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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• I’LL HAVE ANOTHER FRESH BY DESIGN FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY
• CAMELIA ROSE SET FOR SANTA ANA STAKES NEXT SUNDAY
• CLASS ACT SMITH ZEROES IN ON 5,000 CAREER VICTORIES
• SECRET CIRCLE GIVES BAFFERT ANOTHER DERBY CONTENDER
I’LL HAVE ANOTHER NO LONGSHOT FOR APRIL 7 SANTA ANITA DERBY
I’ll Have Another hasn’t raced since posting a 43-1 upset in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 4. The chestnut son of Flower Alley’s career has been on hold since—at least in competition—and will remain so until the Santa Anita Derby on April 7, a span of more than two months.
The uncommonly large gap between races is by design, according to Doug O’Neill, who trains I’ll Have Another for owner J. Paul Reddam.
“He ran so well fresh off a five-month rest (winning the Grade II Lewis at 1 1/16 miles by 2 ¾ lengths), and now he’s earned just about enough (graded) money ($151,000) to get into the Kentucky Derby, so we figured we wouldn’t be too tough on him and keep him fresh for the Santa Anita Derby.”
With San Felipe Stakes winner Creative Cause and runner-up Bodemeister also ticketed for the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles, along with CashCall Futurity winner Liaison, the West Coast’s major steppingstone to the Run for the Roses on May 5 lists four of the nation’s top-rated 3-year-olds among its prospects.
“Hopefully I’ll Have Another will run big in the Santa Anita Derby, come out of it good, and it’s on to Louisville,” O’Neill said.
Under the national radar in the minds of many experts after finishing sixth by 19 lengths in the Grade I Hopeful at Saratoga as a 2-year-old last Sept. 5, I’ll Have Another caught their attention with his impressive Lewis win.
“He’s not a one-race horse,” cautioned O’Neill, who captured Santa Anita’s training crown three straight meets from 2004 through 2007, and who was second to Bob Baffert through 51 days this season with 29 victories.
“That’s the one thing we talk about at the barn,” O’Neill continued. “We’re all awed by his race in the Bob Lewis, but we were also awed by his debut (a maiden win at Hollywood Park last July 3) and his runner-up finish in the (Grade II) Best Pal (at Del Mar last Aug. 7).
“He’s always shown a lot of talent, so we’re just hoping he keeps moving forward.”
UNLUCKY CAMELIA ROSE SET FOR NEXT SUNDAY’S SANTA ANA
Simon Callaghan is hoping for better luck when Camelia Rose runs in next Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Ana Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
The French-bred daughter of Oratorio owned by J. Paul Reddam was beaten a nose as the even-money favorite when blocked at the quarter pole in her U.S. debut on March 1. The nine furlong allowance race on grass was her first start in seven months.
“She ran really well first time out,” the trainer said. “She was the best filly in the race but just got trapped on the rail. She’s come out of that race (well) and certainly improved since then and we’re looking forward to running. She’s in really good form.”
Addressing San Marcos Stakes winner Slim Shadey, who had been scheduled to run today in the San Luis Rey Stakes until the race was postponed until next Sunday, Callaghan said the delay was a minor inconvenience.
“He’s fine,” Callaghan said of the English-bred son of Val Royal. “We just worked him once more and he’s in great form, so the delay won’t worry us.”
Probable for the Santa Ana: Bauble Queen, Joe Talamo; Cambina, Garrett Gomez; Camelia Rose, Joel Rosario; City to City, Corey Nakatani; Strawberrydaiquiri, Mario Gutierrez; Vamo A Galupiar, no rider; and Wild Mia, no rider.
Probable for the San Luis Rey: Bourbon Bay, Highway Bandit, Hog’s Hollow, Porfido, Slim Shadey and Utopian.
HALL OF FAMER SMITH COULD REACH 5,000 CAREER WINS AT SANTA ANITA
At 4,995, Mike Smith is five wins from a career total of 5,000. With any luck, the 46-year-old Hall of Fame jockey should reach that milestone at Santa Anita before the meet ends on April 22.
Considerable credit for Smith’s success over the past seven-plus years goes to agent Brad Pegram. The two have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship during that period.
“I’ve represented Mike since 2004 and been an agent since 1998,” said Pegram, who also has represented Danny Sorenson, Frank Alvarado, Kent Desormeaux, David Flores and now both Smith and Victor Espinoza.
“Mike is very professional and a class guy,” Pegram said. “He’s outstanding to work for and very intelligent about racing. When it comes to handling his business, he’s a pro.
