- PLANS FOR MELATONIN’S NEXT RACE ON HOLD
- GRADE I OPPORTUNITY AWAITS TARIS SATURDAY
- NEW FACE ABOARD SMOOVE IT IS FLAVIEN PRAT
- TURKISH-BRED HORSE SCORES AT SANTA ANITA
- CHAMPS NYQUIST, BEHOLDER WORK TOMORROW
HOFMANS UNDECIDED ON MELATONIN’S NEXT RACE
Melatonin, who won the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap as the lightweight under 115 pounds, was doing well Thursday morning at The Great Race Place but trainer David Hofmans said he had no specific race in mind for the gelded son of Kodiak Kowboy.
“The horse looks great and he goes back to the track tomorrow, but I don’t know where he’ll run next,” said Hofmans. “I’ll know more in the next four or five days.”
Melatonin won the mile and a quarter Big ‘Cap virtually wire-to-wire, romping home by 4 ¼ lengths at 16-1.
After the race, Hofmans credited Talamo and his agent, Scotty McClellan, for entering.
“They were insistent that we go,” Hofmans said. “Joe was convinced after his last race. He said the horse loves this track and wants to run farther. I was convinced he was a miler.”
The Grade I, $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita, to be run at a mile and a quarter on June 25, could be a race under consideration for the Big ‘Cap champ.
TARIS EYES FIRST GRADE I WIN IN SANTA MARGARITA
Taris seeks her first Grade I victory when she runs in Saturday’s $500,000 Santa Margarita Stakes, a race trainer Simon Callaghan has been pointing to unequivocally since winning the Grade II La Canada Stakes by 5 ¼ lengths on Jan. 16.
“She couldn’t be training any better,” Callaghan said of the five-year-old Flatter mare owned by John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor. “She’s got a good post. She relaxed well in the La Canada and I couldn’t be happier with the way she’s going.”
Taris drew the outside post in a field of seven older fillies and mares going a mile and an eighth. The Kentucky-bred bay has won seven of 11 starts and been out of the money only once, earning $807,700.
The Santa Margarita: Living The Life, Flavien Prat, 8-1; Tara’s Tango, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; Penwith, Mike Smith, 5-2; $10,000 supplemental nominee Lavender Chrissie, Victor Espinoza, 10-1; Moyo Honey, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1; All Star Bub, Martin Pedroza, 15-1; and Taris, Gary Stevens, 8-5.
SMOOVE IT MAKES FIRST START SANS SUPER MARIO
Records are made to be broken and one will go by the boards Saturday when, after all 22 career starts, Smoove It will have another rider other than Mario Gutierrez. The 2012 Kentucky Derby winner aboard I’ll Have Another rides at Oaklawn Park Saturday, so Doug O’Neill has engaged Flavien Prat to pilot Smoove It in the $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes for older fillies and mares in the Golden State Series going about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
“Mario’s out of town, but the horse continues to do well,” O’Neill said of Smoove It, a five-year-old California-bred Square Eddie Mare owned by Reddam Racing.
Super Mario has won four times aboard Smoove It.
“It’s a short field and she’s going from a Grade II last time (the Buena Vista at a mile on a ‘good’ turf course Feb. 20) to a Cal-bred race,” O’Neill said.
“Not that this is an easy race by any means, but she’s doing well. I give her a chance.”
The Irish O’Brien, race two of 11: Demonica, Santiago Gonzalez, 12-1; Nite Delite, Edwin Maldonado, 4-1; Smoove It, Flavien Prat, 5-1; Qiaona, Victor Espinoza, 5-2; and Velvet Mesquite, Kent Desormeaux, 4-5.
SEVENTH SENSE PROVES HE’S NO TURKEY
A racing rarity, if not a first at Santa Anita, occurred when Seventh Sense captured Saturday’s fifth race by two-and-a-quarter lengths under Kent Desormeaux for Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains the three-year-old son of City Zip for owner Arif Kurtel.
Seventh Sense was bred in Turkey and believed to be the first horse bred there to win at The Great Race Place.
“He’s a full brother to Reneesgotzip,” said Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward. “I met the owner one time last year. He came here looking to buy Jenny Craig’s place (in Rancho Santa Fe), and he had a filly that was a full sister to Shared Belief that didn’t make it to the races.
“I don’t know what happened to her, but the owner’s got a lot of horses in Turkey.
“Seventh Sense is a very nice horse. He might have needed his first race. He had been working at Los Al and we couldn’t get him as fit as we do when they work here, so he came up a little short first out. But blinkers really focused him and put him right out on the lead.”
Seventh Sense led all the way going 6 ½ furlongs, paying $17 to win.
FINISH LINES: Champion Songbird, prepping for the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks on April 9, worked four furlongs Wednesday in 48 seconds flat, breezing. Dan Ward, assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer, termed the move “beautiful.” Songbird’s fractional times were 24.60 and 36.40, with a five furlong gallop out time of 1:00.60 . . . Doug O’Neill has champion Nyquist scheduled to work a mile tomorrow for the April 2 Florida Derby, while Richard Mandella plans to breeze three-time champion Beholder at 7:45 a.m. . . . Barbara Kelly, owner and breeder of the California stallion Fullbridled and a longtime member of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, passed away last Friday. Fullbridled, a 15-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song, stands at Daehling Ranch. His top runners include multiple stakes-placed Wonforgus and Full Dancer, winner of 13 races at $256,165. Services for Ms. Kelly will be at 12 noon Saturday at Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills . . . Tom Quigley’s guests this weekend will be Jonathon Kinchen, 2015 NHC Tournament champion, and Ruben Mendez, Santa Anita Wagering Ambassador, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, 11:20 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens . . . In today’s third race, jockey Flavien Prat rides Midnight Swinger for trainer Mark Glatt. If the horse wins, it would be poetry in motion (Prat-Glatt: get it?).
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Sunday, March 13)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||137||13||15||21||9%||36%||$845,817|