- TRAINER HAS THE ‘WRIGHT STUFF’ IN CRYSTAL WATER
- CLOCKER LIKES EXAGGERATOR IN BELMONT TRIFECTA
- STEVENS RETURNS FULL TIME AT SANTA ANITA JUNE 23
- DERBY KING NYQUIST BACK ON TRACK AT SANTA ANITA
- TRAINER ROSEMARY TRELA A WINNER ON TWO FRONTS
WIN MACHINE ALERT BAY INVADES FOR CRYSTAL WATER
Alert Bay, winning at nearly a 50 percent clip in a career of 26 races, hopes to enhance his record in Saturday’s $100,000 Crystal Water Stakes, part of the lucrative Golden State Series for California-bred or sired horses, this at a mile on turf for four-year-olds and up.
A five-year-old gelded son of City Zip owned by Peter Redekop of Richmond, British Columbia, Alert Bay has been a virtual win machine, capturing 12 of 26 starts, with six seconds and two thirds, earning $1,098,815.
“He’s training fine and doing well, and he ships pretty good,” said Bay Area-based Blaine Wright, who bought his first horse when he was 18, learned the ropes under his father, Richard, and has been training on his own since 2006. “We’ve been lucky in spacing out his races,” Wright said.
Alert Bay is tough to beat once he gets on a roll. He already has separate win streaks of three, five and two, and would start another one if he wins the Crystal Water.
Should that be the case, and should Alert Bay remain healthy, Wright plans to keep the old warrior going, although he doesn’t waste time or effort winning by large margins. Six of his victories have come by less than a length, including the Grade III San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields last out on April 30, when he arrived at the wire first by a neck. Four wins have come at Santa Anita, all on the grass and three at one mile.
“We’ll try to keep him going,” Wright said, “but it’s one race at a time.”
The field for the Crystal Water, race two of 11 with a first post time of 12 noon: Poshky, Fernando Perez, 10-1: Zinvor, Santiago Gonzalez, 10-1; Ashleyluvssugar, Rafael Bejarano, 2-1; Boozer, Edwin Maldonado, 5-2; Alert Bay, Tyler Baze, 9-5; and Spirit Rules, Iggy Puglisi, 6-1.
CLOCKER HAS HIS BELMONT TRIFECTA
Private clocker Gary Young likes favored Exaggerator in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, but if someone upsets the Santa Anita Derby and Preakness winner in the final leg of the Triple Crown at a mile and a half, he says it likely would be Suddenbreakingnews or Creator.
“Does Exaggerator run OK in the mud and does he get the pace scenarios, yeah. Do I think he’s the best horse, yeah,” Young said. “But based on when I was timing horses for the Kentucky Derby, if you ask me for two horses to beat him, it would be Suddenbreakingnews and Creator.
“Suddenbreakingnews is built and strides like a mile and a half horse, although it’s a matter of record that deep closers don’t necessarily fare too well in the Belmont.
“Although there weren’t that many horses with serious trouble in the Derby this year, the one that had the most was Creator. He had a ton of trouble when there was the one chain reaction between the 2 ½ and the quarter pole.
“If I had to pick the winner I’d pick Exaggerator, but from a value standpoint, Creator and Suddenbreakingnews are the other two horses I’d mention.”
Post time for the Belmont is 3:37 p.m. Pacific Time. NBC’s telecast of the Belmont will start at 2 p.m. Pacific. Post time for the first of 11 live races at Santa Anita Saturday is 12 noon. Admission gates open at 8 a.m.
STEVENS COMING BACK AT SANTA ANITA TO RIDE FULL TIME
Hall of Fame jockey and three-time Kentucky Derby winner Gary Stevens has altered his itinerary and will return from Kentucky where he currently is plying his trade at Churchill Downs to ride full time at Santa Anita starting June 23 and continue through the end of the Spring Meet on July 10, his agent, Mike Ciani, reported late Friday morning.
“After Santa Anita, he will ride at Del Mar,” said Ciani, who was engaged by Stevens after he parted company with long-time agent Craig O’Bryan earlier this week.
Last Friday, Stevens said he would ride in Kentucky until Del Mar opened on July 15.
Stevens is scheduled to ride Kobe’s Back for trainer Peter Eurton in the Grade I Triple Bend Stakes at Santa Anita on June 25.
NYQUIST GALLOPS ON SANTA ANITA’S MAIN TRACK
Kentucky Derby hero Nyquist, who returned to Santa Anita from Baltimore late Sunday, looked every bit a champion as he toured Santa Anita’s fast main track Friday morning around 7:15 a.m. under exercise rider Jonny Garcia.
