Put Patrick Valenzuela on a committed front-runner and a potentially fast pace is a virtual certainty in Saturday’s $100,000 Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint.

The horse is Bob Black Jack, who equaled Santa Anita’s track record of 1:20 1/5 for seven furlongs when he won the Grade I Malibu Stakes in 2008. Bob Black Jack will have Valenzuela on his back for the first time in a race in the Sprint, a six furlong dash that has also drawn another Malibu winner, M One Rifle, no slouch himself on the front end, who was victorious in the 2009 Malibu.

Both horses are coming off layoffs, but Bob Black Jack’s is more extensive. The 6-year-old Stormy Jack horse has not run since winning the Grade II San Carlos Handicap on Feb. 20, 2010. M One Rifle has been absent since July 2 of this year, when he finished seventh in the Grade I Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Despite published reports that Bob Black Jack had been retired after suffering a soft tissue injury to his right leg during a workout at Hollywood Park in late March of last year, trainer and part owner James Kasparoff said that was not written in stone.

“Bob Black Jack was never ‘officially’ retired,” Kasparoff said. “He suffered a suspensory injury in a workout after the San Carlos. We decided to give him as much time as he needed and if he couldn’t come back at the same level as before, we wouldn’t race him. But he’s as good as he was before. I don’t think he’s lost a step.”

That’s discouraging news for Bob Black Jack’s nine Cal Cup rivals. Owned by Kasparoff, his brother, Tim, and Jeff Harmon, Bob Black Jack almost carried his speed nine furlongs when he finished second by a half-length in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby in 2008, then finished 16th by 32 lengths in the Kentucky Derby after setting the pace early on.

The field for the Sprint, the eighth of nine races: Mensa Heat, Joe Talamo; Legal Separation, Victor Espinoza; Cost of Freedom, Rafael Bejarano; Chiloquin, Martin Pedroza; Bob Black Jack, Patrick Valenzuela; Dance with Gable, Garrett Gomez; Courtside, Joel Rosario; Warren’s Knockout, Alonso Quinonez; M One Rifle, Chantal Sutherland; and Frumious, Martin Garcia.

M One Rifle blew out three furlongs for Bruce Headley on Thursday in :36 flat.


It’s too soon to tell if Mike Machowsky has another Caracortado on his hands, but the trainer of the mild favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 5 likes his chances with a youngster named Champions Gate in Saturday’s $100,000 Bob Benoit California Cup Juvenile.

“He’s doing good,” Machowsky said of the gelded son of Pure Prize owned by Donald R. Dizney of Ocala. “He worked Sunday morning in 1:03.20 with Zoe (Cadman aboard), and he’s ready. I’m just kind of keeping him fresh going two turns. I expect him to run a good race. He’s bred to run a route of ground.”

Champions Gate was a maiden winner first out, leading wire to wire at 5 ½ furlongs at Del Mar. He closed well to be second in the six furlong I’m Smokin for state-breds on Sept. 5 after bobbling at the start and going four wide through the stretch.

Machowsky’s Caracortado, meanwhile, who began his career in the claiming ranks at Fairplex Park and has gone on to become a multiple graded stakes winner and earned $774,105, is on course for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs.

The field for the Juvenile: Unveiled Heat, Joe Talamo; Far to Reach, Alonso Quinonez; Motown Men, Garrett Gomez; Rousing Sermon, Rafael Bejarano; Broadway Nika, Jose Valdivia Jr.; Stoney Fleece, Victor Espinoza; Inquisitive Son, Chantal Sutherland; Our Boy Benjamin, Patrick Valenzuela; and Champions Gate, Joel Rosario.


(From Daily Racing Form)

Mace Siegel, the shopping mall owner who operated a successful Thoroughbred stable with his family, died at his Beverly Hills home of heart failure on Wednesday, according to a friend of the family.

Siegel was 86. He had recently returned home after a month-long hospitalization.

A native of New Jersey, Siegel, with his family, raced such horses as the 2004 champion male, Declan's Moon, and the Grade I stakes winners Boys At Tosconova, Hedonist, I Ain't Bluffing, I Believe In You, Miss Iron Smoke, Rail Trip, Stormy But Valid, and Urbane.

The family's blue and lime green silks have been a familiar sight for decades in major races nationwide and especially in California, where Siegel lived for the last 45 years. Earlier this month, the Siegel family's Redeemed won the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park.

The Siegel family bred horses and was also active at sales, particularly in Maryland. Mace became a racing fan as a young man, going to tracks in the New York and New Jersey area, an interest he shared with his wife, Jan. They met on a blind date at Aqueduct in 1962.

Mace and Jan Siegel bought their first horse in 1964, and won their first stakes in 1976, at Calder. The family made a greater commitment to bloodstock through yearling acquisitions in the late 1980's, at a time when their adult daughter, Samantha, became involved.

