- UNIQUE BELLA IS AS GOOD AS SHE COULD BE FOR LA WOMAN
- BOLT D’ORO, MOONSHINE MEMORIES SET FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
- ROMAN 4-BAGGER HELPS CREATE $266,793 PICK 6 CARRYOVER
- SADLER-TRAINED CAL-BRED STEPS UP IN GRADE I SA SPRINT
- BARRETTS FALL YEARLING SALE HELD AT FAIRPLEX OCT. 17
FABULOUS FILLY UNIQUE BELLA RETURNS ON SUNDAY
Unique Bella, winner of four of her five career starts, the last four in a row by a combined margin of nearly 29 lengths, returns to the races Sunday in the Grade III, $100,000 LA Woman Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at 6 ½ furlongs.
The three-year-old gray daughter of Tapit trained by Jerry Hollendorfer for the Don Alberto Stable has not raced since last March 4, when she suffered shin issues following her victory in the Grade III Santa Ysabel Stakes.
“It’s exciting to have her coming back,” said Dan Ward, assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer.
“She’s as good as she could be for this race.
“The horses she beat in her previous races have gone on to become really good horses,
so that speaks for itself.”
Among them are the likes of multiple Grade I winner Abel Tasman and Unique Bella’s Grade I-winning stablemate It Tiz Well; champion Champagne Room; and stakes winners Spooky Woods and Shane’s Girlfriend.
The LA Woman, race five of nine: Sturdy One, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 20-1; Cuddle Alert, Edwin Maldonado, 15-1; Bad Ju Ju, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1; Princess Karen, Kent Desormeaux, 8-1; Unique Bella, Mike Smith, 1-5; Dis Smart Cat, Gary Stevens, 20-1; and Lunar Empress, Flavien Part, 15-1.
UNBEATEN JUVENILES HAVE BREEDERS’ CUP AGENDAS SET
Santa Anita-based Bolt d’Oro and Moonshine Memories, undefeated favorites for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 4, both are doing well following their impressive victories in the Grade I, Win and You’re In FrontRunner Stakes and Grade I Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 30.
“We’ll have one work at Del Mar and one work here before he goes,” said Mick Ruis, trainer and part owner of Bolt d’Oro, dominating 7 ¾-length winner of the FrontRunner. “So he’ll have two works before the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
“He’s back jogging now and he’ll gallop easy tomorrow morning. He’s doing really, really well. He came out of the FrontRunner like he never raced.”
Asked if there was undue pressure being the favorite for the Juvenile, Ruis said, “The first time, when he was maiden, yes, there was pressure. The second time, he wasn’t the favorite, but going into the FrontRunner, we knew we had a really, really good horse, so it was just up to him to see what he could do.
“Going into the Breeders’ Cup as the favorite, I don’t feel the pressure now.”
As for Moonshine Memories, all systems are go.
“She came out of the race great,” trainer Simon Callaghan said of the bay daughter of Malibu Moon, who won the Chandelier by 2 ¾ lengths. “We’ll breeze her a few times here at Santa Anita and then do her last breeze at Del Mar.
“Her main breeze will be at Santa Anita two weeks before the Breeders’ Cup. As soon as Del Mar opens (Oct. 22) we’ll go there and give her an easy breeze over the track.”
Both Bolt d’Oro and Moonshine Memories are poised to follow on the path of two champions who were based at Santa Anta Anita, Nyquist and Songbird. In 2015, each won the Futurity and Debutante at Del Mar before capturing the FrontRunner and Chandelier at Santa Anita, then going on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies, respectively.
ROMAN ‘GRAND SLAM’ TRIGGERS $266,793 PICK 6 CARRYOVER
Four victories Thursday by Evin Roman, one of them worth a $65.80 mutuel, helped produce a massive two-day Pick Six carryover into Friday of $266,793.
