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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• STREAKING ELLAFITZ BETTER THAN EVER FOR GRADE I SANTA MARGARITA
• TRAINER CONFIDENT SLIM SHADEY CAN GET MARATHON DISTANCE
• LINDZ WINZ IN QUICK TURNAROUND FOR IRISH O’BRIEN STAKES
ELLAFITZ SEEKS FOURTH STRAIGHT STAKES WIN IN GRADE I SANTA MARGARITA
Bad news for rivals of Ellafitz in next Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Santa Margarita Stakes. A winner of three straight stakes—two of them Grade II’s—in which she was never headed, Ellafitz is doing better now for the Santa Margarita than she was before she won the Grade II Santa Maria Stakes on Feb. 18.
Prior to the Santa Maria, she won the Grade II Bayakoa at Hollywood Park, like the Santa Maria, at a distance of 1 1/16 miles.
“She’s in a zone right now,” said trainer Bob Baffert, who also plans to run his wife’s filly, Awesomemundo, in the Santa Margarita. The daughter of Awesome Again would be making her stakes debut.
“Ellafitz runs hard, she runs fast,” Baffert said of the 5-year-old Tiznow mare. “Last time they took all kinds of shots at her, she took a lot of heat and kept going. They sent a rabbit out there (Great Hot pressed the pace but faded to sixth) . . . but my mare is doing better for this race than she was before the last race.”
Probable for the Santa Margarita, a race Baffert has never won: Awesomemundo, Mike Smith; Ellafitz; Martin Garcia; Include Me Out, Joe Talamo; and Miss Mittagong, Mario Gutierrez.
Awesomemundo worked six furlongs in company Sunday in 1:13. Stablemate Frenemy was clocked in 1:13.80. At Hollywood, La Caňada Stakes winner Include Me Out worked five furlongs on Cushion Track in 1:00.20 for Ron Ellis.
SLIM SHADEY STRETCHES OUT IN NEXT SUNDAY’S SAN LUIS REY STAKES
Simon Callaghan felt he had limited opportunities for Slim Shadey at Santa Anita after the English-bred gelding led throughout to win the Grade II San Marcos Stakes at a mile and a quarter on turf by a head on Feb. 11.
But the 29-year-old trainer is confident now that the son of Val Royal can successfully negotiate the added quarter-mile of next Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Rey Stakes at 1 ½ miles on turf.
“He’s a very relaxed horse in his training,” Callaghan said. “You can pretty much ride him any way, so I think he should get this extra distance. If he does, I think he’s going to be a really interesting horse.
“We’ll just let him sit wherever he’s comfortable. It could be on the lead, it could be second or it could be third. He’s versatile in that respect.”
Slim Shadey worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday in 1:02.20, while Falcon Rock had a “maintenance work” at the same distance in 1:04.40.
Probable for the San Luis Rey: Bourbon Way, Rafael Bejarano; Falcon Rock, Joel Rosario; Slim Shadey, David Flores; and Utopian, Mike Smith.
LINDZ WINZ COMES BACK ON SHORT REST TO TACKLE UNZIP ME NEXT SATURDAY
Coming under the heading of “Dog Bites Man,” trainer Barry Abrams plans to run Lindz Winz back in eight days when the daughter of Vronsky runs in next Saturday’s $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes for California-bred fillies and mares at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf on St. Patrick’s Day.
“I don’t expect to beat Unzip Me, but my filly is fit and maybe we can get some black type by finishing second or third,” said Abrams, who is known for his propensity for running his stock at uncommonly frequent intervals.
Edwin Maldonado rides Lindz Winz, while Mike Smith takes over on Unzip Me for Rafael Bejarano, who rides Secret Circle in the Rebel at Oaklawn Park next Saturday.
APPRENTICE COA TAKES FIRST CAREER VICTORY IN STRIDE
Keibar Coa was calm, cool, collected--and drenched after guiding 7-2 shot Five Star Cruise to a 1 ¼-length victory in Saturday’s third race for the first win of his career.
“It feels really good,” said the 19-year-old son of jockey Eibar Coa, who won on his 12th mount at Santa Anita and carries a 10-pound weight allowance as an apprentice. “I’m happy Jerry (Hall of Fame trainer Hollendorfer) gave me the opportunity and I want to thank my family and everyone who supported me.
“This is a tough riding colony, but I was welcomed when I arrived in California and made to feel at home.” He was also made to feel wet when veteran rider Martin Pedroza dumped a bucket of ice water on him during a post-race interview.
But that was nothing compared to the “indoctrination” his peers gave him when he got back to the jocks’ room.
“He’s a good kid,” said Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward. “We didn’t have to give him any instructions. He worked the filly twice.” Five Star Cruise, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Five Star Day owned by Arroyo Grande resident Janine Queller (whose nom de course is Very Un Stable), was dropping from the $16,000 claiming level to $8,000 in the 5 ½ furlong race.
Keibar (pronounced KAY-ber) is represented by agent Joe Ferrer, who also handles business for world-class rider Rafael Bejarano.
‘LUCK’ FILMING CONTINUES NEXT WEEK FOR SECOND EPISODE
The show goes on for trainer Matt Chew, who supervises activities for 50 horses in his care for HBO’s hit series, LUCK, which airs Sundays at 9 p.m.
“On Tuesday they film the second day of racing scenes for episode two,” Chew said. “On Wednesday, we’ll be at Pomona to shoot an auction scene at the Fairplex pavilion. We leased the facility for the day and will dress it up for the scenes on TV.”
Much of the racing footage to date has been filmed at Santa Anita.
‘SANTA ANITA UNCORKED’ SET FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 25
Santa Anita will present its fifth annual “Santa Anita Uncorked” wine and culinary festival on Sunday, March 25. The event will be staged in the track’s paddock gardens area beginning at 12 noon and will feature a wide array of boutique and hand-picked wine selections, cuisine sampling from 14 popular local restaurants, a paddock art show and a full day of exciting Thoroughbred racing.
“This event has grown over the years and all of our participants have told us that Santa Anita is a perfect venue for it,” said Chris Quinn, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Santa Anita. “All of these things, good wine, outstanding food and world-class racing, make for a great mix and what better place to make it all come together than here at Santa Anita?
“Candace Chew, Director of our Graphics Department, has worked very hard to develop this and she’s done a magnificent job.”
“Santa Anita Uncorked” will again be sponsored by the Wine of the Month Club, which is based in nearby Monrovia.
“We are so thrilled to participate in ‘Santa Anita Uncorked’ again this year,” said Wine of the Month Club President Paul Kalemkiarian. “Traditionally, going to the racetrack is one of America’s favorite pastimes. Add some exceptional cuisine and stellar wines and you have one of the most exciting and delicious events of the year.”
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.
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 the California (Equine) Retirement Management Account (CARMA).
MEMORIAL SERVICE AT SANTA ANITA TODAY FOR ‘EDDIE FROM ALHAMBRA’
A memorial service will be held in Santa Anita’s Chandelier Room today after the ninth race for Eddie Rosenbloom, who died at age 53 on March 2. All friends are welcome.
A corpulent race track character of Runyonesque proportions in size, legend and verbal volume, Rosenbloom was known as “Eddie from Alhambra” on local sports-talk radio to his many race track friends. Today’s ninth race is named in his honor.
‘KISS ME, I’M IRISH’ CASINO NIGHT BENEFITS EYE ON JACOB FOUNDATION
“Kiss Me, I’m Irish” Casino Night will be held in Santa Anita’s Chandelier Room on St. Patrick’s Day, next Saturday, March 17, at 7 p.m. The event, featuring gambling, games and entertainment, benefits the Eye on Jacob Foundation.
The Eye on Jacob Foundation is a 501 c-3 nonprofit organization founded by Sonia Desormeaux in 2008. Sonia’s younger son, Jacob, the son of Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, suffers from Ushers Syndrome. To become an Eye on Jacob sponsor, RSVP or visit www.EyeOnJacob.org.
FINISH LINES: Trainer Mike Harrington said San Felipe winner Creative Cause came out of Saturday’s victory in good order and it’s on to the Grade I Santa Anita derby on April 7 . . . With 25 racing days remaining, Bob Baffert needed 14 victories to eclipse his personal Santa Anita record of 47 wins set in 1997-98 and 21 to top the record of 54 held by Doug O’Neill. Through Saturday, Baffert’s 34 wins had come from 114 starters, for a 30 percent average. Runner-up O’Neill had 27 wins from 127 starters . . . Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Amazombie worked four furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday with Alex Bisono up in 49.60. Trainer Bill Spawr is preparing the California-bred gelding for either the Potrero Grande Stakes at Santa Anita on April 7 or the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 14 . . . Fleet Treat Stakes winner Sugarinthemorning will run in the Grade I, $300,000 Madison Vinery at Keeneland on April 12, said Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, who has engaged Rafael Bejarano to ride. Sugarinthemorning worked six furlongs at Santa Anita Saturday in 1:13.80 . . . Bejarano has been suspended three racing days (March 17, 18 and 22) for causing interference on Depreciable in Saturday’s sixth race . . . Martin Pedroza has been suspended seven racing days (March 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 29) “for causing interference in the stretch while riding Oh Righty in the seventh race on March 4 . . . willfully riding to cause interference.” . . . There were 938 players who advanced to Sunday’s round in ShowVivor2 . . . Co-owner Jerry Moss on the birth of Zenyatta’s first foal, a colt by Bernardini last week: “She made a beautiful son for us, what can I say?”