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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• NO SCOOP, BUT CLOCKER LIKES GAME ON DUDE IN CLASSIC
• GOMEZ OFF MOUNTS AGAIN, NOT RIDING ‘FOR TIME BEING’
• SMOOVE IT RETURNS FOR REDDAM IN SUNDAY’S ANOAKIA STAKES
GAME ON DUDE HEADS ‘FAB FOUR’ IN BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC
Game On Dude, Fort Larned, Mucho Macho Man and Ron the Greek. Meet the Breeders’ Cup Classic’s Fab Four.
Game On Dude has won six straight stakes and is the early favorite for the $5 million, mile-and-a-quarter Classic Nov. 2 at Santa Anita, where the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be presented that Saturday and the preceding Friday, Nov. 1.
Fort Larned is the defending Classic champ; Mucho Macho Man was an impressive winner of the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita Sept. 28; and Ron the Greek, the 2012 Santa Anita Handicap winner, showed his best form in a 21-1 upset in The Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Sept. 28. Each horse has won its last start.
You bets your money and you takes your choice, the old saying goes.
“Game On Dude is obviously the horse to beat,” said private clocker Gary Young, whose opinion is both forthright and widely respected. “Fort Larned ran a strange race (winning the Homecoming Classic Stakes at Churchill Downs Sept. 28). He looked like he was going to win by 10, and then he kind of just won (by a length and a half).
“He picked his game up when he won here last year, but he’ll have to pick it up this year, off of that race.
“Ron the Greek was impressive. Just when it looked like he might be fading back into normal race horse land, he comes up with a performance like that. Obviously, he likes this race track after winning the Big Cap last year.
“Mucho Macho Man likes this track, too, but he’ll be running against a different (read stronger) group (than he met in the Awesome Again).
“Of those four, Game On Dude would be my top choice, although that’s not ‘scooping’ the world. Fort Larned would be my fourth choice and the other two would be tied for second.”
GOMEZ, BESET WITH PERSONAL PROBLEMS, ABSENT ‘FOR A WHILE’
Garrett Gomez, who took off his six riding assignments at Santa Anita Sunday due to a missed flight from Kentucky where he won two races at Keeneland the day before, took off his scheduled five mounts at Santa Anita today. Two of his of his scheduled mounts here on Sunday won as well.
“He’s going through personal problems,” said his agent, Tony Matos. “He texted me yesterday and said he didn’t want to ride for a while.”
A two-time Eclipse Award winner in 2007 and 2008 as the nation’s leading rider and winner of the Shoemaker Award for outstanding performance by a jockey in the 2005, 2007 and 2008 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Gomez, who has been dogged by personal issues throughout his career, took time off this past summer during Hollywood Park and Del Mar. He turns 42 on Jan. 1, 2014.
A native of Tucson, Gomez had three wins, three seconds and six thirds from 24 mounts at Santa Anita through the first seven racing days. His mounts had earned $163,206.
Since he began riding in 1988, Gomez has won 3,769 races from 21,639 mounts, with purse earnings of $205,224,899, an average of $9,484 per start.
SMOOVE IT SHARP FOR STAKES DEBUT IN SUNDAY’S ANOAKIA
Smoove It is scheduled to make her first start Sunday since June 29 when the bay daughter of Square Eddie runs in the $70,000 Anoakia stakes for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs for owner/breeder J. Paul Reddam.
“She needed a little freshening, but she’s doing well,” trainer Doug O’Neill said of the California-bred out of the Distorted Humor mare Smoove. Smoove It broke her maiden in the second of her two career starts. “She’s working well and all those Square Eddies can really run. Just like daddy, they’re solid, and they’re fast.”
O’Neill added that Clenor, unbeaten in three U.S. starts after winning Sunday’s Surfer Girl Stakes, “looks super” as she readies for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at one mile on Nov. 1.
Santa Anita Sprint Championship runner-up Goldencents is ticketed for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on Nov. 1. “He’s brilliant at everything,” O’Neill said of the 2013 Santa Anita Derby winner, “but I think a mile hits him right between the ears.”
The field for the Anoakia, race three of nine: Smoove It, Mario Gutierrez; Spring Moon, Martin Garcia; E Equalsmcsquared, Martin Pedroza; Bajan, Victor Espinoza; and Cadron, Rafael Bejarano.
