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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• TEAM SPAWR HOPES LIME RICKEY IS THEIR CLAIM TO FAME
• SANTA BARBARA CHOICE HAS BREEDERS’ CUP AS HER GOAL
• SPEEDY OBVIOUSLY SHARP FOR SATURDAY’S SAN SIMEON
• JOCKEY STRA HAS RIGHT ELIXIR FOR PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $370,763
DISTANCE SUITS LIME RICKEY IN SUNDAY’S MARATHON SAN JUAN
When trainer Bill Spawr claimed Lime Rickey for $25,000 at Del Mar last September, he thought he was getting a good horse. Turns out, should the son of Lemon Drop Kid win Sunday’s San Juan Capistrano Stakes at about 1 ¾ miles on turf, Spawr and his ownership partners could have more than they bargained for, a Grade II stakes winner.
“We won him in a big shake down there,” Spawr said of the 7-year-old gelding. “He looked like a pretty nice horse for $25,000. On paper, he doesn’t have the class for the San Juan, but we’re hoping his preference for the distance will overcome the class factor.
“We can’t get him tired in the mornings. I hope Bejarano can get him tired on Sunday afternoon.”
Lime Rickey rallied to finish third last out going a mile and a half on Santa Anita’s turf course. Overall, he has a 7-10-6 record from 38 starts, with earnings of $433,347.
The field for the San Juan: Interaction, Joe Talamo, 3-1; All Squared Away, Edwin Maldonado, 7-2; Fire With Fire, Tyler Baze, 6-1; Lime Rickey, Rafael Bejarano, 10-1; Sky Kingdom, Martin Garcia, 5-2; Oilisblackgold, Martin Pedroza, 8-1; and Smart Ellis, Garrett Gomez, 4-1.
SADLER HOPES TO DOUBLE HIS PLEASURE IN SANTA BARBARA
The Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita is more than six months away, but John Sadler hopes Lady of Shamrock takes a step towards her early November goal in Saturday’s Santa Barbara Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 ¼ miles on turf.
“John has five races on her agenda this year and this is one of them,” said Sadler assistant Larry Benavidez. “The race has come up somewhat light.” All seven Santa Barbara nominees were entered, but Long Face was scratched Friday morning.
Sadler also entered Moone’s My Name in the Grade II Santa Barbara, which offers $150,000 in purse money. The English-bred mare closed well to be second in her U.S. debut in the American Beauty at Santa Anita April 7, and is coming back in only two weeks.
“It’s a little quick,” Benavidez said, “but she ran well and came running in the American Beauty. If there were 10 horses entered, we’d probably think otherwise.”
Lady of Shamrock, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Scat Daddy owned by Hronis Racing LLC, was second by a length in the Grade II Santa Ana on March 24 in her first race since finishing fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita last Nov. 2.
A two-time Grade I winner, Lady of Shamrock fancies Santa Anita’s grass course, with three wins and a second from five starts. Overall, she is six for 12 lifetime with earnings of $735,400.
The field for the Santa Barbara, race four of nine: The Only Key, Kevin Krigger, 8-1; Caelis, Corey Nakatani, 6-1; Lady of Shamrock, Rafael Bejarano, 1-1; Double Ante, Tyler Baze, 6-1; Viva Carina, Victor Espinoza, 6-1; and Moone’s My Name, Joe Talamo, 3-1.
SPEEDY OBVIOUSLY MAKES 2013 DEBUT IN SAN SIMEON
There are no Wise Dans or Animal Kingdoms in Saturday’s San Simeon Stakes. That should bode well for Obviously, a 5-year-old gelding trained by Mike Mitchell that finished third last out in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, beaten only two lengths by eventual Horse of the Year Wise Dan and a half length by 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, who would go on to take the $10 million Dubai World Cup.
Prior to the BC Mile, Obviously won a pair of Grade II stakes, one at Del Mar, the other at Santa Anita. The Irish-bred son of Choisir has been working steadily since last Nov. 3.
“I’ve worked him and he’s been working really good,” said Joe Talamo, who has ridden Obviously six straight times, winning three. “I think this is going to be a good race for him to start the summer off. He has speed, but so does Chosen Miracle.”
Chosen Miracle, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, won smartly going down the hillside course on March 28. The 5-year-old Ghostzapper horse will be seeking his first stakes win in the San Simeon. His two best showings were a second in the Grade III Eddie D. Stakes and a third in the Grade II San Gabriel Stakes.
Owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino, Obviously has a 6-3-2 record from 12 starts with earnings of $558,361.
The field for the San Simeon: Sirocco Strike, Edwin Maldonado, 20-1; Chips All In, Tyler Baze, 5-2; Obviously, Joe Talamo, 9-5; Chosen Miracle, Rafael Bejarano, 7-2; Ain’t No Other, Corey Nakatani, 8-1; Drill, Martin Garcia, 5-1; and Koast, Victor Espinoza, 5-1.
STRA, DIRT HELP PRODUCE TWO-DAY PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $370,763
A return to the main track after a dismal 11TH-place showing on Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course brought Song of a Witch back in the winner’s circle Thursday at a $75.40 payoff, cementing a two-day Pick six carryover into Friday of $370,763.
“The owners’ dreams were to run her down the hill,” trainer Derek Meredith said Friday morning, alluding to his wife, Helen, and Joe Schneider. “We tried her and she didn’t like it. They went a little too fast for her.”
Song of a Witch, one of eight horses in training for Meredith, most of them “babies,” had broken her maiden one race earlier in a seven furlong test for $30,000 claiming fillies. The 3-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Songandaprayer was ridden Thursday by Kayla Stra, who was aboard in her last four starts.
“Kayla gets on so well with her,” Meredith said. “It’s unbelievable. She’s very underrated. She should get more chances, shouldn’t she?” Song of a Witch won by a head over 8-5 favorite Sacred Delight. It was the fourth win from 50 mounts this meet for Stra, who is represented by agent Richie Silverstein.
JOE MORRIS NEW PRESIDENT OF TOC
Thoroughbred Owners of California has announced that Joe Morris has accepted the position of president, effective June 16. Morris is stepping down as general manager of Golden Gate Fields and vice president of operations and sales for track owner The Stronach Group. He has a wealth of racing experience in both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries including a stint with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA).
TOC Chairman Mike Pegram said, “We are very excited that Joe Morris has accepted the position of president. Joe has been a major contributor to California racing since his arrival at Golden Gate Fields. We want to thank The Stronach Group for working with us to make Joe's transition a seamless one.”
Keith Brackpool, Chairman of Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields, said, “While we are sorry to lose someone of Joe’s stature, we understand and respect his interest in participating more directly in the ongoing restructuring of our industry in California. Joe has been a valuable member of The Stronach Group and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors with the TOC.”
“I have enjoyed my time working with The Stronach Group and am very proud of my team’s accomplishments,” said Morris. “Golden Gate Fields’ meet is up this racing season and I look forward to seeing the track’s continued success. It is an exciting time to be joining the TOC, and I look forward to working with the TOC Board, tackling the important issues facing California racing. In the meantime, I am always accessible to any TOC member and can be reached by cell phone at (859) 621-8286 or by email at email@example.com.”
FINISH LINES: Trainer Howard Zucker reports that jockey Joy Scott has been moved to Casa Colina in Pomona to continue her therapy. “She says the therapists are really good there.” Scott, 54, suffered a compound fracture of her right femur in a training accident at Santa Anita on March 12 . . . Santa Anita will name a race Sunday in honor of veteran horseman Frankie Bamford, who died in October of last year. Friends of the popular Bamford are invited to gather after the races at The First Cabin in Arcadia to share stories and memorabilia from Frank’s life. For further information, contact pari-mutuel clerk Billy Tripp at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 626 806-5787 . . . Dave Howard, Santa Anita Print Shop’s Web Pressman from the Print & Graphics Department, is retiring after 29 years at The Great Race Place. A Toronto native, Dave has worked in the printing industry in California most of his career. When he came to Santa Anita in 1984 from Avery Label Company, he ran a letterpress for the 12-page program Santa Anita printed at that time. To accommodate Santa Anita’s current 96-page program, a three-unit web press was installed on which he has been pressman for 17 years. Howard will be retiring to Roseburg, Oregon to enjoy his grandchildren. A brief retirement tribute will be held after Saturday’s third race in the Winner’s Circle . . . Kevin Krigger, the regular rider of Santa Anita Derby winner and Kentucky Derby contender Goldencents, will be Steve Andersen’s guest at Saturday’s Daily Racing Form seminar, 11:30 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens.