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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• COURTSIDE SEEKS GRADED STATUS IN SATURDAY’S GRADE II PALOS VERDES
• PENDER CONFIDENT OF JERANIMO FOR TODAY’S GRADE II SAN GABRIEL
• GREAT HOT SET FOR ADDED DISTANCE OF LA CAŇADA STAKES
SPRINT SPECIALIST COURTSIDE SET FOR GRADE II PALOS VERDES
Courtside is scheduled to make his first graded stakes start when he runs in Saturday’s Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes for 4-year-olds and up at six furlongs.
Joel Rosario thinks he’s up to the task.
“He’s easy to handle and his specialty is sprinting,” said Rosario, who has ridden the gray son of Cindago in eight of his 10 career races, the last five in a row, including a daylight victory in the California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita last Oct. 29.
“Every time he runs, he does the best he can,” Rosario continued. “The competition is probably a little tougher this time, but we’re hoping he can handle it.”
Courtside is trained by John Sadler for the C R K Stable of Susan and Lee Searing, who also bred the California-bred gelding, a winner of five of his 10 starts.
Rosario, tied for the riding lead with Rafael Bejarano at 15 wins each through Sunday, does a large portion of his work for John Sadler, Santa Anita’s training leader in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
“Riding for John Sadler definitely is a plus,” said Rosario, whose business is handled by Ron Ebanks. “I love John and we’re happy to work for him. “
Meanwhile, Ebanks said he is appealing a five-day suspension (Jan. 21, 22, 26, 27 and 28) Rosario was handed by Santa Anita’s stewards “for failure to make the proper effort to maintain a straight course in the stretch” aboard Mon Couer in Saturday’s ninth race, resulting in a spill and a disqualification of his horse from first to ninth.
Probable for the Palos Verdes: Amazombie, Mike Smith; Courtside, Joel Rosario; Euroears, no rider; M One Rifle, Joe Talamo; Mensa Heat, no rider; and Sway Away, no rider.
SAN GABRIEL STRATEGY NO PROBLEM FOR VERSATILE JERANIMO
Jeranimo is the even-money favorite in today’s Grade II San Gabriel Stakes on Jon White’s morning line, and, in the minds of most, it’s a number that will go considerably lower by post time.
Should Jeranimo win under jockey Martin Garcia, it would put him over $900,000 in career earnings and give him his eighth win from 25 starts, including his fifth Grade II stakes. Trainer Mike Pender feels blessed to have such a giving runner.
“You really don’t need to strategize with Jeranimo,” Pender said. “He’s got such a kind mouth, you can place him just about anywhere.
“He’s come from well off the pace to win, and in other races he’s sat two or three off of them. As long as you don’t get into a tug of war with him early, you’re OK. When he jumps out of the gate he always wants to be on the lead. Most of the time we kind of take him back and reserve him off the pace.
“This race, it looks like the pace is coming up a little soft, so we’ll put it in Martin’s hands and see how it shapes up.”
The field for the San Gabriel: Sandor, Corey Nakatani, 8-1; Ashtar, Kevin Krigger, 12-1; Norvsky, Rafael Bejarano, 3-1; Jeranimo, Martin Garcia, 1-1; The Usual Q.T., Victor Espinoza, 5-2; and Imponente Purse, Chantal Sutherland, 8-1.
VERSATILE FILLY GREAT HOT ABANDONS SPRINTS FOR GRADE II LA CAŇADA
Great Hot tries two turns again in Sunday’s La Caňada Stakes after running in three straight sprints at seven furlongs. Trainer A.C. (Antonio Carlos) Avila is confident the consistent daughter of Orientate will appreciate the added distance.
“Distance is no problem,” he said. “She’s run at a mile three times and was third in the Grade I Lady’s Secret at a mile and a sixteenth. She’s versatile. She can go (on the pace), she can sit, she can do whatever she wants.”
The Brazilian-bred 4-year-old filly won the Grade II Raven Run on Keeneland’s Polytrack last Oct. 22, then had a troubled trip finishing 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4 before rallying to finish third in the Lady’s Secret. She has four wins from nine starts and earned $327,265.
“She’s always showed us she’s a good filly,” Avila said. “She got sick after she won at Santa Anita last March and needed four months off . . . Anyway, she’s back and in good shape.” Probable for the La Caňada: Capital Plan, Rafael Bejarano; Great Hot, Chantal Sutherland; Include Me Out, Joe Talamo; May Day Rose, no rider; Miss Radiance, David Flores; and Tiz Flirtatious, Joel Rosario.
Capital Plan is scheduled to work at Santa Anita Tuesday at 7:45 a.m. with Bejarano up, said Dan Ward, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
FINISH LINES: Malibu Stakes runner-up Rothko worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Monday in 1:02. Trainer Steve Asmussen termed the drill “perfect.” . . . Edwin Maldonado, 29-year-old native of Puerto Rico, has three wins from 13 starts this meet, all in the last two days, including $43.20 longshot Swiss Tart for trainer Mike Harrington in Sunday’s sixth race . . . Agent Vince DeGregory has booked Alonso Quinonez on impressive maiden winner Coach Sickie for Jeff Mullins in next Sunday’s $75,000 San Pedro Stakes for 3-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs . . . There were 99 players remaining in Santa Anita’s on line handicapping contest, ShowVivor, entering Monday’s races, thanks largely to 68 backing even-money favorite Reneesgotzip, 7 ¾-length winner of Sunday’s Santa Ynez Stakes.