‘NEW LOOK’ DAILY RACING FORM MAKES WEST COAST DEBUT TODAY
America’s Turf Authority just got a major makeover and it’s on display today. Daily Racing Form, an indispensable handicapping tool since 1894, has converted over to a magazine-size format, effective today, and reviews have been favorable thus far.
According to Jon Lindo, Western Advertising Representative for D.R.F., the “New Look” Form offers the following advantages over its iconic predecessor: 1.) Better paper stock makes it easier to read, and cleaner to handle. 2.) Even though the new Form is smaller, the font size of the past performances hasn’t changed, so they remain very easy to read. 3.) The new D.R.F. offers more color photos inside. 4.) The new, smaller Form is easier to handle and carry.
Now, if we can just isolate a few more winners in the “p.p.s . . .
JIM MURRAY BOOK SIGNING AT CHAMPIONS SATURDAY
The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation will hold its annual fund-raising event this Saturday at Santa Anita with a "Day at the Races & Monte Carlo Night."
In addition, there will be a book signing of “Last King of the Sports Page: The Life and Career of Jim Murray” authored by Murray’s good friend, Dr. Ted Geltner, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Champions Gift Shop adjacent to Santa Anita’s walking ring.
DISCOUNTED BREEDERS’ CUP TICKETS AVAILABLE AT SANTA ANITA
Fans can purchase discounted tickets for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Nov. 1 and 2 every racing day at a booth just south of Champions Gift Shop, adjacent to the walking ring.
The Breeders’ Cup ticket booth in the paddock also will be open for advance Breeders’ Cup General Admission sales.
FINISH LINES: Thanks to three days with no one hitting it, today’s massive Pick Six carryover pool of $575,466 is expected to reach $3.5 million . . . Caracortado, fourth in the Grade III Eddie D. Stakes opening day in his first race in nearly two years, is scheduled to work a half-mile on the main track Saturday as trainer and part owner Mike Machowsky prepares the rags-to-riches California-bred gelding for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on Nov. 2 . . . Jeff Bonde is pleased with the advancement She’s a Tiger showed in her first route race, finishing second by a head in the 1 1/16-mile Chandelier Stakes. “It seems like she’s relaxing more all the time,” the trainer said. Next up: the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, also at 1 1/16 miles, on Nov. 2 . . . .Former Big League baseball player Irv Noren is part owner of Husband’s Folly, 5-2 morning line favorite in today’s third race. In addition to rooming with Mickey Mantle in the mid ‘50s with the New York Yankees, Noren was third base coach for the three-in-a-row World Series Champion Oakland A’s in 1972, ’73 & ’74 . . . Santa Anita presents its festive Oktoberfest on Saturday. Fans who come dressed in lederhosen will be admitted free and can enjoy The Spazmatics in concert, sample authentic German foods and beer, and win prizes in the costume, stein-holding and corn-toss competitions . . . Leonor Murillo of Altadena, a four-year member of Santa Anita’s THOROUGHBREDS Club, was a $1,000 Mystery Mutuel promotions winner Sunday . . . With most backing victorious favorite Clenor Sunday, ShowVivor had 105 contestants advance entering Thursday’s races . . . Santa Anita hosts the Road Kings Car Show Sunday in its expansive Infield, featuring more than 500 vehicles. There will be Muscle Cars, Sports Cars, Restored Classics, Modified Hot Rods, Street Rods, and Corvettes. The cars will be on display from 10:30 a.m. through the last live race. Live music will be performed by Suspect The Band . . . Congrats to Marketing’s Annie Gutierrez and hubby Raul on the birth of six-pound, one-ounce son Ryan Arthur, who joins brothers Raul Jr. (five) and Robert (18 months) . . . Host Tom Quigley’s guest at his11:45 a.m. Saturday seminar in the East Paddock Gardens will be top agent Scott McClellan, who represents jockey Joe Talamo . . . A chestnut filly by Unusual Heat out of Practically Perfect sold for $57,000 at the Barretts October Yearling Sale, benefiting CARMA, a non-profit group that raises money for retired Thoroughbred horses which have run in California. Jan and Jerry Hawthorne of Double J H Stables and Madeline Auerbach teamed up to breed the horse . . . This Monday, Oct. 14, Columbus Day, Santa Anita offers special holiday racing on “Dollar Day.” Beer, hot dogs and soda will be just a buck. First post time is 1 p.m.