- BOLT D’ORO WORKS MONDAY FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY
- SANTA MONICA COULD BECOME JEWEL FOR ‘DIAMONDS’
- RACING MOURNS THE PASSING OF AGENT MARK NORTH
- UNBEATEN CHAMP ‘GGG’ TO PRESENT SA DERBY TROPHY
- POPULAR CUCO TALAMANTES RESTING AT HOME AFTER SURGERY
BOLT D’ORO WORKS MONDAY FOR McKINZIE REMATCH
Gearing up for a rematch with McKinzie in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 7, Bolt d’Oro will have his first workout this Monday since winning the San Felipe Stakes on March 10, when he was awarded first place via disqualification of McKinzie who crossed the wire first by a head after a stretch-long duel in the mile and a sixteenth contest.
Originally, Bolt was scheduled to have his first breeze back on Sunday.
“I had said he’d work Sunday, although I had always intended to work Monday,” owner/trainer Mick Ruis said at Clockers’ Corner on a rainy Thursday morning.
“That way he’ll be on schedule for the Santa Anita Derby, working this Monday, again next Sunday, April 1, and then race the following Saturday (April 7).”
Ruis said Bolt d’Oro would work a half-mile in company Monday under former jockey Agapito Delgadillo.
The $1 million Santa Anita Derby will be run at 1 1/8 miles and award 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner, 40 to the runner-up, 20 for third and 10 for fourth.
Bolt d’Oro gained 50 points for his first in the San Felipe, giving him the highest total this year to date, 64, one more than runner-up Enticed.
SANTA MONICA IDEAL SCENARIO FOR SKYE DIAMONDS
Bill Spawr is optimistic that an added furlong and having the first race under her belt in 14 weeks will benefit Skye Diamonds in Saturday’s appealing Santa Monica Stakes, a Grade II event for fillies and mares, four and up, at seven furlongs.
“We expect her to move forward off her last race,” Spawr said, alluding to her third-place finish by three-quarters of a length behind Selcourt in the Grade III Las Flores Stakes at six furlongs on Feb. 18, “and going seven-eighths is going to really help her to do that.”
Skye Diamonds rallied for third in the Grade III Las Flores Stakes at six furlongs on Feb. 18, her first race since finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint last Nov. 4 in which she finished well ahead of last year’s eventual Eclipse Award winner as outstanding female sprinter, Unique Bella.
Claimed for $40,000 on Aug. 26, 2016, Skye Diamonds has gone on to win six of 10 subsequent starts, including the Dream of Summer Stakes, the Grade II Great Lady M Stakes, and the Grade III Rancho Bernardo Handicap.
In her career, she has won nine of 18 starts and earned $551,150.
The field for the Santa Monica, race five of 10 with a 12 noon first post time: Marley’s Freedom, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1; Just a Little Hope, Evin Roman, 15-1; Paradise Woods, Flavien Prat, 1-1; Skye Diamonds, Tiago Pereira, 5-2; and Selcourt, Tyler Baze, 5-2.
AGENT MARK NORTH DEAD AT AGE 49
The racing community mourns the passing of popular jockey agent Mark North, who died yesterday at the Lakewood residence of long-time friend Alan Sherman, the son of trainer Art Sherman.
North was 49 and died peacefully in his sleep after a lengthy battle with lung disease.
“I knew him my whole life,” Alan said. “We’re both from the Bay Area and I knew him when he was a jockey.”
North most recently represented Kyle Frey, whom he helped win an Eclipse Award as outstanding apprentice of 2011.
Frey on Saturday won the Jeff Ruby Stakes (formerly the Spiral) for Doug O’Neill on Blended Citizen at Turfway Park.
“I’ve known Mark ever since I was a kid,” said Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. “I’m sorry to see him go.”
Funeral services are pending, Alan Sherman said.
UNDEFEATED CHAMPION GOLOVKIN TO PRESENT SANTA ANITA DERBY TROPHY
Undefeated in 38 professional fights and ranked as the world’s best active boxer, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin will be at Santa Anita on Saturday, April 7 to present the trophy for the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby.
A winner of 37 out of his 38 bouts (33 of them by knockout), GGG, who holds four middleweight title belts, is preparing for an epic rematch with Canelo Alvarez on Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, May 5, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The rematch, which will be presented live on pay-per-view, follows a controversial “draw” decision from their first bout, on Sept. 16, a fight most ringside observers thought was clearly won by Golovkin.
A native of Kazakhstan, GGG was born April 8, 1982 and is the son of a Russian coal miner and Korean-born mother. He grew up in a hard-scrabble neighborhood with a twin brother and two older brothers, who frequently “matched” him against older boys beginning at age eight.
In addition to presenting the Santa Anita Derby trophy, Golovkin will also make a selection in Santa Anita’s signature race for three-year-olds and he’ll make a trip early in the day to the Santa Anita Jockeys’ Room to meet the likes of Hall of Famers Kent Desormeaux, Mike Smith and the rest of the jockey colony.
A silver medalist at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, GGG has been a world champion as a professional since 2010, making him boxing’s longest-reigning world champion. In his upcoming rematch with Alvarez, Golovkin will be making a record-tying 20th consecutive defense of his middleweight crown. GGG currently holds the WBC, WBA, IBF & IBO world titles.
For additional information, please visit santaanita.com.
CUCO TALAMANTES RECOVERING FROM SURGERY
Popular Santa Anita press box Concierge Cuco Talamantes underwent surgery this past Sunday to remove a cancerous tumor and is now back at home recovering.
Employed at The Great Race Place since 1971, Talamantes fought professionally for nine years and was a fixture at LA’s Main Street Gym where he prepped for many bouts at the Olympic Auditorium.
According to a piece written by Jeremy Balan for BloodHorse.com, Cuco’s son, Gio, reports that his Dad is in good spirits. “The champ is now back at home,” said Gio. “He is resting up and we’re going to get him training to get him ready for the next round.”
Gio further related that his Dad is intent on visiting his friends and working “family” at Santa Anita just as soon as possible.
In addition to operating Santa Anita’s press box kitchen with a ready smile and dry sense of humor, Cuco Talamantes has also developed close friendships with co-workers and media alike.
Those who have known Cuco over the years, or would like to help his family in this time of dire financial need are encouraged to donate to a GoFundMe account that was established in his name this past week.
The following link will provide access to the Cuco Talamantes GoFundMe effort: https://www.gofundme.com/cuco-Talamantes
FINISH LINES: Rafael Bejarano is expected to miss three to four weeks after suffering a broken left wrist from a mishap in Sunday’s ninth race aboard Boom Boom Bango. Bejarano is tied for fourth with Drayden Van Dyke through 47 days of Santa Anita’s Winter Meet . . . Iggy Puglisi, who incurred a minor injury to his right ankle prior to a fifth-race gate mishap Sunday aboard Shining Armada, is expected to be working horses shortly. “Fortunately, nothing was broken,” said his agent, Bill Sadoo. “He’s just taking a few days to rest and recover.” . . . Saturday’s Grade II Santa Monica will be shown live on Fox Sports 2 as part of its “Saturday at the Races” show, which will air from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. PT.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Sunday, March 18)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||135||29||16||11||21%||41%||$1,782,947|
|William E. Morey||32||10||2||9||31%||66%||$412,683|