- CHAMPIONS BREEZE FOR GRADE I BEHOLDER
- GORMLEY IS POSSIBLE FOR BELMONT STAKES
- PATENTAR ASCENDS IN GRADE II WHITTINGHAM
- MEMORIAL DAY FESTIVITIES UNDERWAY TODAY
STELLAR WIND, FINEST CITY WORK FOR BEHOLDER
Champions Stellar Wind and Finest City each worked at Santa Anita Saturday morning for the Grade I, $400,000 Beholder Mile a week from today.
Stellar Wind, Eclipse Award winner as outstanding three-year-old female of 2015, went five furlongs in company under exercise rider Jose Contreras in 59.80, while Finest City, winner of an Eclipse Award as best female sprinter of 2016, went the same distance in 1:03.20 for trainer Ian Kruljac. Mike Smith was aboard.
“She galloped out seven eighths in (one) 27 and change,” Sadler said of Stellar Wind, a five-year-old daughter of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin owned Hronis Racing, LLC.
“She went very well, her usual kind of work, similar to last week (six furlongs in 1:12.80 on May 19), and she’s ready to go.”
Stellar Wind worked in company with Pappou, who was clocked in 1:00.60.
“She broke a couple lengths behind him,” Sadler said, “and finished a couple lengths in front of him.”
Even with a small field in prospect, understandably, Sadler opted to let strategy play out before rendering a definitive tactical plan.
“Stellar Wind is fairly versatile,” he said. “She went up and pressed last year when she had to, but she can come from off the pace. We’ll wait till the draw (next Wednesday, May 31) and see what happens in relation to that.”
With only seven horses nominated to the Beholder, and one, Songbird, committed to the Ogden Phipps at Belmont on June 10, a small field including streaking graded stakes winner Vale Dori seems at the ready for the race formerly named the Vanity Mile.
GORMLEY DRILLS, SHIRREFFS ‘UNDECIDED’ ON BELMONT
Santa Anita Derby winner Gormley worked six furlongs Saturday under regular rider Victor Espinoza in 1:14 flat, after which trainer John Shirreffs said, “He went well. We’re undecided on the Belmont.”
The final jewel in the Triple Crown will be decided at a mile and a half on June 10 at Belmont Park. Gormley, a son of Malibu Moon owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, was ninth in the May 6 Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness Stakes on May 20.
PATENTAR RETURNS FOR GRADE II WHITTINGHAM
Simon Callaghan hopes Patentar moves up one step Sunday in the Grade II, $200,000 Charles Whittingham Stakes for three-year-olds and up at 1 ¼ miles on turf.
The six-year-old French-bred full horse was second in last year’s edition of the race named for the late Hall of Fame trainer, one of the game’s all-time greats. Affectionately known as “The Bald Eagle,” Whittingham died at 86 on April 20, 1999.
Patentar was beaten 2 ½ lengths last year in a field of 10 at 32-1 under Alonso Quinonez. “The horse is training really well,” Callaghan said. “He came out of his allowance win (April 23) in good condition. Obviously, this is a step back up in class, but he ran well in the Whittingham last year, so we’re hopeful he’ll do better this time around.”
The Whittingham, which goes as race seven of nine Liam the Charmer, Victor Espinoza, 6-1; Ashleyluvssugar, Gary Stevens, 4-1; Itsinthepost, Tyler Baze, 5-2; Prince of Arabia, Santiago Gonzalez, 30-1; Syntax, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Up With the Birds, Flavien Prat, 8-1; Frank Conversation, Mario Gutierrez, 12-1; Patentar, Martin Pedroza, 10-1; A Red Tie Day, Corey Nakatani, 12-1; and Texas Ryano, Joe Talamo, 6-1.
MEMORIAL DAY TRACKSIDE BBQ TO SUPPORT VETS MONDAY
.On Memorial Day, Monday, fans can offer their thanks to active and former service members and help support the local Veterans’ Memorial, sponsored by the Rotary Club Foundation of Arcadia.
A $5 donation (all proceeds go directly to the Veterans’ Memorial) includes General Admission to Santa Anita Park, a program, access to special trackside seating, and walking tours to the Paddock and Winner’s Circle throughout the day.
Delicious BBQ will also be available for purchase. Veterans or active military with valid Military ID will receive a voucher good for a free lunch, courtesy of Santa Anita horse owners, industry personnel, and Santa Anita Park. The BBQ menu ($12 per meal) offers spare ribs or pulled pork and two sides from a choice of three: baked beans, potato salad or cole slaw, plus a slice of white bread, pickles and onions.
The Rotary Club of Arcadia is spearheading an effort to build a local Veterans’ Memorial. The Field of Honor Project, involving 1,000 American Flags displayed at County Park at the corner of Huntington and Santa Anita during the week preceding Memorial Day will help to raise funds. Those wishing to participate or donate should make their contribution to The Arcadia Rotary Club Foundation, Veterans’ Memorial Fund.
Visit http://www.santaanita.com/events/memorial-day-charity-trackside/ for more information.
FINISH LINES: Kyle Frey and Tyler Baze escaped serious injury in a racing mishap during Friday’s third race. Frey “was sore” today, according to his agent, Mark North, and is expected to ride Sunday, while Baze came out of the incident “fine” according to agent Craig O’Bryan, who has the meet’s third-leading rider named on six horses today . . . Jockey Corey Nakatani has been suspended three racing days (June 2, 3 and 4) for causing interference aboard Diplodocus on the far turn in Friday’s third race. The 2-1 favorite, Diplodocus finished second to 1 ¼-length winner Conquest Sabre Cat ridden by Flavien Prat . . . Grade I winner Union Strike worked six furlongs on the training track in 1:01.20 under Brice Blanc in preparation for the Grade I Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park June 10. “Perfect” is how part owner and trainer Mick Ruis termed the move. “She’ll work a half-mile here next Saturday and leave Tuesday (June 2) for New York.” . . . With Rafael Bejarano up, rags-to-riches comebacker Big Macher worked six furlongs for Richard Baltas in 1:15 as he prepares for the $100,000 Thor’s Echo Handicap at six furlongs on June 11.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, May 26)|
|Norberto Arroyo, Jr.||45||7||6||8||16%||47%||$392,348|