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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• INDIAN WINTER GETS CLASS TEST IN SUNDAY’S SAN VICENTE
• GRADE I WINNER RIGOLETTA RETURNS IN MONDAY’S LA HABRA
• UNSUNG FILLY SEEKS GRADE II WIN IN MONDAY’S BUENA VISTA
INDIAN WINTER STEPS UP IN SAN VICENTE STAKES
Indian Winter faces his sternest test in Sunday’s Grade II San Vicente Stakes. The seven furlong race for 3-year-olds could determine who will be considered Triple Crown timber.
One such hopeful is Indian Winter, a promising son of Indian Charlie who rallied to win the 6 1/2 furlong San Pedro Stakes at 10-1 on Jan. 17, his first race in more than four months.
“He’s doing real well and he ran real well coming off his layoff,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. “This will be a big race for a lot of horses, and our horse will be tested for class.”
The field for the San Vicente: Surrey Star, Mike Smith, 8-1; Metropolitan Man, Patrick Valenzuela, 12-1; Sway Away, Garrett Gomez, 4-1; Sinai, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Indian Winter, Martin Pedroza, 9-2; City Cool, Joe Talamo, 8-1; The Factor, Martin Garcia, 8-5; Premier Pegasus, Alonso Quinonez, 8-1; and Oakcrest Drive, Victor Espinoza, 15-1.
OAK LEAF WINNER RIGOLETTA DRAWS RAIL IN MONDAY’S LA HABRA
Rigoletta is the marquee horse for Dan Hendricks in Monday’s Grade III La Habra Stakes scheduled for about 6 ½ furlongs on turf, but the trainer cautions not to overlook his other entrant, Bloemer Girl, a winner of her last two races including the Sweet Life Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 22.
“She’s done well in every start, really,” Hendricks said of the California-bred daughter of Bertrando who made her first two starts at Golden Gate Fields for trainer Jedd Josephson. “She got off bad in her first start and still closed some ground (finishing third). She ran well, then she came back and won by five lengths. Jedd sent her down here and ran her in the Sweet Life and she did everything right.”
Despite Friday’s heavy rain, Hendricks plans to run both fillies, whether the La Habra is run on turf or dirt. “I’d prefer dirt for Bloemer Girl because her speed will last longer, and turf for Rigoletta, because it should be easier on her going a mile first race back,” he said.
The field for the La Habra, race six on the nine-race holiday card: Rigoletta, David Flores; Advantage Player, Alonso Quinonez; A Z Warrior, Martin Garcia; Cathy’s Crunches, Rafael Bejarano; Cloneylass, Corey Nakatani; Bloemer Girl, Victor Espinoza; She’ll Heir, Patrick Valenzuela; True Way of Grace, Chantal Sutherland; Teddy’s Promise, Martin Pedroza; Cambina, Garrett Gomez; and Dawnie Macho, Joe Talamo. Hout Bay, Quiet Oasis and Latin Lashes are on the also-eligible list.
LILLY FA POOTZ CLIMBS LADDER OF SUCCESS IN BUENA VISTALilly Fa Pootz has gone from the apartment house to the penthouse in a career of 33 races. The 6-year-old Gilded Time mare ran for a $7,500 claiming tag at Emerald Downs in July of 2009, but has gone on to win minor stakes races and was second in the Grade II John C. Mabee at Del Mar last summer since being claimed for $16,000 by Jerry Hollendorfer 14 months ago.
The Kentucky-bred seeks her first graded stakes victory Monday in the Grade II Buena Vista Handicap for older fillies and mares scheduled for one mile on turf.
“We’ve done well with Lilly Fa Pootz, but she’s not the first one. We claimed You Lift Me Up for $32,000; she made almost $400,000 after that,” said Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward. “The last race for Lilly Fa Pootz (second by a half-length in the Megahertz Stakes on Jan. 23) was a good prep for the Buena Vista. She’s training good for the race.”
Lilly Fa Pootz, a gem of consistency, has an 8-8-8 record with earnings of $274,322.
The field for the Buena Vista for older fillies and mares: Turning Top, Brice Blanc; Restless Soul, Alonso Quinonez; Cozi Rosie, Mike Smith; Bonnie Blue Flag, Martin Garcia; Malibu Pier, Rafael Bejarano; Lilly Fa Pootz, Joel Rosario; Spring Style, Garrett Gomez; Burg Berg, Martin Pedroza; Briecat, Patrick Valenzuela; It Tiz, David Flores; and Evening Jewel, Victor Espinoza.
All THOROUGHBREDS members at Santa Anita on Presidents’ Day will receive free an attractive glass beer mug with paid admission, while supplies last.
STRA TRIES HER HAND AT HOOPS FOR SANTA ANITA JOCKEYSKayla Stra has a modicum of experience when it comes to playing basketball, but she hopes her fleeting knowledge of the game allows her to make a greater contribution this time around when Santa Anita’s Jockeys play Holy Angels School next Thursday in their annual charity game.
“I’ve never really played any sports, except for horse racing,” said the personable Stra (pronounced straw), a 26-year-old native of Adelaide, Australia. “I played for the jockeys against Holy Angels two years ago, but only for about 10 seconds. I’m hoping this time, when somebody throws me the ball, I won’t panic and throw it to someone else.”
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 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 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.
FINISH LINES: Track Superintendent Richard Tedesco said just over an inch of rain hit Santa Anita from late Friday afternoon into Saturday morning, but the forecast is for clear weather into late today. ”There could be another half an inch after that, ending early Sunday morning,” he said. “Then it should be clear weather through Wednesday.” . . . Not only are Rafael Bejarano and Joel Rosario one-two in Santa Anita’s jockey standings, they are first and second in national purse earnings. Through Feb. 17, Bejarano’s mounts had earned $2,111,070, Rosario’s $1,882,160. Joe Talamo ranked fourth at $1,316,077. Among trainers, Bob Baffert was second nationally with $1,351,924; John Sadler fourth at $974,160; and Jerry Hollendorfer fifth at $958,956 . . . Crisp worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.20 at Hollywood Park Saturday, but Sadler announced no upcoming race for the Santa Anita Oaks winner . . . Santa Anita Handicap candidate Aggie Engineer worked four furlongs at Hollywood in a bullet :47.40 for Paddy Gallagher . . . Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Dancing in Silks has been breezing for Kathy Walsh, but the trainer said she’s “not sure yet” when he will make his return to the races . . . ShowVivor II, Santa Anita’s popular on-line handicapping contest, begins a week from today. Prize money totals $5,000, with $3,000 to the winner, $1,500 to second and $500 to third. For more details, go to www.santaanita.com . . . Syndicated handicapper Bob Ike and Toby Turrell of Winners Card will vie on Sunday’s Fans’ Forum, 11:15 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens, weather permitting. Jack Disney hosts.