- HECK YEAH STRETCHES OUT IN $200,000 CAL CUP DERBY
- MO SEE CAL SHARP FOR MONDAY’S RICH CAL CUP OAKS
- McKINZIE AND SOLOMINI BREEZE, SAN FELIPE POSSIBLE
CAN HECK YEAH ROUTE? BAFFERT THINKS HECK YEAH
Undefeated Heck Yeah comes off two daylight sprint wins, the last on turf, for Monday’s
Presidents’ Day co-feature, the $200,000 California Cup Derby at a mile and one-sixteenth.
Bob Baffert feels the son of Acclamation will be up to the task.
“He ran well on the turf and when I worked him for this race, he seemed to work really, really well, so we thought we’d run him in there,” said the Hall of Fame trainer, who leads all conditioners in purse money won this meet with $915,384.
“The worse that could happen is he can’t go that far, but I feel pretty good about him. He’s doing really well.”
The Cal Cup Derby, the eighth of nine races: Violent Ridge, Geovanni Franco, 6-1; Hardboot, Tyler Baze, 20-1; Lucky Romano, Rafael Bejarano, 12-1; Heck Yeah, Mike Smith, 9-5; Faversham, Stewart Elliott, 5-1; Intimidate, Corey Nakatani, 6-1; Continental Divide, Victor Espinoza, 12-1; Fire When Ready, Rajiv Maragh, 20-1; Black Site, Evin Roman, 15-1; Campaigner, Tiago Pereira, 10-1; George From Tahoe, Ruben Fuentes,
10-1; and Kaleidoscope Kid, Santiago Gonzalez, 30-1.
Monday is Dollar Day at Santa Anita, with beers and sodas on sale for a buck apiece, and hot dogs for just $2. First post time is 12:30 p.m.
MO SEE CAL SHARP FOR MONDAY’S CAL CUP OAKS
Mo See Cal goes from maiden allowance company to a $200,000 stakes in Monday’s Presidents’ Day co-feature, the California Cup Oaks at one mile on turf.
“She’s due for a stakes try, according to the higher ups,” said Leandro Mora, referring to trainer Doug O’Neill and owner J. Paul Reddam. “The filly is doing very well and I really like her.
“When Mario (Gutierrez) rode her last time, he said she did not get tired and kept pulling him, so that makes everybody feel confident. The filly’s sire, Uncle Mo, hasn’t done anything wrong, and with Mo See Cal being a Cal-bred, she gives us options.”
The Cal Cup Oaks, race seven: Pulpit Rider, Corey Nakatani, 4-1; Nice Ice, Rajiv Maragh, 30-1; Mo See Cal, Mario Gutierrez, 10-1; Carpathia, Santiago Gonzalez, 12-1; One Fast Broad, Flavien Prat, 3-5; Felony One, Tyler Conner, 30-1; X S Gold, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; and Ismelucky, Ruben Fuentes, 20-1.
TOP BAFFERT SOPHS BREEZE FOR BAFFERT
Triple Crown contenders McKinzie and Solomini worked for Bob Baffert Saturday morning, each firing bullets in characteristic fashion for the Hall of Fame trainer.
Undefeated McKinzie, with Drayden Van Dyke aboard, worked six furlongs in 1:12.60, going with Downtowner, who was clocked in 1:14.40. Solomini, under Flavien Prat, went five furlongs in 59.40, the same time as workmate Cognitive.
The six furlong time was fastest of 18 drills at the distance by nearly three seconds, while the five furlong clocking was the fastest of 57 by more than two seconds.
Both McKinzie and Solomini are being considered for the Grade II, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on March 10. The race offers 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner and 20 to the runner-up.
Also breezing Saturday for Baffert was West Coast, Eclipse Award winner as three-year-old Champion Male of 2017. With Van Dyke aboard, West Coast went four furlongs in 46.60 in preparation for the Dubai World Cup on March 31. Workmate Regulate went in 46.80.
FINISH LINES: There is a Pick Six carryover today of $36,847.95 . . . Santa Anita-based jockeys ride six of the nine horses entered in today’s El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields: Drayden Van Dyke on Paved for Michael McCarthy; Kyle Frey on Blended Citizen for Doug O’Neill; Tyler Conner on City Plan for Eoin Harty; Alonso Quinonez on Calexman for Vladmir Cerin; Tiago Pereira on Epical for James Cassidy; and Mario Gutierrez on Mugaritz for Jonathon Wong . . .Jockey Martin Pedroza, who won Friday’s third race aboard Aquila for trainer Simon Callaghan, has been suspended 15 calendar days (Feb. 20 to March 6) for disorderly conduct (fighting) on Dec. 29, 2017, and is to adhere to the recommendation of the Winners’ Foundation regarding anger management education. Exercise rider/valet Maximo Corrales, who was struck by Pedroza on the head with a helmet in the incident, was fined $500 and also ordered to adhere to the recommendation of the Winners’ Foundation regarding anger management . . . Strike At Daylight, 4 ½ length winner of Friday’s fourth race at a $34 payoff under Geovanni Franco for trainer Hector Palma, was bred in California by trainer Caesar Dominguez and William Foltz. Strike At Daylight, a three-year-old filly, is by the stallion Strike for Glory, who stands for a mere $600. “There have been seven babies out of that mare (Daylight Thief),” Dominguez said, “and all were early winners.”
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, Feb. 16)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||96||15||10||8||16%||34%||$1,035,738|
|William E. Morey||22||9||0||7||41%||73%||$355,033|
|J. Keith Desormeaux||31||7||2||5||23%||45%||$249,965|