- GRASS SPECIALIST MOONLESS SKY DEBUTS DOWN THE HILL
- BARRETTS FALL YEARLING SALE HELD AT FAIRPLEX OCT. 17
- BOLT D’ORO, FINEST CITY IN BREEDERS’ CUP WORKS SUNDAY
MOONLESS SKY MAKES HER DOWNHILL COURSE DEBUT
Moonless Sky is four for four on Santa Anita’s turf course, but the four-year-old Bold Chieftain filly has never raced on the track’s unique downhill course at about 6 ½ furlongs.
Until Saturday. That’s when trainer Eddie Truman sends her out in the $100,000 California Distaff Handicap, a fixture in the Golden State Series for California-bred or sired fillies and mares, three and older.
Owned by Pappas Racing, the consistent Moonless Sky is coming off seven straight route races, the last at 1 1/16 miles on Del Mar’s grass course in which she surged in the Solano Beach only to miss by a nose under Kent Desormeaux, who has ridden her in her last six starts and is aboard Saturday.
In 10 career starts, Moonless Sky has never finished worse than fourth, winning four with three seconds, two thirds and earnings of $209,650.
“This will the first time down the hill, but we know she loves this course,” Truman said, “She loves any course, really. She’s just so solid, and we’re hoping with having freshened her up some, she’ll be able to pick ’em up.
“She won’t have a lot of speed in a race like this, so we’ll see. A lot of races coming up this winter are going to be 6 ½ down the hill for Cal-breds. We know she can run from a mile to a mile and an eighth. That’s no problem.
“Now, we’ll see if she can quicken it up. I think she can. We have a lot of confidence.”
The field: Bad Ju Ju, Corey Nakatani, 6-1; Late ‘n Left, Stewart Elliott, 30-1; Barbara Beatrice, Tiago Pereira, 6-1; Long Hot Summer, Flavien Prat, 5-2; Miss Sunset, Gary Stevens, 2-1; Run for Retts, Evin Roman, 20-1; Starlite Style, Brayan Pena, 15-1; Moonless Sky, Kent Desormeaux, 7-2; and Ready to Hula Lula, Tyler Baze, 20-1.
FINISH LINES: All horsemen please note–The Barretts Fall Yearling and Horses of All Ages Sale will be conducted this Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Fairplex Park. “Game time” is 11 a.m. . . . Owner/trainer Mick Ruis has undefeated Breeders’ Cup Juvenile favorite Bolt d’Oro set to work four furlongs Sunday at 7:45 under Corey Nakatani, who also will breeze champion Finest City for Ian Kruljac at 6:30 for the Filly & Mare Sprint . . . Skye Diamonds, also ticketed for the Filly & Mare Sprint, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s training track Friday in 1:02.40 for Bill Spawr, while champion Champagne Room (Distaff) went four furlongs on the main track in a bullet 47 flat for Peter Eurton . . . There is a Single Ticket Pick Six Jackpot pool carryover of $305,939.65 into Friday’s races . . . Here Is Happy, who broke his maiden at 32-1 coming from last place going five furlongs at Del Mar Aug. 31 for a partnership that includes Frontier Toyota owner Joe Caso, is one of six two-year-olds entered in Sunday’s $70,000 Speakeasy Stakes at six furlongs. “There’s a lot of speed in the race which should suit him, and there’s no other place to run for two-year-olds unless you go in the bigger races, but he’s doing well and we’ll try to get a line on him,” trainer Craig Lewis said of the Ohio-bred son of Tale of Ekati . . . Through eight days of the 19-day Autumn Meet, it’s anybody’s race in the battle for leading jockey and trainer. Evin Roman and Kent Desormeaux are tied among riders at eight wins apiece with Drayden Van Dyke and Corey Nakatani knotted for second with seven each. Five trainers are tied for first with four wins a brother: Richard Baltas, Vladimir Cerin, Richard Mandella, Peter Miller and Mick Ruis . . . Longshot players are in their glory as only 23.29 percent of favorites have won so far, about 10 points below the national average. Bridge jumpers are faring better as 10 of 11 in the money odds-on favorites have hit the board, 90.91 percent, according to Santa Anita statistician Jason Hom . . . Mike Smith (Con Te Partiro for Wesley Ward), Joe Talamo (Beau Recall for Simon Callaghan) and Jamie Theriot (Madam Dancealot for Richard Baltas) ride in the Grade I Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup Saturday at Keeneland . . . Jockey Chantal Sutherland and clocker Gary Young will be Tom Quigley‘s guests, Saturday and Sunday respectively, in the East Paddock Gardens at 11:20 a.m. . . . Trainer Hector Palma has horses entered in five races Saturday.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Monday, Oct. 9)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||40||7||2||3||18%||30%||$446,955|
|J. Keith Desormeaux||17||3||0||3||18%||35%||$179,355|