- BEN CECIL, TEAM REDDAM SEEKING GRADE I UPSET
- McANALLY HAS HALL OF FAME MEMORIES OF EDDIE D.
- AMERICAN PHAROAH SET FOR WEEKEND WORKOUT
- CARAVA GOES FOR THE GOLD IN SWINGTIME STAKES
- SPEEDY TARIS SET FOR SUNDAY’S GRADE III LA WOMAN
CECIL EYES STAKES BREAKTHROUGH WITH LONGSHOT
Ben Cecil is still hoping to catch the brass ring with Indexical, a steady Kentucky-bred son of Latent Heat who seeks his first stakes victory in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In’ event at six furlongs.
Owned by husband and wife Paul and Zillah Reddam, Indexical was third in the Grade I Triple Bend at Santa Anita last year and third last out in the Grade II Pat O’Brien Aug. 22. In 16 starts, Indexical has a 3-2-2 record with earnings of $244,500.
While Doug O’Neill is better-known for training horses for the Reddams, Cecil fares well under the radar and is grateful for the opportunity. On the surface, however, it’s like O’Neill manages the ’27 Yankees and Cecil manages the St. Louis Browns.
“Indexical bled when we ran him down the hill on the grass, and his best races were when the track was wet at Del Mar,” said the 47-year-old Cecil, a native of Oxford, England, “so I’m hoping we get the El Nino this winter. He deserves to win a decent race at some point, but Saturday’s race is pretty tough.
“Paul has been really good to me. He’s kept me alive in this business. He’s my major client and honestly the best guy anyone could hope to train for. We’ve had times when we haven’t done that well, and he keeps sending me horses. I’ve been training for the Reddams about 10 years and have 10 or 11 horses for them now.
“Both he and Zillah are very easy to train for and I’m lucky to have them.”
The field for the Santa Anita Sprint Championship, race eight of 10: Masochistic, Tyler Baze, 8-5; Glacken Too, Edwin Maldonado, 20-1; Kobe’s Back, Gary Stevens, 6-1; Distinctiv Passion, Martin Pedroza, 5-1; Wild Dude, Rafael Bejarano, 3-1; Indexical, Mario Gutierrez, 15-1; and Gimme Da Lute, Martin Garcia, 3-1. (San Onofre was scratched).
McANALLY HAS FOND MEMORIES OF EDDIE DELAHOUSSAYE
Safety Belt returns to Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course at about 6 ½ furlongs in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Eddie D. Stakes.
The 6-year-old Argentine-bred horse trained by Ron McAnally for owner Pozo de Luna, Inc. is coming off five straight races at one mile, but won going down the hill at Santa Anita on April 20, 2014.
“He’s training well and he should run well,” said the 83-year-old McAnally. “It’s not an easy race, but he’ll be tough.”
McAnally has nothing but fond memories of Delahoussaye, who won the 1996 Santa Anita Handicap for the Hall of Fame trainer in typical Eddie D. style, coming from 10th in a field of 11 to win by two lengths at 18-1 aboard Mr Purple.
“Eddie was one of the best,” McAnally said. “He was a real gentleman and a great rider.”
The Eddie D.: Jimmy Bouncer, Mario Gutierrez, 4-1; Majestic City, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Midnight Storm, Tyler Baze, 7-2; Mr. Sexy, Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1; Quick and Silver, Brice Blanc, 30-1; No Silent, Gary Stevens, 5-1; Toowindytohaulrox, Tiago Pereira, 5-1; Maltes, Martin Pedroza, 20-1; Chips All In, Alonso Quinonez, 5-1; Safety Belt, Felipe Valdez, 12-1; and Melatonin, Martin Garcia, 15-1.
AMERICAN PHAROAH WILL BREEZE SATURDAY OR SUNDAY
Triple Crown winner American Pharoah continued to move towards the Breeders’ Cup
Classic at Keeneland Oct. 31, galloping a mile and a half on Santa Anita’s fast main track Friday morning after the 6:30 break.
“I’m not sure,” trainer Bob Baffert said when asked if the son of Pioneerof the Nile would work Saturday or Sunday. “More like Sunday, but I don’t know yet.”
American Pharoah would work after the 6:30 break. He went five furlongs in a minute flat last Sunday.
Asked when American Pharoah might ship to Keeneland for the $5 million Classic, Baffert said, “I have a plan, but we’ll probably know more tomorrow.”
CARAVA EYES STAKES WIN OFF CLAIM WITH INTOXICATING MOVE
Jack Carava has been known to make a successful claim or two in a career that began nearly three decades ago. Pure as Gold and First Intent come to mind.
