- NYQUIST WORKS FOR THREE-YEAR-OLD DEBUT
- HOPPERTUNITY BREEZES FOR RICH SAN ANTONIO
- B. WAYNE HUGHES ON HAND TO SEE BEHOLDER
NYQUIST AMONG 300-PLUS WORKERS AT SANTA ANITA
Undefeated two-year-old male champion of 2015 Nyquist worked six furlongs in 1:16.20 on Santa Anita’s fast main track Saturday for his three-year-old debut in the Grade II San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 15.
The son of Uncle Mo trained by Doug O’Neill for Paul and Zillah Reddam had exercise rider Jonny Garcia up and was one of 330 horses on Santa Anita’s work tab who got in their licks in advance of rain forecast for Sunday.
“He looked great, looked super,” O’Neill said. “He finished up in 11 and four the last eighth (of a mile). He cooled out great; I’m very happy with him. Jonny, who gets on him every day, was real happy with him, too.”
Another three-year-old with Triple Crown ambitions is Uncle Lino, who worked five furlongs with jockey Fernando Perez up in 59.60 for next Saturday’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes.
“We’re trying to take the next step with him around two turns,” trainer Gary Sherlock said. “We turned down a lot of money for him after his maiden win.”
By Uncle Mo out of the Orientate mare Haysee, the Kentucky-bred colt broke his maiden at Del Mar Nov. 29, winning by nearly three lengths under Perez, who has ridden the bay in each of his three starts.
The Lewis, at 1 1/16 miles, would be his first race beyond 6 ½ furlongs.
Probable for the Lewis: Collected, Martin Garcia; Dressed in Hermes, Mike Smith; El Charro, no rider; Found Money, Mario Gutierrez; I’malreadythere, Rafael Bejarano; Laoban, Tyler Baze; Let’s Meet in Rio, Kent Desormeaux; Mineyerownmalone, no rider; Mor Spirit, Gary Stevens; Path of David, no rider; Rare Candy, Joe Talamo; Sorryaboutnothing, Flavien Prat; and Uncle Lino, Fernando Perez.
HOPPERTUNITY DRILLS FOR SAN ANTONIO
Hoppertunity, seeking to resume his winning ways in next Saturday’s $500,000 San Antonio Stakes for older horses at 1 1/8 miles, worked five furlongs for Bob Baffert Saturday in a minute flat.
Also working for the San Antonio under Baffert’s supervision was multiple stakes winner El Kabeir, trained by John Terranova II, and promising newcomer to Doug O’Neill’s barn, Donworth.
El Kabeir went six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.40 with Martin Garcia aboard, while Donworth, winner of the Stanton at Delaware last June 20 by 11 lengths in his most recent start, was clocked in 1:01.60 for five furlongs under Mario Gutierrez.
“We know he’s coming into a tough spot next weekend, but he’s a nice horse,” O’Neill said of Donworth, a four-year-old son of Tiznow for new owners Paul and Zillah Reddam.
OWNER HUGHES BIG FAN OF CHAMP BEHOLDER
B. Wayne Hughes was on hand Saturday morning to see his equine pride and joy, three-time Eclipse Award champion Beholder, who is back at Richard Mandella’s barn preparing for her six-year-old campaign.
“I had such a good time watching her race last year, I wanted to enjoy her again this year,” said Hughes, in from Kentucky where he races as Spendthrift Farm, LLC. “She’s a special mare and I never expect to have another one like her.
“I enjoy watching her race and I think a lot of other people do, so we’re going to run her again, God willing. Richard said she’s bigger and stronger than she was last year.”
Winner of 15 of 20 career starts, including 11 of 12 at Santa Anita, where Mandella has the Grade I Vanity Stakes on June 4 as a long-range goal, Beholder has won 15 of 20 starts and earned $4,436,600.
She hasn’t run since winning the Grade I Zenyatta Stakes for the third time last Sept. 26. Beholder missed the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on Oct. 31 when she spiked a temperature prior to the race.
BREEDERS’ CUP BETTING CHALLENGE AVAILABLE
The Breeders’ Cup has announced that registration is now open for the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 4-5. Now in its eighth year, the BCBC is a highly lucrative and exclusive real money tournament that crowns the winner with the highest accumulated bankroll at the end of the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
This year’s BCBC will have a prize pool of up to $800,000 based on 350 players and will again allow players to participate from multiple, to-be-announced, satellite locations. The top 15 finishers from the 2015 BCBC won seats to this year’s DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC), which started Jan. 28 in Las Vegas.
Adding to the excitement and anticipation for this year’s BCBC, three automatic qualifying positions are on the line at this week’s NHC, where the top daily finishers from Day 1 and Day 2, plus the winner of the NHC consolation tournament, will gain automatic berths into the 2016 BCBC. Players can also win their way into the BCBC through online qualifiers resuming on Feb. 14 at www.bcqualify.com.
In addition, there will be a minimum of 25 live tournament qualifiers across North America this year starting with the NHC. The live tournament schedule can be found at http://www.breederscup.com/bcbc.
Fans can follow the top 15 finishers from last year’s BCBC at the NHC, and their quest to be Horse Player of the Year, on social media by following @BreedersCup channels.
For the 2016 BCBC, a $2,500 buy-in and $7,500 betting bankroll ($10,000 total) will be required of each player. All buy-in monies are applied to the prize pool, plus a minimum of $25,000 in additional funds provided by Breeders’ Cup and Santa Anita Park. Players make real wagers with their $7,500 bankroll over two days and keep all monies earned from their betting.
Fans can follow the social conversation all year long on the road to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge using #BCBC. Complete BCBC information and rules can be found at http://www.breederscup.com/bcbc/rules.
FINISH LINES: Mike Smith rides seven–count ’em, seven–horses for Conquest Stables and trainer Mark Casse at Gulfstream Park today, including Conquest Big E in the Grade II Holy Bull.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, Jan. 29)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||59||7||7||6||12%||34%||$411,024|
|J. Keith Desormeaux||22||5||0||6||23%||50%||$135,790|