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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
OLD BOLD CHIEFTAIN YOUNG AT HEART FOR SATURDAY’S SAN PASQUAL
Bold Chieftain is a happy warrior. At age seven, he is an exception in racing, still competing at stakes level as a full horse. Saturday, the millionaire son of Chief Seattle goes for his 15th victory from 33 career starts in the Grade II $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap at 1 1/16 miles.
“He’s been very special," said trainer Bill Morey Jr., who has been in the business for 40 of his 69 years. “We’ve picked our spots well for this horse and he’s rewarded us like another millionaire we had, Dixie Dot Com.”
The California-bred Bold Chieftain has never raced outside of the Golden State for owners Dwaine Hall of Los Altos, Ernest Langbein of Alameda and Morey, from San Carlos, yet has earned $1,122,411. The versatile dark bay has won sprints, routes, on turf, dirt and synthetics, and on slop and in mud.
“We bred him, we raised him, we watched him grow from a baby, and we watched him add those zeroes on, and they got to the point where, wow, we hit a million,” Morey said. “The horse has done everything we’ve asked him. We don’t want to push the horse if he’s not happy, but there’s no market as a stallion right now. Our best offer was $20,000, so if the horse is happy and healthy, why not try to keep going a little bit further? If the horse wasn’t healthy, we would not keep racing him.
“But gee whiz, $20,000? I could run him in a $100,000 claiming race, for crying out loud. Anyway, there’s no market in being bought as a stallion, and he’s healthy and in good form. He’s lost a step, but he sure loves those Cal-bred races.”
Eight of Bold Chieftain’s victories have come in races restricted to state-breds. He has never won a graded stakes, although he was second in the Grade II Del Mar Mile in 2008. Bold Chieftain will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze, who has been aboard 22 times, winning 12.
“Through the years, the horse has had little quirks, but Russell’s always gotten along with him,” Morey said. “Bold Chieftain has gotten older, like all of us.
“If he comes out of Saturday’s race healthy, we’ll look at the Sunshine Millions Classic (Jan. 30). Even though the purse has been reduced (from $1 million to $500,000), it’s still a lot of money and we don’t have to ship.”
The field for the San Pasqual: Cherokee Artist, Rafael Bejarano, 115, 9-2; Bold Chieftain, Russell Baze, 119, 5-1; Nownownow, Joe Talamo, 116. 9-2; Goldsville, Alex Solis, 113, 30-1; Neko Bay, Mike Smith, 115, 3-1; Spurrier, Joel Rosario, 113, 12-1; and Furthest Land, Garrett Gomez, 121, 8-5.
PASEANA HANDICAP BRINGS SWEET MEMORIES FOR McANALLY
The 90s were sweet for Ron McAnally. Paseana was in her prime and the Hall of Fame trainer and Paseana’s owners, Sid and Jenny Craig, were living the good life.
Foaled in 1987, the Argentine-bred mare was champion of her division in 1992 and 1993 and won 19 of 36 career starts while racing from age three to eight, earning $3,171,203. She won under as much as 127 pounds and captured the 1992 Breeders’ Cup Distaff by four lengths over Versailles Treaty at Gulfstream Park.
Team McAnally traveled the globe enjoying the ride. McAnally, 77, understandably had cherished thoughts of Paseana, who is being honored by Santa Anita Saturday with the seventh running of the Paseana Handicap.
“There are a lot of fond memories of Paseana,” McAnally said, “especially with the Craigs. They were first-class people. We had so many good times together all over the world, especially at the parties they had every Christmas at their house in Rancho Santa Fe.
“It was absolutely the best of times with them and with Paseana when she won the Eclipse Awards. One year, we went to New Orleans where Jenny is originally from. They took us to the finest restaurants, with the finest wine and the best food.
“Every Christmas they would have black tie affairs with Las Vegas entertainment at their house. We’d fly to Europe and watch a horse run when we had good horses like Candy Ride and Paseana.”
McAnally described Paseana as “perfect” around the barn. “She always stayed sound, for the most part,” he said. “When we sent her to Kentucky (Lane’s End Farm) to be bred, she couldn’t get in foal. Eventually she was sent to Argentina where she had one foal before she died two years ago.”
FINISH LINES: Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year finalist Zenyatta continues to work at her Hollywood Park headquarters. She went four furlongs in :48 seconds on Cushion Track Wednesday, spurring ongoing speculation that the undefeated 6-year-old mare might race again, despite the fact that her retirement was announced after her Classic victory last Nov. 7. Trainer John Shirreffs and his wife, Dottie Ingordo, racing manager for owners Jerry and Ann Moss, could not be reached Friday morning. “I didn’t work her,” said her regular rider, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith. “I think they’re just taking the edge off her. Obviously, I would like to see her race again, but as far as I know, she’s retired.” . . . Jockey David Flores announced yesterday afternoon he has signed on with veteran agent Craig O’Bryan . . . Corey Nakatani was en route to Oaklawn Park Friday where he worked eight horses this past Saturday. The 39-year-old jockey from Covina is committed to ride full time at Oaklawn Park, which begins its meet next Friday, Jan. 15. Nakatani, who recently sold his home in Glendora, has purchased a home near Louisville, and intends to make Arkansas, Kentucky and Saratoga in the summer, his permanent circuit, according to former agent Tom Knust . . . Skyler Knapp, 10-year-old daughter of trainer Steve Knapp and his wife, Cori, will sing the National Anthem at Santa Anita on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 18. Skyler is a fifth-grader at Oak Ridge Elementary School in Chino Hills . . . The $40 Santa Anita Handicapping Contest is held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday this meet. There is a $10 entry fee and a $30 live money-wagering card. For more information, visit the Main Thoroughbreds Center in the east end of the Grandstand on the main floor, or visit www.santaanita.com . . . Entering Friday’s races, there were 361 contestants alive in ShowVivor and only seven in WinVivor.