- STEADY BETTYS BAMBINO SET FOR SENSATIONAL STAR
- SPAWR REMEMBERS BARGAIN CLAIM SENSATIONAL STAR
- TEXAS RED DOING SWIMMINGLY FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY
- BIG PAY DAYS IN OFFING ON BIG ‘CAP DAY MARCH 7
HORSE FOR COURSE SET FOR SENSATIONAL STAR
Bettys Bambino, a Horse for Course if ever there was one, goes for his fifth win from
six starts on Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course at about 6 ½ furlongs when he runs in Saturday’s $100,000 Sensational Star Stakes for older horses bred in California or sired by a California-bred stallion.
“He’s definitely a horse for this course,” said Peter Eurton, who trains the son of Unusual Heat for a partnership. “I would love to see him run in one-turn turf races from seven (furlongs) to a mile, down the line. That would be fun. He’s an Unusual Heat. He’s supposed to go a lot further than 6 ½.”
The 5-year-old gelding has raced twice at one mile, finishing fourth at Santa Anita in April of last year and third at Del Mar in August. Bettys Bambino will be making only his 10th start in the Sensational Star.
“He had a lot of minor issues at an early age,” Eurton said in explaining the limited races. “He’d come in one day and take a bad step and move out the next day. But now he’s doing real well.”
The field for the Sensational Star: Patriots Rule, Fernando Perez, 10-1; Boozer, Gary Stevens, 4-1; Weewinnin, Elvis Trujillo, 10-1; Bettys Bambino, Martin Garcia, 5-2; Big Bane Theory, Joe Talamo, 9-2; Ambitious Brew, Brice Blanc, 2-1; Spirit Rules, Iggy Puglisi, 12-1; and Pathway to Yes, Tyler Baze, 8-1.
DETTORI LEAVES SPAWR UP IN THE AIR
Trainer Bill Spawr had a sweet run with Sensational Star, for whom Saturday’s $100,000 stakes is named.
“We claimed him for $32,000 and he won a lot of graded stakes for us,” Spawr said of his star of some 25 years ago. “They were trying to route him, but we made a sprinter out of him.”
A California-bred gelding by Inherent Star out of the Election Day mare Forty Percent, Sensational Star was foaled in 1984 and last raced on Dec. 8, 1990. He won 13 of 39 starts and earned $442,455.
“Bob Meldahl (the late agent, who also represented Laffit Pincay Jr. at the time) had a new apprentice from Europe and he wanted to get him on some live horses,” Spawr recounted.
“Bob and I were old friends and I told him I was going to run Sensational Star for 40 (thousand) and that no one would claim him. The jockey was Frankie Dettori, but I didn’t know who he was at the time.
“Anyway, the horse wins and his picture is about to be taken in the winner’s circle. I’m looking for the jock but he isn’t on the horse. I can’t find him because the sucker is in the air. I didn’t know that was his thing, the flying dismount where he leaps high out of the saddle.
“Silly me, I’m looking all over for the jock and he’s up in the air.”
SANTA ANITA DERBY NEXT GOAL FOR TEXAS RED
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red remains on course for the Santa Anita Derby on April 4 as he swims his way back from an abscess on his right front foot following a sharp second in his 3-year-old debut in the San Vicente Stakes on Feb. 1.
The ultimate goal for the son of Afleet Alex, of course, is the Kentucky Derby on May 2.
“He’ll continue swimming and doing Aqua Tred, probably until the end of the month,” trainer Keith Desormeaux said Friday morning. “We’ll try to get him in (to Santa Anita) around March 1 and crank him up again.
“The reports are all good; the thing’s still draining, but he’s always been sound on it. Since it popped, it’s drained, but he’s good. I just want to give him plenty of time to recover. He missed the race we were pointing for anyway (Saturday’s Risen Star) so the Santa Anita Derby’s the goal now. “I just don’t need to rush him back; that’s the mindset.”
