- STELLAR WIND & BEHOLDER PREP FOR BC DISTAFF
- CAL-BRED MASOCHISTIC FIRES BULLET FOR SPRINT
- D’AMATO HAS TWO FOR THE MONEY SATURDAY
- UNUSUAL HEAT IS PENSIONED FROM STUD AT 26
- BREEDERS’ CUP NEXT FOR MISS SOUTHERN MISS
STELLAR WIND GIRDS FOR ‘GREAT’ DISTAFF
Stellar Wind, one of three champions scheduled to do battle in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita three weeks minus a day away, on Nov. 4, worked four furlongs early Friday morning in 48.40 under exercise rider Jose Contreras.
The champion three-year-old filly of 2015 is slated to meet three-time Eclipse champion Beholder and undefeated two-year-old filly champion of 2015 Songbird in the $2 million Distaff, for fillies and mares, three and up, at 1 1/8 miles.
“It was nice and easy, just a maintenance work,” said John Sadler, who trains the daughter of Curlin for the brothers Hronis, Kosta and Peter. Stellar Wind received fractional times of 24.20 and 36.40, with a five furlong gallop out of 1:02.40.
“It’s going to be a great race,” Sadler said of the Distaff, “very rare in the sense that it’s high quality with those three in it.”
Richard Mandella reported Beholder doing well for the Distaff. “I didn’t let her do too much (in her four furlong work Thursday, 49 flat, breezing),” he said. “She couldn’t look better.”
Songbird also worked Thursday, going five furlongs in a bullet 58.60 for Jerry Hollendorfer, who is at Keeneland this weekend.
Stellar Wind will work again next Friday under regular rider Victor Espinoza.
Also working Thursday was Breeders’ Cup Sprint favorite Masochistic, who drilled a half mile with regular rider Mike Smith up for Ron Ellis in a bullet 45.40, handily from the gate. It was the best of 46 at the distance for the six-year-old California-bred gelding by Sought After.
ENOLA GRAY MAKES GRASS DEBUT SATURDAY
Enola Gray will make her first start on grass when she joins stablemate Long Hot Summer in Saturday’s $100,000 California Distaff Handicap for fillies and mares, three and up, at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
“It’s a short field (five entered), she’s bred for the grass, and there wasn’t really any race for her,” explained trainer Phil D’Amato. “The timing’s good for this race and then going in the ($100,000) Betty Grable at Del Mar (seven furlongs on dirt Nov. 13), so that’s kind of the reason we drew in late.”
The field for the California Distaff, one in the Golden State Series for California-bred or sired horses: Desert Steel, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1, Long Hot Summer, Joe Talamo, 6-5; Enola Gray, Tyler Baze, 9-5; Out Of the Ordinary, Jamie Theriot, 12-1; and Home Journey, Mike Smith, 3-1.
REMARKABLE SIRE UNUSUAL HEAT PENSIONED AT 26
Unusual Heat, the all-time leading sire in California progeny earnings, has been pensioned from stud at 26.
“It is with great emotion that we have to announce the retirement of Unusual Heat,” said Harris Auerbach, managing partner of M. Auerbach, LLC. “He’s been remarkable and even in his final season at stud in 2016 managed to get 25 of 30 bred mares in foal. It’s been an amazing run and I’m happy ‘Heat’ can now just relax and enjoy the rest of his days just being a horse.”
Doug Burge, longtime President of the California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association remarked, “He’s been the perennial leading sire in California for over a decade and his influence on California breeding and racing will be prevalent for years to come.”
Bred by John T. Jones in Kentucky, Unusual Heat is the son of Nureyev and Danish champion mare Rossard. In 1991, he became the highest-priced horse ever sold at a Barretts yearling auction, fetching $250,000. He went on to race both in Europe and the United States under trainers Dermot Weld, Richard Mandella and Barry Abrams. Unusual Heat was a multiple listed stakes winner who finished with a record of 16-6-2-2 and career earnings of $142,605.
Unusual Heat stood his first season at the late Walter Greenman’s farm in Hemet before moving to Old English Rancho in Sanger, where he spent the bulk of his early stallion career. In 2010, he moved to Harris Farms in Coalinga, spending his last six seasons at stud.
The impact of Unusual Heat on California breeding and racing was far reaching. From a humble first crop of 15, Unusual Heat had 11 runners, and 10 of them won in their first race, starting a ride never been seen in the Golden State. To date, his runners have amassed $52.4 million in worldwide progeny earnings. He has produced 12 graded stakes winners, five Grade I winners, 53 overall stakes winners, 18 additional graded stakes horses, an astounding 150 earners of over $100,000 and 75 earners of over $200,000 from just 556 starters. He won six California Leading Sire Championships and is still the reigning California Conceived Leading Turf Sire with 12 straight championships (2004-2015).
Unusual Heat has also produced 15 California champions, including two-time California Horse of the Year and 2011 Eclipse Award Winner Acclamation. Other notable runners include stakes winners The Usual Q.T., Lethal Heat, Unusual Suspect, Golden Doc A, Gervinho, Burns, Pretty Unusual, Lennyfromalibu, Spenditallbaby, Mensa Heat, Tucked Away, Lakerville and Lightmyfirebaby.
He is represented by 2016 stakes winners Cheekaboo, Majestic Heat, Pacific Heat, Boozer and Central Heat. In 2016, Unusual Heat has had 89 runners and 47 winners and leads all California sires in California conceived North American progeny earnings.
For more information about Unusual Heat, contact Harris Auerbach at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.unusualheat.com .
FINISH LINES: It’s on to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf for Miss Southern Miss, impressive 2 ½-length winner of Monday’s Surfer Girl Stakes for two-year-old fillies at a mile on grass. The daughter of More Than Ready was making her turf debut. “I don’t know if I was super high on her or super hopeful,” trainer Keith Desormeaux said Friday. “We’re definitely pointing to the Breeders’ Cup. Off a performance like that, I think I’m justified. I’d been trying to get her to relax with no success on dirt. When dirt would hit her in the face she would just grab the bit and run off, but there’s no spray on the turf so she relaxed a lot better.” . . . Condolences to the family of former trainer Dominick Manzi, who died on Wednesday of a heart attack in Escondido at the age of 58. He was the son of the late trainer Joe Manzi and was his father’s assistant before going on his own. A memorial will be held at Horsemen’s Beach in Del Mar, 11 a.m., Oct. 29, according his wife, Melissa. Those wishing to donate towards his cremation can do so by going to gofundme.com., typing in dominickmanzi, and following the prompts . . . Vince DeGregory was back at Santa Anita Friday for the first time since undergoing six hours of back surgery 17 days ago. “I’m getting better and stronger each day,” the 84-year-old agent said . . . Agent Nelson Arroyo has appealed the suspension of his brother, jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr., who received a three-day ban (Oct. 16, 20 and 21) for causing interference on victorious Woot Woot in last Sunday’s first race . . . Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and John Boal, author of Broodmare Sire Rankings, will be Tom Quigley‘s guests, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, 11:20 a.m. in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Tomorrow, Santa Anita hosts the undisputed party champion, Michelada Rumble 3, featuring live music by Sweet & Tender Hooligans, food trucks and a car exhibition for only $15. A $40 VIP ticket includes two drinks and much more (must be over 21 to attend).
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Monday, Oct. 10)|
|Norberto Arroyo, Jr.||39||9||3||5||23%||44%||$369,420|