STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – THURSDAY MARCH 2, 2017

 

  • UNIQUE BELLA READY FOR SANTA YSABEL
  • MIDNIGHT STORM IS DEFINITE FOR BIG ‘CAP
  • ECLIPSE CHAMP CASTELLANO RIDES ‘KOBE’
  • BLACK CALLS SANTA ANITA TURF ‘BEST EVER’

 

 

VERSATILE UNIQUE BELLA ON RAIL FOR SANTA YSABEL

            Unique Bella will have to overcome two firsts in Saturday’s Grade III Santa Ysabel Stakes for three-year-old fillies: breaking from the rail and going a mile and a sixteenth.

It should make no never mind for the budding superstar filly, winner of her last three races by a combined margin of 26 ½ lengths, who is using the Santa Ysabel as a prep for the Grade I, $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks on April 8.

“She can adapt to any situation,” said Dan Ward, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. “She can be on the lead or sit off it. She’s schooled well for the race and ready to go.”

The Santa Ysabel, race six of 10: Unique Bella, Mike Smith, 1-5; Tap It All, Santiago Gonzalez, 20-1; Spooky Woods, Flavien Prat, 20-1; Mistressofthenight, Corey Nakatani, 30-1; What What What, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Noted and Quoted, Martin Garcia, 6-1; and Abel Tasman, Joe Talamo, 5-1.

 

MIDNIGHT STORM TO WORK FOR BIG ‘CAP

            Midnight Storm will run in the Santa Anita Handicap a week from Saturday, March 11, and not in the Dubai World Cup March 25, Phil D’Amato confirmed Thursday morning.

“We’re running in the Big ‘Cap,” the trainer said. “We made the decision yesterday for sure. The horse is going well and depending on weather, he could breeze Sunday or Monday.”

Probable for the 80th Santa Anita Handicap, a Grade I, $750,000 race for older horses at a mile and a quarter: Follow Me Crev, Gangster, Hard Aces, Hi Happy, Imperative, Isotherm, Midnight Storm, Shaman Ghost and Twentytwentyvision.

 

MULTIPLE ECLIPSE CHAMP CASTELLANO AT SANTA ANITA

Javier Castellano, winner of an Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding jockey the last four years, invades Santa Anita a week from Saturday, March 11, to ride Kobe’s Back in the Grade I Triple Bend Stakes at seven furlongs for trainer Peter Eurton.

Kobe’s Back, who last raced June 25, 2016, finishing third in the Triple Bend, worked six furlongs in 1:13.13 on Santa Anita’s “good” main track before Sunday’s first race.

A six-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Flatter owned by the C R K Stable, millionaire Kobe’s Back has a 5-3-4 record from 20 starts with earnings of $1,036,250.

Castellano, whose agent is former Santa Anita Racing Department official Mike Lakow, won the Eclipse in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The 39-year-old native of Venezuela has 4,625 career wins and $271,934,924 in purse earnings.

 

SANTA ANITA’S GRASS COURSE COULDN’T BE GREENER

What a View, on target for the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile a week from Saturday, will be running on a grass course that drew rave reviews from Kenny Black.

“It’s a great turf course,” the trainer said. “It’s taken all that rain and still looks wonderful. It’s as good a turf course as I’ve ever seen.”

Probables for the Kilroe include Bal a Bali, Bolo, Conquest Enforcer, Flamboyant, Papacoolpapacool, Ring Weekend, War Envoy and What a View. Flamboyant worked six furlongs on the main track Thursday in a bullet 1:12.20 for Paddy Gallagher.

 

FINISH LINES: Today’s pro sports parlay: Kopitar, a three-year-old son of Shackleford making his debut in the fifth race, is named for Los Angeles’ Kings Captain Anze Kopitar, while Catfish Hunter, a three-year-old son of Grazen named for the Hall of Fame pitcher, makes his first start in the sixth race. Kopitar, trained by Phil D’Amato, is 4-1 on Jon White‘s morning line, while Catfish Hunter, conditioned by Steve Miyadi, is 7-2 . . . Five of the six three-year-old fillies entered in today’s second race finished second through sixth in their last race, the California Cup Oaks here on Jan. 28 . . .  All THOROUGHBREDS members at Santa Anita on Big ‘Cap Day will receive a free Santa Anita umbrella with paid admission while supplies last. There will be a $1 million guaranteed Late Pick 4 and a $100,000 guaranteed Pick 6.

 

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS                
               
(Current Through Sunday, Feb. 26)        
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won  
Flavien Prat 168 39 25 31 23% 57% $2,570,699  
Tyler Baze 178 33 37 20 19% 51% $1,525,266  
Kent Desormeaux 101 21 12 10 21% 43% $1,268,091  
Rafael Bejarano 99 18 15 17 18% 51% $983,493  
Joseph Talamo 110 16 9 17 15% 38% $524,503  
Norberto Arroyo, Jr. 82 13 8 8 16% 35% $648,020  
Mike Smith 38 13 3 9 34% 66% $1,252,159  
Stewart Elliott 116 12 14 16 10% 36% $603,802  
Santiago Gonzalez 97 11 14 12 11% 38% $506,762  
Martin Pedroza 86 10 16 15 12% 48% $461,198  
Luis Contreras 89 10 10 23 11% 48% $487,537  
Tiago Pereira 80 10 9 10 13% 36% $330,815  
Victor Espinoza 47 9 12 7 19% 60% $643,797  
Edwin Maldonado 50 9 6 7 18% 44% $290,180  
Corey Nakatani 54 8 6 5 15% 35% $465,131  
               
Trainer Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won  
Peter Miller 80 22 20 8 28% 63% $1,176,315  
Jerry Hollendorfer 96 18 11 19 19% 50% $1,338,488  
Richard Baltas 94 16 17 15 17% 51% $872,657  
Doug O’Neill 109 13 22 19 12% 50% $1,097,551  
Philip D’Amato 64 13 7 11 20% 48% $816,940  
William Spawr 23 10 2 3 43% 65% $283,951  
Mark Glatt 55 9 11 7 16% 49% $400,915  
Bob Baffert 44 9 6 7 20% 50% $886,151  
Peter Eurton 44 9 5 5 20% 43% $489,669  
Vladimir Cerin 35 8 7 6 23% 60% $284,064  
John Sadler 43 7 9 10 16% 60% $471,964  
J. Keith Desormeaux 34 7 3 5 21% 44% $446,760