- COLLECTED PREPS FOR GUN RUNNER REMATCH IN PEGASUS
- CONIAH RETURNS IN GRADE III LAS CIENEGAS DOWN THE HILL
- BAZE DOUBLES HIS PLEASURE WITH TWO STAKES VICTORIES
- WEDNESDAY BARRETTS SALE AIDS SAN LUIS REY FIRE VICTIMS
COLLECTED WORKS FOR $16 MILLION PEGASUS ON JAN. 27
Collected, working for a rematch with probable Horse of the Year Gun Runner in the
$16 million Pegasus Cup World Invitational at Gulfstream Park Jan. 27, breezed seven furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Monday morning at 7:45 in 1:24.20 under Mike Smith, who rides the son of City Zip in the world’s richest race to be decided at 1 1/8 miles.
“He went very well,” said trainer Bob Baffert, who also has West Coast ticketed for the Pegasus with Javier Castellano to ride. “I’m really happy.”
Added Smith: “Tremendous. He went absolutely wonderful. He was nice and happy coming off (the track) and recovered real quick. All is well. We’ve just got to go out there and see if we can get the job done, good Lord willing. We’ll see what happens.”
The fleet Collected presented Gun Runner with a serious challenge in the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Classic at a mile and a quarter, looking like a winner at the top of the stretch before Gun Runner held sway, winning by 2 ¼ lengths.
CONIAH RETURNS FRESH AND FIT FOR LAS CIENEGAS
Coniah is set to make her first start in seven months next Saturday in the Grade III, $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes for fillies and mares, four and up, at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
The five-year-old California-bred daughter of Harlington has a fondness for the unique downhill course although she has never won over it, finishing second twice, by a nose in the restricted Mizdirection Stakes last April and by a half length in the Grade II Monrovia last May.
“She’s training well and ready to go,” said Bill Morey, who conditions the mare for owners James and Tammy McKinney. “She just got a little sour and tired. She had run in some hard races so we gave her some time off.
“She’s had plenty of works, so she’s ready to go.”
BAZE SWEEPS SUNDAY STAKES WITH SELCOURT, PLEIN AIR
Tyler Baze doubled his pleasure Sunday by winning stakes races back-to-back, both $75,000 added events, the Kalookan Queen for fillies and mares, four and up at 6 ½ furlongs with Selcourt, and the Astra for fillies and mares, also four and up, at a mile and a half on turf aboard the Irish-bred Plein Air, who was making her U.S. debut for trainer Bob Baffert.
The victories gave Baze seven for the Winter Meet, moving him into a tie for fourth in the standings with Drayden Van Dyke.
Selcourt, a four-year-old filly trained by John Sadler, was making her first start since last May 14, winning by 7 ½ lengths at odds of 3-1. Plein Air, a five-year-old mare who last raced on June 18, 2017, led throughout, winning by three-parts of a length at 7-1.
“I wasn’t worried about the fast pace,” Baze said of Selcourt’s fractions of 21.77, 44.28 and 1:09.30. “She’s a big, nice filly and she got a little breather in there, and when I asked her to kick home, she was ready. When John says they’re ready, they’re ready.”
Sadler had no immediate plans for Selcourt’s next race, saying Monday morning “it was too soon. She came back great and we’re thrilled with her performance.”
Baze had little concern about Plein Air leading throughout the marathon Astra.
“She was comfortable all the way around,” he said. “Bob told me that she pretty much went to the lead and galloped around there in her other races, so he said to send her out there a little bit. She didn’t break that well, but as soon as I sent her and she hit the lead, her ears went up . . . It was just a matter of getting her to breathe and settle.”
Said Baffert: “The horse came to me through John Asher, who I’ve known forever. He said he found this nice filly in Italy and she goes a mile and a half, and luckily, I don’t have any horses in that division . . .
“I told Tyler to put her on the lead . . . She ran around there and had turf form, so I was very excited to watch her do that off a layoff.”
PROMISING SPRINTER AMERICAN PASTIME SIDELINED
American Pastime, fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint Nov. 4 at Del Mar, has been turned out at Rancho Temescal Thoroughbred Farm in Piru, Ventura County.
“He has a bruise in his right front coffin bone,” said Bob Hess Jr., who trains the Kentucky-bred son of Tapizar for Mike Mowrey and Gary Woods. “No surgery is required and he should be fine, but he’ll need time and we don’t expect him back until the middle of June.
“Hopefully, we’ll see him at Santa Anita after that.”
American Pastime, winner of three of his seven career starts and never worse than fourth despite having eventful trips in almost every race, was second by a half-length in the Grade III Gallant Bob at Parx last Sept. 22 before the Breeders’ Cup.
BARRETTS SALE WEDNESDAY BENEFITS FIRE VICTIMS
Moved by the tragedy of the Dec. 7 fire at San Luis Rey training center, Barretts will be donating 10 percent of its commissions from this Wednesday’s (Jan. 17) Mixed Sale to the California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation for victims of the fire as needed, with any remaining balance to be retained by CTHF for ongoing medical needs of backstretch workers.
An auction of donated stallion seasons will be conducted during the sale and a silent auction of equine art and other equine objects will follow the sale, with all proceeds also earmarked for CTHF, a non-profit foundation that supports more than 5,000 licensed backstretch workers and their families throughout California by providing dental and medical care along with other important services.
As a charitable non-profit with tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) status, CTHF is the vehicle through which most of the donations have been funneled to reach SLR victims.
“CTHF is the best organization of its kind in America,” said Kim Lloyd, general manager of Barretts Sales. “This money is going to the organization that does the most to help backstretch workers.”
The January Mixed Sale is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. this coming Wednesday in the pavilion adjacent to the Finish Line Sports Bar and Grill (simulcast wagering facility) on the Pomona fairgrounds at 2201 N. White Avenue.
The auction for stallion seasons will take place after the breeding stock has been sold (approximately midway through the sale). The equine art auction will follow the sale.
FINISH LINES: Unique Bella, winner of the Grade I La Brea Stakes Dec. 26, worked five furlongs Monday morning in a bullet 59 seconds for the Grade II Santa Maria Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 10. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer called the drill “nice and easy.” It was the fastest of 39 at the distance . . . Drayden Van Dyke rides Bob Hope runner-up Mourinho for Bob Baffert in today’s Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park . . . Santa Anita will be dark for live racing this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but resume live racing Friday, Jan. 19, at 1 p.m. Admission gates open that day at 11 a.m. Santa Anita will offer simulcast wagering Wednesday and Thursday, with free general admission and free parking.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Sunday, Jan. 14)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||47||8||2||4||17%||30%||$510,728|
|William E. Morey||9||4||0||2||44%||67%||$85,923|