- AMERICAN PHAROAH WORKS FOR 3-YEAR-OLD DEBUT
- TOMORROW IS DOLLAR DAY AT SANTA ANITA PARK
- BEHOLDER DRILLS FOR HER RETURN TO THE RACES
AMERICAN PHAROAH ‘IMPRESSIVE’ IN DRILL FOR BAFFERT
American Pharoah, a leading member of Bob Baffert’s “best crop of three-year-olds in years,” worked five furlongs Sunday at Santa Anita on a picture-perfect morning in 1:00.40 as the son of Pioneerof the Nile prepares for his 3-year-old debut.
The Eclipse Award winner as outstanding male 2-year-old of 2014, American Pharoah was clocked in 47.40 for four furlongs under Martin Garcia, who was aboard the bay colt for the 9 a.m. drill.
“Very impressive; he was breezing,” said Baffert, who is mulling either the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita March 7 or the Rebel at Oaklawn Park on March 14 for the handsome bay owned by Ahmed Zayat.
“It will be one of them,” Baffert said of the aforementioned two races. “He handled the work pretty well. He’s coming around pretty quickly.”
This was American Pharoah’s third recorded breeze since missing the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last Nov. 1 due to a suspensory-related injury.
In other news from the Baffert barn, the Hall of Fame trainer said both Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern and San Pasqual Stakes winner Hopperunity were on the track Sunday but as for a race, he had “no plans.”
Power Jam, who demolished five rivals in a scintillating debut Saturday, winning by 4 ¼ lengths after a series of bullet works, was “no surprise” to Baffert. “He’s a really fast horse, like his sire (Concord Point),” Baffert said.
Power Gem was bred in Kentucky by owner Kaleem Shah, who was on hand with his son, Arman, for the race. “Kaleem was so pumped up,” Baffert said.
DOLLAR DAY, GRADE II BUENA VISTA ON PRESIDENTS’ DAY
Monday is Dollar Day at Santa Anita. Fans can partake of draft beers, hot dogs and sodas for just a buck. First post time is 12:30 p.m. Gates open at 10:30 a.m.
Monday’s feature race is the $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile on turf.
The Grade II race marks the return to Santa Anita of multiple local riding king Joel Rosario, who pilots favored La Tia from the rail for trainer Armando De la cerda under the top weight of 123 pounds.
The field for the Buena Vista, race seven on a nine-race program: La Tia, Joel Rosario, 5-2; Winning Rhythm, Flavien Prat, 6-1; Diversy Harbor, Gary Stevens, 3-1; Blingismything, Kent Desormeaux, 6-1; Nashoba’s Gold, Rafael Bejarano, 3-1; and Annecdote, Victor Espinoza, 3-1.
Uzziel, who finished second at 52-1 in her debut for trainer Keith Desormeaux in Saturday’s Santa Maria Stakes, was scratched.
FINISH LINES: Working in company with stablemate Moulin de Mougin, two-time Eclipse Award champion Beholder went three furlongs Sunday for Richard Mandella as she worked towards her 5-year-old debut. Each horse was clocked in 35.20. “They went nice,” said the Hall of Fame trainer, who has the Madison Stakes at Keeneland on April 4 as “a possibility” for her comeback race. “There’s no plan,” he said. “It’s a race I might think about, but Beholder is coming along great.” . . . Agent Mike Ciani reports that Kent Desormeaux will ride impressive maiden winner Prospect Park for Cliff Sise Jr. in the San Felipe Stakes on March 7. A son of Tapit, Prospect Park worked six furlongs at San Luis Rey Downs Saturday in 1:12.20 . . . Trainer Simon Callaghan was non-committal on either the Sunland Derby on March 22 or the Santa Anita Derby on April 4 for Firing Line, who suffered two excruciating head defeats to unbeaten Dortmund in his last two outings. “We won’t make a decision for a few weeks,” Callaghan said . . . Agent Brad Pegram has Mike Smith booked on Kentucky Jockey Club runner-up Imperia for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin in Saturday’s Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds, while Joe Ferrer has perennial Southern California leader Rafael Bejarano also at the Fair Grounds Saturday to ride Chandelier Stakes winner Angela Renee for Todd Pletcher in the Grade III Rachel Alexandra Stakes, among other stakes mounts . . . Trainer George Papaprodromou said Charles Town Classic winner Imperative “probably” will run in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 7 . . . Former agent Ivan Puhich, who represented Mario Gutierrez when he won the 2012 Kentucky Derby on I’ll Have Another, was a Clockers’ Corner visitor Sunday. “I’m doing great,” said the former Marine, who gets around with a walker but is looking forward to his 89th birthday this Dec. 22. “I’m just old, that’s all.” . . . Congratulations toseven-pound apprentice jockey Brayan Pena onwinning his first race at Santa Anita Saturday. The 25-year-old native of Guatamala piloted the 6-year-old California-bred mare Rich in Tradition to a length-and-a-quarter victory for only her second win from 37 starts for owner/trainer Rafael DeLeon at a $48.80payoff. Agent Susan McBrayer represents Pena . . . All in the family: Alex Solis, represented by agent Brandon O’Bryan, won the Grade III El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields Saturday. Less than an hour later at Santa Anita, Tyler Baze, whose agent is Brandon’s father, Craig, captured the Grade II Santa Maria Stakes on Warren’s Veneda . . . 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, Feb. 21 at 1 p.m.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Saturday, Feb. 14)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||119||14||15||17||12%||$781,086|
|A. C. Avila||20||5||1||2||25%||$110,974|