(Texas Red is currently rehabbing at Premier Equine Center, which is located in Oakdale, about five hours north of Santa Anita in California’s Central Valley).
$1 MILLION LATE PICK 4 GUARANTEE ON BIG ‘CAP DAY
Shared Belief is expected to rule a prohibitive favorite in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 7, but that won’t prevent fans from trying to land a game-changing score.
There will be huge guaranteed pools that day, including a $1 million Late Pick 4 and a $150,000 guaranteed Pick 6, in addition to three other graded stakes besides the Big ‘Cap, with Triple Crown hopefuls spotlighted in the Grade II, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes.
Also, there will be a Beerfest and live music in the infield. First post time will be 12 noon; gates open at 10 a.m.
ARCADIA HONORS PASSING OF JOE RAMSAY ON SATURDAY
The Arcadia community is coming together to honor well-known musician and beloved Arcadia High School alumnus Joe Ramsey, who died recently at the age of 58, following a years-long battle with health problems.
This Saturday, from 7 p.m. to midnight, the Arcadia High School Alumni Association is presenting a benefit memorial concert at Santa Anita in Ramsey’s honor. Santa Anita is also dedicating the day’s last race in his memory, and the City of Arcadia has proclaimed Feb. 21 Joe Ramsey Day. Mayor Pro-Tem Gary Kovacic will present the proclamation in the Winner’s Circle immediately following The Joe Ramsey Memorial Race.
Ramsey, who graduated from AHS in 1974, died Dec. 29 at Arcadia Methodist Hospital following a nearly decade-long struggle with cancer, heart problems and a recent stroke.
The Joe Ramsey Benefit Concert will feature a selection of friends, former band mates, local artists and loved ones taking the stage in his honor. Confirmed performers include Stan Ridgway and Pietra Wexstun; Keith Slettedahl and Adam Merrin from The 88; John Curry, Scott Lasken, Dennis Walsh and Nick Hanick from Four Eyed Four; The Third Man, featuring Gary Putman and Curt Lichter of The Prime Movers; and, special guest, Allison Ramsey.
Suggested donations are $30 or more, and will go to cover the cost of staging the event. Any proceeds will be donated to the AHS Alumni Association’s Joe Ramsey Memorial Scholarship and to the Ramsey family to help defray medical expenses and sudden loss of income.
Tickets are available at Tickets are available at http://www.arcadiaapaches.com/aboutus/ahsreunions_info63.htm Questions about the event can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
FINISH LINES: Bob Baffert on Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern‘s three furlong drill Sunday in 36.60: “He looked good.” . . . Agent Mike Ciani has Kent Desormeaux booked on Lecomte runner-up War Story in Saturday’s Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds . . . Bing Crosby winner Big Macher worked four furlongs in 47.80 Friday morning for the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai on March 28. “He’s good to go,” trainer Richard Baltas said . . . Through 33 racing days, perennial Southern California riding leader Rafael Bejarano held a 37-23 lead over runner-up Desormeaux, while Jerry Hollendorfer had a 19-17 edge over Peter Miller among trainers . . . Favorites were winning above the national norm of 33 percent, at 38.03 (108 of 284). On dirt, favorites were winning at 40 percent (79 of 197) and on turf, 33.33 percent (29 of 87). Best percentage was 84.48 percent in the category of in-the-money favorites (49 of 58) . . . Tom Quigley‘s guest handicappers this weekend will be horse player Tony Banks, Saturday, and handicapping author James Quinn Sunday, each day at 11:20 a.m. in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Chump change: Victor Espinoza, whose mounts have earned more than $1.2 million so far this year, has been fined $50 for failure to report to the jocks’ room in time for his assigned mounts. Ditto for Elvis Trujillo.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Monday, Feb. 16)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||125||14||15||18||11%||$789,606|
|A. C. Avila||21||6||1||2||29%||$145,774|