- ARROGATE WORKS MONDAY, POSSIBLE FOR BIG ‘CAP
- SENSITIVELY RETURNS IN THE GRADE III LAS FLORES
- KOBE‘S BACK DRILLS WITH GARY STEVENS ABOARD
ARROGATE, MIDNIGHT STORM WORK TOMORROW
“The big horse works tomorrow.”
So spoke Bob Baffert at Clockers’ Corner on an intermittently rainy Sunday morning, referring to Breeders’ Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup winner Arrogate, who is scheduled to work at 7:45 a.m. under jockey Martin Garcia, after which a decision could be forthcoming on whether the Eclipse Award champion three-year-old male of 2016 will run in the Santa Anita Handicap on March 11, or go elsewhere.
With the spate of recent rain altering training schedules, Baffert deems it crucial to get the work for Arrogate in tomorrow to maintain a regimen that will keep the son of Unbridled’s Song race ready no matter where he surfaces next.
Also scheduled to work Monday for the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap at a mile and a quarter is Midnight Storm for Phil D’Amato, who has been firm on the Big ‘Cap since the versatile speedster won the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes on Jan. 1.
“I’m very happy with him,” D’Amato said of the six-year-old full horse by Pioneerof the Nile out of the Bertrando dam My Tina, and a graded stakes winner on dirt and turf. “We’re looking forward to running in the Big ‘Cap.”
SENSITIVELY ‘FRESH’ FOR LAS FLORES STAKES
Sensitively is scheduled to make her first start in nearly seven months in next Sunday’s Grade III Las Flores Stakes for fillies and mares, four and up, at six furlongs.
“She’s training good and she runs well fresh,” trainer Phil D’Amato said of the five-year-old Street Sense mare that last raced on Aug. 17, 2016, but has won twice after layoffs, once after five months and another after seven weeks.
“Tyler (Baze) has been breezing her and we’re a go.”
Sensitively has won four of nine career starts but seeks her first stakes win in the Las Flores, which offers $100,000 in purse money. The bay mare is a horse for course, however, having won four of six starts at Santa Anita, with one second.
Others likely for the Los Flores include Constellation, Flavien Prat; Fantastic Style, Rafael Bejarano; and Watch This Cat, Corey Nakatani.
KOBE‘S BACK BREEZES FOR TRIPLE BEND UNDER STEVENS
Kobe’s Back, who last raced June 25, 2016, finishing third in the Grade I Triple Bend Stakes, worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s “good” main track at 11:45 a.m. before Sunday’s first race at 12:30 p.m. for this year’s Triple Bend for four-year-olds and up at seven furlongs on March 11.
Under regular rider Gary Stevens, Kobe’s Back was clocked in 1:13.13, with fractional times of 23.74, 35.71, 47.94 and 1:00.30.
A six-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Flatter trained by Peter Eurton for the C R K Stable, millionaire Kobe’s Back has a 5-3-4 record from 20 starts with earnings of $1,036,250.
Also working before the first race were a trio for Bob Baffert, three-year-old American Anthem, in company with Downtowner, and Grade II Matron winner Pretty N Cool, who is nominated to next Sunday’s Las Flores Stakes.
American Anthem, runner-up to Gormley in the Sham Stakes, was ridden by Martin Garcia and timed in 59.40 for five furlongs. The fractional times were 23.68, 46.76 and 58.98, with a six furlong gallop out of 1:11.51. Downtowner received a final time of 59.40.
Pretty N Cool went six furlongs under Garcia in 1:11.03, getting splits of 23.82, 46.82 and 59.03, with a seven furlong gallop out of 1:24.17.
FINISH LINES: Bettys Bambino, a disappointing third and last as the 2-5 favorite in Saturday’s Sensational Star Stakes, came out of the race with an injury and likely will be retired. “We could bring him back, but at his age (seven), we’d have to give him six months off,” trainer Peter Eurton said Sunday morning. “He strained his (left) front suspensory, but he’s walking sound and more than likely he’ll probably be retired, but I need to talk to the owners. You never know. They might want to bring him back.” The Sensational Star on Santa Anita’s downhill turf course at about 6 ½ furlongs was only the 12th race in the abbreviated career of Bettys Bambino, who had won six of seven starts over the venue. A gelded son of Unusual Heat, Bettys Bambino has earned $390,036 . . . The seven scheduled starters in today’s fifth race will never win any Eclipse Awards, but they’ve certainly paid their dues in longevity, with a combined 275 starts in their careers, topped by Smil’n From Above, a nine-year-old mare trained by Marcelo Polanco who has raced 82 times, winning only three but finishing second and third 17 times each. The seven runners have averaged more than 39 starts each. Gianis, a seven-year-old mare trained by Duff Shidaker, goes postward for the 61st time in the race, labeled the $23,000 Queen of Hearts Starter Handicap for older fillies and mares at six furlongs . . . Agent Tom Knust has Mario Gutierrez booked to ride California Derby winner So Conflated for Paul Reddam and Doug O’Neill in next Saturday’s 1 1/16 mile Gotham at Aqueduct . . . Friends and well wishers of trainer Barry Abrams, of whom there are many, offered congratulations and enjoyed carrot cake at Clockers’ Corner Sunday in advance of his 63rd birthday next Saturday, March 4 . . . All THOROUGHBREDS members at Santa Anita on Big ‘Cap Day, March 11, will receive a free Santa Anita umbrella with paid admission while supplies last. There will be a $1 million guaranteed Late Pick 4 and a $100,000 guaranteed Pick 6. First post time will be 12 noon, with admission gates opening at 10 a.m.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Saturday, Feb. 25)|
|Norberto Arroyo, Jr.||78||12||7||7||15%||33%||$617,100|
|J. Keith Desormeaux||34||7||3||5||21%||44%||$446,760|