- JUVENILE WINNER TEXAS RED BACK ON TRACK
- GREAT TEAMWORK MAKES A GREAT HORSE
- CLASSIC WINNER BAYERN BREEZES HALF MILE
TEXAS RED WORKS HALF MILE IN RETURN TO SANTA ANITA
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red, walking a tightrope without a net in his quest to make the Kentucky Derby on May 2, had his first breeze Saturday morning since recovering from an abscessed right foot, working a half mile in 51.40 under exercise rider Humberto Tellez.
“I got him in 51 flat,” said part owner and trainer Keith Desormeaux. “It’s about what we wanted. Today doesn’t mean anything; it’s next week when you’re gonna let him roll. Next Saturday, you’ll see some real work.”
The workout marked the first recorded drill for Texas Red since Jan. 24, prior to his impressive runner-up finish by a neck to Lord Nelson in the San Vicente Stakes on Feb. 1. Following that race, Texas Red’s first as a 3-year-old, he was shipped to the Premier Equine Center in Oakdale, about five hours north of Santa Anita in California’s Central Valley, to recover from the abscess. He returned to Santa Anita last Sunday.
Desormeaux hopes use either the April 4 Santa Anita Derby or the April 11 Arkansas Derby as a steppingstone to the Run for the Roses.
Desormeaux said Friday morning that Texas Red’s “next race will depend on the liveliness of his works; is he finishing well, is he galloping out well, is he coming back after the works in good shape?”
Keith added that his brother, Kent, a three-time Kentucky Derby winner, would work Texas Red next out. “We’ll put him on next week,” Keith said. “He wants to go too fast.”
SHIRREFFS KNOWS A CHAMPION WHEN HE SEES ONE
John Shirreffs knows a great horse when he sees one. He trained Zenyatta.
He’s seen Shared Belief run, too, and while the gelded son of Candy Ride hasn’t reeled
off 19 straight victories before suffering his first loss, such as Zenyatta did, he sure is on a roll, with 10 wins from 11 starts and a valid excuse for his only defeat, in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Heart, talent, determination all come in to play in formulating a champion’s DNA. But there’s more than that, in the eyes of Shirreffs, a former Marine and surfer, who reached racing’s mountain top with Zenyatta, the magnificent mare whose last-to-first running style bordered on pure fantasy.
“I saw Shared Belief run in the Santa Anita Handicap, and he looked pretty good, didn’t he?” Shirreffs said, chuckling at his understatement.
“I guess you’d have to say there’s the Mike Smith factor, since he rides Shared Belief and rode Zenyatta. But also, I think there are a lot of people at the barn who really care about the horse and give him great support.
“It’s a team effort, from the groom to Jerry (Hollendorfer) with all his experience as a trainer. The whole support system just works, and when you get a special horse, it all works together very well.”
FINISH LINES: Santa Anita Handicap winner Shared Belief, No. 1 in the World’s Best Racehorse rankings released Thursday by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, is not definite to make his next start in the Oaklawn Handicap on April 11. “We’re going to look at the race,” Jerry Hollendorfer said on a hot and getting hotter Saturday morning, “but it’s not written in stone yet.” . . . Shared Belief’s lone conqueror, Bayern, who defeated the Candy Ride gelding in the controversial Breeders’ Cup Classic, worked four furlongs in company under regular rider Martin Garcia in 47.60 with Bob Baffert watching with interest. “I’m really happy with the way he went,” Baffert said. Stablemate Enchanted Fortune was clocked in 47.80 . . . Secret Circle, headed to Dubai for the $2 million Golden Shaheen on March 28, worked seven furlongs for Baffert in 1:25.80 from the gate . . . Grazenette, nominated to next Sunday’s $100,000 Dream of Summer Stakes, worked five furlongs for Phil D’Amato in 1:02.20 . . . Mike Smith rides El Camino Real third-place finisher Conquest Typhoon for Mark Casse in next Saturday’s Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park, agent Brad Pegram reports . . .The Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby, to be run in three weeks on Saturday, April 4, was won 50 years ago on March 6, 1965, by supplemental entrant Lucky Debonair. Trained by Frank Catrone and ridden by Bill Shoemaker, Lucky Debonair would go on to win the Kentucky Derby, and in 1966, the Santa Anita Handicap . . . Santa Anita presents the world-famous Winner’s Circle BBQ Championship next Saturday, March 21, in its spacious infield.
Taste delicious samplings from the masters of BBQ and watch a full card of Thoroughbred racing. Special packages are available at santaanita.com/events . . . Saturday, March 28, features the Grade III Tokyo City Cup on Japan Family Day, with the Ramen Yokocho Festival in the infield. For more details, visit www.tokyocitycup.com . . . The Sam Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament will be held March 23 at the California Country Club, 1509 South Workman Mill Rd. in Whittier, with proceeds benefiting disabled jockeys. Lunch, auction, raffle and golf will be available at $125 per golfer or $40 per person and includes steak luncheon, live auction and raffle. Sign in starts at 10 a.m. with a shotgun start at 11 a.m. in a four-man scramble. To register or for more information, visit thestfoundation.org.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, March 13)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||167||18||20||21||11%||$1,149,616|
|A. C. Avila||25||7||2||3||28%||$208,298|