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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• THE FACTOR GETS NEW RIDER FOR SUNDAY’S SAN VICENTE
• BOURBON BAY SEEKS TO REMAIN UNBEATEN ON SANTA ANITA GRASS
• LONGSHOT STACY’S HOPE EYES SAN CARLOS UPSET
• ROSARIO NEARS 1,000 CAREER VICTORIES
GARCIA RIDES THE FACTOR IN SUNDAY’S SAN VICENTE STAKES
The Factor will have a new rider when he runs in Sunday’s San Vicente Stakes. Martin Garcia has been given the mount by Bob Baffert, replacing Rafael Bejarano, who was aboard when the 3-year-old son of War Front set a track record for six furlongs of 1:06.98 at Santa Anita on Dec. 26.
“I felt horrible about taking Bejarano off,” the Hall of Fame trainer said on a picturesque Thursday morning at Clockers’ Corner, “but there’s a reason I’m putting Martin on The Factor. He knows the horse and he gets along with him really well. I don’t want him to go too fast.”
The Factor is named for Bill O’Reilly’s top-rated cable news show on the Fox TV Network, “The O’Reilly Factor.” The gray colt, owned by George Bolton and the Fog City Stable, won by 8 ¼ lengths with Bejarano aboard on opening day. Joel Rosario rode the Triple Crown hopeful in his debut, in which he finished fourth by 3 ¼ lengths as the 7-10 favorite at Hollywood Park last Nov. 28.
According to Baffert, The Factor had some foot issues after his record-setting performance and had only three recorded works since, including a seven furlong drill Monday at Hollywood Park in 1:24.40.
Garcia, recently back from a lengthy visa ordeal in his native Mexico, notched his first stakes win of the meet on Sunday, guiding Always a Princess to a front-running, 3 ¼-length victory for Baffert in the Grade II La Caňada Stakes.
Probable for the San Vicente: City Cool, Joe Talamo; Indian Winter, Martin Pedroza; Oakcrest Drive, Victor Espinoza; Premier Pegasus, Alonso Quinonez; Sway Away, Garrett Gomez, and The Factor, Martin Garcia.
Indian Winter worked five furlongs Monday over Santa Anita’s main track in :59.80 for Jerry Hollendorfer.
BOURBON BAY AFTER RARE DOUBLE IN SATURDAY’S SAN LUIS OBISPO
Bourbon Bay seeks to become the second straight repeat winner and the third overall in the 55th running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Obispo Stakes on Saturday. The prestigious turf fixture is scheduled for a mile and a half on the grass.
Spring House won the race back to back in 2008 and 2009, and Great Communicator recorded the first San Luis Obispo double, winning in 1988 and 1989. Originally run at seven furlongs on dirt in 1950, the San Luis Obispo has been run on turf since 1954, except when forced by wet conditions to be run on the main track in 1973, 1980 and 2005.
Trained by Neil Drysdale for David and Jill Heerensperger of Bellevue, Washington, Bourbon Bay is unbeaten in four marathon starts over Santa Anita’s Camino Real Turf Course. The 5-year-old Sligo Bay gelding won the Grade II San Marcos Stakes last out and has a career mark of 6-2-3 from 15 starts. He has earned $509,424.
The field for the San Luis Obispo, the third of nine races Saturday: Bourbon Bay, Rafael Bejarano; Haimish Hy, Garrett Gomez; Riviera Cocktail, Alonso Quinonez; Juniper Pass, Brice Blanc; Champ Pegasus, Joel Rosario; Pode Ir, Omar Berrio; Interpatation, Christian Santiago Reyes; Falcon Rock, Patrick Valenzuela; Unbridle’s Dream, Joe Talamo; Marlang, David Flores; Tiz Argent, Victor Espinoza; Imponente Purse, Martin Garcia; and Buenos Dias, Martin Pedroza.
SMILING TIGER GETS NEW JOCK FOR SAN CARLOS, STACEY’S HOPE LOOKS TO UPSET
Smiling Tiger, who was the well-beaten 2-5 favorite in the Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes on Jan. 22, will be ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario in Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Carlos Handicap for older horses at seven furlongs.
Ridden in his last four starts by Hall of Famer Russell Baze, Smiling Tiger and Baze won the Grade I Ancient Title Stakes on Oct. 9; were third, beaten 1 ¾ lengths in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 6 and were second, beaten a nose in the Grade I Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26.
Smiling Tiger, who drew the rail in the Palos Verdes, was fractious in the gate and didn’t break sharply. Trained by Jeff Bonde, Smiling Tiger worked 58.40 seconds at Santa Anita on Saturday, the fastest of 60 drills at that distance.
Trainer Brian Koriner and jockey Victor Espinoza hope to pull an upset in the San Carlos with Stacy’s Hope, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Strong Hope.
“It’s a step up, but the horse is doing well,” said Koriner. A $45,000 Barretts May 2-year-old–in- training grad, Strong Hope is in search of his first stakes win. He was most recently second in a 6 ½ furlong, second condition allowance on Jan. 14.
“He’s a nice horse; he always tries,” Espinoza said. “ “I think the distance is going to help him a lot. I never rode him at that distance, but at six, six and half, he always ran good, and I think he’s going to like seven-eighths.”
The field for the San Carlos: Mythical Power, Rafael Bejarano; Ventana, Martin Garcia; Stacy’s Hope, Espinoza; Captain Cherokee, Joe Talamo; Smiling Tiger, Joel Rosario; and Supreme Summit, Garrett Gomez.
THE FUTURE IS NOW FOR ROSARIO WHO NEARS 1,000 VICTORIES
Joel Rosario needed two wins Thursday, not one as previously announced, to reach a career milestone of 1,000. Rhonda Norby of Equibase said the difference reflects a race he won in Puerto Rico in 2008.
The Equibase website includes that win, but the previous total includes wins in the United States and Canada. Equibase does not include Puerto Rican statistics because it does not have a systematic means to track all statistics there.
Rosario’s agent of 10 months, Ron Ebanks, understandably sees a bright future for the 26-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, who rode his first winner in 2000.
“It’s a great feat, hitting a thousand,” said Ebanks, himself a former rider. “I think in 10 years, they’ll be talking about 5,000. I think he’s that great. This kid’s going to set milestones. He’s got the gift to be one of the great ones. He’s got the attitude, mind, the work habit and the natural ability. If he stays healthy, he could be one of the guys to win six, seven, eight thousand.”
Rosario received an unsolicited endorsement from Bob Baffert, who was listening in on the conversation. “He’s a great rider,” the Hall of Fame trainer said.
HENDRICKS SENDS OUT PAIR IN LA HABRA STAKES
Dan Hendricks has two fillies set to run in Monday’s Grade III La Habra Stakes, scheduled for about 6 ½ furlongs on turf, Bloemer Girl and Rigoletta, winner of the Grade I Oak Leaf Stakes, who would be making her first start on grass. The Florida-bred daughter of Concerto has not run since winning the Oak Leaf last Oct. 3 at Hollywood Park.
“It’s 6 ½, so she’s not going to be stressed going a mile first time back,” Hendricks said. “We’ve got to get a good race underneath her and then we can go from there. If weather forces the race to be moved to dirt, we can find out how she handles that. Either way, grass or dirt, I plan to run both of them.” Probable for the La Habra, for 3-year-old fillies: Advantage Player, Alonso Quinonez; Bloemer Girl, no rider; Cambina, Garrett Gomez; Cathy’s Crunches, Rafael Bejarano; Cloneylass, Corey Nakatani; Hout Bay, no rider; Quiet Oasis, no rider; Rigoletta, David Flores; She’ll Heir, Patrick Valenzuela; and True Way of Grace, Chantal Sutherland.
All THOROUGHBREDS members at Santa Anita on Presidents’ Day will receive free an attractive glass beer mug with paid admission, while supplies last. First post time is 12:30 p.m.
SANTA ANITA’S NEW ARCADIA SUITE CEREMONY TOMORROW
Santa Anita will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. with Santa Anita President George Haines, Vice President of Marketing Allen Gutterman and Arcadia City Councilman Roger Chandler, who will present a certificate from the City, for Santa Anita’s newest edition, the Arcadia Suite. Arcadia Mayor Peter Amundson also will attend later in the day.
The Arcadia suite is open Thursday through Sunday through the end of the racing season and includes: Spacious outdoor terrace accommodations; delicious catering by Santa Anita Park; private Premium Bar overlooking the Finish Line, Winner’s Circle and the San Gabriel Mountains; Corporate presentation opportunities; multiple 32-inch television; concierge service and a dedicated staff; a dedicated account representative to accommodate special and last minute requests; complimentary tote board welcome named race in your groups' honor, and Paddock visits and Winner’s Circle photos for the entire group.
The NBA on TNT team will occupy the suite on Saturday.
The suite hosts up to 30 people comfortably. Please call 800-574-6401for more information or email email@example.com
SANTA ANITA CELEBRATES CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR SATURDAY
On Saturday, rain or shine, Santa Anita will host an event celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year. The Year of the Rabbit ceremonies will include several cultural exhibits, raffles, prizes, game booths, a live lion dance performance, and much more.
Everyone in attendance and those who participate in the event will be sent an invitation by mail to return later in the 2011 racing season. In addition, Santa Anita will have its standard Family Fun activities, weather permitting.
SANTA ANITA JOCKEYS FACE HOLY ANGELS NEXT THURSDAYThe 44th annual Holy Angels-Santa Anita Jockeys Charity Basketball Game will take place next Thursday, Feb. 24, at La Salle High School in Pasadena. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.
Proceeds will benefit the Holy Angels athletic department and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). Legendary Hall of Fame jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye, Don Pierce, Laffit Pincay Jr., Gary Stevens and Mike Smith will serve as honorary captains and will be on hand to autograph memorabilia from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the La Salle High gymnasium.
“This has been a great event over the years and we always have a lot of fun with it,” said jockey David Flores, who will again serve as game captain for the jockeys. “What’s really exciting about this year is that for the first time, we are going to include the Disabled Jockeys Fund in our fundraising effort. Racing is a very, very dangerous sport and this means a lot to all of us in the racing industry.
“We want to do all that we can to try and help all of these people who have been hurt so badly. Just the fact that we are helping to draw attention to their situation is very important. We hope that everyone coming to the game this year will do what they can to help us help all of these jockeys who will never be able to ride again.”
Holy Angels, located just south of Santa Anita Park, on Huntington Drive, has partnered with Santa Anita on numerous charity events over the years.
“The jockeys and Santa Anita have been a huge support to Holy Angels over the past 50 years,” said Holy Angels Principal, Ted Carroll. “We are excited to be able to include the PDJF in this year’s game, and we are excited to be able to return the favor, finally.”
The PDJF, which was founded in 2006, provides financial assistance to professional jockeys (both Thoroughbred and quarterhorse) who have sustained serious injuries such as paralysis and brain trauma, which often result in permanent disabilities.
“The PDJF is very appreciative of the Santa Anita jockey colony and Holy Angels School for their support of this event, which will help bring awareness and funding for these programs,” said Nancy LaSala, Executive Director of the PDJF.
“Time and again jockeys in the United States have never wavered in their support of the PDJF,” said LaSala. “The participation of the Santa Anita jockey colony is another example of how these athletes, who share in both the excitement and danger of this sport remain committed to their fellow jockeys who are now leading much different lives.”
This year’s Santa Anita jockey squad figures to include: Flores, Pedro Arambula, Paul Atkinson, Rafael Bejarano, Alex Bisono, Brice Blanc, Antonio Castanon, Victor Espinoza, Martin Garcia, Kerwin John, Edwin Maldonado, Corey Nakatani, Iggy Puglisi, Alonso Quinonez, Joel Rosario, Christian Santiago Reyes, Chantal Sutherland, Mike Smith, Kayla Stra, Joe Talamo, Patrick Valenzuela and perhaps others.
HRTV’s Kurt Hoover will again coach the jockey’s squad and despite having been defeated the past three years, is optimistic this year’s result will be different.
“If we can field a full-squad and pressure Holy Angels from the half court line, I think we’ve got a good shot,” said Hoover. “If we can rotate a steady supply of fresh horses, we can keep it close and I think we’ll have a good shot to win it. We’ve got some really good athletes and even though Holy Angels is quite a bit bigger, we should be able to make up for it with good defense and intensity.”
La Salle High School is located at the southwest corner of Michillinda Ave. and Sierra Madre Blvd. in Pasadena, approximately four miles from Santa Anita. Admission is $5.
OWENS NAMED TOC BOARD CHAIRMAN
The Board of Directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) have unanimously elected Jack B. Owens chairman. Owens previously served on the board from 1994 until 2005 and chaired the board in 2001-03 and 2004-05.
Owens is the retired Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the E. & J. Gallo Winery. A graduate of Stanford Law School, he has practiced in large law firms in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, Calif., had various periods of government service, and taught law at Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., and Boalt Hall School of Law in Berkeley, in addition to serving on numerous boards and governmental advisory groups.
“As an owner of 30 years,” said Owens, “I am grateful that there is an organization dedicated to the advancement of owners’ business interests in the industry, comprised of good people who volunteer their time as a public service to the industry, and backed up by an experienced and dedicated staff. As owners, we need this kind of representation, and we need to preserve continuity in the TOC, given its track record of achievement and the need for an organization to protect owners’ rights.”
Owens replaces Arnold Zetcher, who was elected chairman in July 2010 and recently announced his retirement to pursue other interests.
“No one benefits when an owner like Arnold Zetcher, with such a strong commitment to the industry, leaves the board, and I would like to thank him for his service,” Owens said. “The board will move forward to do its best to advance issues of concern to owners based on objective facts and data.”
FINISH LINES: Track superintendent Richard Tedesco said more than one inch of rain hit Santa Anita Wednesday, with more expected before the weekend. “We sealed the main track yesterday, and we got an inch and two-tenths of rain,” Tedesco said. “We were only supposed to get two-tenths. The forecast calls for one to two inches more starting around 1 o’clock Friday and running into Friday night. “ . . . Brian Pedroza apparently escaped serious injury in a ninth-race spill with fellow rider Charlie Amaro in Sunday’s ninth race at Aqueduct. “There were no broken bones and everything looks good,” said Richie Silverstein, agent for Martin Pedroza, Brian’s father . . . Richard Mandella has ruled out the Santa Anita Oaks for Rumor after the 3-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie ran second as the 2-5 favorite in Sunday’s second race at one mile. “She came out fine; she got a little tired,” the Hall of Fame trainer said . . . Santa Anita and the City of Hope have announced a partnership that will unite the track’s racing fans and the California racing industry in the fight against cancer by presenting the first “On-Track to Beat Cancer” event at Santa Anita on closing day, April 17. “We are thrilled to be able to announce this partnership and to invite the public to join the racing industry, The City of Hope and Santa Anita for an inspirational walk down the stretch following the last race here on closing day,” said Santa Anita Vice President of Marketing, Allen Gutterman.