- AMERICAN ANTHEM IN TUNE FOR THE SA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP
- BLACKJACKCAT HAS A GOOD HAND FOR BREEDERS’ CUP MILE
- UNIQUE BELLA HAS BEEN WORKING LIGHTS OUT FOR RETURN
- STRONACH FAMILY TO SELL KY. FARM, BOLSTER CALIF. PRESENCE
- GOLF CLASSIC WILL BENEFIT THE PDJF ON TUESDAY, OCT. 10
AMERICAN ANTHEM SHARP FOR SANTA ANITA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP
Even though American Anthem has been firing bullets as is the wont for Bob Baffert, the Hall of Fame trainer is not counting his chickens before they hatch when the three-year-old son of Bodemeister runs in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Win and You’re In Santa Anita Breeders’ Cup Sprint Championship at six furlongs.
“Six furlongs is a little short for him,” Baffert said. “He’s probably better suited for seven eighths, but he’s been doing well and he looks good.
“It’s a decent draw,” Baffert added of the No. 4 post position in a field of six. “I’d like to be on the outside.”
American Anthem’s last three workouts have been the fastest at their respective distances: four furlongs in 46.60 on Oct. 1, fastest of 100 at the distance; five furlongs in 59 flat on Sept. 25, fastest of 68 at the distance; and four furlongs in 47.20 on Sept. 18, fastest of 69 at the distance.
The winner of the race gets a fees-paid berth to the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 4.
The field for the Santa Anita Sprint Championship, which Baffert won last year with Lord Nelson and in 2012 with Coil: Ransom the Moon, Flavien Prat, 5-2; Giant Expectations, Gary Stevens, 3-1; Edwards Going Left, Tyler Baze, 10-1; American Anthem, Mike Smith, 3-1; Mr. Hinx, Drayden Van Dyke, 15-1; and Roy H, Kent Desormeaux, 8-5.
BLACKJACKCAT OBVIOUSLY HAS BC MILE ON HIS AGENDA
Blackjackcat seeks his fourth consecutive win in Saturday’s $75,000 Obviously Mile on turf, and if all goes according to plan, trainer Mark Glatt has designs on the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile on Nov. 4.
“He’s doing well,” said Glatt, who trains the four-year-old gelded son of Tale of the Cat for long-time owners/breeders Al and Sandee Kirkwood. “We’re just hoping he gets a good trip and runs his race.
“If he does, hopefully it will set him up for a start in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.”
Blackjackcat won the restricted Wickerr on July 23, followed by a game head triumph in the Grade II Del Mar Mile on Aug. 20. He has won five of his 13 starts and earned $353,270.
The Obviously, race two of 10 races with a 12:30 p.m. first post time: Blackjackcat, Kent Desormeaux; Bird Is the Word, Flavien Prat; He Will, Rafael Bejarano; Mach One Rules, Evin Roman; Cistron, Tyler Baze; and Tequila Joe, Joe Talamo.
‘CALIFORNIA HERE WE COME!’ STRONACH FAMILY TO BOLSTER LOCAL PRESENCE
Members of the Stronach Family, including Frank Stronach, founder and Honorary Chairman of The Stronach Group, announced yesterday their intentions to sell their Adena Springs Farm in Paris, Ky., and to establish new breeding facilities in both California and Maryland.
Situated on 2,246 acres, Adena Springs, Ky. has helped the Stronach family garner 12 Eclipse Awards–eight as North America’s leading breeder.
In a corporate press release, Mr. Stronach, whose family currently has more than $1 billion invested in the Thoroughbred industry throughout North America, explained that he is seeking to further support his Stronach Group racetracks such as Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita in California, by improving the state-bred breeding program and providing more quality horses for racing inventories.
JOHN MORRIS GOLF CLASSIC BENEFITS PERMANENTLY DISABLED JOCKEYS’ FUND
The sixth annual John Morris Golf Classic, originally staged in Lexington, Ky., will be held for the first time at Santa Anita Golf Course in Arcadia on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Proceeds will benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund (PDJF), Easter Seals Cardinal Hill and Project Walk (Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Center). One hundred percent of the charity proceeds will go to benefit these three charities.
Tournament registration is at 10:30 a.m., with an 18-hole shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Fees also include cart, lunch, refreshments, prizes and there will be a reception (that includes a silent auction) immediately following the tournament. Prices are $175 per player or $600 per team. All fees must be paid by Oct. 10 in order to participate. For more info, visit http://www.santaanita.com/events/johnmorrisgolfclassic/, or call (626) 574-RACE.
FINISH LINES: Jerry Hollendorfer hopes to use Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 LA Woman Stakes as a steppingstone to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at seven furlongs on Nov. 4 for Unique Bella. The spectacular three-year-old daughter of Tapit has had five straight bullet works in advance of her return from shin issues incurred after winning the Grade III Santa Ysabel last March 4. The LA Woman field: Sturdy One, Norberto Arroyo; Cuddle Alert, Edwin Maldonado; Bad Ju Ju, Drayden Van Dyke; Princess Karen, Kent Desormeaux; Unique Bella, Mike Smith; Dis Smart Cat, Gary Stevens; and Lunar Express, Flavien Prat . . . Retro, an impressive winner in her debut race at one mile on turf Sept. 4 at Del Mar, worked four furlongs Thursday in 50.20 under Flavien Prat for the $100,000 Surfer Girl Stakes, holiday feature on Monday, Columbus Day. “She ran nice first time and we’re hoping she improves from that,” trainer Richard Mandella said of the two-year-old Giant’s Causeway filly . . . Next Monday will be Dollar Day at Santa Anita. Beer, soda and hot dogs will be on sale for a buck apiece. First post is 12:30 p.m.; admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. . . . Mandella sends out Mrs McDougal in Saturday’s $70,000 Swingtime Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at a mile on turf. “She’s doing real well,” Mandella said of the five-year-old Medaglia d’Oro mare formerly trained by Chad Brown. “I just got her in the typical way,” Mandella said. “They asked me to take her. There’s no story with it. They wanted to race on the West Coast.” . . . Matt Garcia rides his first race in 13 months Saturday when he pilots first-time starter Catability, a two-year-old gelded son of Discreet Cat trained by Phil Oviedo, in the seventh race. The 47-year-old Garcia last rode competitively at Ferndale . . . Tom Quigley‘s guests this holiday weekend will be Toby Turrell, publisher of The Winner’s Card, Saturday; XBTV’s Aaron Vercruysse, Sunday; and Greg Lawlor of the Body Language Training Academy, Monday, each day 11:20 a.m. in the East Paddock Gardens.