“He jogged an easy mile and galloped a mile and a half,” said Doug O’Neill, who trains the two-year-old champion male of 2015 for Paul and Zillah Reddam.
“It’s great to have him back galloping.”
Nyquist, who suffered his first defeat when Santa Anita Derby winner Exaggerator won the Preakness Stakes on May 21, will miss tomorrow’s Belmont Stakes in which Exaggerator is favored after recovering from an elevated white blood cell count.
TRELA OVERCOMES ANEURISM, SADDLES BACK-TO-BACK WINNERS
Exactly six months after suffering a near-fatal brain aneurism at her San Luis Rey Downs barn on Dec. 9, trainer Rosemary Trela saddled back-to-back winners Thursday, with come-backing Jan’s Spirit taking the fifth race at $21.60 and veteran mare Fast Magoo winning the sixth at $7.
Idle since running third for a $16,000 claiming tag on July 26 at Del Mar, Jan’s Spirit, who is owned by Kenny Stufflebeam, made her first start for Trela yesterday and responded with a 1 ¾ length win for a $25,000 tag under Brandon Boulanger.
In race six, Fast Magoo, a five-year-old mare whom Trela claimed two starts back when sixth, beaten 19 ¾ lengths for $8,000, made short work of a like group, winning by 5 ½ lengths under Alonso Quinonez.
“It felt great to win those races yesterday,” said Trela, who currently has six horses in training. “It takes all the pressure off. My horses have been running well. But we had six starts, three seconds and a third–no wins. I’ve got a wonderful groom and a wonderful exercise rider.”
Trela also was quick to credit the varied options that San Luis Rey Downs affords horsemen.
“I couldn’t have gotten Jan’s Spirit back to the races without the swimming pool here,” she said. “She’s been swimming three days a week and that’s been a godsend.”
Joe Schneider, who owns Fast Magoo in partnership with Trela and Stufflebeam, cited Trela’s horsemanship and the overall environment at San Luis Rey Downs as key factors in yesterday’s “double.”
“The amount of time she takes with each horse and her attention to detail is second to none,” said Schneider, who in addition to Fast Magoo, owns two other horses with Trela.
“Rosemary knows every inch of every horse she’s got. San Luis Rey Downs gives her a lot of options. She’s able to swim some horses and they have a round pen as well as some arenas. The track itself is fantastic.
“She’s also got a small lay-up facility where she and her husband live and Fast Magoo, for instance, goes there regularly to roll and just get some sun on her back. Rosemary switches things up and keeps her horses happy.”
Quinonez, who rides most of Trela’s horses in the afternoon, including her leading money earner, Dragon Flower, was predictably complimentary this morning at Clockers’ Corner.
“She’s helped me a lot,” he said. “She’s a good person, a great trainer and when she puts me on a horse, it always looks good.”
FINISH LINES: Three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder, ticketed for the Grade I, “Win and You’re In” Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar July 30, ponied on Santa Anita’s main track Friday. “This will be just be an easy week for her,” said Richard Mandella, who saddled the six-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes for her 10th Grade I win in Saturday’s Vanity Mile. “She was vaccinated after the race and ran through all that heat.” . . . Unbeaten champion Songbird, nominated to the Grade II Summertime Oaks to be run next Saturday, June 18, is scheduled to work seven furlongs Sunday after the first renovation break around 6:30 a.m. . . . Apprentice rider Jose Barnes suffered a bruised/ruptured left ear drum when his mount, Esmeralda Belle, stumbled at the start of Thursday’s fifth race and kicked him. CT scans were clean and there was no concussion. The South African native had no scheduled mounts today and was expected to ride Saturday when he is named on two horses. Esmeralda Belle was transported back to the barn of her trainer, Jorge Periban . . . Edwin Maldonado, fourth in Santa Anita’s Spring Meet standings with 18 wins, has been suspended three days (June 19, 23 and 24) for causing interference on Shysheisnot in Saturday’s fourth race, resulting in a disqualification of his mount from second to fourth . . . Despite the winners of race five and seven in Thursday’s Pick 6 races paying $21.60 and $22.40, respectively, there were three winning tickets worth $107,599.60 . . . Today’s Golden Pick 6 jackpot at Golden Gate Fields stands at a monumental $1,286,839. There will be a mandatory payout on closing day, Sunday.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Thursday, June 9)|
|Hector O. Palma||15||4||3||0||27%||47%||$77,525|