From 1977 to 1995, the Siegel family horses were trained by Brian Mayberry. In 1989, the Siegels and Mayberry won three $100,000 races on the undercard of the Breeders' Cup races at Gulfstream Park.

In business, Siegel owned Macerich company of Santa Monica, Calif., a publicly traded real estate investment trust that owns and manages shopping centers in the United States. Siegel was involved in the business aspects of horse racing, as one of the founders of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, when the group was formed in the early 1990's.

In recent years, Siegel kept a lower profile at the races, while Samantha kept a presence by visiting the family's horses in the barns, and attending races.

The family's runners have been trained in recent years by Anthony Dutrow, Richard Dutrow Jr., Ron Ellis, Paul McGee, and Peter Miller.

In 2008, Mace and Samantha Siegel were honored for their dedication to racing by the Edwin Gregson Foundation, which provides scholarships for the children of backstretch employees.

Jan Siegel died in 2002. Aside from Samantha, survivors include son, Evan, and his granddaughter, Riley.

Added agent Richie Silverstein, who represents jockeys Kayla Stra and Martin Pedroza:

“The full racing stable of Jan, Mace and Samantha Siegel coming here from Florida in 1980 made a major impact on Southern California racing. Jan was with (the late trainer) John Russell and Mace and Samantha had horses with Brian Mayberry.

“I had first call with Brian three or four different times. They were great to ride for. They didn’t demand perfection, but they did ask for loyalty. They often had a first-call rider, which Martin was at least two if not three different times.

“I was very sad when Brian Mayberry passed and losing Mace, we don’t have that many big, big owners anymore. I’m sure Sam’s going to continue the stable, but Mace’s loss is a blow to Southern California racing.”

Santa Anita will offer a moment of silence Saturday in Siegel’s memory.


Santa Anita Park and the California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (CTBA) will partner with Susan G. Komen For The Cure to promote breast cancer awareness on Saturday, California Cup Day.

“Many businesses and sports franchises throughout the country are now getting involved in this very worthy cause,” said Santa Anita Vice President of Marketing and Sales Chris Quinn. “Along with the CTBA, we are proud to join in this effort and we hope to be able to raise breast cancer awareness both locally and nationally by having this event on Cal Cup Day.

“We’re going to have a great Cal Cup T-Shirt giveaway item and we expect to have a big on-track crowd for Cal Cup. We’ll generate state-wide and national attention via HRTV and our satellite wagering network and our jockeys have agreed to wear pink armbands. We’ll have pink borders on our saddle cloths, as well as a pink winner’s circle and paddock.

“Anyone attending can purchase a pink Susan G. Komen wristband for $5. In one way or another, virtually everyone has been touched by this deadly disease and anything we can do to support the effort to combat it, is worth trying. It should be a great day of racing and we hope to have a lot of fun and to be able to help a good many people as well,” he added.

“We are extremely excited to be partnering with Santa Anita Park and expanding breast cancer awareness to the racing community on what should be an exciting day of racing,” said Matthew Hourihan, Development Coordinator with Susan G. Komen For The Cure. “We look forward to making new friends at Santa Anita and we’re excited to be entering into a partnership with a forward-looking organization that has such a rich and highly respected history.”

First post time on Cal Cup Day is 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.


Uncle Mo is the 3-1 favorite, with Havre de Grace a close second choice at 7-2, on the list of odds by Santa Anita’s Jon White for the Grade I, $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic to be run at 1 ¼ miles on the dirt Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs. Fans at Santa Anita will have the opportunity to watch and wager on the Classic as well as other Breeders’ Cup races Nov. 4-5.

Mike Battaglia, the longtime oddsmaker at Churchill Downs, will be making the official morning lines for this year’s Breeders’ Cup races. White, who is Santa Anita’s oddsmaker, was responsible for the official Breeders’ Cup morning lines when the event was held at the Great Race Place in 2009, and he will have that task again when the Breeders’ Cup World Championships return to Santa Anita in 2012.

“I expect Uncle Mo and Havre de Grace to get the most respect from the bettors, with Flat Out not too far behind,” White said. “Even though this will be the first time Uncle Mo has ever raced farther than a mile and an eighth, I think he probably will be the favorite off his impressive win in the Kelso Handicap when he earned a giant Beyer Speed Figure (118).

“Havre de Grace will also have many supporters, though, and deservedly so, considering the way she won the Woodward when running against males for the first time. And Flat Out was flat out good himself when he won the Jockey Club Gold Cup by daylight at a mile and a quarter.

“How high or low So You Think’s price will be, I think, is pretty difficult to predict. On the one hand, he has never raced on the dirt. On the other hand, a lot of people believe So You Think can win because he is such a classy European. He is out of a Tights mare. That could bode well for So You Think running on dirt. Tights, who was trained by Laz Barrera, won the Silver Screen Handicap on the dirt at Hollywood Park, beating Precisionist.”

