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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• FOOT BRUISE PUTS JAYCITO IN JEOPARDY FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY
• LIFE GOES ON IN RISKY GAME OF HORSE RACING
• ARCADIA MILE SUITS LEROY DYNAMEAUX, GLATT SAYS
• TANDA RETURNS VERSUS UNZIP ME IN LAS CIENEGAS HANDICAP
FOOT ISSUE PUTS JAYCITO AT RISK FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY
Bob Baffert said late Friday morning that Jaycito has been “battling a foot bruise, an abscess” from last week which could jeopardize his running in Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby.
“We’re watching it really close,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “It’s healing, but if I don’t like how it is tomorrow, we won’t run.”
Jaycito inherited the favorite’s role for the Santa Anita Derby at 2-1 after the initial morning line choice at 8-5, Premier Pegasus, was scratched early Thursday afternoon with an injury to his left front leg.
STEVENS KNOWS HIGHS AND LOWS OF SANTA ANITA DERBY
Gary Stevens has experienced emotions ranging from disappointment to delight in his 18 Santa Anita Derby rides, nine of which resulted in victories, a Santa Anita Derby record.
No news could have been so deflating as Thursday afternoon’s late word that morning line favorite Premier Pegasus would not run in Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby due to a hairline fracture in his left front cannon bone suffered during a routine gallop Thursday morning on Santa Anita’s training track.
But that’s horse racing. Life goes on. The good news is that barring the unforeseen, Premier Pegasus is likely to race again once he recovers and that 10 aspiring three-year-olds remain to compete in the Santa Anita Derby, the West Coast’s major springboard to the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7.
Premier Pegasus had been oddsmaker Jon White’s 8-5 morning line favorite, but with his defection, Jaycito, runner-up to Premier Pegasus in the San Felipe Stakes on March 12, was made the 2-1 choice for the mile and an eighth race.
Stevens, a Hall of Fame jockey who retired in 2005, now lends his expertise as analyst for HRTV. He shrugged off his remarkable number of Santa Anita Derby successes with a brief explanation.
“I was well-armed,” he said with a smile. “I rode some great horses in the Santa Anita Derby None of them were surprises. I expected all of them to run well, but I did have a couple of tough beats. My first Santa Anita Derby (1985), I was second on (25-1 shot) Fast Account and actually passed (Laffit) Pincay and (13-10 favorite) Skywalker inside the eighth pole but he came back on and beat me by a nose. Fast Account was trained by Patty Johnson for owner W.R. (Fritz) Hawn. It was my inexperience that put Fast Account on the lead too early. He probably should have won.
“I rode Easy Grades for Ted West Jr. in 2002 and we lost to (11-10 favorite) Came Home but we very easily could have won. That was disappointing for all of us, so with better luck, I could have won 11 or 12 Santa Anita Derbies.”
His victory by a head on 5-1 shot Larry the Legend over 7-5 favorite Afternoon Deelites ridden by Kent Desormeaux was no shock to Stevens.
“Larry the Legend wasn’t really a surprise,” Stevens said. “He was a fighter. Afternoon Deelites actually got in front of Larry the Legend (by a length and a half at the head of the stretch) and he fought back and won a head-bobber. I thought enough of him to fly home from Hong Kong to ride him.
“Kent had been riding both those horses and I was going to ride whichever one he chose not to ride. They were the two ‘livest’ horses in the race and they both ran to form.”
Stevens’ nine Santa Anita Derby victories came on the filly Winning Colors in 1988; Mister Frisky (1990); Personal Hope (1993); Brocco (1994); Larry the Legend (1995); Indian Charlie (1998); General Challenge (1999); Point Given (2001); and Buddy Gil (2003).
“On paper, it should make it a little easier (with Premier Pegasus out),” said Eoin Harty, who trains Robert B. Lewis Stakes winner Anthony’s Cross. “It’s one less horse you have to beat, one less you have to worry about. It’s unfortunate that these things happen.”
The field for the Santa Anita Derby with the revised morning line odds: Offlee Wild Boys, Joe Talamo, 30-1; Indian Winter, Patrick Valenzuela, 10-1; Mr. Commons, Mike Smith, 8-1; Silver Medallion, Garrett Gomez, 7-2; Comma to the Top, Corey Nakatani, 6-1; Midnight Interlude, Victor Espinoza, 20-1; Quail Hill, Martin Pedroza, 50-1; Anthony’s Cross, Joel Rosario, 4-1; Bench Points, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; and Jaycito, Martin Garcia, 2-1.
Each horse is assigned 122 pounds.
First post time on Santa Anita Derby Day is 12 noon. Gates open at 10 a.m. There will be a guaranteed $500,000 late Pick 4. Official Santa Anita Derby T-shirts will be available free to all paid admission customers at Santa Anita while supplies last.
Saturday’s local weather forecast calls for sunny skies with high temperatures in the mid-60s.
