- CURLIN RULES SEEKS UPSET IN AWESOME AGAIN STAKES
- RUIS HAPPY WITH BOLT D’ORO FOR THE FRONTRUNNER
- MOONSHINE MEMORIES TRIES TWO TURNS IN CHANDELIER
- TRIBALIST MAKES INFREQUENT APPEARANCE IN EDDIE D.
- FRANK CONVERSATION SEEKS TO SURPRISE IN JOHN HENRY
- FREE PROMOTIONAL ITEM TO THOROUGHBREDS MEMBERS
- LOS ANGELES TIMES NEWSLETTER AVAILABLE TOMORROW
- FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE TO SANTA ANITA STARTS FRIDAY
SADLER SENDS OUT CURLIN RULES IN AWESOME AGAIN
John Sadler will keep Accelerate in the barn and be represented by Curlin Rules in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Win and You’re In Awesome Again Stakes for three-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles.
The Awesome Again is one of five Grade I, $300,000 Win and You’re In events Saturday, giving the winner a fees-paid berth to its respective Breeders’ Cup races Nov. 3 & 4.
“Accelerate will train up to the Breeders’ Cup (Dirt Mile),” Sadler said. “Curlin Rules is an improving horse. He was second to Cupid in the Brubaker last out (Aug. 23), so he’s coming into the race the right way. He’s getting better.”
Bob Baffert was unconcerned about favored Cupid drawing the outside post in the Awesome Again. “He’s fine,” the trainer said.
The Awesome Again, race 10 of 11: Win the Space, Joe Talamo, 15-1; Dortmund, Gary Stevens, 8-1; Midnight Storm, Tyler Baze, 3-1; Curlin Rules, Flavien Prat, 6-1; Breaking Lucky, Mike Smith, 5-1; Mubtaahij, Drayden Van Dyke, 4-1; Donworth, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1; and Cupid, Rafael Bejarano, 2-1.
Win the Space also is entered in Sunday’s John Henry Turf Championship, in which trainer George Papaprodromou said the five-year-old son of Pulpit is more likely to run.
FRONTRUNNER, BC JUVENILE ARE BOLT D’ORO’S GOALS
Mick Ruis watched with keen interest as undefeated Bolt d’Oro galloped early Thursday morning in preparation for Saturday’s Grade I, Win and You’re In FrontRunner Stakes for two-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.
“I’m really happy with how he’s coming up to the race,” said Ruis, part owner and trainer of the $630,000 son of Medaglia d’Oro, who followed his maiden win as the 4-5 favorite with a come-from-behind score after a slow start in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 4.
“The FrontRunner and the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile on Nov. 4) are the races we were hoping we could get to, based on his pedigree and the way he trains. We’ll have to wait until Saturday to see how it all unfolds.”
The FrontRunner: Zatter, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; Take the One O, Joe Talamo, 15-1; Ayacara, Kent Desormeaux, 10-1; Bolt d’Oro, Corey Nakatani, 2-1; City Plan, Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1; Texas Wedge, Evin Roman, 6-1; Encumbered, Mario Gutierrez, 8-1; Solomini, Flavien Prat, 4-1; and Continental Divide, Victor Espinoza, 15-1.
ALL SIGNALS GO FOR MOONSHINE MEMORIES
Moonshine Memories has given trainer Simon Callaghan ample reason to run in Saturday’s Grade I, Win and You’re In Chandelier Stakes for two-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles, a race the trainer hopes will lead to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 4.
“We didn’t want to commit to the Chandelier until we were sure she was giving us all the right signals,” Callaghan said of the undefeated daughter of Malibu Moon, winner of the Grade I Del Mar Debutante on Sept. 2 in her second career start.
She will be trying two turns for the first time.
“I don’t see the distance being a problem,” the trainer said.
The field: Dancing Belle, Kent Desormeaux, 10-1; Alluring Star, Joe Talamo, 4-1; Moonshine Memories, Flavien Prat, 2-1; Super Good, Gary Stevens, 15-1; Terra’s Angel, Sasha Risenhoover, 12-1; Holy Diver, Modesto Linares, 30-1; Piedi Bianchi, Mario Gutierrez, 5-2; and Just a Smidge, Mike Smith, 7-2.
TROUBLE-PRONE TRIBALIST SET FOR EDDIE D. STAKES
Tribalist doesn’t get to the races often, but when he does, he makes it count.