Game On Dude, winner of the Goodwood Stakes during Santa Anita’s Autumn Meet, is 8-1 on White’s line, as is Travers Stakes winner Stay Thirsty.

Here are White’s odds for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, minus Gio Ponti, who is expected to run instead on the turf in the Mile: Uncle Mo (3-1), Havre de Grace (7-2), Flat Out (5-1), So You Think (6-1), Game On Dude (8-1), Stay Thirsty (8-1), To Honor and Serve (10-1), Drosselmeyer (20-1), Ruler On Ice (20-1), Await the Dawn (20-1), Headache (30-1), Prayer for Relief (30-1), Rattlesnake Bridge (30-1) and Ice Box (50-1).

Daily Racing Form’s Mike Watchmaker also has Uncle Mo listed as a 3-1 favorite for the Classic. Watchmaker has Havre de Grace at 4-1. Game On Dude is 15-1 on Watchmaker’s line.

The 2009 Breeders’ Cup was held at Santa Anita, White installed Zenyatta as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the Classic. Zenyatta won as the 5-2 favorite in one of the greatest performances ever seen at a California track.


Riding calls for Breeders’ Cup races at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4 and 5 for some Santa Anita-based jockeys include:

Rafael Bejarano, Weemissfrankie (Juvenile Fillies) and Stephanie’s Kitten (Juvenile Fillies Turf).

Martin Garcia: Harmonious (Filly and Mare Turf); Jeranimo (Mile); Drill (Juvenile); Candrea (Juvenile Fillies) and The Factor (Dirt Mile or Sprint).

Garrett Gomez, Miss Match (Ladies’ Classic); Cozi Rosie (Filly & Mare Turf); Shotgun Gulch (Filly & Mare Sprint); Ann of the Dance (Juvenile Fillies); Cease (Marathon); Alpha (Juvenile); Get Stormy (Mile); Majestic City (Juvenile Turf); Broken Dreams (Turf Sprint); Tapizar (Dirt Mile); and Ruler on Ice (Classic).

Joel Rosario: Creative Cause (Juvenile); Self Preservation (Juvenile Fillies); Dubawi Heights (Filly & Mare Turf); Switch, (Filly and Mare Sprint); Pleasant Prince (Marathon); Lucky Chappy (Juvenile Turf); Great Attack (Turf Sprint); and Tres Borrachos (Dirt Mile).

Mike Smith, Baryshnikov (Marathon); Gung Ho (Juvenile Turf); Amazombie (Sprint); Mr. Commons (Mile); Dean’s Kitten (Turf); Hard Not to Like (Juvenile Fillies Turf); and Drosselmeyer (Classic).

Chantal Sutherland, Game on Dude (Classic); Great Hot (Filly and Mare Sprint or Ladies’ Classic).

Joe Talamo: Tanda (Filly & Mare Sprint) and Caracortado, (Turf Sprint).

FINISH LINES: Despite the passing of his wife and best friend of more than 60 years, Norma, last Sunday, renowned equine artist Fred Stone will be on hand at Santa Anita Saturday, offering two collecting opportunities to his many fans. His latest print, that of 1964 Kentucky Derby winner and legendary stallion Northern Dancer, will be available for a one-day, introductory price of $20. In addition, Stone is offering more than 100 collectors’ plates from his personal stock. Many of them have not been available to buyers for more than 20 years. Prices range from $35 to $100, which is far below retail value . . . Fans can obtain autographed cards of Santa Anita’s jockeys signed by the riders on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., outside Champions Gift Shop adjacent to the walking ring . . . Bob Hess Jr. remained two shy of 1,000 career training wins going into Thursday’s races. His two starters today, Giarixa in the second race at Keeneland, and Morganouska, in Santa Anita’s first race, both lost . . . Forget about slaving over sheets and numbers trying to make money picking winners at Santa Anita. Just bet on Daniel Vergara. While the 35-year-old native of Mexico City has won only eight races from 56 starts this meet through Sunday, his return on investment for a $2 bet on each of his mounts would have netted a profit of $155.80, with an average payoff per winner of more than $19. Vergara’s winners: Lakerville ($42), Atta Boy Roy ($8.80), Joyful Success ($12.40), Sixtysix Margaux ($16), Big Hands Al ($10.80), Warrens Temptation ($138.20), Special Kid ($17.80) and Brian Daniel ($21.80). Vergara’s book is handled by veteran agent Joe Griffin . . . First post time at Santa Anita on closing day, Sunday, Nov. 6, will be 12 noon . . . ShowVivor is down to the final 10 players. One dropped out on Sunday . . . HRTV’s Kurt Hoover will be Steve Andersen’s guest handicapper at Saturday’s Daily Racing Form seminar, 11:45 a.m. in the East Paddock Gardens. -30-