- HARD ACES ALL IN FOR SUNDAY’S CALIFORNIAN
- MALDONADO LEADS BEJARANO IN JOCKS’ RACE
- GOLD RUSH FESTIVAL FEATURED NEXT SATURDAY
- CLASSIC CAL RODS WILL BE ON DISPLAY SUNDAY
HARD ACES: CALIFORNIAN, HERE HE COMES
Hard Aces, a late-running son of Hard Spun, seeks his first win since capturing the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita last June 27 when he runs in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Californian Stakes, a forerunner to this year’s $500,000 Gold Cup for three-year-olds and up at a mile and a quarter on June 25.
Trained by John Sadler for principal owners Kosta and Peter Hronis, Hard Aces was seventh last out in the Charles Town Classic on April 23. Prior to that race, he rallied three wide for second behind front-running winner Melatonin in the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 12. Melatonin also is ticketed for the Gold Cup.
Hard Aces was fourth to Shared Belief in the 2015 Santa Anita Handicap.
“He came out of that West Virginia race well,” Sadler said. “He’s had two breezes since, so it looks like he’s ready. He runs well on this track. We’re looking forward to it.“
Hard Aces, a six-year-old full horse bred in Kentucky, has a 6-4-7 record from 30 starts, with earnings of $839,645.
The Californian: Crittenden, Flavien Prat, 20-1; Lieutenant Colonel, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; Second Summer, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1; Point Piper, Martin Garcia, 3-1; El Huerfano, Victor Espinoza, 10-1; Follow Me Crev, Alonso Quinonez, 7-2; and Hard Aces, Abel Lezcano, 3-1.
GOLD RUSH FESTIVAL AT SANTA ANITA MAY 28
The California Gold Rush Festival returns to The Great Race Place for the third straight year next Saturday, May 28. California Gold Rush Day at Santa Anita showcases five stakes races all celebrating California-bred or sired Thoroughbreds.
The Gold Rush Beer and Sour Festival, a trackside event package located along the rail for access to all the live action, will feature unique craft brews and sours from the best breweries in California. Plus, the best of the best in local food trucks will serve delicious fare.
Payment of $35 provides Club House admission and entrance into the reserved trackside event area, 10 beer tastings, four sour tastings, a racing program and tip sheet plus a souvenir acrylic Pint glass.
Use promo code RUSH16 to receive $10 off your ticket when purchasing exclusively online. Additional beer and sour tastings will be available for purchase during the event.
Visit santaanita.com/events for more information and to purchase tickets.
FINISH LINES: Through 10 racing days, Edwin Maldonado holds a 12-11 lead over perennial Southern California riding king Rafael Bejarano. The race is tight throughout, as each has ridden 46 horses, each has nine seconds, and Maldonado has one more third, at 6-5. Bejarano leads in purse earnings, however, with $459,148. Maldonado has $402,621, good for fourth place . . . Phil D’Amato, fresh from capturing his first-ever training crown at Santa Anita’s Winter Meet, holds a 9-6 lead over John Sadler and with 27 starters, is winning at a 33 percent clip . . . California Chrome, 2014 Horse of the Year, worked four furlongs at Los Alamitos Saturday in 49.80 . . . Santa Anita offers another of its popular Dollar Days May 30, Memorial Day. Enjoy draft beers, hot dogs and sodas for just a buck. First post time Memorial Day is 2 p.m. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m. . . . The Golden Pick 6 Jackpot at Golden Gate Fields begins today with a whopping $898,504.26 in the kitty . . . The ABC of things: The last names of 10 of Santa Anita’s leading 13 jockeys end in vowels: Edwin Maldonado, Rafael Bejarano, Tyler Baze, Joe Talamo, Martin Garcia, Martin Pedroza, Tiago Pereira, Drayden Van Dyke, Brayan Pena and Iggy Puglisi. The only constants among those ending in consonants are Santiago Gonzalez, Flavien Prat and Fernando Perez . . . Tomorrow, Santa Anita presents the Cal Rods Car Show, a free Infield event featuring some of the finest classics in the San Gabriel Valley for the 10th straight year. First post time is 2 p.m. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, May 20)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||23||2||2||2||9%||26%||$112,450|
|Hector O. Palma||6||3||2||0||50%||83%||$54,945|
|Edward R. Freeman||8||3||1||2||38%||75%||$94,945|