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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• TAKE NOTE OF TREASURY BILL WHEN DISTANCES INCREASE
• MILE SHOULD SUIT MIZDIRECTION IN BUENA VISTA ON FEB. 18
• TALAMO HIGH ON LADY OF FIFTY FOR GRADE II SANTA MARIA
• DENMAN PROUD OF HALL OF FAME INDUCTION MONDAY NIGHT
WILL TREASURY BILL PAY DIVIDEND IN SEVEN FURLONG SAN VICENTE?
Treasury Bill makes his stakes debut for owners Gary and Mary West and trainer Ron Ellis in next Saturday’s Grade II San Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.
Where it leads on the Triple Crown trail for the son of Lemon Drop Kid depends in part on where other prominent 3-year-olds owned by the Wests make their next starts in quest of the Kentucky Derby on May 4, first and foremost among them, Robert B. Lewis winner Flashback, one of a plethora of prospects trained by Bob Baffert.
“He’s doing well, but (going) seven-eighths of a mile against talented maiden winners, it’s just not his ball game,” Ellis said of Treasury Bill, who broke his maiden on Santa Anita’s wet/fast track at 6 ½ furlongs on Jan. 27.
“We’re just trying to get untracked for some of the bigger Derby preps. This will get another race under his belt, give him a little more experience and we’ll move on to two turns.”
Where that might lead depends on where the other West sophomores run. “We could wind up in Arkansas down the road,” Ellis said. “It’ll be a chess game for a while.”
The good news is, Treasury Bill is in sharp form and hopefully only improving. “We’re on an upward trajectory,” Ellis said. “We just want to keep him doing that. We’ve still got a few months to go before the big ones. This won’t be a big test for him because it’s only around one turn, but his next race, when he runs in March, will be.”
BREEDERS’ CUP WINNER MIZDIRECTION SET FOR MILE OF BUENA VISTA
Mizdirection enhanced her reputation as a downhill turf course specialist when she beat males to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita last Nov. 3, but Mike Puype has every confidence the old gray mare can successfully handle one mile on grass in the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes on Presidents’ Day, Monday, Feb. 18.
“She’ll work Thursday and I don’t see a mile as a problem,” the trainer said. “She’s been there before and she’s better now. I don’t see why she won’t do a mile the way she’s been running and galloping out past the field each time, so I’m not worried about it at all.”
Owned in part by radio and TV sports talk icon Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing, Mizdirection has eight wins from 13 career starts with earnings of $1,004,621. In her first start since the Breeders’ Cup, the 5-year-old daughter of Mizzen Mast won the Grade II Monrovia Stakes Jan. 6 for the second straight year.
Probable for the Buena Vista: A Jealous Woman, Brice Blanc; Byrony, Garrett Gomez; Long Face, Julien Leparoux; and Mizdirection, Mike Smith. Sharp Cat winner Charm the Maker was a possibility as of Sunday, trainer Ron McAnally said. Byrony worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s firm turf course Sunday in 1:03.40 for John Sadler, who also sent multiple turf stakes winner Lady of Shamrock the same distance in 1:02.40.
Fans attending Santa Anita on Presidents’ Day will receive free an attractive Santa Anita umbrella with paid admission while supplies last.
LADY OF FIFTY SHARP FOR GRADE II SANTA MARIA NEXT SATURDAY
Joe Talamo rides Lady of Fifty for only the second time in next Saturday’s Grade II Santa Maria Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles, but the 23-year-old jockey is optimistic that the gray After Market filly trained and owned in part by Jerry Hollendorfer is ready for another solid effort on dirt.
“She’s been training really well,” Talamo said of Lady of Fifty, who finished last under Talamo in her lone grass race, the one-mile China Doll at Santa Anita last March.
“Actually, I worked her yesterday,” Talamo continued. “She went three quarters in (one) 12 and change, so she ought to be tough in there.”
Lady of Fifty’s official time on Betfair Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track was a bullet 1:12.60, fastest by a full second of 11 drills at the distance. The next-best time was 1:13.60 recorded by the John Sadler-trained He Be Fire N Ice.
“It was hard to say how she was based on my one ride on the turf with her, but in the Bayakoa and the Palm Springs before that (both victories), I thought she ran real well,” Talamo said. “If she runs her race, she’ll be tough.”
DENMAN PROUD TO BE INDUCTED INTO CALIFORNIA HALL OF FAME
Santa Anita track announcer Trevor Denman will be inducted into the California Hall of Fame at the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association’s annual meeting and awards dinner tomorrow night at the Westin Pasadena.
“I’m very, very proud to have this honor,” Denman said. “It’s one of the highest accolades I’ve had in my career. I respect everyone on the board there and it’s just a great honor to be even thought of to get an award like this, so I’m very, very happy about it.”
The business meeting begins at 4 p.m., followed by a cocktail reception at 6. The awards dinner begins at 7 p.m. For reservation and information, contact Christy Chapman at 626 445-7800 (ext. 247) or email Christy@ctba.com.
NAKATANI AMONG SPONSERS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY EVENT WEDNESDAY
A couples only Valentine’s Day event sponsored by Chaplain Richard Mena of the Racetrack Bible Study, Deacon Arnie Lopez of Holy Angels Church and jockey Corey Nakatani will take place this Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Santa Anita’s Top O’ the Stretch area, replete with music.
Dinner catered by Nakatani’s newly-opened “C Nak’s El Loco Sports Grill” in Azusa will include steak picado, rice, beans, tortillas and drinks.
For further information, call 626 963-2625.
DEDICATED MALDONADO MOVES INTO SECOND IN SANTA ANITA STANDINGS
Two wins Thursday moved Edwin Maldonado into second place in Santa Anita’s jockey standings. Through 29 days of the 71-day meet, the long and lanky Maldonado has 24 wins, 13 behind surging leader Rafael Bejarano and two more than third-place Joe Talamo.
The surprise winner of the recent Betfair Hollywood Park riding title, Maldonado does not consider himself a one-hit wonder. He works hard in the mornings and does his homework before he rides in the afternoons.
“I look at the horse’s past performances and I go from there,” Maldonado said. “I also look at the speed in the race and where I should place myself. “Being successful is not luck like people say. It’s hard work and dedication. That’s what it is.”
FINISH LINES. Crystal Water winner John Scott worked four furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday in 48.80, after which trainer Carla Gaines mentioned the March 2 Santa Anita Handicap as a possibility for the 6-year-old Bertrando gelding. Midnight Transfer, who worked six furlongs in 1:13.20 for Gaines, is a candidate for the Grade II San Carlos Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 23. He worked in company with Counting Days, who was clocked in 1:13.80 . . . Among 10 horses working for Steve Asmussen was Eddie D. Stakes winner Unbridled’s Note, who went five furlongs in 1:00.80 . . . California Breeders’ Champion Stakes winner (fillies division) Qiaona worked four furlongs in 50.20 for Ed Moger Jr. . . . Trainers Ron McAnally and Ray Bell report that San Marcos Stakes runner-up Interaction and sixth-place finisher Juniper Pass came out of Saturday’s race well and likely would point to the Grade II San Luis Rey Stakes at 1 ½ miles on turf March 16 . . . Seven-pound apprentice Efran Hernandez joined agent Tommy Ball effective yesterday. Ball also represents returning veteran Sal Gonzalez Jr., who is expected to ride at Santa Anita next weekend . . . Good news, bad news for trainer Steve Knapp last Thursday. He saddled horses in the first four races at Santa Anita, finishing third three times. His daughter, Stevie Jo, cracked a home run in her first college at bat for the victorious Oregon Ducks’ softball team . . . Owner/trainer Richard Baltas got all the marbles two days in a row when his Melanistic captured Thursday’s sixth race and Streets of Heaven took Friday’s fourth race . . . And this from CBS/Golf Channel commentator David Feherty trying to describe Bill Murray’s get-up at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am: “He looks like a cross between George Armstrong Custer and the rider of the seventh race at Santa Anita.”