The 19-year-old apprentice rider from Puerto Rico, a proverbial “overnight sensation” under agent Tony Matos, won the first race on South Americain at $44; the fourth aboard Getoffmyback at $65.80; the fifth on Wonderful Lie at $7.80; and the eighth aboard Reverend Al at $8.40.
Getoffmyback was a huge overlay. Listed at 6-1 on the morning line, the four-year-old California-bred gelding owned by Gary Barber went off at five times that price.
“Evin’s been riding well and this is his third four-bagger,” pointed out Matos. “He’s had an amazing year. Every meet has been a great meet. It was great for him to win the Santa Anita title (sharing the Spring Meet crown with Flavien Prat at 41 wins each); he won both Los Alamitos titles and he was second at Del Mar.
“He’s a very good apprentice with a big future. Every time he breaks out of the gate, he breaks on top. I give a lot of credit to the jockey school in Puerto Rico which he attended.”
The Escuela Vocacional Hipica is the same school attended by brothers Jose and Irad Ortiz Jr., both world-class riders from Puerto Rico who are based on the East Coast.
BARGAIN CLAIM ‘GOING RIGHT’ FOR SADLER
With any kind of luck, Edwards Going Left could be on a five-race winning streak when he runs in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Win and You’re In Santa Anita Sprint Championship.
As it is, the son of champion sprinter Midnight Lute claimed by John Sadler for principal clients Kosta and Peter Hronis for $50,000 from his first race last Feb. 9 has won four straight, one via disqualification. He was third when blocked in the stretch in the Real Good Deal Stakes July 28, beaten only two lengths.
“We’ve already won four races; he should have won five,” Sadler said of the three-year-old California-bred gelding, alluding to the Real Good Deal. “We’ve been entering him an allowance race that didn’t fill, so we opted for the stake.”
The field for the Santa Anita Sprint Championship at six furlongs: Ransom the Moon, Flavien Prat, 5-2; Giant Expectations, Gary Stevens, 3-1; Edwards Going Left, Tyler Baze, 10-1; American Anthem, Mike Smith, 3-1; Mr. Hinx, Drayden Van Dyke, 15-1; and Roy H, Kent Desormeaux, 8-5.
JOHN MORRIS GOLF CLASSIC BENEFITS PERMANENTLY DISABLED JOCKEYS’ FUND
The sixth annual John Morris Golf Classic, originally staged in Lexington, Ky., will be held for the first time at Santa Anita Golf Course in Arcadia on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Proceeds will benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund (PDJF), Easter Seals Cardinal Hill and Project Walk (Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Center). One hundred percent of the charity proceeds will go to benefit these three charities.
Tournament registration is at 10:30 a.m., with an 18-hole shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Fees also include cart, lunch, refreshments, prizes and there will be a reception (that includes a silent auction) immediately following the tournament. Prices are $175 per player or $600 per team. All fees must be paid by Oct. 10 in order to participate.
For more info, visit http://www.santaanita.com/events/johnmorrisgolfclassic/, or call (626) 574-RACE.
FINISH LINES: Attention horsemen–The Barretts Fall Yearling and Horses of All Ages Sale will be conducted Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Fairplex Park. “Game time” is 11 a.m. . . . Win the Space, who outran his odds of 25-1 finishing third by a length and a half in the Awesome Again Stakes, is being considered for either the Breeders’ Cup Classic or the Dirt Mile, trainer George Papaprodromou said . . . Having withdrawn his appeal of a suspension issued on Aug. 20, Rafael Bejarano will serve the three days Oct. 14, 15 and 19 . . . Ditto for Drayden Van Dyke, who will serve the same three days after withdrawing an appeal handed down Aug. 13 . . . Ernie Banks, an unraced maiden named for the late, great Chicago Cubs’ shortstop, has been shipped by trainer Steve Miyadi to Golden Gate Fields, where perhaps the two-year-old bay Grazen colt owned and bred by Nick Alexander can one day “run like the old man and play two,” Alexander said.