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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• HOLLENDORFER HOPES HEAR THE GHOST ADDS TO HIS RESUME
• SAL GONZALEZ JR. WINS FIRST RACE AT SANTA SINCE 1993
• JOCKEY JOE STEINER SET FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY 5K RUN
• WASHINGTON INVADER RAISED A SECRET HERE FOR ECHO EDDIE
HEAR THE GHOST WORKS TOWARDS SANTA ANITA DERBY
Jerry Hollendorfer has precious little missing from a remarkable resume compiled over more than three decades as a trainer.
He is a member of racing’s Hall of Fame, one of five trainers to win in excess of 6,000 races, and has more training titles in Northern California than Bret Favre has comebacks.
Through Saturday, with 26 victories and 17 racing days remaining, Hollendorfer was giving Bob Baffert a run for the money as Santa Anita’s training leader, sitting just five behind, even though he has started 44 fewer horses and is winning at 27 percent.
Victories in the Santa Anita Derby and in the world’s most famous race, the Kentucky Derby, would fill remaining voids in the 67-year-old’s training history. If the fates allow, they could be realized this year with a 3-year-old gelding named Hear the Ghost, who registered an upset at nearly 6-1 when he rallied to overtake favored Flashback and win the San Felipe Stakes by a half-length under Corey Nakatani on March 9.
Next up: the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles on April 6, with every trainer’s ultimate goal beyond that, the Grade I, $2 million Run for the Roses at 1 ¼ miles on May 4.
Hear the Ghost worked towards those goals at Betfair Hollywood Park Sunday morning, going six furlongs on Cushion Track in 1:13.60 under Nakatani. “Very nice,” is how Hollendorfer termed the move. “He galloped out strong as usual. He’ll have a little blowout and we’ll be all set for the Santa Anita Derby.”
Critics point out that Hear the Ghost benefited from Flashback’s costly pace duel in the San Felipe, but Hollendorfer is inclined to let judgments fall where they may. Whether Hear the Ghost’s San Felipe win was an aberration remains to be seen.
“All the horses that are on the 3-year-old trail have to prove themselves every single race,” Hollendorfer said. “Those races are more under the microscope, so everybody’s going to look closer at those. If you don’t so something right, they criticize you.
“I’ve been down that road before, so hopefully, I won’t give them anything to criticize Hear the Ghost.”
Hollendorfer is confident the chestnut son of 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper can successfully get the nine furlongs of the Santa Anita Derby.
With 50 points to date under the Kentucky Derby’s new qualifying system, Hear the Ghost is among the leaders, with seemingly enough to make the Run for the Roses.
“We’ll see,” Hollendorfer said matter-of-factly. “If our horse takes us to the Derby, we’ll go, but if he doesn’t, we’ll go somewhere else.”
LONG TIME BETWEEN WINS FOR SAL GONZALEZ JR. AT SANTA ANITA<>Time flies: When jockey Sal Gonzalez Jr. won Saturday’s first race aboard Ernie Owl for trainer Jorge Periban, it was the first victory at The Great Race Place for the nephew of currently inactive trainer Paco Gonzalez in nearly 20 years. At 14-1 the longest shot in the field of six $20,000 claiming horses, Ernie Owl pressed the pace throughout the six furlong race, holding gamely to win by a half-length despite constant pressure. He paid $30.40.
Going into Saturday, Sal Jr., who left colder climes back east to return to the Golden State recently, had but three third-place finishes to show from 11 mounts this meet.
His first win at Santa Anita came as an apprentice in 1993 aboard tote buster Acredittohisrace. Saddled by Dan Hendricks, the winner paid a whopping $300.20.
Sunday morning, Gonzalez was working horses as usual but took time to recount Saturday’s victory.
“I spoke to Jorge about the horse and got on it a few days before the race,” Gonzalez, now 37, said. “I got to know him and he felt like he was on his toes. The trainer said he’s got plenty of ammunition, to go to the lead and he’ll have plenty left.”
JOCKEY STEINER IN SHAPE FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY 5K RUN
Joe Steiner is ready for the Santa Anita Derby 5K Run on April 6. The 48-year-old jockey is well beyond fit for his age, thanks to a regimen that includes traversing parts of the San Gabriel Mountains on a regular basis.
“I run every day,” the personable native of Washington State said. “I go up in the San Gabriel Mountains all the time. As for the race, I’m just going to go at my own pace and enjoy it. I’m not in there to win. I jog five days a week up in the mountains, so I kind of do my own thing and enjoy the ride.’
Now in its 19th year, the Derby Day 5K, which gets underway at 8 a.m., attracted 5,200 runners and walkers last year.
Three different races will be offered, with the Masters (for those over the age of 40) division scheduled to start at 7:45 a.m., the Open (all others), at 8 a.m., and the Walk (for those who choose to walk only) at 8:20 a.m.
Registration for three kids’ races: 6 and under, 7 to 9, and 10 to 12 years of age, will be available on the morning of the event in the track’s Infield from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
All races will end up at the finish line of Santa Anita’s training track, which is directly inside of its storied main track and turf course.
Walk-up registration is available now through April 4, at “Run With Us,” located at 235 N. Lake Ave. in Pasadena. “Run With Us” can be reached at (626) 568-3331.
Race day registration will be offered in Santa Anita’s southwest parking lot, beginning at 6:30 a.m. Race day registration will be available until 8 a.m.
For more information on how to register for the Santa Anita Derby 5K Run and Walk on April 6, visit www.kinaneevents.com
Online and mail-in registration for Santa Anita’s popular Derby Day 5K Run and Walk is available at www.kinaneevents.com or by mail addressed to: Santa Anita Derby Day 5K, c/o Time Management, P.O. Box 131314, Carlsbad, Ca. 92013-1314.
RAISED A SECRET INVADES CALIFORNIA FOR RICH ECHO EDDIE
Raised a Secret is scheduled to make his first start for new trainer Mark Glatt in six months when he runs in next Saturday’s $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes for 3-year-olds bred or sired in California.
“I think he came down here (from Washington) in November,” Glatt said of the Cal-bred son of Songandaprayer owned by Rodney Orr of Silverton, Oregon. “The horse has trained very well. Mr. Orr lives in the Northwest and he starts his horses racing there.
“But this horse is a California-bred and he’s showed that he has talent up there, so they sent him down here to see how he might do in these Cal-bred races.”
Raised a Secret broke his maiden by 2 ½ lengths going six furlongs at Emerald Downs, then finished third in the one-mile Gottstein Futurity after hopping at the start,
FINISH LINES: Amazombie worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Sunday morning in 1:02.80 but will pass the Grade II Potrero Grande Stakes on Santa Anita Derby Day, April 6. “He went well,” trainer and co-owner Bill Spawr said of the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion. “He went 14 and one the first eighth and started picking it up. He won’t run in the Potrero Grande. The Oaklawn race (Count Fleet Sprint Championship on April 13) is not out of the question, but we’ll probably wait for Hollywood and run in the Tiznow (for California-breds at 7 ½ furlongs on April 27).” Spawr added that two-time stakes winner Ismene, second in her turf debut in the Irish O’Brien last Sunday, is ticketed for the B. Thoughtful Stakes at Hollywood, also on April 27, also at 7 ½ furlongs and also with a purse of $125,000 . . . Santa Anita Handicap runner-up Clubhouse Ride, a candidate for the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic on April 20, worked six furlongs for Craig Lewis in 1:14 . . . Risen Star runner-up Code West, prepping for the Louisiana Derby on March 30, worked five furlongs in company with stablemate Del Mar Sunset in 1:00.20 for Bob Baffert. Del Mar Sunset was clocked in 1:00.40 with jockey Erick Lopez up . . . Champ Pegasus, second in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Turf, is back working out in preparation for his return to the races. “He’s had four or five breezes,” trainer Richard Mandella said. “We haven’t let him do anything real fancy yet, but he’s doing great. He just had a lot of little issues, but nothing serious. We’re hoping he’s got a chance to come back like he was.” . . . With 4-5 favorite Market Quote saving the day for 11 players by finishing third in Saturday’s second race, 30 are alive in ShowVivor II entering Sunday’s card.