- RACING MOURNS DEATH OF TRAINER LEONARD DORFMAN
- BOOZER STEPS UP TO THE BAR IN SENSATIONAL STAR
- FUTURE OF MILLIONAIRE CLUBHOUSE RIDE UP IN THE AIR
- BAYERN BREEZES THREE FURLONGS IN 36.60 FOR BAFFERT
FOND MEMORIES OF LEONARD DORFMAN, DEAD AT 92
Highly respected longtime Southern California trainer Leonard Dorfman passed away peacefully early Sunday evening at his daughter’s home in Round Rock Texas. The affable Dorfman, a decorated World War II combat veteran who lied about his eyesight to enlist in the Army at age 19, would have been 93 on June 22.
Best known as the conditioner of multiple stakes winners Biggs, Travel Orb, Minnesota Chief, Joni U. Bar and McCann’s Mojave, Dorfman gravitated to the track at an early age and one of his first jobs was grooming horses at movie mogul Louis B. Mayer’s farm in Hemet, Calif., circa, 1937 at age 15.
A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Dorfman emigrated to Los Angeles with his mother at the age of 7 and soon thereafter cultivated a lifetime love affair with horses.
“He was such a kind and gentle man,” said retired Hall of Fame jockey Donald Pierce, from his home in Encinitas. “He was without a doubt one of the finest horsemen I ever rode for. We had a lot of success together. A lot of guys, they’ll (expletive deleted) you about their horses and how they’re doing. Leonard was always straight up with me and when he told me he had something for me to ride, they were live, believe me.”
Long active along with his late friend, trainer Noble Threewitt, on behalf of fellow horsemen in the H.B.P.A. and later the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT), Dorfman won 16 races and two stakes with Joni U. Bar, a rangy mare by Nordic Prince, who would go on to become the dam of multiple graded stakes winner McCann’s Mojave.
“Leonard had a sixth sense with horses,” said Mike Willman, Santa Anita Director of Publicity and the co-breeder and owner of McCann’s Mojave. “The horse always came first with Leonard. He would often say, ‘There’s always another race.’ He was an amazing, honest man and a wonderful human being. I’ll never forget what Frank Cozza, who bred Joni U. Bar and a lot of other nice horses, told my best friend’s dad one time after they had won a race here at Santa Anita. Frank said the key to success with Leonard was, ‘To just leave that little Jewish fella alone.'”
Trainer Ray Bell had this memory: “He had horses being transported by train for L.B. Mayer through the San Bernardino desert, and it was so hot, they opened the doors on the box car. Suddenly one of the horses breaks loose and jumps over a stack of straw bales and into the desert.
“Leonard couldn’t notify anyone or stop the train, because he was way in the back, and this was way before cell phones or anything. He decided the first time the train stopped he would get to a phone let them know there was a race horse running around in the desert.
“Finally they stopped, probably somewhere in Arizona, and Leonard called L.B. Mayer’s secretary and told her so-and-so is running loose in the desert out in San Bernardino.
“Anyway, they finally captured the horse and there wasn’t a scratch on him. So they loaded him up on the next train for Chicago, they met him out there, and he wound up being a useful sort of horse.”
Services for Dorfman, who is survived by his wife, Marlene, and daughter, Lisa Crisks, are pending.
BOOZER GOES FROM LONG TO SHORT SATURDAY
Boozer, a versatile and consistent son of Unusual Heat, goes from third and long to first and goal when he runs in Saturday’s $100,000 Sensational Star Stakes for older California-bred or sired horses at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
The 5-year-old gelding trained by Mark Glatt for Al and Sandee Kirkwood is coming off a sharp second to streaking stakes winner Alert Bay in the California Cup Turf Classic at 1 1/8 miles on Jan. 24. Two races earlier, the pace-favoring Boozer won the California Flag Handicap for state-breds on the downhill turf course.
“He runs really well down the hill,” Glatt said. “Maybe it’s not ideal going from a mile and an eighth to 6 ½ down the hill, but I want to take advantage of the Cal-bred program. The horse is doing well, so we’ll give it a shot.”
CLUBHOUSE RIDE’S FUTURE UNDECIDED
The future of Clubhouse Ride remained undecided Monday morning, more than a week after he finished ninth and last by more than 40 lengths behind Shared Belief in the San Antonio Invitational on Feb. 7.
“They’ve run a bunch of tests on him to make sure he’s got good sperm,” said Craig Lewis, who trains the 7-year-old Candy Ride horse for owners Murray Seidner (Six-S Racing Stable) and Nikolas Petralia.
“There are several offers on the table, so we don’t know what’s going to happen at this point. Should there be any problem with the sperm count, or the money, or they decide not to do the stud deal themselves, then he’ll be back (racing), because he had a minor injury.
“The owners are considering a lot of offers but they don’t know if they want to keep him or sell him.”
Clubhouse Ride, a two-time winner of the Grade II Californian Stakes, was second in the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita last June 28. The chestnut bred in Kentucky by Sidney and Jenny Craig has a 5-9-2 record from 43 starts, with earnings of $1,341,132.
FINISH LINES: Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern,recovered from a hind footabscess that surfaced after that race, forcing him to miss the San Antonio Invitational on Feb. 7,breezedthree furlongs for Bob Baffert Monday in 36.60. A finalist for Horse of the Year, it was Bayern’s first recorded workout since early last month . . . Kudos to Matt Ascanio, 33-year-old son of former trainer and long-time Bobby Frankel assistant Humberto Ascanio, on winning his first race as an agent after a month in the business. Matt booked Christian Aragon on Fast Mast, who posted a half-length shocker at a $115.80 win payoff in Sunday’s seventh race for trainer Mike Harrington . . . Galicado, unbeaten in three starts in his native Argentina by a combined margin of 21 ½ lengths, worked six furlongs on the main track Monday morning in 1:12.60 for Ron McAnally, who plans to run the son of Asiatic Boy in the $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai on March 28. “The horse was sent to me during the Del Mar summer meet,” said McAnally, whose proclivity with South American imports is a matter of record . . . When Lucky J Lane won yesterday’s fourth race, it marked back-to-back victories for the California-bred gelding, giving trainer Richard Baltas another double. Unusual Fleet also posted consecutive victories when he won Saturday’s fifth race . . . Bob Baedeker has resigned his position as consultant and racing manager for Live Your Dream Racing Stables, effective yesterday. Baedeker cited differences with LYD founder Don Palmer over the future of the partnership. “I wish Don and Live Your Dream well,” Baedeker said. “Don is focused on the breeding end of the business now while I am anxious to acquire horses ready to run. I will be using my energies to grow my racing management business, Mr. B., LLC.” . . . Apprentice jockey Brandon Boulanger has been suspended threeracing days (Feb. 28, March 1 and 5) for causing interference on Aguacita in Saturday’s sixthrace . . . Congrats to Zoe Metz, Santa Anita’s Interactive Media Coordinator and an accomplished photographer, who celebrates her 19th birthday today . . . Santa Anita will be dark this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but will be open for simulcast wagering Thursday when there will be free parking and free Grandstand admission. Live racing resumes Friday at 1 p.m.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Sunday, Feb. 15)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||121||14||15||17||12%||$784,816|