Santa Anita News
STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• ACCLAMATION WORKS ON TURF, HIRSCH LIKELY OVER GOODWOOD
• CONSISTENT ZAZU SHARP FOR LADY’S SECRET STAKES
• DISTANCE SUITS MALIBU PIER IN YELLOW RIBBON
• RULER OF DUBAI ONE TO CATCH IN NORFOLK
CONNECTIONS WEIGH TURF OR DIRT FOR ACCLAMATION
Acclamation worked four furlongs on Santa Anita’s firm turf course Thursday in :49.80 but a decision on whether he would run in Saturday’s Grade I Goodwood Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on the main track or Sunday’s Grade II Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship at 1 1/4 miles was on hold. The 5-year-old California-bred horse by Unusual Heat-Winning Style has been entered in both races.
Private clocker Gary Young caught Acclamation in :50 flat, “cruising.”
Winner of four straight stakes including three Grade I’s—two on turf and the Pacific Classic on Del Mar’s Polytrack—Acclamation has been mentioned as Horse of the Year timber, although part-owner Bud Johnston opted to put that on the back burner.
“We’re still talking about it (which race he’ll run in),” Johnston said after watching the workout with trainer Don Warren. “We’re going to enter (the Hirsch) this morning (Acclamation drew post position seven in a field of eight).
“We’ll probably decide where to run on Friday, maybe Saturday morning, I don’t know,” continued Johnston, who heads up the breeding operation at Old English Rancho in Sanger, an iconic California fixture since 1948. “We’re just going to weigh all the options and see. There are advantages to both races as far as we’re concerned and we’re going to see which one might work out the best for him. We may be leaning a little more towards the grass race. He just loves the grass. He looks so good on it. But he trains all right (on the dirt). We’ve breezed him on it.”
Johnston took a conservative stance when asked about the possibility of Acclamation being considered for Horse of the Year.
“You take those things one step at a time,” Johnston said. “In order to get Horse of the Year you’d probably have to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic. If something like that falls in place, wonderful. But you can’t point for something like that, really, right now. I would love to see him win an Eclipse Award as a grass horse. That would be very nice.
“But that’s a long ways away. We’ve still got to do a lot yet . . . but let me tell you something. The grass racing is tough. There are a lot of good ones here and a lot of good ones from Europe.”
Johnston said there have been feelers to purchase Acclamation, “but I haven’t seen anybody write a check yet. I've had a lot of phone calls from Australia and Europe and a pretty serious offer from Canada. And we’ve had offers from some of the sheikhs. Everybody calls you and talks to you, but we’re having fun with him. I’ve been in the business almost 60 years and it’s a great thrill to have a horse like this and we’re enjoying it. Don and I have been together 34 years and I don’t think we’ve had this much fun in 34 years.”
Johnston hopes to race Acclamation next year, if the fates allow. To date, the bay has an 8-2-6 record from 27 starts, with earnings of $1,538,048.
“Ideally, we would race him next year and then sell him to the proper farm for breeding rights and then keep 10 percent or something,” Johnston said. “That’s what I’d like to do. We’re still in the breeding business. I’d love to send 10 mares to him every year. But I think he has to stand some place in Kentucky.
“As much as I love California and I’m loyal to California, I think it’s only fair to the horse to give him the best shot he can get, and I think that means probably going to Kentucky or maybe even to Europe.”
Johnston cited similarities between Acclamation and top stakes winner and stallion Fleet Nasrullah, a foal of 1955 who won six stakes races before siring the likes of Don B., Gummo, Coursing and Fleet Treat, top stallions in their own right.
“Acclamation is a lot nicer to be around,” Johnston recollected. “Fleet Nasrullah is in his (Acclamation’s) pedigree. He was a real runner and a tremendous sire. You always hope Acclamation does as well.”
The field for the Goodwood, which goes as race seven on an 11-race program that starts at 1 p.m.: Acclamation, Patrick Valenzuela, 124; Coil, Martin Garcia, 121; Tres Borrachos, Joel Rosario, 119; Preamble, Victor Espinoza, 119; Golden Itiz, Joe Talamo, 119; Miss Match, Garrett Gomez, 121; Awesome Gem, David Flores, 119; Game on Dude, Chantal Sutherland, 121; and Nijinsky’s Song, no rider, 116.
The field for the Hirsch: Ashtar, Hector Berrios, 121; Imponente Purse, Chantal Sutherland, 119; Champ Pegasus, Garrett Gomez, 121; Dreamy Kid, Joel Rosario, 121; Dynamic Host, David Flores, 119; Buenos Dias, Brice Blanc, 119; Acclamation, Patrick Valenzuela, 124; and Make Music for Me, Jose Valdivia Jr., 119.
STEADY ZAZU SET FOR GRADE I LADY’S SECRET
Zazu makes her first start since Aug. 6 in Saturday’s Grade I Lady’s Secret Stakes. John Sadler expects another solid performance from the 3-year-old daughter of Tapit owned by Jerry and Ann Moss.
The stretch-running gray has a 3-5-1 record from 10 starts, with earnings of $532,985.
“She doesn’t run a bad race and she’s in good shape,” the trainer said. “She ran well on this track. The question mark for everybody going into this meet is how the track is going to play, but it’s been really nice in the mornings.”
The field for the Lady’s Secret, the sixth race: Blind Luck, Garrett Gomez, 124; Champagne d’Oro, Joe Talamo, 119; Ask the Moon, Martin Garcia, 124; Love Theway You are, Christian Santiago Reyes, 116; Great Hot, Chantal Sutherland, 116; Ultra Blend, David Flores, 124; and Zazu, Joel Rosario, 118.
MALIBU PIER IN TOUGH YELLOW RIBBON PRESENTED BY EMIRATES AIRLINE
Saturday’s prestigious Yellow Ribbon Stakes presented by Emirates Airline is one of the most contentious events on the 11-race card. Take it from Brice Blanc, who rides Malibu Pier in the race for trainer Carla Gaines.
“She’s for sure going to have to run hard,” Blanc said of Malibu Pier, a multiple Grade II winner who is seeking her first Grade I triumph in the mile and a quarter event. “It’s a very competitive race, but the two times she ran a mile and quarter, both times she won with me (in the Santa Barbara at Santa Anita and the Beverly Hills at Hollywood Park).”
The field for the Yellow Ribbon, which goes as the 10th race: Turning Top, David Flores, 119; Cozi Rosie, Garrett Gomez, 121; Dubawi Heights, Joel Rosario, 124; Malibu Pier, Brice Blanc, 121; City to City, Mike Smith, 119; Private Affair, Hector Berrios, 119; Harmonious, Martin Garcia, 121; Cambina, Patrick Valenzuela, 121; and Medaglia d’Amour, Joe Talamo, 119.
RULER OF DUBAI HOPES TO MEASURE UP IN NORFOLK STAKES
Ruler of Dubai gets tested for class and endurance in Saturday’s Grade I Norfolk Stakes for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, but Mike Smith gives the California-bred son Tribal Rule a speedster’s chance.
“He ran very well (winning the six furlong I’m Smokin Stakes at Del Mar on Sept. 5),” said the Hall of Fame jockey who was aboard for the 3 1/4-length win. “He deserves a chance to step up and see what we’ve got. He’s stepping up but he’s trained well and he’s coming off two stakes (a head win in the Graduation at Del Mar on Aug. 3). I know it was against Cal-breds, but still, he’s doing it.
“He was impressive last time out, so I’ve got to give him a chance on Saturday.”
The field for the Norfolk, which is the fifth race: Super Candy, Hector Berrios; Loukas, Patrick Valenzuela; Ruler of Dubai, Mike Smith; Creative Cause, Joel Rosario; Drill, Martin Garcia; and Basmati, Joe Talamo.
Each carries 122 pounds.
SELF PRESERVATION WORKING WELL FOR SUNDAY’S OAK LEAF
Ben Cecil was pleasantly surprised when Self Preservation ran second at 24-1 in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante in her U.S. debut on Sept. 3.
“I didn’t like the way she was working down there before she ran, so it was kind of a nice surprise,” the trainer said of the English-bred daughter of Lion Heart who drew post position two for Sunday’s Grade I Oak Leaf Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
“ It looked to me like she didn’t handle the track, so we were very pleased with the way she ran. She’s done very well since she’s come up here. I’ve been pretty pleased with her works.” Self Preservation went six furlongs Monday in a bullet 1:11, fastest of 28 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:13.62.
The Oak Leaf field: Silent Saga, Victor Espinoza; Self Preservation, Patrick Valenzuela; Killer Graces, Joe Talamo; Candrea, Martin Garcia; My Gi Gi, Chantal Sutherland; Wild Truffles, Alonso Quinonez; Regal Betty, Joel Rosario; Weemissfrankie, Rafael Bejarano; Dreamcaster, Martin Pedroza; and Charm the Maker, Garrett Gomez.
Each carries 122 pounds.
DOWNHILL SPECIALIST UNZIP ME EYES 13TH WIN IN OPENING DAY MADDY
Win machine Unzip Me seeks her 13th victory from 22 starts in Friday’s opening day feature at Santa Anita, the Grade III, $100,000 Sen. Ken Maddy Stakes for fillies and mares at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf on Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course.
She carries 120 pounds, fewer than she’s carried in her last eight races, five of them victories.
“It’s nice that she’s not giving them a bunch of weight,” trainer Marty Jones said. “It seems like she’s doing good, so we’ll see what happens. She’s got a lot of heart. She’s a special horse, there’s no doubt about it.
“As soon as she got on the turf, she turned into a monster. She’s a special horse, and hopefully she can finish out the year strong.”
Bred and co-owned in-part by Harris Farms and Don Valpredo, the 5-year-old California-bred mare has earned $812,228. She drew post position two in a field of six. The Maddy goes as the third of nine races. First post time is 1 p.m.
RAPID REDUX’S BID FOR 18TH STRAIGHT WIN ON HRTV FRIDAY
HRTV will cover Rapid Redux’s bid for his 18th straight win and attempt to move within one win of North American Thoroughbred racing’s all-time record for consecutive victories on Friday night at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort.
HRTV's coverage of Rapid Redux's race will come during HRTV's regularly scheduled programming.
Owned by Robert Cole and trained by David Wells, Rapid Redux's current 17-race win streak leaves him two behind co-record holders Pepper's Pride and Zenyatta.
Post time for Rapid Redux's try (in the eighth race) is scheduled for 6:55 p.m. The 5-year-old gelding faces seven foes in a one-mile starter allowance race.
HRTV TO OFFER LIVE SANTA ANITA RACES AS PART OF FREE VIEW ON HRTV.COM
HRTV has announced that free, live video streaming will be available for the duration of Santa Anita’s 2011 Autumn Meet on its website, HRTV.com. Santa Anita’s Autumn Meet starts Friday and runs through Nov. 6.
“We are very pleased to offer a free preview of our HRTV programming and to showcase world class racing at Santa Anita this fall,” said HRTV President Scott Daruty. “Racing fans around the world can now watch the Santa Anita Autumn Meet on-line, in addition to it being available on Dish Network, AT & T Uverse and Verizon’s FIOS service, as well as on select cable systems across the country.”
HRTV, “The Network for Horse Sports,” has a stable full of the racing industry’s most respected analysts, exclusive interviews and award-winning documentaries. The production and programming is dedicated to bringing viewers the story of the horse and those who love them.
In addition to Santa Anita, HRTV also carries live racing from Arlington Park, Churchill Downs, Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, NYRA, and other tracks throughout North America. Live racing is also available on a selected basis from European tracks such as Doncaster and Newmarket in Great Britain and Longchamp in France.
