- IT’S BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR BOB BAFFERT
- JUSTIFY ON PARADE AT SANTA ANITA JUNE 23
- MOREY SWEET ON UNBEATEN OLLIE’S CANDY
- O’NEILL SEEKS THE RAINBOW’S POT OF GOLD
- ROMAN GETS GOLDEN WHIP AWARD SATURDAY
- RETIRED HORSES, CARMA FETED ON SUNDAY
BAFFERT BASKS IN POST-BELMONT NORMALCY
Far from the madding crowd that produced the Triple Crown frenzy for Justify before,
during and after his victory in the Belmont Stakes last Saturday, Bob Baffert was back on the beat in the glorious solitude of his home base at Santa Anita Thursday, mulling the future.
“He went back to the track (at Churchill Downs) today, jogged, and came out of it really well,” Baffert said of Justify, who became history’s 13th Triple Crown winner by capturing the mile and a half Belmont.
“Jimmy (assistant Jim Barnes) said he was pretty happy, so we’re going to take him back tomorrow, go light with him, parade him Saturday at Churchill, and he’ll be here at Santa Anita Sunday afternoon.
“We have no plans yet (for his next race). We’ll just get him here and go from there.”
Asked who held up better through the Triple Crown morass, him or the horse, Baffert paused briefly and said, “We’re all tired, although Justify handled it really well.
“The mile and a half wasn’t a problem for him.”
JUSTIFY TO BE PARADED AT SANTA ANITA SATURDAY, JUNE 23
Undefeated Triple Crown champion Justify will return home to Santa Anita Sunday, with an estimated arrival time of 2 p.m. Pacific Time.
Unraced at age two, Justify, a magnificent physical specimen by the late Scat Daddy out of the Ghostzapper mare Stage Magic, was an overwhelming 9 ½ length first-out maiden winner going seven furlongs here on Feb. 18. He followed that with a 6 ½ length one mile allowance win March 11, which propelled him to a three-length score at a mile and one eighth in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby April 7.
Following victories in the Grade I Kentucky Derby on May 5 and the Grade I Preakness Stakes May 19, Justify then joined the legendary Seattle Slew as he became Thoroughbred racing’s second undefeated Triple Crown winner 111 days after he broke his maiden at The Great Race Place.
Owned by China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, LLC, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm, Justify’s next start is as yet undetermined.
Although credentialed media are welcome to greet him upon his arrival at Santa Anita on Sunday, Justify will be paraded for all to see in a special ceremony between races a week from Saturday, June 23, at which time Baffert and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will be available for interviews.
OLLIE’S CANDY MOVES UP IN SUMMERTIME OAKS
Ollie’s Candy, monster winner against lesser in two races at Golden Gate Fields, moves up to Grade II competition Saturday in the $200,000 Summertime Oaks for three-year-old fillies at a mile and one-sixteenth.
A daughter of Candy Ride owned and bred in Kentucky by Paul and Karen Eggert, Ollie’s Candy broke her maiden by 6 ½ lengths, then won an overnight race by 7 ¾ lengths, each at six furlongs.
“She’s a nice filly and she’s training great down here,” Bill Morey said. “We’re excited. Candy Rides seem to do it all. They go short, long, dirt, turf, anything. She won on synthetic at Golden Gate so I think she’ll be fine on the dirt. She’s trained well on it here.
“Kent (Desormeaux) has worked her a couple times and he likes her, so we’re ready.”
The Summertime Oaks, which goes as race six: Thirteen Squared, Tyler Baze, 5-2; Fool’s Paradise, Tyler Conner, 4-1; Exuberance, Gary Stevens, 6-1; Zusha, Drayden Van Dyke, 10-1; Chocolate Martini, Flavien Prat, 9-5; and Ollie’s Candy, Kent Desormeaux, 7-2.
O’NEILL SEEKS GOLD AT END OF THE RAINBOW
Doug O’Neill, in pursuit of his fourth Santa Anita training crown, has two horses entered in Saturday’s $100,000 Rainbow Stakes for three-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on turf, newcomer Arawak and Singletary Stakes winner Blame the Rider.
“We purchased Arawak during the time he ran third in the Jim Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park last March,” said O’Neill assistant Leandro Mora. “He ran twice before we got him back to California, and we’re happy with what we have right now.