A six-year-old gelded son of the late Tribal Rule, Tribalist will be making only the seventh start of his career Friday when he runs in the Grade III, $100,000 Eddie D. Stakes for three-year-olds and up at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
Trained by Blake Heap and ridden by Victor Espinoza, Tribalist finished second by a head in his only previous start on the unique downhill course back on June 28, 2014.
Remarkably, he has had interminably long gaps of about one year each between three of his races, but has won his last four in a row despite trouble in almost every one.
“The first time he ran, he was knocked off stride leaving the gate and wound up hitting both tendons,” Heap explained. “Despite that, he ran third, but that’s why we had to stop on him all those times for so long, because the tendons would flare up.
“But honestly, he’s doing better now than he was at three. When he ran down the hill here it was the first out after a long layoff because of his tendons, and I could hardly train him for the race. That, plus he always seems to get in trouble.”
First race, Aug. 18, 2013: “Off bit slow, 4 wide lane;” second race, June 28, 2014, “four wide into lane, edged;” fifth race, July 30, 2015, “Broke thru gate, game;” and sixth start, Aug. 18, 2017, “steadied start, 3/8 & 5/16.”
“He has lots of ability,” Heap continued, “but he gets sawed off, breaks through the gate, something always seems to happen. Still, all that said, he can really run.”
The field for the Eddie D., the ninth of nine races: Prize Exhibit, Santiago Gonzalez, 10-1; Tribalist, Victor Espinoza, 4-1; California Diamond, Kent Desormeaux, 15-1; Om, Drayden Van Dyke, 8-5; Rocket Heat, Evin Roman, 8-1; Forever Juanito, Joe Talamo, 8-1; Guns Loaded, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Coastline, Flavien Prat, 12-1; Krsto Skye, Brice Blanc, 20-1; Zarqa Star, Martin Pedroza, 50-1; and Mr. Roary, Tyler Conner, 12-1.
‘BIG RACE’ FRANK CONVERSATION SET FOR JOHN HENRY
Frank Conversation will be somewhat of an outsider in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship at 1 ¼ miles, but the son of Quality Road trained by Doug O’Neill for Reddam Racing has been known to light up the tote board in the past.
He captured the Grade II Twilight Derby at odds of nearly 37-1 on Santa Anita’s turf course last Nov. 4, but hasn’t won in six subsequent starts, finishing second twice and third in the Grade I Hollywood Derby, earning $472,7740 along the way.
“He’s a nice horse and he’s coming into this race in good form,” said O’Neill assistant Leandro Mora. “The nice thing about him is, he shows up for the big races. Hopefully, the John Henry will fit into that category for him.”
The John Henry, race seven of nine: Itsinthepost, Tyler Baze; Prime Attraction, Victor Espinoza; Frank Conversation, Mario Gutierrez; Chicago Style, Drayden Van Dyke; Dressed in Hermes, Tiago Pereira; Up With the Birds, Jaime Theriot; Inordinate, Corey Nakatani; Hunt, Flavien Prat; and Win the Space, Joe Talamo.
PROMOTIONAL ITEM FREE TO SANTA ANITA ‘THOROUGHBREDS’ MEMBERS
In addition to a world class racing menu that will include five Grade I Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge stakes, Santa Anita will for the first time offer fans a free Santa Anita Windshield Sunshade this Saturday, Sept. 30, day two of the track’s 2017 Autumn Meet.
This one-of-a-kind item, which features a full-color image of fillies and mares (including four-time Eclipse Champion Beholder) breaking from the starting gate in the 2015, Grade I Zenyatta Stakes, will be available to Santa Anita THOROUGHBREDS Club members, free with paid admission.
Fans are encouraged to register to become a THOROUGHBREDS Club member in person free of charge at Santa Anita at any THOROUGHBREDS Center located throughout the facility.
In addition to the Windshield Sunshade giveaway, Santa Anita will also stage a two-day Trackside Oktoberfest, on Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.santaanita.com/events/oktoberfest/ .
Additionally, Santa Anita will also be offering an upscale Chandelier Room Party that includes gourmet faire, cocktails, fine wines (including a wine tasting that embraces nine different red and whites), live entertainment and more on Sept. 30.
Steeped in tradition with a glamorous, modern appeal, the legendary Chandelier Room has attracted Hollywood’s elite and the stars of Thoroughbred racing dating back to the 1930s.
To purchase tickets for the Chandelier Room Party, fans are encouraged to visit http://www.santaanita.com/events/chandelier-room-party/.
