- ONE LUCKY DANE TO RUN IN SANTA ANITA DERBY
- BAD READ SANCHEZ GOOD READ FOR O’NEILL
- SECOND TIME THE CHARM FOR HELM, VAN DYKE?
- STORM FIGHTER SET FOR SANTANA MILE ACTION
- BEJARANO OFF TODAY, SET TO RIDE SATURDAY
ONE LUCKY DANE JOINS DORTMUND IN SANTA ANITA DERBY
One Lucky Dane, winner of two starts at Santa Anita by a combined margin ofnearly 20 lengths, including a 9 ¾-length score at one mile last Thursday, will join unbeaten stablemate Dortmund in the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby next Saturday, April 4, Bob Baffert said Friday morning.
“He likes this track and he runs well here,” Baffert said of One Lucky Dane, a bay colt by Looking At Lucky owned by Michael Lund Petersen of Reisterstown, Md. One Lucky Dane broke his maiden at Santa Anita by 9 ½ lengths last Oct. 4, also at one mile.
Baffert had mentioned the Coolmore Lexington at Keeneland on April 11 as a possibility for One Lucky Dane, but said Friday “it would be too soon to ship out, and if he runs well here, it gives us time to recuperate.”
The Kentucky Derby, which Baffert has won three times but not since 2002 with War Emblem, will be run this year on May 2. The 62-year-old Hall of Fame trainer already has the two favorites for the Run for the Roses in American Pharoah and Dortmund.
Probable for the Santa Anita Derby: Dortmund, Martin Garcia; Prospect Park, Kent Desormeaux; Bolo, Mike Smith; One Lucky Dane, Rafael Bejarano; Cross the Line, norider; and Bad Read Sanchez, Mario Gutierrez.
O’NEILL SEEKS THIRD SANTA ANITA DERBY WIN IN FOUR YEARS
If Doug O’Neill wins the Santa Anita Derby for the third time in four years come next
Saturday, it will register a larger shock on the Richter Scale than the first two.
Goldencents won at a $15 return in 2013, and I’ll Have Another a year earlier at $10.20.
But with undefeated Dortmund likely to be an odds-on favorite in the 78th running of the $1 million, Grade I race for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles, O’Neill would pull a much greater upset with his potential starter, a colt named Bad Read Sanchez.
Bad Read Sanchez would be making his first start since last August, a span of eight months, and be going beyond 6 ½ furlongs for the first time in his career of just three races.
The bay son of Warrior’s Reward won his debut by 10 lengths at Santa Anita on June 20 last year, then was second as the 9-10 favorite in the Willard Proctor Memorial at Los Alamitos before running third in the Grade II Best Pal at Del Mar on Aug. 3.
Like I’ll Have Another, Bad Read Sanchez is owned by J. Paul Reddam, who, long story short, named the Kentucky-bred bay after one of his golfing partners and his caddy.
“Bad Read Sanchez is doing super and he’s always displayed better-than-average
talent,” said O’Neill, who had two winners Thursday, giving him 19 for the meet, good for fourth place in the standings behind Jerry Hollendorfer with 28.
“He’s got one more key work this Sunday, so he needs to put in a good one. If he does and you’ve got a special 3-year-old this time of year, you try the Derby. That’s the plan.”
In other Santa Anita Derby news:
Dan Ward, assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer, said El Camino Real Derby runner-up Cross the Line would ship to Santa Anita shortly from Golden Gate Fields and work here early next week before his status for the Santa Anita Derby is determined.
The first 10,000 THOROUGHBREDS members in attendance at Santa Anita on Derby Day 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.
HELM MAKES DIRT DEBUT IN TOKYO CITY CUP
Drayden Van Dyke is looking forward to the second time around when he pilots Helm in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup at 1 ½ miles on dirt.
The Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey of 2014 was fifth aboard the son of Henrythenavigator on his only previous ride, Feb. 27 at 1 ¼ miles on turf. The Tokyo City would mark Helm’s first race on dirt, his 14 previous starts coming on grass or synthetics.
“I got a really good trip in that race,” Van Dyke said of the Feb. 27 outing, in which he was beaten just under four lengths. “I talked to Graham (trainer Graham Motion) after the race and he said I could have been a little more patient . . . I might have let him move a bit too soon.
“But this is his first time on dirt, so maybe he likes it. We’ll see.”
The field for the Tokyo City Cup, race eight of nine: Helm, Drayden Van Dyke, 8-1; Decisive Edge, Alex Solis, 6-1; Bronzo, Gary Stevens, 7-5; Arlington House, Tyler Baze, 6-1; Bailoutbobby, Elvis Trujillo, 6-1; and Sky Kingdom, Martin Garcia, 9-5.
