- TRAINERS’ RACE IS GOING DOWN TO THE WIRE
- IT’S A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH FOR TEXAS RED
- TESTS ARE SCHEDULED FOR SHARED BELIEF
- MITCHELL MEMORIAL MONDAY AT SANTA ANITA
HOLLENDORFER, MILLER VIE FOR SANTA ANITA CROWN
The leading trainer of Santa Anita’s 68-day Winter Meet may not be decided until
Sunday’s penultimate race, the eighth on a nine-race program.
Going into Sunday, Jerry Hollendorfer and Peter Miller were in a flat-footed tie with 33 wins apiece. Their numbers across the board were close, also, to wit:
Hollendorfer has 181 starts, 23 seconds, 28 thirds and was winning at 18 percent. Miller has 179 starts, 31 seconds, 23 thirds and also was winning at 18 percent.
Hollendorfer more than doubles Miller in purse earnings, however, $3,417,698 to $1,614,206.
Hollendorfer, 68, had five horses entered today: 4-1 Seeking Asylum in the first race; Sweet and Fuzzy (6-1) and Dr. Fager’s Gal (9-2) in the sixth; Outside Nashville (15-1) in the seventh; and French Alps (8-5) in the eighth.
The 48-year-old Miller’s runners were Easter Fever (4-1) in the second; Spirited Jacob (6-1) in the fourth; Got Even (4-1) in the fifth; and U S Citizen (6-1) in the seventh.
Hollendorfer, dominant for years in the Bay Area where he has 46 titles at Golden Gate Fields alone, not to mention 36 straight at defunct Bay Meadows, has never won an outright crown at Santa Anita. He and John Sadler shared honors in 2013-14 with 34 each.
Miller, based at San Luis Rey Downs this meet, has never won a Santa Anita title. He won Del Mar’s 2012 summer meet with 21 wins; Del Mar’s 2014 fall meet with 15 wins; and tied for the 2014 summer session with Hollendorfer at 20 each.
TEXAS RED GETTING READY FOR HIS CLOSEUP
Keith Desormeaux has long-range plans for Texas Red.
The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner will miss the Triple Crown due to abscess
issues with his right front foot, but they’re behind him and now the trainer and part owner of the son of Afleet Alex is looking to get the bay colt back in serious training soon.
“He’s doing great,” Desormeaux said. “We did an ultra sound about two weeks ago last Saturday and he got a clean bill of health. They told me to go easy on him a couple more weeks, which brings us to May 1, and then I’ll start cranking up.
“He’s good. That was nice news; he looks great and he’s ready to go.”
Anyone can offer thoughts about the 141st Kentucky Derby on May 2, Desormeaux included, although he’s first to admit he’s not an expert.
“It’s all a matter of opinion,” he said, “and to tell you the truth, I don’t have enough experience to be an authority, but in my opinion, there’s only one horse–American Pharoah.
“The Derby process is a difficult one, experience is very important, and American Pharoah has never been tested at being rated; that’s what’s important. But he seems like such a sensible animal. If the pace is stupid, they should be able to rate him.”
SHARED BELIEF TO UNDERGO NUCLEAR SCAN
Shared Belief was scheduled to undergo a nuclear scan today after he was pulled up by jockey Mike Smith as the 3-10 favorite entering the second turn of Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Charles Town Classic.
“He’s going for a scan at a facility near the track and see if they can find anything,” Dan Ward, assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer, said Sunday at Santa Anita. “We don’t think it’s serious.”
Hollendorfer told Daily Racing Form: “He seems to be doing very well today. There’s a little something bugging him in his right hind, but he walked sound, and he jogged down the road sound.
“We’re going to give the horse a good going over from head to toe with a nuclear scan. Hopefully, nothing will be wrong.”
Said West Virginia State Veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Daniel after the race: “When I got to the horse, I saw a little soft tissue swelling in the right stifle. We gather it’s something that happened leaving the starting gate. He didn’t appear to be traveling well from the time he left the gate.”
Shared Belief, the 2-year-old champion male of 2013, had won all three of his starts at Santa Anita’s Winter Meet that ends today: the Grade I Malibu Stakes at seven furlongs; the Grade II San Antonio Invitational in which he defeated Horse of the Year California Chrome; and the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap at a mile and a quarter.
Shared Belief, a 4-year-old Candy Ride gelding, had won 10 of 11 starts before the Charles Town Classic and earned $2,932,200.
MITCHELL MEMORIAL TOMORROW AT SANTA ANITA
A public memorial for longtime Southern California trainer Mike Mitchell will take place tomorrow at Santa Anita. The service, which is to start at 1:30 p.m. and run until 3 p.m., will be held in the track’s Chandelier Room.
Mitchell, who passed away following a lengthy battle with brain cancer at age 66 on Tuesday, trained in California for nearly 40 years and is survived by his wife, Denise and their two daughters, McCall (Rounsefell) and Shea (Leparoux). Additional surviving family includes his four siblings; a twin sister, Cheryl, and three brothers, Earl, Jr., Guy and Casey.
The Mitchell family has arranged for their pastor and the choir from their church, Fellowship Monrovia, to address those attending. There will also be a few other short speeches from designated speakers.
At the request of the family, donations may be made in Mike Mitchell’s name to the Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA). The family has also requested that light refreshments be served at the memorial. Guests should enter by car through Gate 5 and follow signage to the Mitchell Memorial in the Chandelier Room.
FINISH LINES: Santa Anita Oaks winner Stellar Wind, who worked five furlongs Friday morning in 1:01, will ship next Saturday, April 26, for the May 1 Kentucky Oaks, trainer John Sadler said . . . Starting on May 22 and running through June 26, Santa Anita will offer Twilight Fridays, with a 4 p.m. first post time at its upcoming Summer Meet. The Paddock Room and Sirona’s will be open for simulcast wagering at 11 a.m., and at 7:30 p.m., or right after the last race, K-Earth’s Totally 80’s Concert in Sirona’s will begin and run until 9 p.m. . . . Birdlover will seek her third straight win when she runs in next Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Wilshire Stakes for fillies and mares, 3 and up, at one mile on turf. “She’s at the top of her game,” said Steve Rothblum, assistant to Doug O’Neill . . . Agent Tony Matos has booked come-backing Corey Nakatani on Thegirlinthatsong for Jerry Hollendorfer in the Wilshire . . . Leading jockey Rafael Bejarano rides San Luis Rey third-place finisher Power Foot for Neil Drysdale in next Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Last Tycoon Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at 1 ¼ miles on turf. Other probables include Ganesh (Flavien Prat) and San Luis Rey fourth-place finisher Play Hard to Get (Kent Desormeaux).
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Saturday, April 18)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||238||24||29||28||10%||$1,625,303|
|J. Eric Kruljac||65||9||7||9||14%||$415,368|