STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – SUNDAY APRIL 5, 2015

  

  • MEXICAN STANDOFF LOOMS IN KENTUCKY DERBY
  • LUZZI TO RECEIVE WOOLF AWARD NEXT SUNDAY
  • SANTA ANITA DERBY DAY 5K RUN A SUCCESS
  • ESPINOZA, SADLER BASK IN FOUR-WIN SATURDAY

 

ESPINOZA, GARCIA ON KENTUCKY DERBY FAVORITES

In a setting as American as apple pie, Twin Spires and all, a Mexican mano a mano

battle looms at storied Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May between Victor Espinoza and Martin Garcia, natives of Mexico and the regular riders of the two favorites for the 141st Kentucky Derby, American Pharoah and Dortmund.

Espinoza, 42, from the metropolis of Mexico City, and Garcia, 30, from the touristy beach town of Vera Cruz, some 500 miles away, could decide not only which is the best 3-year-old trained by Bob Baffert, American Pharoah ridden by Espinoza or Dortmund ridden by Garcia, but also who wins the Run for the Roses.

Dortmund’s smashing victory in Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby only added to his wow factor. Should this red Mack truck of a horse–call him The Diesel–win the Kentucky Derby, it would mark the third time in the last four years the Santa Anita Derby winner had done so, I’ll Have Another winning in 2012 and California Chrome last year.

American Pharoah, meanwhile, is poised to capture the $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, which would set up a match between two stablemates that harkens back to those thrilling days of yesteryear when the entry of Citation and Coaltown from

legendary Calumet Farm ran one-two at 40 cents to the dollar in the 1948 Derby.

All was fine Sunday with Dortmund, said Baffert, who watched American Pharoah work six furlongs with Garcia up in a bullet 1:11.60. “That was perfect,” Baffert said. “I got him galloping out (seven furlongs) in 1:24.80. He’s right on schedule. He does everything real easy. He’ll leave Wednesday for Oaklawn.”

Thus the countdown diminishes, for the racing world as a whole, and for two jockeys from south of the border, who, before gaining prominence at the top of their profession, were eking out an existence, Garcia as a no habla ingles hash slinger in a Pleasanton deli and Espinoza as a bus driver in his native country.

“He was so small,” said his agent, Brian Beach, “he could hardly see over the steering wheel.”

Espinoza made light of the fact that he was from a big town and Garcia was not.

“We’re all Mexicans,” Espinoza said. “It’s all the same.”

Now the Kentucky Derby, less than a month away, grows ever larger in importance, with all prospective participants focused on keeping their charges fit and healthy. They know full well that anything can happen in the world of sports, horse racing no exception.

After all, Kentucky’s Wildcats fell after a 38-0 start.

But they were human. American Pharoah and Dortmund are not.

MIKE LUZZI TO ACCEPT WOOLF AWARD NEXT SUNDAY

Mike Luzzi will accept Santa Anita’s 2015 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award next Sunday, April 12, in a ceremony between races.

Sidelined because of a broken leg and a fractured pelvis sustained in a paddock accident last Nov. 2 at Aqueduct, Luzzi has undergone reconstructive surgery and is going through rehabilitation for a return to the saddle at some point this year.

Presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950, the Woolf Award is one of the most coveted honors in racing, as it recognizes riders whose careers and personal character have earned esteem for both the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing.

Luzzi, who has won 3,420 career races, is expected to be accompanied by his wife, Tania, and children Larue and Lane.

 

CAMACHO, RAMIREZ SISTERS, FLORES TOP DERBY DAY 5K RUNS

On a day when Bob Baffert’s Dortmund and One Lucky Dane punched their tickets to the Kentucky Derby, Santa Anita employees and jockeys showed their own athletic prowess in the Derby Day 5K Run & Walk yesterday.

Even prominent trainers like John Sadler (30:46, 1245th overall) and Dan Blacker (19:30, 39th overall) showed they know a little about running themselves.

Outrider Jesus Camacho, who ran a close second to Autopark’s Tony Ortega, turned the table to finish first among male Santa Anita employees with a respectable time of 20:56, good for 87th overall in field of more than 5,700 participants. Rene Henriquez, a perennial DD5K contender, finished second, with Ortega completing the trifecta.

Autopark’s Norma and Nancy Ramirez made the 5K a family affair, taking the top two spots, with Sandy Hoar, who works on the Inner Mezz, taking third.

Eswan Flores won the jockeys division in 20:20 and 65th overall.

