- HORSE OF THE YEAR DRILLS FOR SAN ANTONIO
- DESORMEAUX AND HESS TEAM UP IN CAL DERBY
- VERSATILE KATHLEEN ROSE IS BACK SPRINTING
- TEXAS RED NARROWLY MISSES ECLIPSE AWARD
- BIG MACHER WORKS FOR THE CAL CUP SPRINT
CALIFORNIA CHROME WORKS FOR SAN ANTONIO
Horse of the Year California Chrome–has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?–drew ever closer
to his 4-year-old debut in the $500,000 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 7 when he worked seven furlongs at his Los Alamitos base Monday morning in 1:27 2/5 under regular rider Victor Espinoza.
“He went easy and galloped out strong,” said Alan Sherman, son of and assistant to trainer Art Sherman. With California Chrome wearing blinkers and running on a cleared track, Los Alamitos head clocker Russ Hudak recorded fractional times of 25 1/5, 50 3/5 and 1:02 2/5, with a time of 1:14 1/5 for six furlongs at the wire.
“They let him run through the lane,” Hudak said. Added Sherman: “We’re real happy with the work. He’ll breeze again next Sunday.”
DESORMEAUX KEEN ON SON OF PAPA CLEM IN DERBY
There may be no tangible explanation for the success Kent Desormeaux and Bob Hess
Jr. have enjoyed together over the past two decades. Call it karma, but whatever it is, it works.
They hope it continues next Saturday when Desormeaux rides Mischief Clem for Hess in the $250,000 California Cup Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.
“He’s a very honest little horse,” said Desormeaux, who has ridden the son of Papa Clem in four of his five career races, winning his debut by 7 ¼ lengths at Del Mar Sept. 1. Last out they finished second by nearly seven lengths to unbeaten runaway winner Acceptance in the King Glorious Stakes at Los Alamitos.
“Usually he only gets beat if he gets outrun,” Desormeaux continued. “I really enjoy riding him.”
As to his prosperity with Hess, the three-time Kentucky Derby winner and Hall of Fame member said, “It’s always a confidence-builder knowing I’m going out there to ride for Bob.”
KATHLEEN ROSE BACK ON THE HILL IN TURF SPRINT
Kathleen Rose goes from long to short when she runs in Saturday’s $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint for older fillies and mares at about 6 ½ furlongs.
The 5-year-old Good Journey mare led into the stretch last out in the Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf, but did break her maiden over the same course as Saturday’s Turf Sprint back in December of 2013.
“She’s done it all before,” trainer Mike Machowsky said. “She won down the hill, even though it was only her maiden race. But this is for Cal-breds. There should be enough speed in there to set it up for her. Hopefully we’ll be the closer.”
TRAINER LOOKS TO FUTURE AFTER MISSING ECLIPSE
The Eclipse Award for 2-year-old male usually is automatic. It goes to the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Not this time.
In the closest vote in any category, Juvenile winner Texas Red lost by 15 votes, 126-111, to American Pharoah, who missed the Nov. 1 Juvenile with an 11th-hour injury.
Keith Desormeaux, trainer of Texas Red, took the decision philosophically, focusing on the future, starting with the San Vicente Stakes on Feb. 1 when the son of Afleet Alex is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut.
“I didn’t want to say anything (beforehand), but I was pretty confident leading up to the award,” Desormeaux said Monday morning. “I thought it was his, really, so, yeah, it was a little disappointing. I did the right thing. I kept my mouth shut.
“It’s disappointing mainly because an award like that is important to a horse’s value. Having the word ‘champion’ attached to your resume means a lot for marketing. That’s what’s most disappointing, but we’ll try to take care of that business this year.”
HRTV will re-broadcast Saturday’s 2014 Eclipse Awards show in its entirety on Friday, Jan. 23 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific. It will also re-air from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
FINISH LINES: Big Macher, in his final major prep for Saturday’s $150,000 California Cup Sprint at six furlongs, worked a half-mile under Rafael Bejarano Monday morning in 47.40. “Very happy,” is what trainer Richard Baltas said after the move by the son of Beau Genius following the 9 a.m. break. “He went 11 flat the last eighth.” . . . Firing Line, second by a head to unbeaten Dortmund in the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 20, is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes a 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 7, trainer Simon Callaghan said . . . Trainer Barry Abrams on California Chrome being named Horse of the Year: “He totally deserved it. He’s the only horse that ran from the beginning of the year to the end. I don’t care if he was a two-year-old, a three, or a four. He won a Grade I race in the beginning of the year and a Grade I race at the end of the year. In the history of Thoroughbred horses, not very many did that. He might be the only one.”. . . Through 16 racing days, Bejarano has opened a 21-12 lead over runner-up Kent Desormeaux in the jockeys’ race, while Jerry Hollendorfer holds a 12-11 edge over Peter Miller among trainers . . . Santa Anita races through today, but will be dark this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Santa Anita will be open for simulcast racing on Thursday, however, with free admission and free parking. First post time for live racing Friday is 1 p.m.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Sunday, Jan. 18)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||62||6||5||10||10%||$341,636|
|A. C. Avila||11||3||0||0||27%||$67,480|