Santa Anita News
STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• TWIRLING CANDY DRILLS FOR SATURDAY’S STRUB STAKES
• SADLER HAPPY WITH GLADDING FOR SAN ANTONIO
• RACING MOURNS PASSING OF BILL HARMATZ, 1960 WOOLF WINNER
TWIRLING CANDY WORKS SEVEN FURLONGS IN 1:25 FOR STRUB
Twirling Candy, with regular rider Joel Rosario up, worked seven furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday morning in 1:25, in preparation for next Saturday’s Grade II Strub Stakes for 4-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles.
“He worked good,” said trainer John Sadler. “We’re all set for the Strub.” Sadler also worked Sir Beaufort winner and Kilroe Mile candidate Sidney’s Candy four furlongs on turf in a bullet :48 seconds. At Hollywood Park, Sadler sent Santa Anita Oaks winner Crisp out five furlongs in 1:00.80, breezing.
DISTANCE NO PROBLEM FOR GLADDING IN SAN ANTONIO
John Sadler hopes to win his second straight race with recent acquisition Gladding when he sends out the 4-year-old gelding in Sunday’s Grade II San Antonio Stakes, a major steppingstone to the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 5.
“It was a private purchase out of Florida,” Sadler said. “I bought him with the idea that he was a horse that would like traditional dirt, because that’s what they have down there. He won nicely the first time (on a wet/fast track at Santa Anita Dec. 29).
“He had a few races at Calder on turf, but they really weren’t his thing. On the dirt, his last few races were very impressive.”
Gladding has had two bullet works since winning Dec. 29 and is scheduled to work again on Monday. Being by Sarava, who won the mile and a half Belmont Stakes at 70-1 in 2002, preventing War Emblem from winning the Triple Crown, Sadler said, “I think he’ll love the distance,”
Probable for the San Antonio: Big Shot Syd, Alonso Quinonez; Gladding, Rafael Bejarano; and Pode Ir, David Flores.
FORMER WOOLF WINNER BILL HARMATZ DIES AT 79
Retired jockey Bill Harmatz, who won the prestigious Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1960, died Thursday of cancer at his home in Vista., CA. He was 79 and would have turned 80 on Feb. 9.
Harmatz won the 1959 Preakness Stakes on Royal Orbit, one of his 1,770 wins, in a career that spanned 17 years. He rode in the Kentucky Derby four times. "What a wonderful day," Harmatz told the North County Times in May, about his Preakness win. "It was the highlight of my career."
Royal Orbit was trained by Reggie Cornell, who also conditioned the legendary come-from-behinder, Silky Sullivan, who was also ridden on occasion by Harmatz. Royal Orbit was owned by movie mogul Louis B. Mayer.
Harmatz was a close personal friend of Bill Shoemaker’s and as a result, filled-in for The Shoe occasionally aboard Hall of Famer Round Table.
Harmatz was also responsible for one of the greatest upsets in Santa Anita history when he rode 12-1 shot Most Host to a head victory over 1-5 favorite and reigning Horse of the Year Damascus and Ron Turcotte, in the 1968 Strub Stakes
In Vista, Harmatz was better known as the proprietor of the popular Vista Entertainment Center and was known as a generous man who supported many community groups and programs. He had a contagious smile and a zest for life, friends and family said.
Harmatz was born Feb. 9, 1931, and grew up in Boyle Heights. He was a successful gymnast, earning two high school state titles as a student at Roosevelt High School, before riding in his first horse race in 1953.
About a year earlier, Harmatz had married the love of his life, Connie, and were together for 59 years, until his death this week.
Harmatz purchased the Vista Entertainment Center, north of Del Mar, in 1959. In a 2009 interview with the North County Times, he said that when a friend approached him with the idea to open a bowling alley in Vista, his reply was, "Where is Vista?"
However, he moved to the city shortly after the entertainment center opened and became one of its biggest boosters. He also owned the Melrose Law Center.
"He was a great guy, very giving and always looking to do things for the community," said former Mayor Bernie Rappaport. "He was a guy you could always count on if you needed something."
Added Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally: “Harmatz was a good rider. He rode horses for us and I always respected him. I’d see him every summer down at Del Mar because he had the bowling alley there. He was a first-class guy.”
Harmatz is survived by his wife, four children, eight grandchildren and three great-grand children. A public memorial will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Vista Entertainment Center, 435 W. Vista Way. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Vista Rotary Foundation Polio Plus, P.O. Box 24, Vista, CA 92085.
FINISH LINES: Outrider Blake Heap was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital after a training mishap at Santa Anita early Sunday morning. Heap turned 54 on Jan. 1 . . . Mike Machowsky said Caracortado came back well from his Sunshine Millions Turf victory and is “75 percent” for the Grade I Kilroe Mile on turf March 5, as opposed to the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap at 1 ¼ miles on dirt the same day . . . Doug O’Neill has retained the services of Patrick Valenzuela to ride Santa Ynez winner California Nectar in Saturday’s Grade I Las Virgenes Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile . . . Probable for Saturday’s Grade III Thunder Road Handicap for older horses at one mile on turf: Colgan’s Chip, Brice Blanc; Fluke, Joe Talamo; and Meteore, Alonso Quinonez . . . Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Dakota Phone worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s turf course Saturday in 1:05.20 for Jerry Hollendorfer; El Encino Stakes winner Always a Princess worked three furlongs on the main track in :36.40 for Bob Baffert; and Del Mar Futurity winner J P’s Gusto went three furlongs in :36.40 for David Hofmans . . . At Hollywood Park, Rachel Alexandra conqueror Zardana worked six furlongs for John Shirreffs in 1:12.80.