- HOLLENDORFER SANS BAZE: LIFE GOES ON
- CHAMPION NYQUIST TO WORK TOMORROW
- SADLER FILLY TAKES ON QUEEN SONGBIRD
- HARD ACES SET FOR DEFENSE OF GOLD CUP
HOLLENDORFER: ABILITY, WORK ETHIC MADE BAZE GREAT
Koufax and Drysdale, Montana and Clark, Cousy and Russell, great tandems in the annals of sports, all etched in the history of yesteryear.
Now they are joined by Baze and Hollendorfer.
With a retirement announcement Monday that bordered on being clandestine, Russell Baze, the winningest jockey in North American Thoroughbred history, hung up his tack, ending a 42-year reign that saw him win 12,842 Thoroughbred races from a record 53,578 mounts.
Most of those victories came in the Bay Area where Baze won 54 riding titles at Golden Gate Fields and 40 at defunct Bay Meadows.
According to Equibase, 2,893 of Baze’s 12,842 wins were for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who gave the 57-year-old Baze a leg up on 9,185 horses.
Together, they won at a 31 percent clip. Baze also finished second 3,149 times on Hollendorfer-trained horses, good for 34 percent.
Life goes on, but it won’t be the same without Baze for Hollendorfer, the ubiquitous Hall of Fame conditioner who turns 70 on Saturday. Hollendorfer ranks third all-time in career wins among trainers with 7,108, behind Dale Baird (9,445) and Steve Asmussen (7,320).
“I’ve done so much work with him and he’s been my go-to man for so long, it’s a little bit difficult for me,” Hollendorfer said from his customary workout-viewing perch in Santa Anita’s grandstand Thursday morning.
“But being a horseman anywhere in this country, you have to be flexible and overcome a lot of things, so for me, I have to find somebody I can count on, and I’ll find riders I can use and count on to win races.
“As for Russell, first of all, nobody can win that many races if they don’t have the ability. But if you combine your ability and apply a hard work ethic, you can be one of the best, and that’s a lesson young riders should learn.
“All it takes is a little more effort to become a great rider instead of just a good rider.”
THAT’S A LADY TACKLES SONGBIRD IN OAKS
That’s a Lady comes off a smashing mile maiden win by 4 ¼ lengths against older
fillies and mares, but moves into uncharted waters Saturday when she tackles undefeated and unchallenged champion Songbird in the Grade II, $200,000 Summertime Oaks at 1 1/16 miles.
“This is a big step up, but my filly’s been improving pretty well the last two races,” said
John Sadler, who trains the daughter of City Zip for owner Michael Talla of Los Angeles.
“She beat older in her last race. There were some four and five-year-olds in there. We’re taking a little bit of a shot, but she’s doing well. Songbird is a champion. She’s terrific. There’s not much more you can say about her. We’re hoping we can be on the board.”
Jerry Hollendorfer is pleased with the post position for Songbird.
“She drew well in the four post,” he said, “so we’ll see what happens.”
The field for the Oaks, race eight of nine with a 1:30 p.m. first post time: That’s a Lady, Santiago Gonzalez, 20-1; Bellamentary, Martin Garcia, 6-1; Not Now Carolyn, Kent Desormeaux, 20-1; Songbird, Mike Smith, 1-5; Coppa, Joe Talamo, 5-1; Kay Kay, Alonso Quinonez, 30-1; and Sutton’s Smile, Flavien Prat, 20-1.
KENTUCKY DERBY KING NYQUIST TO BREEZE FRIDAY
Kentucky Derby winner and 2015 two-year-old champion male Nyquist is scheduled to have his first workout Friday morning since suffering his only defeat, in the Preakness Stakes on May 21, trainer Doug O’Neill said Thursday.
“That’s the plan,” said O’Neill, who added that the son of Uncle Mo would work at 7 a.m. at an as-yet undetermined distance.
“We’ll kind of feed off him, go easy, and if he starts pulling and wanting more, we’ll give him a little more.”
Exercise rider Jonny Garcia will be up for the drill.
DISCOVER AN AWESOME TASTE SENSATION AT BANH MI AND EGG ROLL FESTIVAL
Sink your teeth into the Banh Mi & Egg Roll Festival Saturday at Santa Anita and savor the deliciousness of authentic Banh Mi sandwiches, plus egg and spring rolls. Enjoy delicious Boba teas and Vietnamese coffee as well, all while experiencing an exciting day of live Thoroughbred racing up close.
This $30 Trackside package includes Club House admission, one Banh Mi sandwich, four egg rolls, two spring rolls, a Boba Tea or coffee and a racing program complete with a wagering tip sheet. Visit http://www.santaanita.com/events/banh-mi-festival/ for more information and to find out how you can earn $5 off the purchase price.
