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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• HONOUR THE DEPUTY SET FOR GRADE III TOKYO CITY CUP
• BENCH POINTS EYES SANTA ANITA DERBY
• ADVANCE WAGERING FRIDAY ON DUBAI WORLD CUP RACES
HONOUR THE DEPUTY BACK TO SQUARE ONE FOR TOKYO CITY CUP
Honour the Deputy has one disappointing performance on his six-race resume, and Dan Ward can readily explain that, a distant sixth-place finish in the Grade II Strub Stakes on Feb. 5.
“He had been off from late November until the Strub,” said trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s top gun about Honour the Deputy, who runs in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup for older horses at a mile and a half.
“The people who had him said they had been working the horse, but who knows? Whenever you buy a horse and it takes a long time for the sale to be consummated, you don’t know if they’re walking the horse every day or what.
“But we worked him before the Strub and he worked fast. In the Strub he was rank and didn’t relax. So the next time (before the March 6 Santana Mile in which he finished third behind three-length winner Misremembered), we decided to give him slow works and let him run the way he should and be way back.”
Honour the Deputy’s most effective style is coming from off the pace, which he did in winning three of his six career starts. He also has a second and one third.
“He worked slow before the Santana Mile and we got him to relax, and he ran much better,” Ward said. “It seems like he likes to run that way.”
Ward feels the mile and a half will pose no problem for the 4-year-old gray son of Honour and Glory, who was bred in Florida by Hobeau Farm Ltd. Being in the best of health for the Tokyo City Cup is another plus.
“He had some stomach issues, ulcers and things like that, that we had to work on, too,” Ward said. “We got those things settled and he ran a lot better.”
The Hollendorfer barn also entered Rendezvous in the Tokyo City Cup. The 5-year-old son of Victory Gallop was second in this race last year when it was run as the Tokyo City Handicap.
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 field for the Tokyo City Cup: Honour the Deputy, Corey Nakatani; Worth Repeating, Martin Pedroza; Rendezvous, Brice Blanc; Soul Candy, Joe Talamo; Arcodoro, Edwin Maldonado-Alica; and Spurrier, Martin Garcia.
Each horse is assigned 118 pounds.
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 booth will be dedicated specifically for fundraising in the Cultural Events Center.
PREMIER PEGASUS HORSE TO BEAT IN SANTA ANITA DERBY
It’s no secret that Premier Pegasus is the horse to beat in the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9. Still, optimism being what it is, several trainers plan to tackle the son of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, who won the San Felipe Stakes in eye-opening fashion by nearly eight lengths under Alonso Quinonez for trainer Myung Kwon Cho.
One such trainer is Tim Yakteen, who is preparing Bench Points for the mile and one-eighth Derby, the West Coast’s final major steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby on May 7.
“My horse is doing good and he’s going to work this weekend, weather permitting,” Yakteen said. “Cho’s horse is the horse to beat, absolutely, off his win in the San Felipe. But we’re going into the race good so far.”
Bench Points was unbeaten in his first four starts, including two non-graded stakes races, before rallying to finish third in the San Felipe, beaten nine lengths. Probable for the Santa Anita Derby: Anthony’s Cross, Comma to the Top, Indian Winter, Mr. Commons, Premier Pegasus and Silver Medallion.
ADVANCE WAGERING FRIDAY ON SATURDAY’S DUBAI RACES
Advance wagering on Saturday’s Dubai World Cup and its undercard will be offered at Santa Anita tomorrow, March 25.
The following races will be available for advance wagering: Race #2 – Al Quoz Sprint, Race #3; Godolphin Mile; Race #4, UAE Derby; Race #5, Dubai Golden Shaheen; Race #6, Dubai Duty Free; Race #7, Dubai Sheema Classic; Race #8, the Dubai World Cup. The races will be carded as Special Event #6, Races #2 - #8.
To place an advance wager at a teller window, ask for the Dubai card and the race number you wish to wager on, the wager amount, and horse number(s).