 

Santa Anita Employees — Men

Jesus Camacho                 Racing                   20:56

Rene Henriquez                Starting Gate        21:44

Tony Ortega                       Parking                 22:25

Jorge Mier                          Laborers               24:36

Joe Chile                            HRTV                    26:27

Alec Jimenez                      Corp Yard             27:19

Jerry Gutierrez                  Janitors                 31:40 Joe Morris                          TOC                       37:17

Raymundo Franco              A-Gate                  49:19

 

Santa Anita Employees — Women

Norma Ramirez                 Parking                 24:08

Nancy Ramirez                  Parking                 29:35

Sandy Hoar                       Hospitality            31:19

Christine Beer                   Racing                  35:39

Jennifer Cirillo                   Accounting            36:55

Lisa Bisgaard                     Stable Café          49:22

Maria Bisgaard                  Stable Café           53:21

Voni Walker                       Parking                 58:35

Terri Hanks                        Accounting         1:02:55

 

Santa Anita Jockeys

Eswan Flores                                                      20:20

Joe Steiner                                                         21:59

Aaron Gryder                                                       22:38

Elvis Trujillo                                                         23:19

Alex Solis                                                             24:34

Tiago Pereira                                                      30:01

Kayla Stra                                                            30:10

Omar Figueroa                                                 1:05:26

 

FINISH LINES: Simon Callaghan, trainer of Sunland Derby winner Firing Line, twice beaten a head by Dortmund, on the latter’s Santa Anita Derby romp: “It was definitely nice to see Dortmund win as impressively as he did. Firing Line, Dortmund and American Pharoah seem to have similar front-running styles, but in the Kentucky Derby, you’ve got to get a good post position, and that determines a lot of things, but I like the way our horse is doing.” Callaghan said Firing Line is scheduled work “either Friday or Saturday.” . . . Victor Espinoza was back to work Sunday morning after winning four races Saturday, including the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks on Stellar Wind for John Sadler, who also won four races, three of them with Espinoza. It was not Espinoza’s greatest day. He won seven races, the first six in a row, to set a Del Mar record in 2006. “We’ve won four in one day before,” said Sadler, “so it was a big day, no question. We thought we were pretty well-spotted with the last three. Kristo (nose winner of the fifth race at $25) was a little more of a pleasant surprise, but we thought we were running the favorite in the Oaks and the other two were short prices. We looked to have a good day, but a lot of times it doesn’t go that way. Yesterday everything went really well.” . . . Scott McClellan has Joe Talamo booked on Home Run Kitten for David Hofmans next Friday in the Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland . . . Legendary Hall of Fame jockey Manuel Ycaza will visit the Great Race Place for the first time in many years next weekend as the fiercely competitive Panamanian will be on-hand for the 66th George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award presentation on Sunday . . .The 20 cent Golden Pick 6 Jackpot at Golden Gate Fields went down again Saturday at a $280,459 payout. It was the second time this meet it’s been hit. On Feb. 20, the 20 cent payoff was $363,424, quite a bonanza.

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS
(Current Through Saturday, April 4)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Rafael Bejarano 275 66 41 35 24% $3,283,536
Tyler Baze 309 40 39 35 13% $2,422,374
Victor Espinoza 180 35 34 25 19% $2,417,496
Kent Desormeaux 202 34 35 24 17% $2,047,560
Martin Garcia 142 28 19 16 20% $2,660,510
Elvis Trujillo 223 26 30 21 12% $1,473,420
Joseph Talamo 252 26 27 43 10% $1,854,118
Drayden Van Dyke 209 23 26 24 11% $1,452,387
Mike Smith 111 21 21 17 19% $2,494,491
Corey Nakatani 114 19 11 16 17% $933,348
Martin Pedroza 171 17 26 22 10% $756,334
Santiago Gonzalez 130 17 15 20 13% $749,934
Gary Stevens 97 17 14 18 18% $1,534,578
Fernando Perez 197 16 24 24 8% $822,208
Edwin Maldonado 119 16 11 14 13% $553,154
Tiago Pereira 120 16 9 15 13% $490,982
Flavien Prat 148 15 17 20 10% $882,334
Felipe Valdez 90 13 12 15 14% $424,471
Mario Gutierrez 110 10 16 9 9% $552,122
Brice Blanc 59 7 3 4 12% $332,530
Agapito Delgadillo 49 6 6 5 12% $165,778
Brandon Boulanger 115 6 5 10 5% $213,346
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Peter Miller 155 29 27 18 19% $1,434,506
Jerry Hollendorfer 167 29 21 24 17% $3,259,252
Bob Baffert 107 25 19 13 23% $2,899,552
Doug O’Neill 175 23 16 25 13% $1,105,560
John Sadler 134 21 18 17 16% $1,415,184
Philip D’Amato 76 18 12 12 24% $902,970
Richard Baltas 82 17 14 7 21% $740,135
Peter Eurton 86 15 13 15 17% $878,506
Mark Glatt 82 14 16 12 17% $618,482
Richard Mandella 68 14 10 13 21% $909,846
Ron Ellis 63 14 5 9 22% $481,840
Mark Casse 61 10 6 8 16% $798,378
Mike Puype 101 9 15 14 9% $467,486
James Cassidy 70 9 8 12 13% $395,490
Steven Miyadi 42 9 6 4 21% $299,780
Jeff Bonde 36 9 2 4 25% $346,840
Thomas Proctor 53 8 6 3 15% $564,378
Jack Carava 51 7 10 8 14% $222,370
Michael Pender 50 7 8 6 14% $203,780
Hector Palma 34 7 5 2 21% $190,850
Eddie Truman 23 7 3 2 30% $325,690
A. C. Avila 25 7 2 3 28% $208,298
Steve Knapp 38 7 2 3 18% $287,140

 

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