DRAMS FOR DADS THIS SUNDAY, FATHER’S DAY
Treat Dad, grandpa, uncle or friend to an experience he will long remember–‘Drams for Dads,’ a special buffet brunch and Scotch tasting in the iconic Director’s Room featuring The Glenlivet, with 2015 Ambassador of the Year/Icons of Whisky and Master of Scotch Rick Edwards at The Great Race Place.
Visit http://www.santaanita.com/events/2016-drams-for-dads/ to learn how you can purchase this unique experience for a one of a kind Father’s Day.
FINISH LINES: John Sadler said defending Gold Cup at Santa Anita winner Hard Aces will have his last work on Saturday for this year’s edition to be run on June 25. “He’s going for a repeat and he’s doing well,” Sadler said of the six-year-old Hard Spun horse that rallied for second in the 1 1/8-mile Californian last out on May 22. The Gold Cup, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race at a mile and a quarter, offers a $500,000 purse. Sadler added that 2015 three-year-old filly champion Stellar Wind also is set to work Saturday, “but we haven’t decided on a race for her yet. We’ll look around.” . . . Crosscheck Carlos, a Louisiana-bred son of Custom for Carlos that was a six-and-three-quarter length debut winner for trainer Doug O’Neill in Sunday’s first race, is owned in part by Eric Johnson of the National Hockey League’s Colorado Rockies. Also owning shares of the two-year-old bay colt that covered the four-and-half furlong distance in 52 seconds flat are Nick Cosato (Slam Dunk Racing), Neil Haymes and Dennis O’Neill, Doug’s brother. “Eric was thrilled,” Dennis said. “For good measure, he was just put on the USA World Cup team that plays in Toronto this September.” Meanwhile, Where’s the D, a filly owned in part by Johnson, runs in Sunday’s Grade II Honeymoon Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf. The daughter of Blame won going about 6 ½ furlongs on turf May 13, her first race on grass and her first start in more than seven months. “She’s training great. I don’t think the distance will matter, and she’s already shown a preference for the grass so we’re excited to see how it all shapes up,” Doug O’Neill said. “We’re optimistic she’ll put in a good effort. Paul (Reddam) is majority owner, and he’s partnered up with Eric on a few horses and this is one of them. Paul named her after Eric, since he’s a defenseman: Where’s the defense, where’s the D?”. . . R Sunday Surprise, a full sister of 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome, makes her debut in today’s first race for two-year-old fillies bred in California. “Mr. (Steve) Coburn (who bred You’re Late along with Perry Martin) and I have a common friend in Hope Hudson, a sweetheart of a girl we both met in Kentucky,” O’Neill explained. “We fell in love with her and her family, so she’s kind of our common link.”. . . Jamie Theriot makes his Spring Meet debut at Santa Anita today aboard 8-1 morning line chance Vow Me Over for trainer Mark Glatt in the seventh race . . . Today’s total Pick Six pool should approach $500,000 thanks to a carryover of $68,569 going into the sequence . . . Apprentice rider Jose Barnes is scheduled to resume riding Friday after suffering an injury to his left ear in a mishap last Thursday. Told he was “lucky” to escape serious damage, the 20-year-old South African promptly amended the interviewer. “Blessed is the word,” Barnes said. “When you win the Lottery, you’re lucky.” . . . The Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) have hired longtime racing executive, attorney and legislative expert Greg Avioli to fill the newly created position of Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1. TOC Board Chairman Mike Pegram explained the new position: “Given the many opportunities and challenges now facing the organization, we felt it was important to bring in additional executive experience on the management team. Greg has decades of experience at the highest levels of our industry and proven leadership in legislative and regulatory affairs.” . . . Jockey Brandon Boulanger has been suspended three days (June 18, 19 and 23) for causing interference aboard Domino Johnson in Saturday’s 10th race. Agapito Delgadillo also is sidelined three days (June 26, 30 and July 1) for careless riding aboard Close to the Edge in Sunday’s second race . . . Tom Quigley‘s guest handicappers this weekend are Santa Anita Paddock Analyst Angela Hermann, Saturday, and Xpressbet TV host Aaron Vercruysse, Sunday, 12:20 p.m. in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Santa Anita offers a Father’s Day Brunch for every taste on Sunday. Fans can celebrate at The Great Race Place with brunch in the Turf Terrace Restaurant in a shaded patio setting. For further information on this all-inclusive package, visit www.santaanita.com/events . . . Santa Anita hosts the 2016 graduating class of Arcadia High School after today’s last race when 9,000 celebrants including 822 graduates will partake in the ceremony. Thursday morning, trainer Paddy Gallagher was a solitary figure in one of the folding chairs that will accommodate members of the throng. “This,” said Gallagher, “is the closest I’ll ever come to graduating.”
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Sunday, June 12)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||46||5||7||6||11%||39%||$292,739|
|Hector O. Palma||18||4||4||0||22%||44%||$82,830|