- PEGASUS KING ARROGATE IS BACK HOME AT SANTA ANITA
- LEWIS STRATEGY FOR ROYAL MO WILL BE UP TO ESPINOZA
- BAFFERT HAS TWO FOR THE MONEY IN GRADE II SAN ANTONIO
- HINDSIGHT IS LOOKING GOOD FOR TWENTYTWENTYVISION
- RACING MOURNS THE PASSING OF TRAINER ARMANDO LAGE
ARROGATE ‘LOOKS GOOD’ AFTER PEGASUS ROMP
Horse of the World Arrogate, who returned to his Santa Anita base this past Sunday at 6:30 p.m., appears none the worse for wear after conquering two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome and 10 others in the inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
“He looks great,” trainer Bob Baffert said while supervising workouts at Santa Anita on a brisk Thursday morning. “He was out jogging here today but we have no plans yet (for his next race). We’ve got a lot of options but we’re going to give him a couple weeks to see how he’s doing before we decide.
“I haven’t really mapped out a schedule for him, although it looks like the race didn’t take a lot out of him. He looks good.”
Arrogate, who won the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic here on Nov. 5, won the Pegasus geared down by 4 ¾ lengths, earning $7 million for owner Juddmonte Farms Inc.
ROYAL MO SET FOR THREE-YEAR-OLD DEBUT IN LEWIS
Royal Mo, a bay son of Uncle Mo trained by John Shirreffs for owners Jerry and Ann Moss, drew the rail against four other three-year-olds entered in Saturday’s Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes, a major steppingstone to the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 8.
Trainer Doug O’Neill has three of those entered in the 1 1/16-mile Lewis, which offers 17 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, 10 to the winner.
“Royal Mo is coming into the race good, very nice,” said Shirreffs, who also conditions Grade III Sham Stakes winner Gormley for the Mosses. “I don’t have any particular (pre-race) strategy. I think Victor (Espinoza) will determine that.”
Royal Mo broke his maiden in his most recent start, leading throughout going a mile at Del Mar last Nov. 27 under Espinoza, who has been aboard for all three of his races.
Gormley, who won the Grade I FrontRunner Stakes as a two-year-old last December, worked four furlongs Thursday for the Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 11. With Espinoza up, the son of Malibu Moon was timed in 49.60, going a quarter mile in 25.60 with a five furlongs gallop out of 1:02.60.
The field for the Lewis, which goes as the second event on a nine-race card that starts at 12:30 p.m.: Royal Mo, Victor Espinoza, 5-2; Irap, Mario Gutierrez, 3-1; Dangerfield, Kent Desormeaux, 7-2; Term of Art, Tyler Baze, 9-2; and Sheer Flattery, Mike Smith, 2-1.
HOPPERTUNITY, MOR SPIRIT HEAD SAN ANTONIO
Bob Baffert sends out two Grade I winners in Saturday’s San Antonio Stakes, a forerunner to the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 11. They are long distance specialist Hoppertunity, winner of the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup, and Mor Spirit, winner of the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity.
Hoppertunity, a six-year-old full horse, has not raced since finishing fourth in the Grade I Clark Handicap last Nov. 25. Mor Spirit rallied for fourth in the Grade I Malibu Stakes at seven furlongs on Dec. 26, his first start since the Kentucky Derby last May 7.
Hoppertunity, a son of Any Given Saturday, drew the rail, where Baffert seems to be living recently, although it didn’t hamper Arrogate in the Pegasus.
“I don’t know why they always stick me in the one hole, but Hoppertunity is doing really well,” Baffert said. “He’s training very well but I hated to see him down on the inside. I think Mor Spirit needed that race (fourth in the Malibu at seven furlongs on Dec. 26). He’s been working really well, and he’s quicker (than Hoppertunity).”
