- PREAKNESS A FIRST FOR FIRING LINE, CALLAGHAN
- ESPINOZA TO TOSS FIRST PITCH AT DODGER STADIUM
- DYNAMIC DUO FOR HOLLENDORFER IN LAZ BARRERA
- CHAMPION BEHOLDER PROGRESSING FROM FEVER
PREAKNESS PARTY AT SANTA ANITA THIS SATURDAY
This is a year of firsts for Simon Callaghan.
The 32-year-old trainer saddled his first Kentucky Derby runner last Saturday
when Firing Line finished a game second to victorious American Pharoah, beaten only a length.
Next Saturday will mark another new experience.
Not only will Firing Line be making his Pimlico debut when he runs in the Preakness Stakes, Callaghan will be making his first appearance ever at the storied Baltimore venue which hosts the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
“I’ve never been to Pimlico myself,” Callaghan said. “I think Firing Line will handle the track well. I think it will suit him. He can pretty much lay anywhere you need him to; he’s a very easy horse, very versatile in that respect.
“He’s run well at various race tracks, so I don’t think the surface or anything should be any problem.”
In conjunction with the Preakness, Santa Anita will offer an attractive card of live racing along with a big Preakness party featuring the Preakness Handicapping Challenge offering $100,000 in prizes May 16 and 17.
For details, visit santaanita.com.
ESPINOZA TO THROW OUT FIRST PITCH TUESDAY AT DODGER STADIUM
While a mile and three-sixteenths will be his primary objective aboard American Pharoah in next Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Victor Espinoza will hope to command 60 feet, six inches on Tuesday night, as he’ll throw out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium prior to the Blue Crew’s 7:10 p.m. game versus the Miami Marlins.
Espinoza, who’s thrown out ceremonial first offerings in past years at Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, and also rang the Opening Day Bell last month at Petco Park in San Diego, is looking forward to revisiting Chavez Ravine.
“It’s always a lot of fun at Dodger Stadium,” said Espinoza. “It’s amazing how many players and coaches love racing and I’ve had pretty good luck throwing strikes. Hopefully, our good luck will continue in the Preakness with American Pharoah. It’s going to be a fun week and I’m looking forward to getting back to Baltimore.”
HOLLENDORFER HAS TOUGH TWOSOME IN LAZ BARRERA
Jerry Hollendorfer has two for the money in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs, Kentuckian and The Gomper.
Each had compromising issues in recent races.
Kentuckian, an 11-length maiden winner at Golden Gate on March 7, steadied while finishing third at odds-on in the San Pedro Stakes April 12, while The Gomper has encountered problems in his last three races following a handy maiden win at Los Alamitos last Dec. 5.
“I think they have upsides,” Hollendorfer said of the duo. “I would say their future is in front of them.”
The field for the Barrera: Yiannis, Victor Espinoza, 3-1; The Man, Martin Garcia, 4-1; St. Joe Bay, Elvis Trujillo, 8-1; Forest Blue, Martin Pedroza, 8-1; The Gomper, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Serbian Syclone, Tyler Baze, 4-1; and Kentuckian, Mike Smith, 5-2.
FINISH LINES: Beholder, who missed today’s Vanity Stakes due to a fever, is making progress. “She’s doing well,” trainer Richard Mandella said of the two-time Eclipse Award winner. “She had a little temperature of 102 yesterday afternoon, then it went right back down, and it’s good still, so everything’s going as well as we could hope.” When she will return to the track, however, remains to be seen. “Anytime they’re sick it’s day-to-day,” Mandella said. “It can go wrong, it can go right, but right now the fever looks like it’s passing.” . . . Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern, who disappointed as the odds-on favorite in the Churchill Downs Stakes last Saturday, “just had an off day,” Bob Baffert asserted. “He looks good afterwards, but they’ll do that to you. They’ll disappoint you, but he looks good. He’s healthy.” . . . Agent Sarah Wolfe has Eclipse Award-winning apprentice rider of 2014 Drayden Van Dyke booked to ride at Pimlico next Friday and Saturday on stakes mounts for Tom Proctor and Graham Motion. Van Dyke rides Include Betty for Proctor Friday in the Grade II Black-eyed Susan; and on Saturday, Sistas Stroll for Proctor in the Grade III Galorette and Up with the Birds for Motion in the Grade II Dixie . . . The Great Race Place presents its Santa Anita Carnival on Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 23 through Monday, May 25. The entire family is invited for three days of live racing, carnival rides, games and prizes, with unlimited rides for children for only $10. Admission and parking to the Infield is free through Gate 6 off Colorado Place.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, May 8)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||29||5||4||2||17%||$200,070|