STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – THURSDAY MARCH 10, 2016

    

  • SMITH EYES FOURTH STRAIGHT BIG ‘CAP VICTORY
  • BAFFERT HAS TWO FOR THE MONEY IN SAN FELIPE
  • TRAINER SEES FAST FRACTIONS FOR KILROE MILE
  • NO OPTIONS FOR KOBE’S BACK IN SAN CARLOS
  • NYQUIST IN SHARP WORKOUT FOR FLORIDA DERBY

 

SMITH EXPECTS BIG EFFORT FROM EFFINEX

            Mike Smith seeks an unprecedented fourth straight victory in the 79th Santa Anita Handicap when he rides favored Effinex in the $1 million race presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino on Saturday’s dynamite racing program also highlighted by the Grade II San Felipe Stakes for three-year-old Triple Crown contenders, the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile on turf and the Grade II San Carlos Stakes for top sprinters.

Smith won the Santa Anita Handicap last year aboard the ill-fated Shared Belief, and in 2014 and 2013 with Game On Dude. Effinex had his only breeze over Santa Anita’s main track Tuesday with Smith up, going four furlongs in a bullet 47.80. He went the first quarter mile in 24 seconds flat and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.20.

“He felt real good,” Smith said of the drill. “He looks wonderful coming off his layoff. He seems to have put some weight on, he’s training well, he’s happy, and got over the track just beautiful Tuesday morning.

“If that’s any indication as to how he’s going to run, I guess he should run extremely well. Given the opportunity, I think he’ll run big. I know his connections are really happy with him. He was doing a lot of good things back in Florida before he got here as well.”

Smith has ridden Effinex in his last two races, a victory in the Grade I Clark Handicap last Nov. 27, and a second to Triple Crown king American Pharoah in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Oct. 31.

“Effinex got a good draw. We couldn’t be happier with that, and he came out of his work really good,” said Kent Sweezey, assistant to trainer Jimmy Jerkens. “We took him to the gate today, jogged him once around and schooled him in the afternoon.

“Tomorrow we’ll gallop him and then walk him through the paddock.”

The field for the Santa Anita Handicap, the 10th of 11 races: Point Piper, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1; Melatonin, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Donworth, Mario Gutierrez, 3-1; General a Rod, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Effinex, Mike Smith, 2-1; Cyrus Alexander, Martin Garcia, 20-1; Hard Aces, Abel Lezcano, 12-1; Imperative, Santiago Gonzalez, 3-1; and Class Leader, Kent Desormeaux, 30-1.

Mike McCarthy, former assistant to Todd Pletcher, said General a Rod is due to arrive at Santa Anita tonight from the East Coast.

Fans at Santa Anita on Big Cap Day will receive a free Santa Anita Fleece Blanket

presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino with paid admission while supplies last.

            First post time is 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m.

 

MILLION DOLLAR LINEUP IN SAN FELIPE

            How good is the field of three-year-olds in Saturday’s $400,000 San Felipe Stakes, a major steppingstone to the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9?

“This is the race that should have a $1 million purse,” said Bob Baffert, who sends out favored Mor Spirit and Cupid in the Grade II race at 1 1/16 miles. Baffert will be seeking his record sixth win in the San Felipe, which goes as the seventh race.

The San Felipe: Uncle Lino, Fernando Perez, 8-1; Danzing Candy, Mike Smith, 4-1; Mor Spirit, Gary Stevens, 2-1; Cupid, Martin Garcia, 12-1; I Will Score, Rafael Bejarano, 10-1; Smokey Image, Victor Espinoza, 4-1; and Exaggerator, Kent Desormeaux, 5-2.

Trainer Gary Sherlock would prefer a post other than No. 1, if he had his druthers.

            “It’s not where I want to be, but it’s the post position, so I’ll deal with it,” he said. “He’s coming up to the race in good shape; no excuses.”

 

OM WILL RUN HIS RACE IN GRADE I KILROE

            Trainer Dan Hendricks expects another solid effort from Om when the multiple graded stakes winner goes in Saturday’s Grade I, $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile on turf.