“He’s an extremely smart rider. He may not ride as many as he used to but he’s riding as good right now as he ever has.”
When he does decide to hang ‘em up, Smith is an ideal candidate for the broadcast booth. The native of Roswell, New Mexico has a 250-watt smile, a wealth of experience and knowledge of the game and expresses same articulately. Plus, he’s got a mug made for the camera.
‘UNASSUMING’ SECRET CIRCLE TICKETED FOR ARKANSAS DERBY
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Secret Circle continued on his path to the Kentucky Derby on May 5 with a victory in Saturday’s Grade II Rebel Stakes at 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park.
“He’s an unassuming horse when you watch him train, but he always shows up on the big days,” Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said of the son of Eddington who has five wins from six career starts. His only loss came in the Sham Stakes on Jan. 7, when he was beaten a half-length by Out of Bounds.
“Secret Circle doesn’t dazzle you when he trains in the mornings and he doesn’t dazzle you in his races, but he’s a good horse,” Baffert continued. “He’s improving. He came out of the Rebel well and we’ll probably go back to Oaklawn for the Arkansas Derby.”
The Arkansas Derby, a Grade I event at 1 1/8 miles with a purse of $1 million, will be run on April 14.
Baffert added that Ellafitz, fourth and last as the 4-5 favorite on a sealed but sloppy track in Saturday’s Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes, came out well. “She’s fine,” Baffert said. “She was there but when that horse (winner Include Me Out) came to her, she just didn’t give much resistance at all. She packed it in.
“It was disappointing, but the winner ran a huge race. I don’t think we could have beaten her, but I was hoping to run second.”
DOMINGUEZ TO RECEIVE SANTA ANITA WOOLF AWARD NEXT SUNDAY
Two-time Eclipse Award winning jockey Ramon Dominguez, selected by a vote of his fellow jockeys nationwide as the 63rd winner of the prestigious Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, will accept the award in ceremony at Santa Anita next Sunday.
The Woolf Award honors riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing.
Dominguez, a 35-year-old native of Venezuela, outran fellow finalists Corey Lanerie, Martin Pedroza, DeShawn Parker and (Gary’s older brother) Scott Stevens to win one of racing’s most coveted awards.
America’s leading jockey by number of wins in 2001 and 2003, Dominguez has won back-to-back Eclipse Awards as North America’s champion jockey in 2010 and 2011. In addition to these honors, Dominguez won the Isaac Murphy Award in 2004 for having the highest win percentage among American-based riders.
Dominguez has two Breeders’ Cup wins to his credit, winning the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Turf with Better Talk Now and most recently, the 2011 Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile this past November at Churchill Downs with Hansen.
Born Nov. 24, 1976 in Caracas, Venezuela, Dominguez began riding at Hialeah Park in Florida in 1996. He has become a dominant force in New York, with 13 NYRA riding titles to his credit, dating back to 2007-08.
The Woolf Award was created to honor and memorialize the legendary jockey George “The Iceman” Woolf, who was regarded as one of the greatest big money riders of his era and who died following a spill on Santa Anita’s Club House turn on Jan. 3, 1946. The Woolf trophy is a replica of the full-size statue of the late jockey which adorns Santa Anita’s Paddock Gardens area.
Dominguez resides in New York with his wife Sharon and son Alexander.
First presented by Santa Anita in 1950, the Woolf Award was won last year by Garrett Gomez.
FINISH LINES: Thoroughbred owner and recently appointed head of California race tracks for the Stronach Group Mark Verge will be this Wednesday’s guest on HRTV’s “Across the Board” which airs at 5 p.m. . . . Despite rain and cold weather, the Zenyatta Baby Shower poster signing Saturday at Champions Gift Shop was a winner, with purchases of Zenyatta pictures and merchandise accounting for half of the day’s sales, which were up by 12 percent over last year . . . Rafael Bejarano rides Southwest division winner Castaway next Sunday in the Sunland Derby at Sunland Park, while Martin Garcia pilots Princess Arabella in the Sunland Park Oaks. Both 3-year-olds are trained by Bob Baffert . . . Agent Ron Anderson reports that Corey Nakatani will be at Turfway Park Saturday to ride Russian Greek for Jerry Hollendorfer in the Grade III Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes at 1 1/8 miles and More Than Love for trainer John Terranova II in the $100,000, Grade II Bourbonette Oaks at one mile . . . When 4-5 favorite Ellafitz finished fourth and last in Saturday’s Santa Margarita Stakes, 182 players were eliminated in ShowVivor2, leaving 197 remaining in Santa Anita’s popular on line handicapping contest.