- MEMORIAL DAY FESTIVITIES START SATURDAY
- SADLER HOPES HARD ACES HAS WINNING HAND
- BALTAS DUO SET FOR GRADE I GAMELY STAKES
- SANTA ANITA’S JACOBELLIS HONORED AT HONDA CENTER
SANTA ANITA OFFERS SEVEN STAKES MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
As America honors its patriotic men and women of the military this Memorial Day
weekend, Santa Anita proudly shares in the acknowledgment of their service, showcasing seven stakes races highlighted by the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita and the Grade I Gamely Stakes next Saturday.
Supporting Saturday’s bill are the Grade II, $200,000 Monrovia Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf, and the Grade III, $150,000 Daytona Stakes also over the hillside turf course at the same distance.
Sunday’s feature is the Grade II, $200,000 Charles Whittingham Stakes for three-year-olds and up at a mile and a quarter on turf, while on Monday, the spotlight will be on the $200,000 Snow Chief Stakes and the $200,000 Melair Stakes, part of the Golden State Series for California-bred or sired horses.
The Snow Chief, named for the Eclipse Award champion three-year-old male of 1986 trained by Mel Stute, is for three-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on turf. The Melair is named for the John Sadler-trained champion California-bred filly of 1986 and will be decided at 1 1/16 miles for three-year-old fillies.
On Memorial Day, Monday, fans can offer their thanks to active and former service members and help support the local Veterans’ Memorial, sponsored by the Rotary Club Foundation of Arcadia.
A $5 donation (all proceeds go directly to the Veterans’ Memorial) includes General Admission to Santa Anita Park, a program, access to special trackside seating, and walking tours to the Paddock and Winner’s Circle throughout the day.
Delicious BBQ will also be available for purchase. Veterans or active military with valid Military ID will receive a voucher good for a free lunch, courtesy of Santa Anita horse owners, industry personnel, and Santa Anita Park.The BBQ menu ($12 per meal) offers spare ribs or pulled pork and choice of two sides (mac ‘n’ cheese, creamed corn, baked beans, potato salad or coleslaw), plus a slice of white bread, pickles and onions.
The Rotary Club of Arcadia is spearheading an effort to build a local Veterans’ Memorial. The Field of Honor Project, involving 1,000 American Flags displayed at County Park at the corner of Huntington and Santa Anita during the week preceding Memorial Day will help to raise funds.
Those wishing to participate or donate should make their contribution to The Arcadia Rotary Club Foundation, Veterans’ Memorial Fund.
Please visit http://www.santaanita.com/events/memorial-day-charity-trackside/ for more information.
First post time Saturday through Monday, May 29, will be 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m. Santa Anita will be dark Tuesday and Wednesday, May 30 and 31, with live races resuming Thursday, June 1, at 1 p.m.
SADLER HOPES HARD ACES IS REAL DEAL IN GOLD CUP
Trainer John Sadler plans to enter Hard Aces in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita, a race he won two years ago by a nose, coming from 11th and last along the fence after being crowded at the start.
A committed dawdler early on, Hard Aces has been in front from start to finish in only one of his 40 career races, that being in the Grade III Cougar II Handicap at a mile and a half last July 24 at Del Mar.
“He’s definitely a distance specialist at this point in his career,” Sadler said of the seven-year-old full horse owned by principal clients Kosta and Peter Hronis.
“The last two races he’s won have been at a mile and a half (the Cougar II and the Tokyo City Cup at Santa Anita April 2). Hopefully, he’ll get a good setup in the Gold Cup.”
BALTAS HAS TWO FOR THE MONEY IN GRADE I GAMELY
Richard Baltas plans to enter stakes winners Goodyearforroses and Mokat in next Saturday’s Grade I Gamely Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Each worked the past two days, Goodyearforroses going four furlongs on the main track Sunday in 47.80, and Mokat breezing five furlongs Saturday on the training track under Rafael Bejarano in 59.40.
“Mokat went the last quarter in 23 and two in just a very, very nice work,” Baltas said. “Bejarano was very happy and had a big smile on his face after the work.”