At a self-service window, select DUBAI CARD, the race you wish to wager on: Races #2 - #8, then select the appropriate wagering pool, then enter the wager amount, and horse number(s).
If using bet slips to place an advance wager, mark the bet slip Special Event #6, Races #2 - #8, then enter the appropriate wagering pool, the wager amount, and horse number(s).
POPULAR ‘UNCORKED’ WINE AND CULINARY FESTIVAL AT SANTA ANITA SUNDAY
Santa Anita Park will present its fourth annual “Santa Anita Uncorked” wine and culinary festival in the track’s Paddock Gardens area this Sunday. The “Uncorked” event features fine wines, cuisine sampling from popular local restaurants, a paddock art show and a full day of world-class racing.
“Santa Anita Uncorked” will again be sponsored by the Wine of the Month Club based in nearby Monrovia.
“This event has grown each year and we expect it to be even bigger this year,” said Santa Anita Vice President of Marketing Allen Gutterman. “Our Paddock Gardens area is a perfect location for an event of this kind and we’ve found that horse racing is a perfect compliment to it. We’ve gotten tremendous response from a number of local restaurants and we expect to have several new wineries joining those who have participated in the past.”
“Santa Anita Uncorked” packages will include: parking, Club House admission with a grandstand seat, daily race program, wine tasting, cuisine sampling, art exhibit and a souvenir wine glass. The paddock will close at 7:30 Sunday morning.
Tickets for admission, parking, program and restricted area wrist band are available for $60 each and can be purchased at the Santa Anita ticket office, or by phone at (626) 574-RACE. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at www.santaanita.com.
Proceeds from “Santa Anita Uncorked” will go to benefit Arcadia High School student programs and CARMA.
‘FALL GUY’ EASY ON THE EYE FINDS WINNING STRIDE
Easy On The Eye won his third straight race Wednesday, all in similar fashion, but not at nearly the level for which he was destined.
The 9-year-old Australian-bred gelding has come from behind to win three $8,000 claiming races in a row, each time under jockey Kerwin John for trainer Steve Knapp, who had greater things in mind when he purchased him three years ago for owner Michael Miller.
“When I bought this horse early in 2008, I paid a lot of money for him--$180,000,” Knapp said. “I brought him here and he ran two big races at Del Mar (finishing fourth and third at odds of 12-1 and 10-1). Then he ran in the Morvich Handicap and clipped heels with a horse and fell after the start with Corey Nakatani on him.
“He was cut out to be a real nice horse, but I had to put him on the farm for about eight months because he was scared to death after he fell. Now he’s older but certainly not the horse he could have been, but good enough to win at this level.” The bay son of Easy Rocking has a 7-4-1 record from 39 starts with earnings of $114,623.
“When I first got him, he could really run,” Knapp continued. “There’s no doubt about it. Corey rode him and Tyler (Baze) rode him. Both of them told me, ‘He’s a stakes horse.’ He was cut out to be a nice horse, but as he aged he lost a lot of the ability he had before.
“You know, when horses fall, they don’t ever seem to come back the same; they just don’t.”
Knapp, the leading trainer at Oak Tree in 2005 with 16 wins, has 30 head at Santa Anita, and, like many, is facing an uphill battle with the stagnant economy.
“A couple of my owners, (Jim and Marcia) Equils and Miller, recently bought a couple horses and hopefully, when the economy gets going, they’ll start buying more. That’s the key to this whole game. The last three years, none of my guys have been purchasing horses and it’s hard to win when that happens.”
FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL II AT SANTA ANITA APRIL 2
On the heels of its wildly successful first-ever Gourmet Food Truck Festival on Jan. 29, Santa Anita Park will offer 80 gourmet food trucks for Food Truck Festival II, on Saturday, April 2.
In addition to tripling the amount of trucks offered, Santa Anita’s entire infield area will be utilized and admission to the Festival is free of charge with paid $5 General Admission, which includes live music and entertainment. (Children 17 and under are admitted free, when accompanied by an adult).
