- KNAPP TWOSOME EYE DESERT STORMER UPSET
- QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY SUITS TRAINER TRUMAN
- ‘PHAROAH’ DUE BACK AT SANTA ANITA THURSDAY
- BALTAS LIKES RICH BELMONT RACE FOR ‘QUEEN’
- TEXAS RED LOOKS ‘TREMENDOUS’ IN DWYER DRILL
KNAPP HAS SLEEPERS IN DESERT STORMER
Steve Knapp has two for the money in Sunday’s $75,000 Desert Stormer Stakes, a six furlong sprint for fillies and mares, 3 and up, that drew 11 entrants, including 9-5 morning line favorite Sam’s Sister, winner of the Grade I La Brea Stakes last December.
Almost fully recovered from recent gall bladder surgery, Knapp has Harlington’s Rose and Big Break entered and hopes a less eventful trip will enable Harlington’s Rose to show a return to form following her fifth-place finish in the Spring Fever Stakes on May 23.
Harlington’s Rose won the Grade III Las Flores Stakes on March 8.
“She was hit by a clod in her right eye in the Spring Fever and it was closed for about five days,” Knapp said. “I don’t know if that had anything to do with it, but I suspect it probably did, when you get hit as hard as she did.
“She was coming off a three-month layoff, she probably needed a race and she’s come back with a real nice work, so we’ll see what happens Sunday.
“We had a non-winners of two in mind for Big Break but the race didn’t fill. The filly is really sharp right now. Hopefully, we’ll run big.”
The Desert Stormer, race eight of nine: Tesalina, Flavien Prat, 3-1; Amaranth, William Antongeorgi III, 15-1; Cast in Silver, Fernando Perez, 12-1; Living the Life, Mike Smith, 8-1; Wasted at Midnight, Martin Garcia, 8-1; Winning Vision, Tyler Baze, 20-1; Harlington’s Rose, Joe Talamo, 8-1; Sam’s Sister, Rafael Bejarano, 9-5; Big Break, Felipe Valdez, 20-1; Ramona’s Wildcat, Alex Solis, 12-1; and Mechaya, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1.
BEST MEET EVER FOR EDDIE TRUMAN
Eddie Truman doesn’t have the numbers to compete with Santa Anita’s alpha trainers this meet when it comes to most wins, but the veteran conditioner is right on top when it comes to quality.
The 68-year-old, an avid bicyclist along with his brother, former jockey Jerry, has won with seven of 17 starters, a gaudy 41 percent. He also has two seconds and two thirds, giving him 11 in-the-money finishes.
“I’ve never, ever had a meet like this,” said Truman, who has been training for 45 years. “An odd thing is, I’ve won the seven races with seven different riders. Five of the horses got perfect rides, perfect trips and a perfect pace. The other two were simply much the best.”
FINISH LINES: American Pharoah, who is scheduled to return to his Santa Anita base Thursday morning, had his first gallop since winning last Saturday’s Belmont Stakes this morning at Churchill Downs. With both Bob Baffert and Victor Espinoza looking on, the Triple Crown winner galloped a mile and a quarter on the main track . . . Richard Baltas, tied with Doug O’Neill for the training lead at 17 wins each, is leaning towards the $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational at 1 ¼ miles on turf July 4 for American Oaks winner Spanish Queen, a California-bred daughter of the late Tribal Rule. “Right now we’re looking at the New York race,” Baltas said. “She’s doing well so that’s the race we’re thinking about. We’re not committing, but we’ll let the horse tell us what to do.” . . . Trainer Keith Desormeaux sent Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red six furlongs from the gate in company Saturday morning under brother Kent Desormeaux in 1:14.60 in preparation for the $500,000 Dwyer Stakes at one mile July 4 at Belmont Park. Stablemate Go Long was clocked in 1:15.40. “He looks tremendous in flesh and in color,” said clocker Toby Turrell of Winner’s Card, speaking of Texas Red. “He’s carrying his weight beautifully and went by his mate easily. He’s right on course. He has more flesh on him than he’s ever had before.” . . . Favorites at Santa Anita for the Spring Meet continue to win above the national norm of about 33 percent. Through Friday, the average was 38.34 percent (97 of 253). On dirt, the number stood at 39.05 (66 of 169), and on turf, 36.90 percent (31 of 84) . . . Rafael Bejarano held a 33-25 lead over runner-up Tyler Baze and would appear en
route to yet another Santa Anita title . . . Thanks in large part to Lucky Mo‘s head victory at odds of 12-1 under Martin Pedroza for trainer Martine Bellocq in Friday’s eighth race, there is a Pick 6 carryover today of $57,859.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, June 12)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||98||13||12||11||13%||$587,940|