Lord Nelson, smashing winner of an overnight race in his first start in five months on June 3, has “a strong possibility” of starting in next Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Triple Bend Stakes for three-year-olds and up at seven furlongs, Bob Baffert said Saturday morning.

A four-year-old son of the A.P. Indy stallion Pulpit owned by the Spendthrift Farm of B. Wayne Hughes, Lord Nelson won the Grade II San Vicente Stakes as a three-year-old and had been firing bullets in his breezes before his three-and-a-half length victory under Rafael Bejarano on June 3.

With multiple Grade I winner Wild Dude recently sold and out of the Triple Bend, according to Jerry Hollendorfer, formerly part owner and trainer of the six-year-old horse, Bejarano now will retain the mount on Lord Nelson, whom he has ridden in five of his 10 starts, two of them victories.

Bejarano had been scheduled to ride Wild Dude in the Triple Bend. The six-year-old Florida-bred sired by Wildcat Heir has earned $1,095,232 with an 8-5-4 record from 22 starts.

Taris, who had been expected to take on males in the Triple Bend, will miss the race due to a foot issue and be pointed to the Grade I, seven furlong Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 27 , trainer Simon Callaghan said by phone from England Saturday morning.

“She has a bit of a sore foot and we missed the last work with her,” Callaghan said. “She’s sound, but we didn’t want to take the risk and run her.”

Taris, a five-year-old Flatter mare, last worked on June 4. She won the Grade I Humana Distaff on May 7 at Churchill Downs by nearly six lengths in her most recent start.



Hard Aces, winner of last year’s Gold Cup at Santa Anita by a nose after rallying from 11th and last, worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Saturday morning in 1:11.80 for John Sadler, who trains the six-year-old Hard Spun horse for principal owners Kosta and Peter Hronis.

With exercise rider Jose Contreras aboard, Hard Aces was given fractional times of 24.20, 48 flat and 59.40.

Sadler was pleased with the final major work for the Kentucky-bred bay who would earn a fees-paid berth to the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 5 should he win the mile and a quarter Gold Cup, which offers a $500,000 purse.

Also working Saturday for the Gold Cup was Imperative, who went six furlongs for Richard Baltas in 1:13.80 under Rafael Bejarano.



Champions Beholder and Stellar Wind, one-two in the Grade I Vanity Mile on June 4, are scheduled to work at Santa Anita Sunday after the 6:30 renovation break.

The six-year-old Beholder, an Eclipse Award winner at two, three and five under the sagacious and patient direction of Richard Mandella, has the Grade I Clement L. Hirsch as her next major target, July 30 at Del Mar.

Trainer John Sadler is considering several options for Stellar Wind, champion three-year-old female of 2015.

Also scheduled to work tomorrow is 2015 Kentucky Derby runner-up Firing Line for trainer Simon Callaghan.



Due to the expectation of unusually high temperatures on Sunday, Santa Anita Park has announced that in consultation with the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC), California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT) and the Jockeys’ Guild, it has moved first post time on Sunday up to 12 noon in an effort to mitigate effects of the heat.

According to the National Weather Service, Sunday’s high temperature for 4 p.m. in Arcadia is expected to reach 101 degrees, 10 degrees above normal for the date.

Santa Anita’s admission gates will open Sunday at 10:30 a.m. For additional information, fans are encouraged to visit, or to call (626) 574-RACE.



The Breeders’ Cup has announced purse increases for the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, starting with this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Nov. 4 and 5.

The Classic, run at 1 ¼ miles on the main track for 3-year-olds and older, will now carry a guaranteed purse of $6 million and the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf at 1 ½ miles for 3-year-olds and up, will now have a purse of $4 million.

Total purses and awards for the 2016 Breeders’ Cup, which includes 13 Grade I races held over two days, will be a record $28 million.

This will mark the first purse increases on any of the Breeders’ Cup races since 2006. From 2006 through 2015 the Breeders’ Cup Classic was contested for a purse of $5 million and the Turf for a $3 million. In 2007, the Breeders’ Cup expanded to a two-day event and added three races but purses for the existing Championship races remained the same.

First place prize for this year’s Classic will be $3,300,000. First place prize for the Turf will be $2,200,000.

The purse increases to both races were approved by the Breeders’ Cup Board of Directors in February.

In addition to the increase in purses, Breeders’ Cup will now pay down to the eighth finish position on every Championship race, increasing the number of horses who receive purse distributions from 40 percent of starters to 65 percent. Every international starter will receive $40,000 as a shipping stipend, and North American starters stabled outside of California will receive $10,000.

In January, the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) published its Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings of the top 100 group1/grade I races based upon ratings averages over the past three years (2013-2015). The Breeders’ Cup Classic (124.33) was rated the world’s second highest race, trailing only the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (125.75) for the top spot.

The Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (122.50) was rated the world’s fourth highest race, slightly behind the No. 3 slotted Juddmonte International Stakes (122.67).

Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., was won by the brilliant American Pharoah, who became North America’s first Grand Slam winner, taking the three Triple Crown races of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, and the Classic in the same year.

The 2015 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf featured a thrilling international duel, as the determined filly Found upset Golden Horn (GB), the European Horse of the Year, by a half-length.

“In our efforts  to provide horsemen and fans with the best in international racing, we are pleased to announce purse increases for both the Classic and the Longines Turf beginning with this year’s event at Santa Anita,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO.