Pure as Gold was claimed for $100,000 before winning the Pat O’Brien Stakes, then a Grade I event, in 2006. First Intent, taken for $40,000, won the same race in 1997 when it was run as a Grade II stake.
Carava hopes for similar luck for owner Mark Enlow with Intoxicating Move in Saturday’s $70,000 Swingtime Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at one mile on turf. Carava claimed the 5-year-old daughter of back-to-back Santa Anita Handicap winner Milwaukee Brew (2002 and 2003) for $50,000 on Aug. 13.
“She’s trained well and we’re taking a bit of a shot because the distance is right,” said the 49-year-old Carava, born right here in Arcadia, home of Santa Anita. “The other possible race for her came up at a mile and an eighth, so I thought she’d be better going a mile against a little tougher horses than a mile and an eighth against lesser.
“She seems like a classy filly and she tries hard.”
The field for the Swingtime, race nine of 10: Kathleen Rose, Edwin Maldonado, 12-1; Journey On, Rafael Bejarano, 9-2; Gender Agenda, Tyler Baze, 7-2; Salsita, Brice Blanc, 30-1; Alexis Tangier, Gary Stevens, 4-1; Cast in Silver, Martin Garcia, 8-1; Energia Fribby, Mario Gutierrez, 15-1; Tiz Kissable, Tiago Pereira, 15-1; Intoxicating Move, Corey Nakatani, 12-1; Full Ransom, Ry Eikleberry, 10-1; and Customer Base, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1. Colonel Joan was scratched.
GENDER AGENDA EYES FIRST U.S. STAKES WIN IN SWINGTIME
Gender Agenda seeks her third straight win and her first stakes score in this country when she runs in Saturday’s Swingtime Stakes.
“She’s doing well,” said Carla Gaines, who trains the four-year-old English-bred filly for Santa Anita Chairman Keith Brackpool, Alon Ossip and Gulfstream Park President Tim Ritvo. “She’s been ultra-consistent and a really nice horse for the owners.”
Gender Agenda, a daughter of the Irish-bred sire Holy Roman Emperor, has a 4-3-2 record from 14 starts with earnings of $192,710. She has won three of seven races in the U.S.
SPEEDY TARIS SHARP FOR LA WOMAN STAKES
Taris, a front-running daughter of Flatter, seeks her sixth win from eight starts when she runs in Sunday’s $100,000, Grade III LA Woman Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs on the main track.
` “She’s training really well; I’m happy with her,” said Simon Callaghan, who conditions the 4-year-old bay filly for owners Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith or John Tabor. “She’s been doing well since her last win, so she’s ready to run a big race.”
Taris won the Grade III Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar Aug. 16 at the same distance as the LA Woman, which is for fillies and mares, age three and up.
The field for the LA Woman, race three on a nine-race program: Unforgettable U, Edwin Maldonado; Ben’s Duchess, Joe Talamo; Wasted at Midnight, Martin Garcia; Uzziel, Kent Desormeaux; and Taris, Gary Stevens.
FINISH LINES: Flavien Prat, who suffered multiple injuries in a spill at Los Alamitos on Sept. 17, was a visitor at Clockers’ Corner Friday along with his agent, Derek Lawson. “He got out of the hospital a week ago,” Lawson said, “but he’ll have to wear a protective vest (brace) for the next three months. After that, we’ll see what happens. He has an appointment with a neurosurgeon on Oct. 9 and we’ll get an update then. What’s bothering him more than anything is the punctured (right) lung. That’s what’s been hurting him the most, but today he feels really good. This morning was the first day he’s felt no pain in his chest.” Prat, a 23-year-old native of France, had 83 victories from 576 mounts this year before suffering injuries to his vertebrae and his lung. He is expected to be sidelined three months . . . Trainer Hector Palma is four wins away from 1,100 in his career, which began in 1971. “I took off three years when my wife, Becky, had an aneurism,” said the 78-year-old Palma, who has two horses entered today at Santa Anita. “Reaching 1,100 would be a nice milestone.” . . . Assistant starter Huey Barnes celebrates his 82nd birthday tomorrow. “I still play golf three times a week,” said Barnes, who came to Santa Anita from the East Coast in 1954 to work for Charlie Whittingham. “Huey and I have been working together on the starting gate since 1978,” said Santa Anita Starter Jay Slender. “He’s been my right-hand man ever since.” . . . Santa Anita-based jockeys Kent Desormeaux, Santiago Gonzalez, James Graham and Mike Smith have stakes engagements at Keeneland Saturday. Gonzalez returns to Keeneland next Saturday to ride Prize Exhibit for trainer Jim Cassidy in the Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at 1 1/8 miles on turf, agent Craig Stephen reports . . . Santa Anita offers advance day wagering tomorrow on Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe from Paris.