Rousing Sermon and Image of Joplin were scratched.
STORM FIGHTER SHARP FOR SANTANA MILE
Storm Fighter has been firing bullets for hay, oats and water trainer Bruce Headley, who has the 5-year-old speedster set for Sunday’s $75,000 Santana Mile for 4-year-olds and up.
“He’s been working good, and I’ve been drilling him Whittingham style,” said the 81-year-old Headley, a fixture around The Great Race Place for more than half a century.
Storm Fighter, a California-bred son of Stormin Fever bred by the late Larry Mabee for Golden Eagle Farm, has two recent seven furlong works that were the fastest of the day, 1:26.40 on March 5 and 1:23.80 on March 19. He has two wins at a mile on Santa Anita’s conventional dirt course, one in the Tiznow Stakes for California-breds last April.
Headley, meanwhile, holds a distinction no other trainer on the planet can claim: he doesn’t own a cell phone.
The Santana Mile: Secretsatmidnight, Martin Garcia; Majestic City, Tyler Baze; Blue Tone, Kent Desormeaux; Appealing Tale, Fernando Perez; Storm Fighter, Alex Solis; Galicado, Mike Smith; You Know I Know, Santiago Gonzalez; Ankeny Hill, Joe Talamo; Rousing Sermon, Rafael Bejarano; and Edge of Reality, Drayden Van Dyke.
SANTA ANITA HOSTS MILLIONAIRE CONTEST APRIL 4
Santa Anita Park has announced it will host its second annual Santa Anita Derby Millionaire Contest, beginning Santa Anita Derby Day, Saturday, April 4. Fans attending that day are encouraged to enter, and if their name is selected, Santa Anita will provide a $1,000 win wager on a horse in the Santa Anita Derby. The track will provide $1,000 win bets on each horse in the race and all contestants will watch the Derby from Santa Anita Winner’s Circle.
Whichever horse wins, the contestant keeps all the money, including the $1,000 wager and the contestant will be assigned the Santa Anita Derby winner for the Kentucky Derby. If that horse goes on to win racing’s Triple Crown by sweeping the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, that lucky fan would win a $1 million jackpot.
“We came very close to having a million dollar winner last year,” said Santa Anita Vice President, Marketing, Nate Newby. “Eddie Espinoza and his wife, Susan, selected California Chrome to win the Santa Anita Derby, which he did and then he obviously came very close to becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
“This contest generated tremendous excitement last year and we’re hoping it will again this year. We’ve got some outstanding horses that are pointing to our Derby and we have to be encouraged by the fact two out of the last three winners of the Santa Anita Derby went on to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown. It’s going to be a lot of fun and we encourage everyone to come early on April 4 and make sure they submit their entries before 2 p.m.”
In addition to the $1,000 win wager April 4, Santa Anita will also provide a $7,500 win wager in the Kentucky Derby May 2 and if it wins, a $10,000 win wager in the Preakness Stakes May 16. If the horse wins both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, as California Chrome did last year, the contestant would be in line for a $1 million jackpot with a win in the Belmont Stakes, to be run June 6.
Santa Anita Derby Millionaire Contest participants must be present to win on April 4 and must be 18 years of age or older. Please visit santaanita.com for details.
FINISH LINES: Runaway Santa Anita riding leader Rafael Bejarano took off his scheduled five mounts today after his mount, Believe Too, fell of apparent heat prostration, unseating him following yesterday’s first race in which the colt finished third. “His back is extremely sore,” said California Horse Racing Board steward Tom Ward, who spoke to Bejarano. “He said he wouldn’t be 100 percent riding today and wanted another day to recover.” Bejarano’s agent, Joe Ferrer, said the 32-year-old Peruvian would ride on Saturday . . . Future plans for Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red remain on hold after it was announced recently that the son of Afleet Alex would miss the Triple Crown due to abscess issues with his right front foot. “I still have him here at Santa Anita,” said trainer and part owner Keith Desormeaux. “I haven’t found any major problems with him, really, and that being so, I’ll keep him here and play around with him,” Desormeaux said. “The only place we found maybe a tad bit of soreness is in his upper suspensory, but other than that, no real issues. I’ll keep him here and maybe I can get him back quicker than we’re expecting, but there is no time table right now. We want to make sure he’s right and go from there.” . . . Louisiana natives Kent Desormeaux and Joe Talamo return to their home state Saturday for stakes engagements at the Fair Grounds . . . Happy 39th birthday to Santa Anita Publicity Coordinator Debbie Olsen.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Thursday, March 26)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||184||22||22||23||12%||$1,373,360|
|A. C. Avila||25||7||2||3||28%||$208,298|