- HARD ACES WORKS FOR GOLD CUP AT SANTA ANITA
- AMERICAN PHAROAH JOGS, DORTMUND BREEZES
- SANTA ANITA TOPS $1 BILLION IN HANDLE SINCE DEC. 26
HARD ACES, MOTOWN MEN IN FINAL GOLD CUP DRILLS
Hard Aces, who finished third wearing blinkers for the first time in the Grade II
Californian Stakes on May 30, worked six furlongs at Santa Anita Sunday in 1:13 for next Saturday’s Grade I, $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita.
“He galloped out (seven furlongs) in (one) 26,” said trainer John Sadler, who has had
the 5-year-old Hard Spun horse for three races since he was privately purchased by the Hronis brothers.
“It was a good last work before the Gold Cup,” Sadler said. “He went in company (with Native Ride, 1:13.60) and looked good. He’s not a particularly fast work horse, but for him, it was a real nice work.”
Asked if the blinkers made a difference in the Californian, Sadler was ambivalent. “I just think he didn’t ship great for Oaklawn (sixth in the Oaklawn Handicap April 11). The blinkers helped and I think he’s just getting his form back a little bit. It was a good step to come off of a bad race at Oaklawn to run a good third. He was running at the end, so I think we’re in a fairly good progression.”
As to his recent hot streak, Sadler took it in stride.
“The last two, three weeks have been fairly strong,” he said. “We won a Grade I (the Shoemaker with Talco) last weekend and a Grade II yesterday (the Summertime Oaks with Stellar Wind). We’ve won five races this week. We’re in a good zone at the moment.”
Stellar Wind presumably came out of her hard-fought nose victory in the Summertime Oaks in good order and, if all goes well, could wind up in the rich Cotillion Stakes at Parx later this summer.
“I haven’t really put my hands on her as yet this morning,” Sadler said, “but I saw her walking around and she looked good. It looks like she came out of it well, but I don’t have any thoughts on where I’m going to run yet. I’ll enjoy this for a few days, but she might run at Del Mar and she might travel, too. It looks like a lot of the big 3-year-old filly races are out of town.
“The Cotillion is one we’d consider. I like that track.”
Tiznow Stakes winner Motown Men also worked Sunday for the Gold Cup, going seven furlongs in 1:23.40 under Tyler Baze.
“He worked great,” trainer Ted H. West said. “It was a little fast but he didn’t seem to be too tired. Another horse broke in front and pushed him unexpectedly. That will happen.”
The Gold Cup is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race. The nominated winner is entitled to automatic entry into the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland Oct. 31.
Probable for the Gold Cup: Big Cazanova, Catch a Flight, Finnegans Wake, Hard Aces, Hoppertunity, Majestic City, Moreno and Motown Men.
Trainer Bob Hess Jr. said Santana Mile winner Blue Tone would pass the race and run in the Grade I Triple Bend at seven furlongs the same day.
“We’re going to try and shorten him up,” Hess said. Blue Tone was fourth last out in the Californian at 1 1/8 miles.
NBCSN will televise the Gold Cup live from 5 to 6 p.m. Pacific Time.
First post time next Saturday and closing day next Sunday, June 28, will be 1 p.m.
PHAROAH JOGS, TRIMMER DORTMUND WORKS
Triple Crown king American Pharoah was back on the track again Sunday.
“He jogged today,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “The weather is still pretty hot, but he’ll probably start galloping tomorrow. He’ll parade here Saturday, but he won’t breeze.”
Meanwhile, under regular rider Martin Garcia, a pared-down version of Santa Anita Derby winner Dortmund worked four furlongs in company Sunday in 47.40, while stablemate Gimme Da Lute, winner of the Grade III Affirmed Stakes on June 7, was clocked in 47 flat.
“He went nice. He went an easy half,” Baffert said of Dortmund, who has not raced since finishing fourth in the Preakness on May 16. “We’re slowly keeping him fit, but he still has a ways to go. He lost a lot of weight but he’s slowly getting it back.”
SANTA ANITA TOPS $1 BILLION IN HANDLE SINCE DEC. 26
From the commencement of its Winter Meet on Dec. 26 through yesterday, Santa Anita Park has now eclipsed the $1 billion mark in pari-mutuel handle, as the track continues to provide players across the country with large guaranteed pools and dependable levels of liquidity–making Santa Anita a consistent “best bet” with horseplayers nationwide.
“Everyone knows what you get when you spend a day at Santa Anita,” said veteran horseplayer and longtime editor/publisher of The Horseplayer Magazine, Tom Quigley. “It’s the most beautiful track in the world, with the mountains, architecture and multimillion dollar improvements, which all serve to enhance what serious horseplayers have come to know, especially in recent years, and that is that Santa Anita consistently offers players the biggest and best wagering pools in the country.”
With the nation’s highest rated jockey colony and many of America’s top trainers represented on a daily basis, Santa Anita racing consistently provides players with the highest average pari-mutuel handle per horse in the country.
Santa Anita currently leads the nation with a $500,000 guaranteed Late Pick Four pool and a $150,000 guaranteed Pick Six pool each weekend.
FINISH LINES: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Texas Red is scheduled to work a mile after Santa Anita’s fourth race today in preparation for the $500,000 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park on July 4. Kent Desormeaux will be aboard the son of Afleet Alex for his brother, trainer Keith, who will send out stablemate Salty Kid under jockey Fernando Perez to work with Texas Red . . . Hall of Fame great Laffit Pincay Jr. will present the trophy to the winning connections of today’s Landaluce Stakes . . . Sierra Madre resident Victor Espinoza will bethe featured attraction at the annualSierra Madre Fourth of July Parade that starts at 10 a.m. thisyear. The city will be giving the Triple Crown-winning jockey a special commendation for his part in the historic achievement aboard American Pharoah at its City Council meeting, 6:30 p.m. this Tuesday, June 23 . . . Persuasive Paul carried perhaps the highest weight to victory at Santa Anita in recent memory when he won under 129 pounds in a one-mile starter handicap on turf Friday for Steve Knapp. “He’s won six times and about $120,000 since I claimed him for $12,500 at Del Mar last August,” Knapp said of the 5-year-old Florida-bred gelding, who has won on turf and dirt. “I think he’s better on turf and I might run him back in a starter allowance at a mile and a quarter on closing day.” That would be the $40,000 Bottom Line Starter Handicap.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Saturday, June 20)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||117||16||14||12||14%||$678,758|