Mokat, a four-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo, rallied to finish second by a half-length in the Grade II Royal Heroine at one mile on turf April 8, with Bejarano riding her for the first time.
“I think a mile and an eighth will be better for her, definitely,” Bejarano said. “She loves to come from behind and make one run when I take a hold of her. That’s her best style.”
Bejarano currently is in a pitched battle with Flavien Prat and Joe Talamo for Santa Anita’s Spring riding title. Each won two races Saturday, leaving Bejarano and Prat at 20 wins each and Talamo at 19.
Baltas also has A Red Tie Day ticketed for Sunday’s Charles Whittingham Stakes. Winner of the restricted Lure Stakes at a mile on grass last Oct. 30, the seven-year-old gelding attended the pace in last year’s Whittingham before weakening to finish ninth.
“A Red Tie Day is on schedule,” said Baltas, enjoying a fantasy meet.
“Sometimes,” he said, “I’ve got to pinch myself. To me, it’s the American dream: perseverance, hard work and never giving up.”
ANAHEIM DUCKS HONOR JACOBELLIS FAMILY AT HONDA CENTER
Congratulations are in order to Santa Anita Security Department Area Manager Mike Jacobellis, whose son, Mike, was honored between periods of the Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames Stanley Cup playoff game at Honda Center on April 13.
Along with his wife Amanda and two-year-old son, Rocco, Jacobellis, 32, a Marine Corps Captain, received a standing ovation following a 90-second video, “Salute To Those Who Serve” ceremony, acknowledging him as recipient of the Marine Corps Aviation Association Command and Control Officer of the Year.
A 2003 graduate of Bonita High School in nearby La Verne, Jacobellis, who just completed his second deployment in the Middle East, received a degree in communications from U.C. Davis and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Central Michigan prior to joining the Marine Corps eight years ago.
Video link: https://vimeo.com/213598167?ref=em-v-share.
FINISH LINES: The battle for Santa Anita’s training title remained a three-horse race through 21 days with Richard Baltas and Peter Miller sharing the lead at 15 wins apiece, and Phil D’Amato next with 14. D’Amato won two races Saturday, capped by Ransom the Moon‘s 2 ¼-length victory in the Grade II Kona Gold Stakes. D’Amato said the son of Malibu Moon came out of the race in good order and is possible for the Grade II, $250,000 San Carlos Stakes at seven furlongs on July 1 . . . There is a Pick Six carryover Sunday of $109,280 . . . Undefeated Sircat Sally, prepping for the Grade II Honeymoon Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf June 17, worked five furlongs Sunday for Jerry Hollendorfer in 1:01, while Gold Cup candidate Follow Me Crev went six furlongs for Vladimir Cerin in a bullet 1:12.60 . . . Michael McCarthy was still undecided Sunday morning on whether Illuminant would run in the Gamely or the Monrovia next weekend, saying only “she worked great yesterday (four furlongs in 47.60).” . . . Grade I winner Union Strike, second in the Eight Belles at Churchill Downs May 5, worked four furlongs on Santa Anita’s training track Saturday in 49 flat under Brice Blanc, who rides her back in the Grade I Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park June 10, part owner and trainer Mick Ruis said Sunday. “She came out of the Eight Belles in beautiful shape,” Ruis said. “She has two works to go before the Acorn.” . . . The two-year-old Drizzy, impressive 5 ½-length maiden winner in his debut Saturday, could make his next start in the $100,000 Santa Anita Juvenile on July 2, trainer Mike Machowksy said . . . Blue Grass Stakes winner Irap is ticketed for the Belmont Stakes on June 10. Mario Gutierrez rides for Doug O’Neill . . . Congrats to Jim Dunleavy on being the only one of 20 Daily Racing Form selectors to pick Cloud Computing to win the Preakness . . . Eddie Truman, who sent out The All Button to win Saturday’s third race, giving the 70-year-old trainer five wins from 10 starters this meet, says the three-year-old Into Mischief gelding “is the most talkative horse I’ve ever had under my shed row. He’s always nickering at you.” Just call him Mr. Ed.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Saturday, May 20)|
|Norberto Arroyo, Jr.||45||7||6||8||16%||47%||$392,348|