Additionally, HRTV has broadened its programming to include championship equestrian events from both the English and Western horse sports world, as well as programming dedicated to fulfilling the needs of a general horse-loving audience.
This past summer, HRTV received nine Regional Emmy Awards from the Ohio Valley Chapter. Earlier this year, HRTV was honored with the 2010 Eclipse Award for National Television Feature, the third such award for the network in the past five years. For more information, fans are encouraged to visit HRTV.com.
BENEFIT AT SANTA ANITA FOR EYE ON JACOB (DESORMEAUX) FOUNDATION
Sight/Sound/Spirit, a benefit for the Eye on Jacob Foundation, will be held this Sunday, Oct. 2, 7 p.m. to 12 midnight, at the FrontRunner Restaurant at Santa Anita. Special guest speaker will be Dr. William Kimberling, Director of the Center for the study and treatment of Usher Syndrome, Carver School of Medicine at University of Iowa and Boys Town National research Hospital. Dinner, music, dancing, a silent auction, a live auction and raffle drawings will be offered. Cocktail attire is required. Those wishing to attend can RSVP at EyeOnJacob.org.
Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg will be the auctioneer, while master of ceremonies will be actor John D’Aquino. The raffle prize will be a Salvador Dali woven cotton printed tapestry with a retail value of $25,000.
Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux’s son, Jacob, is afflicted with Usher Syndrome, a relatively rare genetic disorder that is a leading cause of deafness and blindness. Jacob’s mother, Sonia Desormeaux, will attend the event. She is Board Chair and Founder of the Eye on Jacob Foundation Board.
POPULAR FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL, LIVE BANDS AT SANTA ANITA SATURDAY
Santa Anita hosts another of its popular Food Truck Festivals Saturday in its infield. Approximately 70 gourmet food trucks will have a variety of food options available.
Admission to the festival is free with paid admission to the races. The food trucks will be throughout the entire Infield including the East End, Wine Shed Lawn, and the Center Infield Fountain Lawn.
In addition to the food trucks, there will also be two Gastropubs serving popular craft beers. Two live bands will perform between races beginning at 1 p.m. through 4 p.m. The Polyester Players will perform live on the East End stage and the M 80’s will perform live between races near the small tunnel.
‘PRINTROOM’ PHOTOGRAPHERS AT SANTA ANITA SATURDAY
On Saturday, a company called Printroom will be onsite at Santa Anita filming patrons as they enter the gates with an Emirates branded step, inside the Clubhouse Battery and throughout the grounds. .
Patrons who agree to a photograph will receive a photo pass card directing them to a co-branded photo site to download their images compliments of Emirates Airline. They can link that image to Facebook or print at home. This will give the sponsor a chance to keep their brand in front of the guest, their friends and family long after the event.
Printroom transparently handles all of the backroom details including ordering, product fulfillment and customer service.
FINISH LINES: Rafael Bejarano has stakes engagements at Parx Racing on Saturday . . . Trainer Mike Machowsky says rags-to-riches California-bred Caracortado is scheduled to start in the $175,000 California Cup Classic, which will be run at 1 1/8 miles on turf Oct. 29 . . . M One Rifle, winner of the Grade I Malibu in 2009, is on course for the $100,000 California Cup Sprint at six furlongs, trainer Bruce Headley said. M One Rifle worked six furlongs at Santa Anita Thursday in 1:12 flat . . . Jennifer Metz, clocker and wife of trainer Jeff Metz, will host workouts at Clockers’ Corner on weekends from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. In addition, Jennifer will field questions and point out jockeys, trainers and visiting celebrities to fans at Santa Anita’s popular morning watering hole . . . Well Monied, winner of the 2009 Honeymoon Handicap, is scheduled to run in the Grade I Juddmonte Spinster Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 9. Garrett Gomez has the mount for trainer Howard Zucker. Well Monied worked six furlongs at Santa Anita Thursday in 1:14.40 . . . All residents of Arcadia, home of Santa Anita, will be admitted free to the Club House opening day with proof of residency. Gates open Friday at 11 a.m.