“He’ll run his race in his usual spot right up front,” Hendricks said of Om, who drew the rail in a field of seven.

“We’ll see how the turf plays, how the other horses come out of there and decide what to do. There’s speed in the race–not Obviously’s speed–but quite a bit, so I think there will be fast fractions for whoever is out front.”

The Kilroe: Om, Gary Stevens, 3-1; What a View, Kent Desormeaux, 8-1; Bal a Bali, Flavien Prat, 7-2; Bolo, Mike Smith, 2-1; Kenjisstorm, Edwin Maldonado, 50-1; Midnight Storm, Victor Espinoza, 3-1; and De Treville, Tyler Baze, 8-1.

 

KOBE‘S BACK WILL COME RUNNING IN SAN CARLOS         

            Kobe’s Back won from the rail in the Palos Verdes Stakes on Feb. 7. The committed stretch runner, a notoriously slow starter, could win Saturday’s Grade II San Carlos Stakes breaking from the outside No. eight post position.

It matters not, says his jockey, Gary Stevens.

“He comes from out of it,” Stevens said, plain and simple. “He broke good the other day, just dropped back and that’s just his style. There really is no option. He calls the shots. I’m just a passenger until the last three-eighths of a mile.

“He’s been training unbelievably. He was training great before his last race, he’s come back and trained the same way. He’s really sharp and had a really sharp half-mile breeze last weekend; he’s ready.”

The San Carlos: Calculator, Flavien Prat, 5-2; Coastline, Tyler Baze, 12-1; Wild Dude, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; San Onofre, Edwin Maldonado, 6-1; Cautious Giant, Santiago Gonzalez, 10-1; Mystery Train, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Outside Nashville, Martin Garcia, 20-1; and Kobe’s Back, Gary Stevens, 2-1.

 

FINISH LINES: Undefeated male two-year-old champion of 2015 Nyquist worked a mile on Santa Anita’s fast main track under Jonny Garcia on a spectacular Thursday morning in 1:46, going the last five-eighths in 1:01 and change, according to trainer Doug O’Neill. “It was a solid work,” O’Neill said. “We plan to leave for the (April 2) Florida Derby on March 28.” Santa Anita’s clockers had Nyquist going five furlongs 1:01.40 . . . El Camino Real Derby winner Frank Conversation, headed to the UAE Derby on March 26, went five furlongs for O’Neill in 1:02.20 . . . Jerry Hollendorfer has 10, count ’em, 10 horses entered to run at Santa Anita on Saturday. “I don’t know if I’ve ever run that many on one card in one day before,” the Hall of Fame trainer with more than 7,000 career wins said. “I’ve run a lot of horses on a lot of different days, but I don’t think I’ve ever run that many at Santa Anita in one day.” . . . Three-time Eclipse champion Beholder could surface in a race before her long-range goal of the Grade I Vanity Stakes on June 4. “We’re in no hurry (for the Vanity),” Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said Thursday morning. “Hopefully, there will be something before that.” . . . Agent Derek Lawson reports that Flavien Prat, the meet’s third-leading rider with 34 wins through 43 racing days, leaves for Dubai on March 21 to ride Hoppertunity in the $10 million World Cup against 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome on March 26. Hoppertunity worked five furlongs Thursday in a minute flat . . . John Sadler has stretch-running English-bred import Nancy From Nairobi ticketed for the Grade II Santa Ana Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf March 26 . . . Episode 2 of ‘Down Home with Team O’Neill’ is available now. This month Team O’Neill met with and received some coaching advice from retired NBA, WNBA and NCAA basketball coach Paul Westhead, who has led several teams to National Championships. Says Doug: “You’ll get to meet our assistant coaches and even the ultimate, Coach Lava Man, who helps with the mail bag . . . Track announcer Frank Mirahmadi and Santa Anita simulcast host Michelle Yu will be Tom Quigley‘s guests, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, in the East Paddock Gardens, 10:50 a.m. Saturday and 11:20 a.m. on Sunday . . .Condolences to family and friends of iconic San Diego radio and television personality Ernie Myers. Known as “Mr. San Diego,” Myers was Del Mar’s longtime simulcast television host from 1989 through the 1990s. He died Tuesday morning in La Mesa, California at age 86 following a long bout with Parkinson’s Disease . . . Nine horses were entered in today’s first race, five of them sired by Unusual Heat and three by Square Eddie. The lone dissenter was 30-1 morning line chance Bishops of Compton, sired by Desert Code . . . Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday. Set your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night.

