- CHAMP STELLAR WIND EYES GRADE I BEHOLDER
- SONGBIRD BREEZES TOWARDS BEHOLDER MILE
- ARROGATE, MASTERY DOING WELL FOR BAFFERT
- SANTA ANITA HOSTS EASTER EGG HUNT SUNDAY
- GORMLEY WORKS FOR MAY 6 KENTUCKY DERBY
STELLAR WIND TICKETED FOR GRADE I BEHOLDER
Stellar Wind, fresh from winning the Grade I Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park Friday in her 2017 debut, will be pointed to the Grade I Beholder Mile at Santa Anita on June 3, according to Larry Benavidez, assistant to trainer John Sadler.
“The Beholder is a logical spot, it’s a Grade I at her home track and that’s our goal,” Benavidez said Saturday morning. “It’s a no-brainer.”
Stellar Wind, champion three-year-old filly of 2015 and two-time conqueror of four-time Eclipse Award champion Beholder, is a five-year-old daughter of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin owned by Sadler’s principal clients, Kosta and Peter Hronis.
The Apple Blossom was her first race since the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita last Nov. 4, when she finished fourth behind Beholder.
Also possible for the Beholder Mile are two-time champion Songbird, Finest City, female sprint champion of 2016, and streaking graded stakes winner Vale Dori, who captured the Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes last out on March 18.
SONGBIRD COULD BE READY FOR BEHOLDER MILE
Two-time champion Songbird worked three furlongs Saturday morning under exercise rider Edgar Rodriguez in 36.60 as she prepares for her four-year-old debut, possibly in the Grade I Beholder Mile on June 3.
“If all works out, she could be ready for that, if everything’s going the way it’s going right now,” said Dan Ward, assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer.
Songbird galloped out four furlongs in 49 flat.
WORLD AWAITS RETURN OF ARROGATE AND MASTERY
Horse of the World Arrogate has settled in nicely at his home base of Santa Anita
following his eventful but expected victory in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 25.
Formal announcement of his next race is still on hold, but Bob Baffert has the four-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song owned by Juddmonte Farms galloping over the main track daily.
“I don’t know where he’ll run,” Baffert said, although when asked if he might be entered in the Grade I, $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita on May 27, the Hall of Fame trainer ruled that out, saying he would not go in the mile and a quarter race.
Winner of a North American record $17-plus million thanks to consecutive victories in a $6 million race (Breeders’ Cup Classic), a $12 million race (Pegasus World Cup) and a $10 million race (Dubai World Cup), where do you go from there?
As to Mastery, the undefeated winner of the San Felipe Stakes who came out of the March 11 race with a condylar fracture of his left front ankle that required surgery and forced the Kentucky Derby favorite off the Triple Crown trail, Baffert said the colt is doing well.
“He’s making progress, and at some point in the future, we’ll ship him to a farm in Kentucky where he can continue to recover and move forward. He seems to be healing well.”
BIG EASTER EGG HUNT SUNDAY AT SANTA ANITA
Join the biggest Easter Egg hunt in the San Gabriel Valley Sunday when more than 18,000 candy-filled “eggs” will be scattered throughout Santa Anita’s Infield and children from one to 11 will have a chance to discover as many as they can in heats throughout the day.
Families can have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny and enjoy Family Fun Zone activities, including pony rides, face painting, inflatable jumpers and carnival games.
Admission gates open at 11 a.m. First post time is 1 p.m.
FINISH LINES: Jerry and Ann Moss‘s Gormley worked three furlongs for John Shirreffs Saturday in 37.80, his first recorded breeze since winning the Santa Anita Derby one week ago. The son of Malibu Moon, with 125 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, 100 gleaned from winning the Santa Anita Derby, is on course for the Run for the Roses on May 6. Shirreffs plans to work his other Kentucky Derby prospect, Santa Anita Derby third-place finisher Royal Mo, on Sunday. The son of Uncle Mo was an eventful third, beaten just a length in the Santa Anita Derby under Gary Stevens, after a wide trip from the No. 13 post position . . . Ike Walker, scratched from today’s Los Angeles Stakes, will be nominated to the Grade III Steve Sexton Mile to be run May 7 at Lone Star Park, Jerry Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward said. Ike Walker worked six furlongs Saturday in 1:14.20 . . . Follow Me Crev and Prospect Park, candidates for the Grade II Californian Stakes on April 22, each worked six furlongs Saturday, the former in 1:14 for Vladimir Cerin and the latter in 1:13.80 for Cliff Sise Jr. . . . Jeff Bonde was happy to have given Kyle Frey a leg up on victorious Atomic Action in Friday’s eighth race. It was the first Santa Anita mount for Frey since the 25-year-old Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s outstanding apprentice rider of 2011 moved his tack from Golden Gate Fields. “It was a good start for him,” the trainer said.