Opening weekend promotions and amenities, including Santa Anita’s Infield Family Fun Zone, Forty Dollar Handicapping Contest, Bud Light Lounge, Turf Terrace, FrontRunner dining packages and more are available at santaanita.com, or by calling (626) 574-RACE.
LOS ANGELES TIMES RACING NEWSLETTER AVAILABLE STARTING FRIDAY
Good news from the Los Angeles Times for racing fans: the publication is presenting its racing newsletter starting opening day Friday at Santa Anita that will provide previews of feature races at local tracks and a roundup of happenings around the country.
At the core of its coverage will be entries and results that will include full charts, which is an expansion of what is available in its print edition. It will arrive to inboxes five times a week, meaning race days and at the end of the race week, so charts will be included.
The newsletter, written by Times deputy sports editor John Cherwa, marks a quick, free and thorough way for horse devotees to start their day. And it all begins on Friday, opening day of Santa Anita’s 19-day Autumn Meet.
FREE GOLD LINE SHUTTLE SERVICE TO SANTA ANITA BEGINS FRIDAY
Santa Anita will again assist fans visiting The Great Race Place by offering free shuttle service connecting Santa Anita with the Metro Gold Line Arcadia Station beginning Friday, opening day of Santa Anita’s 19-day Autumn Meet.
The Gold Line, which connects commuters throughout metropolitan Los Angeles and which will soon be expanded to reach as far east as Montclair, is a safe, clean and affordable alternative to traveling by automobile.
Beginning tomorrow and on all race days (Santa Anita will operate on a Thursday through Sunday schedule, with one holiday date on Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 9), the Santa Anita shuttle will run operate in conjunction with Arcadia’s Transit Shuttle, providing fans with a non-stop trip to and from the Arcadia Gold Line Station to Santa Anita.
Located just above Huntington Drive at First Ave., the Arcadia Gold Line Station is approximately 1 ½ miles from Santa Anita Park. The Santa Anita shuttle will operate with pickup and drop off service available every 20 minutes, from 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. each racing day.
In addition to the Santa Anita Shuttle, the Arcadia Transit Green Line Shuttle, which features stops at Santa Anita, Methodist Hospital, the Westfield Santa Anita Mall and the L.A. County Arboretum, will operate seven days a week from 7:10 a.m. to 6:35 p.m.
First race post times at Santa Anita are 12:30 p.m. on weekends and Columbus Day, Oct. 9, and 1 p.m. on all non-holiday weekdays. For more information, please visit santaanita.com, or call (626) 574-RACE.
FINISH LINES: Bob Baffert skipped the Zenyatta Stakes with nine-time winner Vale Dori, who had been training for the race but is now in a holding pattern after running second by a neck to champion Stellar Wind in the Grade I Clement L. Hirsch July 30. “She’s just chillin’ right now,” Baffert said of the five-year-old Argentine-bred mare, earner of more than $1.1 million . . . Baffert sent Mor Spirit, winner of the Grade I Metropolitan Handicap June 10, six furlongs Thursday in 1:13.40, handily from the gate . . . Jockey Martin Garcia, recovered from recent back issues, is 100 percent physically and looking forward to opening day at Santa Anita . . . Bargain claim Skye Diamonds, who worked three furlongs Wednesday on the training track in 38 seconds flat, will train up to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. “She performs well when she runs six weeks apart,” said Bill Spawr, who still holds multiple Grade I winner Exchange as his best claim . . . Retired Los Angeles Times racing reporter Bill Christine will be on hand Saturday to sign his new book entitled “Bill Hartack–The Bittersweet Life of a Hall of Fame Jockey.” Published by McFarland and available at Barnes & Noble, Christine’s book chronicles the life of the legendary Hartack, who along with Eddie Arcaro, won a record five Kentucky Derbies throughout his meteoric career. Christine will greet well wishers and sign copies of the book Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m. outside Champions! Gifts & Apparel . . . Clocker Andy Harrington and Craig Bernick, President of Glen Hill Farm, will be Tom Quigley’s guests, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, 11:20 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens . . . After a disappointing outing at Del Mar, trainer Eddie Truman expects a return to form from Armour Plate when the two-year-old son of Into Mischief runs for owner Peter Redekop in the $100,000 Zuma Beach Stakes at a mile on grass Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 9. “He’s doing great;” Truman said. “We’re excited.” . . . Dangerfield, a three-year-old Into Mischief colt entered in Saturday’s sixth race by Doug O’Neill, is named for the late “no respect” comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who once said of his wife’s cooking, “I don’t think meat loaf should glow in the dark.”