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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• PREMIER PEGASUS EYES FOURTH WIN IN SUNDAY’S SAN VICENTE
• TRAINERS HAVE EYE ON THE SKY FOR SAN LUIS OBISPO
• VENTANA AT THE READY FOR SATURDAY’S SAN CARLOS
QUINONEZ HOPES TO STAY UNBEATEN ON ‘PEGASUS’
Alonso Quinonez is perfect in three starts on Premier Pegasus, winning two stakes races after a maiden victory, including his last start, the Grade III Hollywood Prevue on Nov. 20. The 27-year-old native of Sinaloa, Mexico, goes for a “grand slam” Sunday when he rides the son of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus in the Grade II San Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs. The colt is owned, trained and was bred by Myung Kwon Cho, whose barn, pound for pound, is among the most successful in Southern California.
“He’s a very nice horse,” Quinonez said. “They’ve given him some time to freshen him up, but there’s nothing wrong with him. He’s in good condition. I’ve spoken with Maria (Ayala, Cho’s assistant) and she says the horse is doing unbelievable. I never work him. I just ride him.
“The horse has a lot of speed, but you can do whatever you want with him. He doesn’t have to be on the lead, but when they let us have it, he goes on it easily.”
Quinonez had 13 wins through Thursday, placing him ninth in Santa Anita’s standings. “We’re trying,” the jockey said, referring to himself and his agent, Vince DeGregory. “It’s not easy, but we’re doing our best.”
The field for the San Vicente: Surrey Star, Mike Smith; Metropolitan Man, Patrick Valenzuela; Sway Away, Garrett Gomez; Sinai, Rafael Bejarano; Indian Winter, Martin Pedroza; City Cool, Joe Talamo; The Factor, Martin Garcia; Premier Pegasus, Alonso Quinonez; and Oakcrest Drive, Victor Espinoza.
DRYSDALE LOOKS TO MAN UPSTAIRS IN SAN LUIS OBISPO STAKES
Neil Drysdale has three horses entered in Saturday’s Grade II San Luis Obispo Stakes scheduled for a mile and a half on turf, but if weather forces the race to be moved to the main track, the Hall of Fame trainer would run only one.
“Marlang would go on either surface,” Drysdale said. “Bourbon Bay and Riviera Cocktail would only run on grass.”
Bourbon Bay, a 5-year-old Sligo Bay gelding, is unbeaten in four Grade II stakes on Santa Anita’s turf course. Riviera Cocktail finished sixth by 4 ¼ lengths behind Bourbon Bay in the San Marcos after being squeezed at the start and going five wide in the stretch.
Marlang has never raced on traditional dirt, but broke his maiden by six lengths at seven furlongs on Woodbine’s synthetic Polytrack in May of 2008. The 6-year-old Langfuhr horse finished ninth of 11 in the San Marcos.
Richard Mandella, meanwhile, said Champ Pegasus “probably” would run even if the San Luis Obispo were taken off the turf. Champ Pegasus was second as the 8-5 favorite to Bourbon Bay in the San Marcos when he spotted the winner three pounds. They have equal weights of 123 pounds for the San Luis Obispo.
Santa Anita Track Superintendent Richard Tedesco said the heaviest amount of rain--some two inches--was expected to hit the Arcadia area around 2 o’clock this afternoon and end around 4 a.m. Saturday morning.
The field for the San Luis Obispo: Bourbon Bay, Rafael Bejarano, 2-1; Haimish Hy, Garrett Gomez, 6-1; Riviera Cocktail, Alonso Quinonez, 20-1; Juniper Pass, Brice Blanc, 8-1; Champ Pegasus, Joel Rosario, 5-2; Pode Ir, Omar Berrio, 30-1; Interpatation, Christian Santiago Reyes, 20-1; Falcon Rock, Patrick Valenzuela, 20-1; Unbridle’s Dream, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Marlang, David Flores, 20-1; Tiz Argent, Victor Espinoza, 8-1; Imponente Purse, Martin Garcia, 20-1; and Buenos Dias, Martin Pedroza, 30-1.
VENTANA SHARP FOR SAN CARLOS HANDICAP
Bob Baffert was hoping for a better draw for Ventana in Saturday’s Grade II San Carlos Handicap for older horses at seven furlongs. As it is, the Hall of Fame trainer will have to settle for post position two. His other entrant, Mythical Power, drew the rail in a field of six.
“Ventana is training great,” Baffert said. “I just wish he wasn’t in the two hole, but we’ll have to make the best of it.”
Ventana was fourth last out in the Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes on Jan. 22. It was the first race in more than eight months for the 5-year-old son of Toccet. Ventana was second to Bob Black Jack in last year’s San Carlos.
The field for the San Carlos: Mythical Power, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Ventana, Martin Garcia, 4-1; Stacy’s Hope, Victor Espinoza, 20-1; Captain Cherokee, Joe Talamo, 7-2; Smiling Tiger, Joel Rosario, 8-5; and Supreme Summit, Garrett Gomez, 5-2.