“We were extremely gratified by the turnout generated by our first Food Truck Festival,” said Santa Anita President George Haines. “The response was so good, it was actually a bit overwhelming. We’ve completely streamlined this process and greatly increased the number of trucks that will be available and we’re confident we’ll be able to get everyone served in a quick and efficient manner.
“We’re hopeful that those people who experienced some inconveniences the first time will come back to Food Truck Festival II and enjoy what should be a fantastic day at Santa Anita. We feel this is a great event for us and it’s a terrific way to expose our sport to an entirely new group of people.”
Among the many prominent gourmet food trucks that are scheduled to be represented are Nom Nom Truck (Vietnamese cuisine), The Grilled Cheese Truck, the Lobsta Truck, Ragin Cajun, Canter’s, Border Grill, Shrimp Pimp and many more.
Food Truck II will also offer fans a gastropub, wine bar and increased beverage stations throughout the infield.
A 10-race card is planned for April 2, and all Food Truck II attendees will have an opportunity to visit handicapping stations and seminars throughout the infield. Questions are welcome and all stations and seminars will be staffed by experienced racing personnel.
First race post time April 2 is 12:30 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m. Festival operating hours will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on Food Truck Festival II, fans are encouraged to visit www.santaanita.com.
FINISH LINES: 2010 California-bred Horse of the Year Evening Jewel, prepping for the Grade I Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park April 15, worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Thursday in a bullet 1:12.80 for trainer Jim Cassidy . . . Tip of the hat to Santa Anita’s Vice President, Business Coordination and Director of Broadcasting Amy J. Zimmerman on HRTV being nominated for National Sports Emmys for “Outstanding Live Sports Special” on the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic and “Outstanding Sports Feature” on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” piece, “Santa Anita: A Dark History.” Zimmerman also lends her talents as producer on NBC-TV’s Breeders’ Cup telecasts . . . Amazombie worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Wednesday in 1:01.20 for the Grade II, $150,000 Potrero Grande Stakes. In the 6 ½-furlong race, the Bill Spawr-trained Sunshine Millions Sprint winner is expected to face 2009 Malibu Stakes winner M One Rifle, who has been working bullets for trainer Bruce Headley. Spawr gave Aaron Gryder a leg up on Position A to win yesterday’s fifth race at a $13.40 payoff. It was the eighth victory from 26 starters this meet for Spawr, a winning mark of 31 percent. Position A is owned in-part by Jon Lindo, who co-hosts “Thoroughbred L.A.” Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on KLAA, AM 830. . . Richard Migliore, winner of Santa Anita’s George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 2008 prior to his recent retirement, is back from his native New York to provide on-set insight at Santa Anita for HRTV. “With some of their people in Dubai, I was asked to come in from New York to pick up a couple of shifts,” said Migliore, who plans to head back east on Sunday . . . The following won prizes in Santa Anita’s recent blood drive: Craig Rogers, Mutuels, carriage ride on the track; Charles McCaul Jockeys’ Room; Gina Lavo, accounting; Margaret Ransom, HRTV, Santa Anita 75th Anniversary Book; Christine Sherbetdjian, Hospitality, Santa Anita memorabilia; Mauricio Escobar, Hospitality; Daniel Zapata, Carpenters, Clockers’ Corner Gift Certificate; Paul Sakamoto, Mutuels; Amelia Rangel, Marketing, Terrace Food Court Gift Certificate; Tom Varela, Monarch, Mario Renteria, Jr., Plumbing/Laborers, a basket of culinary delights. Thanks to everyone who made the blood drive a success . . . Syndicated handicapper Bob Ike and Jason Levin of “Inside Racing,” KTLK, 1150 AM Saturdays at 7 a.m., rescheduled from last Saturday’s rainout, will be Jack Disney’s guests on Sunday’s Fans’ Forum, 11:15 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens.