- SANTA ANITA WORKS ACCELERATED TO BEAT THE RAIN
- STELLAR WIND MAKES SANTA ANITA DEBUT SATURDAY
- CONQUEST TWO STEP STAYS HOME FOR SAN CARLOS
- LUZZI WINS SANTA ANITA’S GEORGE WOOLF AWARD
PROSPECT PARK DRILLS FOR SATURDAY’S SAN FELIPE
Bud Collier should have been at Clockers’ Corner Friday morning.
While he wouldn’t have hosted “Beat the Clock,” he could have emceed “Beat the Rain,” as workers were out in droves in an effort to overcome wet weather forecast to hit Santa Anita early Saturday morning, possibly jeopardizing scheduled works that day.
There were 302 recorded works Friday on the main track.
Impressive maiden winner Prospect Park was one of the Triple Crown hopefuls who worked, going five furlongs in company under Kent Desormeaux for Saturday’s Grade II, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.
Prospect Park and workmate Big Tire, trained by Mark Glatt, were clocked in 1:01.40.
“He looked good,” trainer Cliff Sise Jr. said of Prospect Park, a son of Tapit owned and bred by Marty and Pam Wygod. “I got him coming home the last quarter in 23 and two.”
Firing Line, runner-up by a head to unbeaten Dortmund in the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes, went five furlongs in 59.60 for trainer Simon Callaghan, who is contemplating either the Sunland Derby on March 22 or the Santa Anita Derby on April 4 for the son of Line of David owned by Arnold Zetcher.
“I’m really happy,” Callaghan said. “He galloped out in 1:12 and he looked really fluid. So far, so good.”
Under Martin Garcia, Eclipse Award winner as outstanding male 2-year-old of 2014 American Pharoah worked seven furlongs in a bullet 1:23.80 for his 3-year-old debut in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 14. It was the fastest of seven drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:26.85.
“He’s doing good,” Bob Baffert said. “I was happy with it.”
Another Baffert trainee, San Vicente winner Lord Nelson, worked six furlongs for the San Felipe in 1:13, in company with Chasintheaces, who was clocked in 1:12.80. Bolo, also under consideration for the San Felipe, worked six furlongs for Carla Gaines in 1:13.80.
Pain and Misery, yet another ticketed for the San Felipe, worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 for Richard Mandella under Flavien Prat, who rides in the San Felipe.
Mandella also sent two-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder five furlongs in 1:00.20 as she gets closer to her 5-year-old debut. “She’s coming along well,” Mandella said.
Big Macher, who has been invited to Dubai for the $2 million Golden Shaheen on March 28, worked five furlongs for Richard Baltas in 1:00.20.
At Los Alamitos, Horse of the Year California Chrome worked five furlongs in a minute flat, according to track clockers, while trainer Art Sherman caught the son of Lucky Pulpit in 59.60 with a six-furlong gallop out time of 1:13.60. Exercise rider Anna Wells was aboard.
“Really nice,” is how Sherman described the move. “It was just what I wanted. He’ll have two more works here before leaving for Dubai on March 17.”
How busy were Santa Anita clockers Friday morning?
Put it this way: “Even if the track’s open tomorrow,” said private clocker Gary Young, “I don’t think there are any horses left to work.”
NEWCOMER STELLAR WIND STARTS IN SANTA YSABEL
Recently acquired Stellar Wind makes her West Coast debut Saturday when she runs in the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
The daughter of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin won by nearly nine lengths in her last start at Laurel on Dec. 18.
“We got her after that race and this will be her first in California,” said John Sadler, who trains the chestnut filly for Hronis Racing, LLC. “I’ve worked her three times and she’s doing real well, so we’re looking forward to getting her started.”
Sadler was unconcerned about the forecast of rain this weekend. “Mud won’t bother her,” he said. “The Curlins can handle it.”
The Santa Ysabel: Enchanting Lady, Martin Garcia, 5-2; Achiever’s Legacy, Gary Stevens, 8-1; Rainha Da Bateria, Tiago Pereira, 8-1; Light the City, Kent Desormeaux, 3-1; Rattataptap, Rafael Bejarano, 7-2; Stella Wind, Victor Espinoza, 8-1; and Glory, Drayden Van Dyke, 4-1.
Danette and Curlin’s Fox were scratched.
