- PROSPECT PARK PREPPING FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY
- TO THE VICTOR (ESPINOZA) GOES FINNEGANS WAKE
- BALTAS WITH A BULLET HAS DREAM OF SUMMER DUO
- SANTA ANITA JOCKEYS IN DERBY DAY 5K RUN APRIL 4
- FUTURE CURRENTLY UNDETERMINED FOR TEXAS RED
SISE HAS ‘PROSPECT’ FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY
Trainer Cliff Sise Jr. expects Prospect Park to move forward on the Triple Crown trail when he runs in the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, April 4.
Despite not winning against odds-on favorite and unbeaten Dortmund in the San Felipe Stakes on March 7, Prospect Park performed admirably, closing willingly in a moderately-paced mile and a sixteenth Grade II race to lose by only a length and a quarter.
Sise feels the added sixteenth of a mile in the 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby will benefit the maturing son of Tapit owned and bred by Pam and Marty Wygod.
Prospect Park will work six furlongs Saturday with Joe Steiner up and gallop out seven furlongs at his San Luis Rey Downs headquarters, Sise said.
“Then we’ll bring him to Santa Anita where he’ll have one moderate five-eighths work
before the Santa Anita Derby. The horse is doing fantastic.”
ESPINOZA ALIVE FOR FIVE WITH FINNEGANS WAKE
Perfection is rare around the race track, but Victor Espinoza and Finnegans Wake are an exception.
The jockey and the horse are four for four, and heavily favored to extend their string to five in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Luis Rey Stakes for older horses at 1 ½ miles on turf.
“The distance should be no problem,” said Espinoza, who has registered three straight wins in Grade II races on the 6-year-old Powercourt horse trained by Peter Miller for Donegal Racing and Rockingham Ranch. “He’s doing good right now and in his last few races, he’s been going in the right direction.”
Finnegans Wake doesn’t waste much energy with his come-from-behind style. He won the Hollywood Turf Cup and the San Gabriel Stakes by a neck and a length, respectively, then also took the San Marcos by a length on Feb. 7.
In the Grade III Arlington Handicap last July, Espinoza piloted Finnegans Wake to a head victory in their first get-together.
“He’s a hard-trying horse,” said Espinoza, the regular rider of both Kentucky Derby favorite American Pharoah and Horse of the Year California Chrome, who already is in the Middle East for the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 28.
“Finnegans Wake will run anywhere, inside, outside, and that’s good for me, because I’m not afraid to place him anywhere for his stretch run. I like those kinds of horses. He doesn’t mind. He just likes to run.”
The field for the San Luis Rey: Raise Your Gaze, Tyler Baze, 12-1; Play Hard to Get, Kent Desormeaux, 6-1; Diamond Bachelor, Martin Pedroza, 10-1; Power Foot, Flavien Prat, 4-1; Buymeabond, Iggy Puglisi, 20-1; Joes Blazing Aaron, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Fly Lexis Fly, Edwin Maldonado, 20-1; Finnegans Wake, Victor Espinoza, 6-5; and Ashleyluvssugar, Gary Stevens, 9-2.
BALTAS SENDS OUT PAIR IN DREAM OF SUMMER
Trainer Richard Baltas, enjoying a solid meet with 13 wins from 64 starters through 49 racing days, sends two for the money in Sunday’s $100,000 Dream of Summer Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile, Melanistic and Wild in the Saddle.
“They’re both training very well, it’s a short field, so we’re taking a shot,” Baltas said before departing Thursday afternoon for Dubai where he will send out Grade I winner Big Macher in the $2 million Golden Shaheen on March 28.
The Dream of Summer, the seventh of nine races: Anniversary Kitty, Edwin Maldonado, 6-1; Sudden Sunday, Elvis Trujillo, 5-1; Melanistic, Tyler Baze, 15-1; Sweet Marini, Drayden Van Dyke, 8-5; Wild in the Saddle, Rafael Bejarano, 9-5; and Grazenette, Joe Talamo, 3-1.
SANTA ANITA RIDERS IN DERBY DAY 5K WALK & RUN
Several Santa Anita-based jockeys will participate in Santa Anita’s annual Derby Day 5K Walk and Run on Saturday, April 4. A traditional prelude to the 78th running of the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby later in the day, the Derby Day 5K will start at 8 a.m.
