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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• SOUL CANDY ON COURSE FOR TOKYO CITY CUP
• GOMEZ AND AGENT RON ANDERSON PART COMPANY
• INDIAN WINTER EYES SANTA ANITA DERBY
VERSATILE SOUL CANDY SET FOR GRADE III TOKYO CITY CUP
Versatile Soul Candy, third in the Sunshine Millions Turf, fourth in the Santa Anita Handicap on dirt and a winner of the California Cup Classic on Hollywood Park’s synthetic Cushion Track, will attempt to call on his closing kick for a victory in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup for older horses at 1 ½ miles on dirt.
“He worked really nice on Sunday,” trainer Paddy Gallagher said of the son of Birdonthewire’s five furlong drill in 1:00.80 at Hollywood. “He seems to handle grass or dirt equally well, and the distance should be no problem for him.”
Soul Candy has run in stakes his last five races, never finishing worse than fifth, but has never won one. The California-bred gelding has earned $295,300 for owners E Z Eight Racing Stable and Madera Thoroughbreds.
The Tokyo City Cup is held in honor of the friendship agreement between Tokyo City Keiba and Santa Anita Park. Saturday, the entire family can enjoy cultural exhibits and performances at Japan Family Day, including Kado, Karate, Koto, Origami, Shinkendo, Shodo, Taiko and tea ceremony performances.
The Tokyo City Cup was run as the San Bernardino Handicap prior to 2005. It was run as the Tokyo City Handicap in 2005.
SANTA ANITA DONATES TO JAPAN RELIEF FUND SATURDAY
Santa Anita President George Haines has announced that a portion of Santa Anita’s gate receipts on Saturday, Tokyo City Cup Day, will be donated by Santa Anita to the Japan Relief Fund to help the country in its latest natural disaster.
Takashi Toriumi from Santa Anita’s Tokyo City Cup partner, US EQUINE, will have volunteers from the Japanese-American Society collecting for the Relief Fund and a new booth will be dedicated specifically for fundraising in the Cultural Events center.
GOMEZ, ANDERSON SPLIT AFTER FIVE-YEAR RUN AT THE TOP OF TURFDOM
East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.
Rudyard Kipling was right.
Garrett Gomez and agent Ron Anderson parted company Tuesday morning after a five-year run that saw two-time Eclipse Award winner Gomez win the national money title four straight years before finishing second to Ramon Dominguez last year.
The 39-year-old Gomez, fresh from becoming the 62nd winner of Santa Anita’s George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award on Sunday, wanted to ride mainly on the West Coast to be close to his wife, Pam, and their two young children, Jared and Amanda, in their new home in Duarte, a few furlongs from Santa Anita.
Anderson, one of the nation’s leading agents who has represented Hall of Fame icons Jerry Bailey and Gary Stevens, prefers life on the East Coast, where he will now handle business for Alan Garcia at Keeneland, which opens April 8.
“There’s a little more to the story than meets the eye,” Gomez said Wednesday morning. “We had some trust issues and Ron wanted to go to Keeneland with me and Garcia, and I wouldn’t go for it. He thought it would be better if he went back east and I wanted to spend more time in California.”
Garrett mentioned no one by name as to his new agent. “I’ll keep my options open and see who calls,” he said. Anderson will handle business for Gomez through the Santa Anita Derby on April 9.
“The bottom line is this,” Anderson said. “He doesn’t want to be on the East Coast and I don’t want to be on the West Coast. That’s the whole thing in a nutshell. I’m really happy for him. He’s got two young kids and it’s no fun being on the road under those circumstances.
“It’s easier for me. I have a house in New York and I’ll be going to Keeneland for that meet when it starts. This month marks five years Garrett and I were together. He won the money title four straight years before finishing second last year, so we had great success and I wish him the best.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by Gomez: “The plan was for Ron to take me to my retirement, but it didn’t work out.”
INDIAN WINTER JOINS SANTA ANITA DERBY PROBABLESAdd Indian Winter to the list of probables for the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9. Winner of the San Pedro Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs on Jan. 17 but second through a disqualification in the Turf Paradise Derby on Feb. 26, Indian Winter “looks like” he can handle the mile and an eighth of the Santa Anita Derby, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said Wednesday morning.
“He’s been training forwardly all along since he got back here,” Hollendorfer said. “We think he likes the race track, so we’re going to give him another chance. The Turf Paradise race was his first time routing (1 1/16 miles) and we had to ship him and everything. He took all that really well but it just didn’t work out. It doesn’t always work out every time.”
Probable for the Santa Anita Derby: Anthony’s Cross, Comma to the Top, Indian Winter, Mr. Commons, Premier Pegasus and Silver Medallion, who worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Wednesday in 1:02.40 for Steve Asmussen. Bob Baffert had not ruled out Rebel Stakes winner The Factor as of Sunday, but was in Dubai and no late word was available.
FREE FRIDAYS, $2 BEERS RESUME THIS WEEK
Santa Anita renews its popular “Free Fridays” promotion on Friday. In addition to March 25, all patrons will receive free General Admission on April 1, 8 and 15. Santa Anita’s 74th winter/spring meeting concludes April 17.
“In addition to free General Admission, we’re going to offer free box seats on those remaining Fridays, while they last,” said Santa Anita President George Haines. “Along with that, we’ll be offering $2 beers, soft drinks and hot dogs and we expect this to be very well received also.”
FINISH LINES: Mike Machowsky said Sunshine Millions Turf winner Caracortado will run in the Grade II Arcadia Handicap at one mile on turf April 9 . . . Trainer Mike Pender said San Gabriel Stakes winner Jeranimo also is on course for the Arcadia . . . John Sadler said his Fab Five of Twirling Candy, Sidney’s Candy, Switch, Zazu and Gladding “all will work on the weekend” before the trainer makes a decision on their next starts. “We got pushed a little behind with this last rain,” Sadler said, “but we’ve had our big races here, so there’s nothing left for them at Santa Anita.” . . . Jerry Hollendorfer said champion filly Blind Luck came out of her runner-up finish to Havre de Grace in Saturday’s Azeri Stakes “perfect” and “will think about” returning to Oaklawn Park for the Grade I Apple Blossom Handicap on April 15 . . . Santa Anita Oaks winner Turbulent Descent worked four furlongs on Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track Wednesday in a bullet :46.20 for trainer Mike Puype, while 2010 Santa Anita Handicap winner Misremembered went the same distance in :49.40, breezing, for Bob Baffert . . . Congratulations to Burbank resident Ben Davis on his boffo rendition of the National Anthem at Sunday’s Portland-Lakers game at Staples Center. Ben is the 28-year-old son of Ken Davis, Equibase call taker for the races at Santa Anita and former Daily Racing Form statistical guru.