‘CONQUEST’ IN STEP FOR GRADE II SAN CARLOS STAKES
Conquest Two Step had been a candidate for the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai on March 28, until trainer Mark Casse called an audible and decided to remain stateside.
Next up for the Florida-bred son of Two Step Salsa is next Saturday’s Grade II, $250,000 San Carlos Stakes for older horses at seven furlongs.
“I like how his numbers keep improving,” said Randi Melton, assistant to Casse for the past five years, referring to Conquest Two Step’s Beyer increases from 81 to 98 to 105 in his last three races, including a 1 ¼-length win in the Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes on Jan. 31.
“Just weigh the options,” Melton said. “If the horse goes to Dubai and everything goes absolutely perfect, we lose two to three months, realistically, with everything going right.
“He’s doing fantastic here, he loves it here, so we’ll keep him home.”
MIKE LUZZI 2015 GEORGE WOOLF WINNER
Mike Luzzi, America’s Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey in 1989, has been named winner of the 2015 Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award by a nationwide vote of his peers.
A 45-year-old native of Wilmington, Delaware, Luzzi has stood the test of time and has enjoyed a highly successful career riding primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region, Maryland and New York. It is expected that Luzzi will travel west to Santa Anita to accept the award in March or April.
Sidelined due to a broken leg and a fractured pelvis sustained in a paddock accident at Aqueduct on Nov. 2, Luzzi outpolled four other finalists: James Graham, Leslie Mawing, Corey Nakatani and the recently retired Rosie Napravnik.
Presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950, the Woolf Award is one of the most highly coveted honors in all of racing as it recognizes those riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for both the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing.
Born Oct. 27, 1969, Luzzi was raised in part by his grandfather, legendary trainer Virgil “Buddy” Raines, who also trained one of Luzzi’s biggest early stakes winners–Timely Warning, with whom Luzzi won the 1991 Maryland Million Classic at Pimlico and the Grade I Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont Park. Luzzi was also the winner of New York’s prestigious Mike Venezia Memorial Jockey Award in 2001.
With 26,540 career mounts, Luzzi has won 3,420 races. His mounts have generated purse earnings of $108,218,039.
Luzzi and his wife Tania reside in Floral Park, New York, and have a daughter, Larue, 14, and a son, Lane, 16, who is preparing to become a jockey.
The Woolf Award was created to honor and memorialize legendary jockey George “The Iceman” Woolf, who was regarded as one of the greatest big-money riders of his time. Woolf died following a spill, which has often been attributed to the effects of diabetes, on Santa Anita’s Club House turn Jan. 3, 1946. The Woolf trophy is a replica of the full-size statue of the late jockey which adorns Santa Anita’s Paddock Gardens area.
The inaugural Woolf Award winner, which was determined by a vote of the Racing Press, was Gordon Glisson. Last year’s Woolf Award was won by Corey Lanerie.
FINISH LINES: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red, scheduled to run in the Santa Anita Derby on April 4, is now due to return to Keith Desormeaux on March 7 rather than March 1 after undergoing swimming rehab for an abscessed foot. “That gives us time for three works before the Derby,” the trainer said . . . Services will be private for former top jockey Jerry Lambert who died Monday at the age of 74. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Lambert’s name to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund . . . Assistant starter Huey Barnes reports that Eugene “Snake” McDaniel, the groom for 1971 Horse of the Year Ack Ack and a former employee of Charlie Whittingham and Ben Cecil, was scheduled to head home today from Country Villa Rehab in Arcadia where he underwent amputation of his right leg due to a blood clot. “He used to rub Ack Ack,” Cecil said, “and he kind of retired 10 years ago, but he didn’t stay retired for very long and came back and helped out around the barn. I went to see him a couple of times and he was in good spirits, but it’s going to take a bit of adjusting.” . . .Due to expected inclement weather Saturday, the Seabiscuit Movie Night in the Paddock following tomorrow’s races has been cancelled . . . There were 403 winning Late Pick 5 tickets sold Sunday, worth $979.50 each . . . Charlie Stutts took a philosophical approach to running 6-year-old gelding Crimson Giant, winner of only a maiden race from 66 starts, in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap next Saturday: “If he gets beat,” the trainer said, “10 minutes later they’ll forget all about him. If he wins, he runs into immortality.”
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Thursday, Feb. 26)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||133||15||15||18||11%||$817,406|
|A. C. Avila||23||6||2||3||26%||$156,974|