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS                  
                 
(Current Through Sunday, March 6)            
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won    
Rafael Bejarano 209 49 38 21 23% 52% $2,086,762    
Santiago Gonzalez 224 42 30 26 19% 44% $1,609,338    
Flavien Prat 201 34 34 30 17% 49% $2,059,316    
Edwin Maldonado 141 26 13 15 18% 38% $901,860    
David Lopez 128 21 9 17 16% 37% $631,526    
Tyler Baze 208 20 31 30 10% 39% $1,094,401    
Joseph Talamo 186 20 22 23 11% 35% $1,082,904    
Mario Gutierrez 157 19 29 21 12% 44% $1,175,584    
Martin Garcia 101 16 9 10 16% 35% $918,159    
Kent Desormeaux 91 13 23 16 14% 57% $1,068,485    
Drayden Van Dyke 121 13 13 17 11% 36% $759,264    
Fernando Perez 141 12 15 19 9% 33% $678,444    
Agapito Delgadillo 80 11 9 7 14% 34% $312,362    
Martin Pedroza 78 11 9 5 14% 32% $304,265    
Gary Stevens 52 11 6 8 21% 48% $1,154,003    
Victor Espinoza 67 9 9 6 13% 36% $723,705    
Mike Smith 76 9 7 13 12% 38% $1,053,200    
Abel Lezcano 60 7 2 4 12% 22% $294,619    
Alonso Quinonez 66 4 8 6 6% 27% $213,900    
Brice Blanc 47 4 5 7 9% 34% $452,580    
Tiago Pereira 85 3 10 6 4% 22% $259,854    
Brayan Pena 57 3 4 9 5% 28% $130,605    
Jose Verenzuela 31 3 1 3 10% 23% $106,545    
Alex Solis 20 3 0 4 15% 35% $219,423    
                 
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won    
Doug O’Neill 147 22 21 21 15% 44% $1,170,683    
Philip D’Amato 105 21 18 19 20% 55% $1,146,575    
Bob Baffert 83 18 12 12 22% 51% $1,304,635    
Jerry Hollendorfer 108 17 10 15 16% 39% $1,106,516    
Richard Baltas 90 15 13 13 17% 46% $1,034,369    
Peter Eurton 76 12 20 11 16% 57% $766,712    
Peter Miller 105 12 9 13 11% 32% $504,870    
John Sadler 69 12 8 6 17% 38% $553,999    
Steven Miyadi 53 9 12 8 17% 55% $318,069    
Mark Glatt 71 9 8 4 13% 30% $395,005    
Kristin Mulhall 40 9 6 2 23% 43% $342,665    
Vladimir Cerin 35 9 3 5 26% 49% $312,499    
William Spawr 34 8 5 3 24% 47% $224,977    
George Papaprodromou 41 7 3 6 17% 39% $216,335    
Jeff Bonde 33 7 2 5 21% 42% $173,110    
Carla Gaines 39 7 2 2 18% 28% $468,360    
Mike Puype 61 6 11 4 10% 34% $308,780    
J. Keith Desormeaux 37 6 6 8 16% 54% $246,014    
Jeff Mullins 26 6 6 0 23% 46% $174,579    
Michael Machowsky 33 6 5 4 18% 45% $261,561    
Patrick Gallagher 31 6 3 6 19% 48% $475,433    
Ron Ellis 24 6 2 3 25% 46% $176,850    

 

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