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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• ‘C NAK’ ROLLS NATURAL FOUR & ‘McCANN’ GOES OUT A WINNER--AGAIN
• POWELL! CAL-BRED SOI PHET BLOSSOMS IN NEW BARN
• ‘BREEDERS’ CUP OR BUST’ CHARITY AIDS EQUINES, HUMANS
FOND FAREWELL FOR McCANN’S MOJAVE AS NAKATANI WINS FINAL FOUR
McCann’s Mojave, who was euthanized due to colic at the age of 13 Friday, was at rest Saturday honored with the distinction of having sired another last-race juvenile winner at Santa Anita while also anchoring a natural four-win day for jockey Corey Nakatani.
The multiple graded stakes winner of more than $1.5 million, owned by Santa Anita Publicity Director Mike Willman, sired Eddie’s Turn, a grey-hued first-time starter that won Saturday’s 10th race by a half-length at a $24.20 payoff. The win marked the second day in a row that McCann’s Mojave sired a 2-year-old maiden winner of the last race and (unbelievably) the second day in a row the winner was owned and bred by Howard and Janet Siegel and trained by Eddie Truman.
The win was the fourth in a row by Nakatani, who won the seventh race—the California Distaff Handicap—aboard Qiaona ($19.60); the eighth on Door’s Open ($12.60); the ninth on Empty Headed ($8); and the 10th and final aboard Eddie’s Turn. Nakatani tied for Santa Anita’s Autumn Meet riding lead with Rafael Bejarano and Mike Smith at nine wins each.
“Corey must have had his confidence rolling by the time he rode my horse,” said a self-effacing Truman, who trains Eddie’s Turn for owners/breeders Howard and Janet Siegel. “They named the horse for me, so that made it even more special.
“It was a tough race (there were 12 runners in the six furlong maiden allowance test for 2-year-olds), but I thought he’d run well, if he wasn’t too green. We had the right rider on, that’s for sure. Corey was riding with confidence after winning three in a row.
“It was nice that Howard and Janet bred the horse to Mike’s stallion,” Truman said. “It was a team effort. The whole backside was involved.”
Nakatani topped yesterday’s four-bagger in 2012 at Belmont Park when he won six consecutive races. Nakatani’s Late Pick 3 payoff yesterday was worth 1,166.50; the late daily double, $185, and the late 50 cent Pick Four $4,104.05. A native of Covina who celebrates his 43rd birthday on Oct. 21, Nakatani single-handedly accounted for today’s Pick Six carryover of $91,551.
“I’m glad to be back with Corey,” said agent Tony Matos, who had Nakatani when he was Southern California’s leading apprentice rider some 25 years ago. “Uncle Buck (Nakatani’s former agent, Jim Pegram) did a very good job with him but Corey’s been trying to get back with me for a couple years. I just never had an opening. Corey’s a great rider and we’re glad to be back together.”
FOR TRAINER POWELL, SKY’S THE LIMIT WITH EX-CLAIMER SOI PHET
Soi Phet’s four-race winning streak came to an end two weeks ago, but it was a happy ending, a remarkable ending, in fact.
The 5-year-old California-bred gelding finished third in the Grade I, $250,000 Awesome Again Stakes on Sept. 28, 6 ½ lengths behind runaway winner Mucho Macho Man, who stamped himself as one of the favorites for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. Soi Phet will return to a more realistic spot in his next start, but it’s been a good ride while it lasted, and it may not be over yet.
Trainer Leonard Powell claimed the son of Tizbud for $16,000 on May 23, then ran off a string of four straight daylight victories, each at a considerably higher level than Soi Phet’s claiming price. While he finished a non-threatening third in the Awesome Again, Soi Phet was well in front of stakes winners such as Golden Ticket, Liaison and Jeranimo.
The secret to Powell’s success?
“I claimed him for several reasons,” said Powell, a 37-year-old native of France who has been training on his own for seven years. “He was a good-looking horse; he’s by Tizbud, which is a good stallion, and he had all his conditions, being a Cal-bred . . . he had a huge upside.
“When you claim a horse, you’re looking ahead for a race to run him in next. When I first got him, within two or three days I knew the horse was kind of special. He had a lot of class. I train very differently, and usually horses will take several weeks to get used to it.
“Within a few days, he got into the routine. He’s very smart. He took everything in stride.
“What did we change about him? Nothing drastic. We just put him through our routine, but nothing drastic. We take our time. We spend a lot of time walking and riding.”
Powell, still with a detectable French accent, was raised on a farm in Normandy, deep in France’s horse country. Currently his top runner is Zuma Beach Stakes winner Aotearoa.
“I was always around horses,” Powell said. “I came here as an exercise rider and was assistant to John Shirreffs, Richard Mandella and later Bill Currin, who gave me a couple horses to get me started.”
As for Soi Phet, look for him to face a much less daunting task in his next race.
“We’re going to run him in an overnight stakes,” Powell said.
That would be the Big Bear Stakes for three year olds and up at one mile on Oct. 31 for a purse of $70,000.
