% 51% $226,619
John Sadler 50 7 7 4 14% 36% $364,504
William Spawr 26 7 5 3 27% 58% $186,652
Mark Glatt 57 6 7 2 11% 26% $285,615
Patrick Gallagher 23 6 3 5 26% 61% $464,488
Kristin Mulhall 28 6 3 2 21% 39% $242,535
Jeff Bonde 22 6 2 3 27% 50% $145,740
J. Keith Desormeaux 29 5 4 7 17% 55% $206,004
George Papaprodromou 26 5 2 5 19% 46% $121,290
Carla Gaines 31 5 2 2 16% 29% $412,105