“Gary Stevens loves him, so hopefully he’s right.” The Hall of Fame jockey has the mount on Saturday. Mario Gutierrez, however, who has ridden Blame the Rider in each of his seven career races, will have his streak come to an end.
Santa Anita’s third-leading rider this meet with 21 wins, Gutierrez will be at Churchill Downs Saturday to ride two horses for O’Neill, Pavel in the Grade I Stephen Foster and Mopotism in the Fleur de Lis Handicap.
With eight racing days remaining in the Spring Meet, O’Neill has a 26-22 lead over runners-up Peter Miller and Phil D’Amato.
The Rainbow Stakes, race three of 11: Respect the Hustle, Geovanni Franco; Move Over, Tyler Baze; Blame the Rider, Tyler Conner; River Boyne, Flavien Prat; and Arawak, Gary Stevens.
Trainer Richard Baltas did not enter Fibonacci due to a “high white (blood) count.”
EVIN ROMAN TO RECEIVE GOLDEN WHIP AWARD SATURDAY
Evin Roman, America’s Eclipse Champion Apprentice Jockey for 2017 and Santa Anita’s leading jockey at this year’s Winter Meet, will receive Santa Anita’s prestigious Golden Whip Award in a Winner’s Circle ceremony this Saturday following the fourth race. A 20-year-old native of Puerto Rico who was born March 4, 1998, Roman amassed 46 wins over the course of the 60-day meet, which opened on Dec. 26 and concluded April 8.
Sidelined due to a broken left toe sustained in a training accident April 24, Roman returns to action today, as he is named on two horses, Depende de Ti in race one and Daddy’s Mistress in race three.
Represented by fellow Puerto Rican Tony Matos, Roman was also Santa Anita’s leading Summer Meet jockey in 2017, as he won 41 races over 45 racing days, dead-heating atop the standings with Flavien Prat.
“Evin is feeling great and he was okayed to ride last week,” said Matos. “It is a great honor to win the Golden Whip, especially when you consider some of the great riders that have competed here over the years. We are anxious to regain the momentum that we had before the injury and he’s working very hard to get back on top.”
SANTA ANITA FETES RETIRED HORSES, CARMA ON SUNDAY
Santa Anita Park, in conjunction with the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), will host an event celebrating retired racehorses and those that attend to and develop them, with Aftercare Awareness Day this Sunday, June 17.
CARMA Youth Ambassadors Amanda Gomez (15) and Jolee Craigmyle (14) will be demonstrating the versatility of retired Thoroughbreds in their second careers as they showcase several riding disciplines such as show jumping and barrel racing.
Gomez is the daughter of late Hall of Fame jockey Garrett Gomez and show horse trainer Pam Gomez. Amanda Gomez recently won the $1,500 Jumper Stakes at CARMA’s Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show last Month in Riverside, and to commemorate Father’s Day on Sunday, she, along with her prized horse, Amadeus, will be rding in honor of Garrett.
Craigmyle, like Gomez, comes from a well-established racetrack pedigree, as she is the granddaughter of former Thoroughbred trainer and current Los Alamitos Racing Manager Scott Craigmyle. The daughter of Santa Anita assistant starter and blacksmith Shane Craigmyle and his wife, Michelle, Jolee Craigmyle won the $1,500 TCHS in 2016 at age 12.
In addition to on-track performances, non-profit organizations specializing in Thoroughbred aftercare will be at Santa Anita to help educate the public on measures taken on behalf of retired racehorses statewide.
Note: Fan favorite Royal FJ, who last started at Santa Anita this past October, will be one of the retired Thoroughbreds on display this Sunday. An 11-year-old Royal Academy gelding, Royal FJ was as honest as they come on the racetrack, evidenced by his overall mark of 102-9-19-18, which produced career earnings of $568,150.
For additional information on Santa Anita’s Aftercare Awareness Day on June 17, please contact Santa Anita’s Director of Print and Graphics Candace Coder Chew at Candace.firstname.lastname@example.org.
FINISH LINES: There is a Single Ticket Pick Six carryover today of $192,243, and a $300,000 guaranteed Late Pick Four pool . . . There were103 recorded workouts at Santa Anita Thursday, including 10 on the training track, one by American Stakes winner What a View, who went four furlongs for Kenny Black in 50.20.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Sunday, June 10)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||101||17||18||15||17%||50%||$1,050,605|