- AMERICAN PHAROAH WORKS FOR BC CLASSIC
- SANTA ANITA SALUTES EDDIE D. ON SATURDAY
- BAFFERT ALSO A WINNER IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL
- MASOCHISTIC SHARP FOR SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP
AMERICAN PHAROAH IN ‘VERY NICE’ DRILL FOR CLASSIC
American Pharoah, a horse trainer Bob Baffert has called “a gift from God,” worked on
Santa Anita’s fast main track early Sunday morning in preparation for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland Oct. 31, the final start for the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, a span of 37 years.
Baffert said American Pharoah went four furlongs in 47 4/5, while on Santa Anita’s official work tab, the 3-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile was given a five-furlong time of a minute flat.
With jockey Martin Garcia aboard and the sun out in all its Southern California glory, American Pharoah took to the track at 6:40 a.m. accompanied by a pony ridden by Baffert assistant Jim Barnes.
“He went nice; he went very nice,” Baffert said of American Pharoah. “He was on the bit and he was into his work. He was moving well. That’s the main thing.”
Video Link to American Pharoah’s Work – https://youtu.be/NY8qewl5UXE
DELAHOUSSAYE: A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS
Eddie Delahoussaye, one of the greatest riders of his era and widely respected as a person by all who know him, will be honored at Santa Anita Saturday with the fourth running of the Eddie D. Stakes, a Grade III test for three-year-olds and up at about 6 ½ furlongs on the track’s unique downhill turf course.
Retired since 2002, Delahoussaye celebrated his 64th birthday Sept. 21 and recently moved from Southern California to his native Louisiana, where he and his family currently reside. But he’ll be on hand Saturday for the race named in his honor.
It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
“I don’t think you can find a better person than Delahoussaye,” said Huey Barnes, an assistant starter at Santa Anita who turns 82 on Oct. 3, and who came to California to work for Charlie Whittingham in 1954.
“As far as the way he treated me and the way he treated people around here, everybody loved him. He was one of the greatest race riders I’ve ever been around, believe me when I tell you.
“I thought (Eddie) Arcaro was, but that man, he’s just as good a race rider as Arcaro.
“Eddie was the same every day. If he had a problem, you wouldn’t know it. He’s a good person and a good family man.”
Inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame in 1993, Delahoussaye began his career in 1967 and won 6,384 races from 39,213 rides, 16.30 percent. He is one of only four jockeys to win consecutive runnings of the Kentucky Derby, having done so with Gato del Sol in 1982 and Sunny’s Galo in 1983.
Delahoussaye led all North American jockeys with 384 wins in 1978 and was presented with Santa Anita’s prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1981.
SHADES OF JIMMY THE GREEK: BAFFERT HOT IN FOOTBALL PICKS
Man of many hats Bob Baffert returned Saturday to his alma mater, the University of Arizona, where he attended the Race Track Industry Program, to appear on ESPN’s College Gameday TV show and share some of his picks.
Baffert made the following selections before landing back in the Los Angeles area by 11 a.m., in time to send out Mt Veeder in the FrontRunner Stakes where he finished sixth:
BYU vs. Michigan – picked Michigan, had a nephew who went there (winner).
Georgia Tech vs. Duke – picked Duke, had a nephew who went there as well (winner).
Tennessee vs. Florida – picked Tennessee, wife, Jill, is from Tennessee (loser).
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas – picked Arkansas, has a lot of clients who live in Arkansas (loser in overtime).
Mississippi State vs. Auburn – picked Mississippi St., “I don’t know anybody here.” (winner).
Missouri vs. Kentucky – picked Kentucky, “You ever heard of Kentucky Derby?! I could never go back if I don’t pick them.” (winner).
Oklahoma St. vs. Texas – picked Oklahoma St., “Defensive coordinator Glen (Spencer) is my man!” (winner).
TCU vs. Texas Tech – picked TCU, “They’re in there every year, they’re just tough. This was a tough one.” (winner).
USC vs. Arizona St. – picked USC, “Arizona State is a very bad word in our household, USC!” (winner).
UCLA vs. Arizona – picked Arizona (of course), “I’m going with the team with the best fight song in the country, Bear Down! U of A!” (loser).
(Thanks to Alexis Garske of Santa Anita’s Publicity Department for compiling this item. Garske also attended U of A’s RTIP program).
MASOCHISTIC AT FAVORITE TRACK FOR GRADE I SPRINT
Masochistic couldn’t hold off Wild Dude as the 2-5 favorite in the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar July 26, but the lightening quick gelding could make amends in Saturday’s Santa Anita Sprint Championship, a Grade I, Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge race at six furlongs.
“I probably ran him back a little too quick after the big race (a 3 ½-length victory in the Grade I Triple Bend at Santa Anita on June 27), and he really didn’t handle Del Mar very well, so he’s back at a track he really likes,” trainer Ron Ellis said of the California-bred son of Sought After owned by Los Pollos Hermanos Racing or Jay Em Ess Stable.
“He worked phenomenally Saturday (six furlongs in a bullet 1:11.20 under Tyler Baze, who rides him in the Sprint). It was really amazing.”
Masochistic, a winner of six of nine starts with two seconds overall, is three-for-four at Santa Anita, with career earnings of $583,850.
Wild Dude, second last out in the Grade II Pat O’Brien at Del Mar Aug. 22, will be back to take on Masochistic in the Sprint, reunited with Rafael Bejarano, replacing the injured Flavien Prat, who had ridden Wild Dude in his last three starts.
Wild Dude worked six furlongs today in 1:18 from the gate for Jerry Hollendorfer.
Indexical, third in the Pat O’Brien, also is a likely starter for Ben Cecil, who trains the chestnut ridgling by Latent Heat for J. Paul Reddam. Mario Gutierrez rides.
FINISH LINES: Despite reports that Bayern‘s retirement already has been announced, “it is being evaluated right now,” Bob Baffert said Sunday morning at Santa Anita. Bayern, who won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, is winless since, a string that reached five races after his third-place finish as the 6-5 favorite in Saturday’s Awesome Again Stakes. “We’ll know in a few days,” Baffert said of retirement plans . . . Jerry Hollendorfer was more than pleased with the 4 ½-length romp by unbeaten Songbird in the Chandelier Stakes. “Very good,” he said when asked how the $400,000 daughter of Medaglia d’Oro came out of the race, quickly adding, “As a matter of fact, she came back perfect.” . . . Trainer Doug O’Neill said that unbeaten Nyquist came out of his hard-earned, three-quarter length victory in Saturday’s FrontRunner Stakes “in great shape,” as did Land Over Sea, runner-up to odds-on favorite Songbird in the Chandelier . . . Ditto for Monster Mare Beholder, who came back “great” from an her third straight victory in the Zenyatta Stakes as Richard Mandella prepares the 5-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes owned by B. Wayne Hughes for a probable start in the Breeders’ Cup Classic . . . Grade I winner Warren’s Veneda, who finished seventh of eight in the Zenyatta after being crowded at the start, “ran down real bad on her front legs,” trainer Craig Lewis reported Sunday morning . . . Committed front-runner Distinctiv Passion, winner of the Grade III Los Angeles Stakes last May 25, worked four furlongs Sunday in a bullet 45.60 for Jeff Bonde, who has the Florida-bred son of With Distinction nominated to Saturday’s Santa Anita Sprint Championship . . . Santa Anita Derby winner Dortmund worked five furlongs in 1:01.20, while Om, prepping for the Grade II, $200,000 Twilight Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf Oct. 24, worked five furlongs in 1:02.80 for Dan Hendricks . . . Next Friday, Oct. 2, is Photography Day at Santa Anita. Photographers can receive special photo credentials that include Clubhouse Admission, hot breakfast, a Seabiscuit backstretch tour, a track program, and enjoy a panel conducted by trainers and jockeys. A $10 discount is available using promo code HORSE2015 online. Advance tickets are available at www.santaanita.com/events . . . Live racing resumes 1 p.m. next Thursday at Santa Anita. Every Thursday and Friday during the Autumn Meet, Santa Anita offers free General Admission and free general parking.