LEROY DYNAMEAUX AT BEST DISTANCE IN ARCADIA STAKES
Leroy Dynameaux stretches out to one mile on turf in Saturday’s Grade II Arcadia Stakes after closing well to finish third and second in two races at about 6 ½ furlongs on Santa Anita’s downhill turf course.
“A mile will be better for him, absolutely,” said trainer Mark Glatt. “I think he’s a true flat mile horse. He has a couple of sprints into him after coming off a long layoff (Aug. 14, 2010 to Feb. 12, 2011). He’ll have a tall order tomorrow with a couple of the horses in the Arcadia, but he’s a hard-trying horse, and if for some reason they don’t have their best day, and he has his best day, I don’t think he’s too terribly far off of them.”
Glatt said the 4-year-old gelded son of Leroidesanimaux was sidelined for six months because “he kind of got jammed up, nothing specific, no surgeries or anything. He needed a little bit of a break.”
The field for the Arcadia, which goes as the seventh race: Caracortado, Joe Talamo, 6-5; Leroy’s Dynameaux, Joel Rosario, 5-1; Norvsky, Chantal Sutherland, 20-1; Blue Chagall, Garrett Gomez, 8-1; Liberian Freighter, Martin Garcia, 10-1; Jeranimo, Rafael Bejarano, 9-5; and Run It, Alonso Quinonez, 12-1.
COMEBACKING TANDA TACKLES HIGH WEIGHT UNZIP ME IN SATURDAY’S LAS CIENEGAS
Tanda is scheduled to make her first start in 10 months when she runs in Saturday’s Grade III Las Cienegas Handicap for older fillies and mares at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf. Like the other six entrants, she’ll have to beat Unzip Me, winner of 11 of 18 starts and highweight under 127 pounds.
“She’s doing great, but it’s going to be a tough race,” said Dan Hendricks, who trains Tanda, a 4-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Sweetsouthernsaint. “It’s a very competitive race, with Unzip Me standing out. You don’t see many horses carrying 127 these days, but she deserves it. He (trainer Marty Jones) has done a helluva job with her.”
Tanda was sidelined with foot issues. “She had a couple abscesses but she’s all right now,” Hendricks said. “We expect a good run from her and hope to go on from there.”
The field for the Las Cienegas: Victoryasecret, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Tanda, Joel Rosario, 4-1; Unzip Me, Rafael Bejarano, 4-5; It Tiz, David Flores, 8-1; Saanneen, Garrett Gomez, 10-1; U R All That I Am, Martin Garcia, 12-1; La Nez, Martin Pedroza, 10-1; and Separate Forest, Patrick Valenzuela, 8-1.
CASSIDY FIRES BOTH BARRELS IN PROVIDENCIA STAKES
Jim Cassidy has two horses entered in Saturday’s Grade II Providencia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf: Wave of Applause and Whisper Louise. The latter will be making her first United States start. She last raced at Newmarket on Oct. 30. The consistent Irish-bred filly had all of her nine previous races in England, compiling a 2-4-2 record.
“Three Chimneys Racing bought her privately and sent her to me,” the trainer said. “She’s been here for a bit. I would have run her shorter but there wasn’t anything available. She’ll get the trip, but she hasn’t run since October. She acts like a very nice filly.”
Whisper Louise won at Doncaster last September under 129 pounds, weight rarely carried these days in America.
“I’ve had 2-year-olds carry 136 over there,” Cassidy said. “They get over here and they’re carrying 115. It’s got to make a big difference, especially with some of their tracks, because they’re a little bit up hill.”
The field for the Providencia: Bonita Star, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Withgreatpleasure, Patrick Valenzuela, 20-1; Wave of Applause, Mike Smith, 6-1; So Belle, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Whisper Louise, Victor Espinoza, 6-1; Hard to Resist, Joel Rosario, 8-1; Cambina, Garrett Gomez, 9-5; Wallstreeter, Brice Blanc, 5-1; and True Way of Grace, Chantal Sutherland, 20-1.
SURGERY SCHEDULED TODAY FOR PREMIER PEGASUS
Premier Pegasus looked none the worse for wear at Barn 24 and was eating like he didn’t have a care in the world at 8 a.m. Friday morning, but the former early favorite for the Santa Anita Derby was scheduled to undergo surgery for a hairline fracture of his left front cannon bone at 12:30 p.m. today at the Southern California Equine Foundation Hospital on Santa Anita’s backstretch. Dr. Keith Latson will direct the procedure.
“I called Mr. Cho (owner/breeder/trainer Myung Kwon Cho) after the horse came back from his gallop yesterday, because he seemed off in his left front,” said Maria Ayala, Cho’s assistant of 22 years. “Of course he was disappointed when we learned the horse would miss the race, but like all of us, he knows the horse comes first. Right now both Mr. Cho and the horse are feeling fine.”
Ayala said doctors estimate Premier Pegasus would miss “two months and up.”
HRRN TO AIR SANTA ANITA DERBY LIVE FROM 3 TO 5 P.M.
Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), the Eclipse Award-winning broadcast organization based in Lexington, Ky., will broadcast live from Santa Anita Saturday with exclusive radio coverage of the Santa Anita Derby.
HRRN’s two-hour broadcast can be heard live from 3 to 5 p.m. and includes a pair of Grade II stakes on the undercard, the Arcadia and Providencia. HRRN will also showcase two additional Kentucky Derby prep races on taped delay, the Grade I Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial and the Grade III Illinois Derby.
Fans can tune-in on HRRN affiliates and listen worldwide with free live streaming provided on the HRRN website, www.horseracingradio.net. Mike Penna will anchor the HRRN coverage along with analyst Jude Feld.
In addition to the race coverage Saturday afternoon, Penna and Feld will also host HRRN’s popular Saturday morning talk show, the Equine Forum, live from Santa Anita. The Equine Forum can be heard from 5 to 7 a.m. on HANK 96.1 FM in Lexington, KY, and is streamed live at www.horseracingradio.net. Among Saturday’s guests is Mike Repole, owner of undefeated champion Uncle Mo, and turf writer Jennie Rees from the Louisville Courier-Journal.
A complete HRRN schedule along with broadcast times and station listings can also be found on the HRRN site.
CHANEY CHOICE AGAIN AGAINST SANTA ANITA EMPLOYEES IN 5K RUN
A strong field of 22 including Santa Anita employees is set to compete in Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby Day 5K events in three categories: the Masters (over 40), the Open (under 40) and the Walk.
California Horse Racing Board steward Scott Chaney is an overwhelming favorite in his bracket. After finishing second to longtime champion Robert Stone from Mutuels in 2007, Chaney has dominated the race, his times decreasing every year to a very speedy 17:53 for the 3.1 mile course.
Sandy Hoar of Hospitality is favored among women. She has finished second or third just about every year, but with last year’s champ Zoe Cadman on the injured list, there is a clear lane for Sandy to take the gold. Christine Beer, the 2007 champ, is expected to offer keen competition.
Advance wagering on the 5K events will be offered on April 1. The lineup with odds by Pete Siberell, Santa Anita’s Director of Community Services & Special Projects, who is coordinating the event:
Scott Chaney Racing 1-9
Rene Henriquez Starting Gate 5-1
Jerry Gutierrez Plant 8-1
Joe Laricchia Operations 10-1
Tony Ortega Parking 12-1
Hector Ramirez Starting Gate 15-1
Tim Craigmyle Starting Gate 18-1
Esteban Castaneda Marketing 20-1
Randy Mongonez Parking 25-1
Jose Rios Broadcast/HRTV 30-1
Thomas Brucks Mutuels 40-1
Howard Abrams Group Events 50-1
Sandy Hoar Hospitality 2-1
Christine Beer Racing 5-2
Mary Forney TOC 7-2
Lindsey Cohen Broadcast/HRTV 6-1
Alison LaDuke TOC 8-1
Lucinda Mandella CARMA 10-1
Kathryn Zimmerman Broadcast/HRTV 12-1
Margaret Ransom Broadcast HRTV 15-1
Linda Makarec Mutuels 20-1
Kathryn Beranich Broadcast/HRTV 30-1
TRAFFIC RE-ROUTED ON SANTA ANITA DERBY DAY
In order to accommodate its annual Santa Anita Derby 5K Walk and Run, Santa Anita Park and the city of Arcadia have announced that Baldwin Ave., from the 210 Freeway to Huntington Drive, will be closed to vehicular traffic from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. tomorrow.
Accordingly, Santa Anita’s Gate 8, which adjoins the Westfield Shopping Mall on Baldwin Ave., will also be closed to vehicles during the same period.
Those wishing to visit Santa Anita’s popular Clockers’ Corner venue at the top of the stretch, will be able to enter on Santa Anita’s east end through parking lot Gate 5. Gate 5 will be open for easy access to Clockers’ Corner beginning at 5 a.m. and will remain open throughout the day.
Gate 5 is located on the east end of the racetrack at the confluence of Colorado Place and Huntington Drive.
FINISH LINES: Trainer Bill Spawr said Potrero Grande Stakes winner Amazombie is being pointed to the $125,000 Tiznow Stakes at 7 ½ furlongs on Gold Rush Day at Hollywood Park on April 23 . . . Malibu Stakes winner Sidney’s Candy worked five furlongs at Hollywood Friday in :59.80 for John Sadler . . . Congratulations to Jay Robbins on winning Thursday’s sixth race with Moon Stone Madness. It was the first win this meet from seven starters for the 65-year-old trainer, the only conditioner to saddle a back-to-back winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (Tiznow in 2000 and 2001). Hard to fathom for a trainer with his resume, but Robbins is down to just four horses . . . The Second Race will present its first “Down the Lane” bowling fundraiser to support retired race horses on Sunday from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at 300 Pasadena, 300 Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena The top bowler wins an Apple iPad, with trophies to the top team, Ticket price is $30 per player. For more information, go to www.thesecondrace.com or contact Sharla Sanders at 626 733-3815.