FILLY MAKES U.S DEBUT FOR CASSIDY IN LA HABRA STAKES
Jim Cassidy has had considerable success with foreign horses making their U.S. debuts on turf in the past, and the trainer hopes to continue the trend when he sends out Latin Lashes in Monday’s Grade III La Habra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies scheduled for about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
“She’s trained really well,” Cassidy said of the daughter of Stormy Atlantic, who last raced on Oct. 18 at Windsor in England where she finished third. Prior to that, she won a maiden stakes at Kempton, one of the country’s more well-regarded venues.
“I bought her in a sale over there and I’m very happy with her,” Cassidy continued. “She’s genuine. Hopefully the success I’ve had will continue on Monday.”
Probable for the La Habra: 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.
FUN FOR ALL AT SANTA ANITA JOCKEYS’ CHARITY BASKETBALL GAME
Louisiana is famous for many things, among them the late, great basketball icon, Pistol Pete Maravich, who dazzled fans worldwide when he played college ball at LSU.
Santa Anita’s jockeys could use a player of Pistol Pete’s talents when they play Holy Angels School in their annual charity basketball game next Thursday. As it is, win or lose, the game is a fun event for all.
“A bunch of us were there last year,” said Louisiana native and retired Hall of Fame rider Eddie Delahoussaye, who will be on hand to sign autographs before the game. “It’ll be fun. It’s great to watch the kids play against the jocks. The kids used to be a lot shorter years back. These days, it seems they’re all six feet tall and that makes it tough.”
The 44th annual Holy Angels-Santa Anita Jockeys Charity Basketball Game will take place 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 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 year’s Santa Anita jockey squad figures to include: Team Captain David Flores, Pedro Arambula, Paul Atkinson, Rafael Bejarano, Alex Bisono, Brice Blanc, Antonio Castanon, Victor Espinoza, Martin Garcia, Garrett Gomez, Kerwin John, Edwin Maldonado, Corey Nakatani, Iggy Puglisi, Alonso Quinonez, Joel Rosario, Christian Santiago Reyes, Mike Smith, Chantal Sutherland, Kayla Stra, Joe Talamo, Patrick Valenzuela and perhaps others.
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.
SANTA ANITA CELEBRATES CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR SATURDAY
Tomorrow, 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.
FINISH LINES: Sunshine Millions Turf winner Caracortado worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Friday in a bullet 1:11.80 under Joe Talamo for the Grade I Kilroe Mile on turf March 5. "(Just) awesome” is how trainer Mike Machowsky described the move. “If I was able to dance, I’d do an Irish River Dance. I gave him a target with a maiden named Rightful Image (who was clocked in 1:12:40). I had Caracortado going the last three-eighths in :35 2/5.” The average six furlong time Friday from 36 at the distance was 1:13.66 . . . Bruce Headley, seeking his seventh win in the Grade II Potrero Grande Stakes on April 3, worked 2009 Malibu Stakes winner M One Rifle six furlongs in 1:12 flat. “He worked with two stablemates I put three or four lengths in front of him,” the trainer said. “He didn’t work as fast today as he has in recent works, but it was by design. This was just a maintenance work.” . . . With rain imminent, there were 241 recorded workouts on Santa Anita’s main track Friday morning . . . Sir Beaufort Stakes winner Sidney’s Candy, prepping for the Grade I Kilroe Mile on grass March 5, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Monday. “He went in a minute and three-fifths,” trainer John Sadler said. “It was real nice. It was an easy five-eighths.” . . . Joel Rosario, who won the 1,000th race of his career Thursday aboard Coo Cachoo for trainer Julio Canani, rides Lilly Fa Pootz for Jerry Hollendorfer in Monday’s Grade II Buena Vista Handicap for older fillies and mares scheduled for one mile on turf . . . Agent Richie Silverstein reports that Martin Pedroza, father of Brian Pedroza, said that his son was named on four horses at Aqueduct Saturday after he was involved in a ninth-race spill at the New York track on Sunday . . . Mike Mitchell said that St Trinians came back from her game third-place finish in the Santa Maria Stakes “super” and will be pointed to the Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on March 12 . . . Congratulations to former Publicity Department secretary Norma Vermeer, who contributed significantly to Captain Beau’s first race maiden score on Thursday. Owned and bred by Clark and Janine Hansen trained by Bobby Troeger and ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, Captain Beau spent a year with Vermeer on her Apple Valley farm prior to coming to Troeger last summer. A 5-year-old gelding by Decarchy, Captain Beau made his sixth career start a winning one . . . Sophie Doyle rides 3-1 morning line favorite A Golden Jet for Jim Cassidy in today’s eighth race. “She rode about 20 winners in England and has been working for me about three months,” the trainer said.