- DISTANCE KEY FOR JOJO; BAYERN ‘DAY-TO-DAY’
- THIRD TIME THE CHARM FOR FLORAL ROMANCE?
- HARLINGTON’S ROSE SHARP FOR MONDAY STAKES
- ARDENT RACING FAN COACH BOB BOYD PASSES
JOJO WARRIOR STRETCHES OUT IN LA CANADA
If punters were caught unaware by Jojo Warrior’s uncharacteristic eighth-place finish at
7-2 in the Grade I La Brea Stakes at seven furlongs on Dec. 26, join the club.
Imagine how Bob Baffert felt. He trains the 4-year-old Pioneerof the Nile filly, who finished 20 ½ lengths behind victorious Sam’s Sister.
“I was surprised at how poorly she ran,” Baffert said. “She was training great going into it, but you know what? She wasn’t effective going one turn last year, and when I finally stretched her out, she was a different filly.”
That’s what Baffert is hoping for when Jojo Warrior runs in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 La Canada Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.
“She’s been training well for this race, so I think she doesn’t want any part of one turn,” Baffert said. “That’s it. She doesn’t want to be rushed.”
On the status of Horse of the Year and male 3-year-old finalist Bayern Baffert said: “It’s not that serious, but I haven’t been able to work him.
“He just had an abscess (on his right hind foot), so I’ve got to be really careful with it. He’s day to day.”
The field for the La Canada: Fleet of Gold, Alex Solis, 12-1; Sam’s Sister, Elvis Trujillo, 2-1; Lexie Lou, Corey Nakatani, 6-5; Thegirlinthatsong, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Jojo Warrior, Martin Garcia, 4-1; Une Cherise, Joe Talamo, 15-1; Ramona’s Wildcat, Kent Desormeaux, 15-1; and Colonel Joan, Gary Stevens, 12-1.
SISE HOPES FLORAL ROMANCE SETTLES IN FOR MEGAHERTZ
Cliff Sise Jr. hopes for an improved performance from Floral Romance when she runs in Saturday’s $75,000 Megahertz Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile on the turf.
The Kentucky-bred daughter of After Market owned and bred by Marty and Pam Wygod finished a disappointing ninth in Katherine Crosby at Del Mar last out on Nov. 7. The Megahertz will mark her third start for Sise. Previously, Floral Romance had been trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. The 6-year-old mare was third for Sise in the Swingtime at Santa Anita last Oct. 4, rallying after a slow start.
“She ran great in the Swingtime, but when she shipped to Del Mar for the Crosby, she got very nervous in her stall, but she’s always shipped to Santa Anita well,” Sise said. “I have a window in her stall and she’s OK in there.
Sise is back training full time after running Jenny Craig’s farm, “but when she closed it down and sold it, I went to Saudi Arabia a few months, then I came back and here I am, training out of San Luis Rey Downs.”
The field for the Megahertz: Blingismything, Kent Desormeaux; Fanticola, Martin Garcia; Rusty Slipper, Rafael Bejarano; Nashoba’s Gold, Joe Talamo; Floral Romance, Brice Blanc; Winning Rhythm, Kieren Fallon; Industrial Policy, Corey Nakatani; Bee Brave, Gary Stevens; Oscar Party, Victor Espinoza; Magnificent Shirl, Martin Pedroza; and also-eligible Birdlover, Elvis Trujillo.
TALAMO SEEKS STAKES REPEAT IN MONDAY FEATURE
Joe Talamo seeks his second straight stakes win on Harlington’s Rose when he rides her in Monday’s holiday feature, the Grade II Santa Monica Stakes for older fillies and mares at seven furlongs on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Talamo guided the 4-year-old daughter of Harlington to a picture-perfect victory in the Kalookan Queen at 6 ½ furlongs on Dec. 28, rallying from a stalking trip to win by a length and a quarter.
“She ran great; it set up for her,” Talamo said. “They went quick up front, and she runs her race every time, especially sprinting on dirt. She comes with that big run, so hopefully they go pretty quick and she’ll have a big shot.”
Added trainer Steve Knapp: “She’s really sharp right now. We just asked her a little bit and she exploded in her work. We know she loves the dirt and she came out her race fantastic, so now’s the time to run.”
Fans can “buck up” on bargain day at Santa Anita this Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which completes a three-day weekend at The Great Race Place with another popular Dollar Day.
On-track attendees can enjoy draft beers, hot dogs and sodas for a dollar each.
First post time is 12:30 p.m.
COACHING LEGEND BOB BOYD MISSED AT SO CAL TRACKS
Southern California horse racing lost an ardent supporter on Wednesday, with the passing of longtime USC basketball coach Bob Boyd, who died of natural causes at age 84 in Palm Desert.
A star player at USC in the early 1950s, Boyd coached the Trojans with distinction from 1967-79, amassing a record of 216-131. Through 1975, he went head to head with the legendary John Wooden at arch rival UCLA, and Boyd became the only coach to ever defeat “The Wizard of Westwood” twice on his home court, Pauley Pavilion.
A regular attendee at Santa Anita, Hollywood and Del Mar during his playing and coaching days, Boyd was an annual visitor at Del Mar throughout his retirement and regularly sat with a spirited group of longtime friends such as fellow coaches Pete Newell (Cal), Jerry Tarkanian (UNLV, et al), Dan Ayala (assistant to Tarkanian), Ed Goorjian (Crescenta Valley High), and Gene Victor (Mt. SAC).
Coach Boyd is survived by his sons, Bill, Jim and John, and 10 grandchildren. For all of those who knew him, he’ll never be forgotten.
FINISH LINES: Yes, that is Chantal Sutherland galloping horses at Santa Anita these mornings, but she has no plans for a comeback. She studied interior design at the Interior Design Institute in Newport Beach and also hopes to obtain a real estate license soon . . . Jockey Drayden Van Dyke‘s five-pound apprentice allowance is good through Monday, Jan. 19. On Jan. 20, he starts as a full-fledged journeyman, with no weight advantage . . . Victor Espinoza worked Zenyatta‘s first foal to make it to the races, Cozmic One, five furlongs Thursday in 1:03.20. “This makes the third time I’ve worked him,” Espinoza said. “The time before, I worked him from the gate. He feels great. John (trainer John Shirreffs) has been going easy with him, bringing him along slow. I don’t know how good the horse is, because I’ve never really asked him to run yet. ” . . . Tom Quigley‘s guests in the East Paddock Gardens this weekend will be HRTV host/analyst Scott Hazelton, Saturday, and Derek Lawson, agent for jockey Flavien Prat, Sunday, both days at 11:20 a.m. . . . Jockey Alex Canchari has been suspended three racing days (Jan. 17, 18, 19) for careless riding on Best Efforts in Saturday’s fourth race . . . A Celebration of Life for the late Dr. Jack Robbins will be held Tuesday, Jan. 27, from 2 to 5 p.m., in Del Mar’s Turf Club . . . Sign of Beelzebub: Life a Riley, a son of the late Bertrando who turns six next Jan. 1, has finished sixth in his last three starts. In today’s sixth race, he breaks from post position six . . . Bob Baffert isn’t showing his age. The Hall of Fame trainer celebrated his 62nd birthday Tuesday and took the occasion to get a senior’s discount at a car wash. His day was made when the cashier carded him.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Sunday, Jan. 11|
|Drayden Van Dyke||57||4||5||9||7%||$284,886|