“We’re going to have more jockeys participating than ever before,” said veteran rider Aaron Gryder, who was born in nearby West Covina and has more than 3,600 wins in a career dating back to 1987.
“We’re all out here to have fun, but I think the number of jocks participating is a pretty good indicator that we all are living healthier and are much more committed to fitness than maybe we were 20 or 30 years ago.”
The jockeys, with their probable odds of winning provided by Santa Anita morning line maker Jon White follows:
Saul Arias, 15-1; Cheryl Charlton, 15-1; Victor Espinoza, 12-1; Omar Figueroa, 6-1; Santiago Gonzalez, 15-1; Aaron Gryder, 10-1; Modesto Linares, 12-1; Edwin Maldonado, 12-1; Bryan Pena, 15-1; Tiago Pereira, 12-1; Iggy Puglisi, 15-1; Alex Solis, 10-1; Joe Steiner, 12-1; Kayla Star, 15-1; Elvis Trujillo, 8-1; and Drayden Van Dyke, 8-1.
All runners will begin their 5K journey in Santa Anita’s parking lot area that adjoins the Westfield Santa Anita Mall. After running north on Baldwin Ave., the course angles west into the Los Angeles County Arboretum for a scenic loop. The runners will then head east across Baldwin Ave. for a short tour of Santa Anita’s stable area en route to the track’s Infield tunnel which takes them to a quarter-mile finish on Santa Anita’s inner training track.
Adults and children of all ages are encouraged to participate and may register online at www.kinaneevents.com. Derby Day 5K walk-up registration will be available from today, March 20, through April 2 at Run With Us, located at 235 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena.
Those wishing to register the day before the event can do so on April 3 at the Promenade at Westfield Santa Anita from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Race day registration will be available in the Santa Anita parking lot, next to the 5K starting line, beginning at 6:30 a.m.
For more information on the Santa Anita Derby Day 5k Run and Walk, please visit santaanita.com/events or call (626) 574-RACE.
FINISH LINES: Future plans for Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red were undecided Friday morning, after it was announced early this week that the son of Afleet Alex was off the Triple Crown trail due to an abscess issue with his right front foot. “We’re still at the same juncture,” trainer and part owner Keith Desormeaux said, when asked if Texas Red would remain with him at Santa Anita or be turned out. “We haven’t done the total workup yet with the vet. The horse is just training lightly and we’ll figure it out later in the week. It’s pretty basic stuff and I know it’s not anything serious. It’s just something that we know we can’t pressure him on.” . . . Jerry Hollendorfer plans to work the best horse in America, Shared Belief, five furlongs at Golden Gate on Tuesday, but offered no word on the next race for the Santa Anita Handicap winner. “We haven’t decided on where we’re going to run him yet,” said Santa Anita’s training leader with 27 wins through Thursday and the nation’s leader in purse earnings with $3,473,139 through Tuesday . . . Santa Ysabel Stakes winner Stellar Wind, a candidate for the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks on April 4 for John Sadler, is scheduled to breeze Saturday under Victor Espinoza. Other Oaks probables include Curlin’s Fox, Luminescence, Ratataptap, Wild at Heart and three Hollendorfer trainees, Achiever’s Legacy, Glory and Light the City. The latter worked six furlongs Friday in 1:12.20 . . . Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern, with regular rider Martin Garcia in the saddle, worked five furlongs for Bob Baffert in 59.80 . . . Zenyatta offspring Cozmic One, working for his debut, went five furlongs under Victor Espinoza in 1:01.20 for John Shirreffs . . . Agent Sarah Wolfe has Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey of 2014 Drayden Van Dyke booked on Another Lemon Drop for trainer Philip Bauer in Saturday’s Grade III Spiral Stakes for 3-year-olds at Turfway Park . . . Santa Anita presents the world-famous Winner’s Circle BBQ Championship Saturday in its spacious infield. Taste delicious samplings from the masters of BBQ and watch a full card of Thoroughbred racing. Special packages are available at santaanita.com/events . . . Next Saturday, March 28, features the Grade III Tokyo City Cup on Japan Family Day, with the Ramen Yokocho Festival in the infield. For more details, visit www.tokyocitycup.com.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Thursday, March 19)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||176||21||20||22||12%||$1,329,160|
|A. C. Avila||25||7||2||3||28%||$208,298|