“Since our inception, one of the founding principles of the Breeders’ Cup has been to offer unprecedented purses on our races as incentive to keep the stars of our sport on the track and extend their racing careers. While the Classic and the Turf mark our first purse increases to individual races since 2006, our goal is to continue to find ways to raise purse levels on our races in the future.”



Angela Hermann, track announcer at Golden Gate Fields, will join Zoe Cadman on Santa Anita’s simulcast signal starting today and continuing for the remainder of the Spring Meet that ends July 10.

Hermann, the first female to be a full-time announcer in the United States, had been the guest analyst at Golden Gate on weekends during the recently concluded Turf Festival prior to the meet’s ending last Sunday.

Hermann previously worked as the well-respected racing analyst and substitute announcer at Canterbury Park in Minnesota.

Angela this morning on “In The Gate” podcast – YOUTUBE


FINISH LINES: Leandro Mora, assistant to Doug O’Neill, said Kentucky Derby king Nyquist came out of Friday’s four furlong workout “really good. We’re happy with what we’ve seen.” . . . Fair Grounds Oaks winner Land Over Sea worked four furlongs for O’Neill Saturday in 47.60, while Arcadia Stakes winner Bolo went five furlongs for Carla Gaines in 1:00.60, with fractional times of 23.80 and 47.60. “He’s doing very well; he looks fantastic,” Gaines said of Bolo, a candidate for the Grade II Eddie Read Stakes at nine furlongs on Del Mar’s turf course July 17 . . . At Los Alamitos, 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome worked six furlongs in 1:12.40 as he prepares for his return to the races, expected to start in earnest in the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 23. “He looks excellent,” said Chrome’s regular pilot, Victor Espinoza. “He’s right on schedule.” . . . Agent Mike Ciani says Gary Stevens is on course to arrive from Kentucky and resume riding at Santa Anita next Thursday, June 23. The Hall of Fame icon rides Kobe’s Back for Peter Eurton in the Triple Bend next Saturday . . . Megan Devine will conduct the post-race interview after today’s sixth race, the Rainbow Stakes. Devine is a graduate of the University of Louisville’s Equine Studies Program, spent five years as a field production assistant with NBC Sports, and did on-air work with TVG at Keeneland . . . Thanks to three wins Friday, Flavien Prat moved into a tie for Santa Anita’s Spring Meet riding lead with Rafael Bejarano. Each has 30 victories, six in front of Tyler Baze . . . Congratulations to Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who celebrates his 70th birthday today.


(Current Through Friday, June 17)          
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won  
Rafael Bejarano 129 30 25 24 23% 61% $1,668,446  
Flavien Prat 104 30 15 14 29% 57% $1,470,011  
Tyler Baze 141 24 25 22 17% 50% $1,196,049  
Edwin Maldonado 120 20 19 13 17% 43% $808,606  
Joseph Talamo 99 18 16 16 18% 51% $935,118  
Santiago Gonzalez 134 13 19 22 10% 40% $742,370  
Martin Garcia 62 10 5 10 16% 40% $528,050  
Martin Pedroza 62 9 6 10 15% 40% $308,410  
Fernando Perez 69 8 8 6 12% 32% $341,443  
Tiago Pereira 79 7 13 14 9% 43% $353,397  
Stewart Elliott 72 7 6 6 10% 26% $326,560  
Chad Lindsay 48 6 5 6 13% 35% $139,405  
Mike Smith 26 6 5 0 23% 42% $407,611  
Mario Gutierrez 50 5 11 2 10% 36% $458,845  
Drayden Van Dyke 49 5 7 7 10% 39% $308,699  
Brayan Pena 50 5 5 7 10% 34% $130,720  
Brandon Boulanger 44 5 1 4 11% 23% $120,740  
Victor Espinoza 38 4 6 9 11% 50% $377,890  
Ignacio Puglisi 24 4 1 2 17% 29% $118,123  
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won  
Philip D’Amato 71 20 14 5 28% 55% $1,288,673  
Jerry Hollendorfer 56 9 6 12 16% 48% $656,685  
John Sadler 53 9 5 9 17% 43% $634,455  
Mike Puype 42 9 3 5 21% 40% $269,415  
Peter Miller 46 8 11 5 17% 52% $381,880  
Richard Mandella 31 8 5 5 26% 58% $674,260  
Doug O’Neill 71 7 13 16 10% 51% $529,306  
Richard Baltas 47 7 8 9 15% 51% $329,070  
Bob Baffert 31 7 6 4 23% 55% $315,980  
Peter Eurton 33 7 4 4 21% 45% $312,985  
Mark Glatt 48 6 11 9 13% 54% $280,526  
Patrick Gallagher 22 6 1 0 27% 32% $199,005  
Robertino Diodoro 14 5 5 1 36% 79% $193,050  
Steven Miyadi 20 5 5 1 25% 55% $160,485  
James Cassidy 31 5 3 4 16% 39% $326,535  
Simon Callaghan 23 5 3 2 22% 43% $248,470  
Hector O. Palma 18 4 4 0 22% 44% $82,830  
Kristin Mulhall 22 4 3 2 18% 41% $143,955  
John Brocklebank 13 4 3 0 31% 54% $159,360