BREEDERS’ CUP FOCUSES ON CHARITY FOR EQUINES AND HUMANS
With the Breeders’ Cup celebrating its 30th running Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita, the Paulick Report’s fifth annual Breeders’ Cup or Bust fundraiser to benefit Breeders' Cup Charities will be focusing on the health and well-being of the equine and human athletes who make the annual championship event possible.
Paulick Report’s publisher Ray Paulick and Editor-in-chief Scott Jagow will tour a number of California’s Thoroughbred aftercare facilities, stop in on racing Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze at Golden Gate Fields, and visit with veterinarians conducting research on horse health issues. They’ll document their “BC or Bust” tour with a series of articles and videos compiled throughout the Golden State while raising awareness and donations for three organizations selected by Breeders’ Cup Charities: CARMA, the California Retirement Management Account that funds Thoroughbred aftercare facilities for horses that raced in California; the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, providing assistance to severely injured jockeys and the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation, which annually funds a number of veterinary research projects at various universities.”
“We’ve driven, walked, run and sung our way to the Breeders’ Cup to raise over $300,000 for Breeders’ Cup Charities since starting BC or Bust in 2009,” said Paulick, citing two cross-country drives, an 85-mile solo walk and subsequent one-day relay run from Lexington to Louisville, and last year’s National Anthem racetrack performances by former Paulick Report CEO Brad Cummings. “The Thoroughbred industry is really fortunate to have so many people who support worthy causes, so this year’s ‘BC or Bust’ focus will be on demonstrating how their dollars are making a positive difference.”
"We are delighted to partner with Ray and Scott in our fifth consecutive year with Paulick Report raise to call attention and raise money for such outstanding causes in Thoroughbred Charities of America, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, CARMA and the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel. “’Breeders’ Cup or Bust’ has become an important part of Breeders’ Cup Charities and we look forward to learning about the great people whose dedicated work supports our industry.”
“Ray and Scott, with their Breeders’ Cup or Bust fundraiser, epitomize all the good that can be accomplished when our industry works together toward a common goal,” said PDJF President Nancy LaSala. “We’re especially appreciative that this year’s focus is the well-being of our human and equine athletes. PDJF thanks them and Breeders’ Cup Charities for raising awareness of the needs of permanently disabled jockeys.”
FINISH LINES: Tap It Rich’s 4 ¼-length maiden win at one mile in Saturday’s fourth race was an eye-opener. The $510,000 gray son of Tapit owned by David Shimmon and William Bianco’s Fog City Stable “hopped slightly in a slow start, drifted out into the first turn, moved up four wide on the backstretch and outside or off the rail on the second turn, took the lead three deep into the stretch and won clear under steady handling,” according to the Daily Racing Form’s chart. “We were high on him going in,” trainer Bob Baffert said, “and he really validated it when he ran like that.” Asked what could be next, “I might run him in an ‘a-other-than’ for $2 million,” said Baffert in a left-handed reference to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Nov. 2 . . . Diamond Bachelor, who suffered his first defeat in the grassy Zuma Beach Stakes on Oct. 6, is “75 percent for the Juvenile (on dirt) and 25 percent for the Juvenile Turf,” trainer Patrick Biancone said . . . After working six furlongs on turf Saturday in 1:13.80, trainer Jorge Gutierrez said Sunday that Bright Thought is being considered for the Breeders’ Cup Mile. “He did it quite easily,” Gutierrez said of the world record holder of 2:22.72 for a mile and a half on turf. “We’ll look at the Mile, but it’s one work at a time.” . . . Breeders’ Cup candidates working on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday included She’s a Tiger (Juvenile Fillies), five furlongs in a bullet 57.80 for Jeff Bonde and Untapable (Juvenile Fillies), five furlongs in 1:02 for Steve Asmussen . . . Agent Scotty McClellan reports that Joe Talamo rides Madame Cactus for trainer Peter Eurton next Saturday in the Raven Run at Keeneland . . . Top sophomore Hear the Ghost worked five furlongs at Golden Gate Sunday in 1:04.60 for trainer and part owner Jerry Hollendorfer. It was his fifth work since winning the Grade II San Felipe Stakes last March. A winner of two of three races and $222,400, the son of 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper is also owned by Halo Farms . . . California Horse Racing Board official and Santa Anita steward Scott Chaney didn’t tend to his usual duties here at the track Saturday. While associate Luis Jauregui filled in, Chaney was busy competing in the IRONMAN World Championships on Kailua-Kona in Hawaii. Chaney not only completed the often-unattainable feat but did it impressively, finishing 194th out of 2,134 competitors in the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and (full marathon distance) 26.2-mile run, ultimate triathlon. All participants who race on Kona are picked lottery style to be afforded the chance to contest IRONMAN’S prestigious marquee event . . . Through 10 racing days, only 64 players remain alive in ShowVivor entering Sunday’s races . . . Tomorrow, 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. . . . Next Saturday, Oct. 19, all THOROUGHBREDS members at Santa Anita will receive a practical and attractive Santa Anita Throw Blanket, free with paid admission, while supplies last.