The field for San Antonio, for four-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles: Hoppertunity, Flavien Prat, 2-1; Avanti Bello, Mario Gutierrez, 12-1; Prospect Park, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 10-1; El Huerfano, Victor Espinoza, 12-1; Mor Spirit, Mike Smith, 3-1; Dalmore, Kent Desormeaux, 8-1; Accelerate, Tyler Baze, 5-2; and Hard Aces, Santiago Gonzalez, 6-1.
TWENTYTWENTYVISION BACK ON TURF IN SAN MARCOS
Turf specialist Twentytwentyvision performed admirably to finish third in the San Gabriel Stakes last out, despite the fact that the 1 1/8-mile race was run over a sloppy main track when wet weather forced it to be moved from the grass.
Trainer Richard Mandella expects Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Marcos Stakes at a mile and a quarter to remain on turf when Twentytwentyvision runs from the 13 post position in a full field of 14 entered.
In 15 career starts, Twnetytwentyvision has run 10 on turf, winning four, with three seconds and three thirds.
“I think turf is a little better for him and a mile and a quarter should suit him,” Mandella said. “I expect him to run a big race and I’m not concerned about being on the outside going this distance.”
The San Marcos, the last of nine races: A Red Tie Day, Corey Nakatani, 15-1; Flamboyant, Brice Blanc, 4-1; Itsinthepost, Tyler Baze, 12-1; Blue Tone, Martin Garcia, 12-1; Texas Ryano, Joe Talamo, 3-1; Power Ped, Stewart Elliott, 20-1; Gustnado, Rafael Bejarano, 20-1; Perfectly Majestic, Kent Desormeaux, 10-1; Conquest Daddyo, Luis Contreras, 12-1; Some in Tieme, T.J. Pereira, 15-1; Isotherm, Flavien Prat, 6-1; Hi Happy, Altair Dominguez, 10-1; Twentytwentyvision, Mike Smith, 6-1; and Frank Conversation, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1.
TRAINER ARMANDO LAGE DEAD AT AGE 59
Trainer Armando Lage died of a heart attack at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning at his home in Richmond, California, according to his long-time friend, fellow trainer O.J. Jauregui. Lage (pronounced LA-hay) was 59.
A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at Golden Gate Fields, where Lage was a Bay Area fixture in recent years. He had 1,259 career wins from 9,083 starters who earned more than $20 million.
“He was a good trainer and a better person,” said fellow trainer Steve Miyadi. “He was strong mentally and physically, a great father and a stand-up guy who told it the way it was, which so few do.”
Lage is survived by his wife, Iga, two daughters and several grandchildren.
FINISH LINES: Jockey Drayden Van Dyke, 22, is at home in Pasadena recovering from a broken right arm suffered in a two-horse spill at Santa Anita on Jan. 26. “He’s out of the hospital and had lunch the other day with Mike Smith,” said Van Dyke’s agent, Brad Pegram, who also represents Smith . . . San Clemente Handicap winner Mokat worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Thursday in 1:00.60 under Kent Desormeaux, after which trainer Richard Baltas said her next race would be the Grade II, $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes at a mile on grass Feb. 18 . . . There were 261 recorded works Thursday, 22 on the dirt training track . . . There is a Pick Six carryover of $71,437.76 going into today’s card, with the total pool expected to approach $500,000 . . . Santa Anita hosts the Dumpling and Wonton Festival Saturday. Patrons can snack on scrumptious Asian and Asian-inspired dumplings and wontons on Santa Anita’s trackside apron. Buy online and save at www.santaanita.com/events . . . On Sunday, the day of The Big Game, live racing at Santa Anita begins at 11 a.m., allowing fans to watch The Big Game at Sirona’s Sports Bar after the races or to be home in time to view it. Sirona’s will offer $5 drink specials all day. General admission to the track that day is only one dollar . . . Clocker Andy Harrington will be Tom Quigley‘s guest Saturday at 11:20 a.m. in the East Paddock Gardens. There is no seminar Sunday.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Sunday, Jan. 29)|
|Norberto Arroyo, Jr.||61||9||5||3||15%||28%||$449,530|