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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• APPEALING TRAINING WELL FOR SUNDAY’S FRANKEL
• MACHOWSKY GOES TO ‘B TEAM’ FOR DAYTONA STAKES
• MUCHO MACHO MAN SPECIAL AIRS ON HRTV SUNDAY
• JERANIMO WORKS FOR ANOTHER RUN IN SAN GABRIEL
GALLAGHER HAS ‘APPEALING’ CHANCE IN FRANKEL
Even though she was 9-2 in the betting, Appealing disappointed when she finished fifth in the Grade II Goldikova Stakes at Santa Anita on Nov. 3. She was four-wide into the stretch and beaten only 3 ½ lengths in the one-mile turf race.
Trainer Paddy Gallagher expects improvement when the Irish-bred daughter of Bertolini runs in Sunday’s Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on the grass.
“She’s been training well since the Goldikova,” Gallagher said. “She ran well in the Yellow Ribbon the race before (beaten a head in the Grade II race at Del Mar by Egg Drop). She had a hot foot the morning after the Goldikova, so I’m wondering if that had something to do with her disappointing run.
“But ever since then, she’s been doing really well.”
The field for the Frankel: Becky Lou, Julien Couton, 8-1; Playful Humor, Martin Garcia, 15-1; Moone’s My Name, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Gulsary, Gary Stevens, 4-1; Stormy Lucy, Isaias Enriquez, 9-2; Champagneandcavier, Chantal Sutherland Kruse, 10-1; Customer Base, Mike Smith, 3-1; Nickels Wild, Joe Talamo, 15-1; and Appealing, Corey Nakatani, 4-1.
WITH CARACORTADO OUT, MACHOWSKY GOES TO PLAN B
Jan. 8 will mark two years since Caracortado won the Daytona Stakes for owner/breeder/trainer Mike Machowsky. The California-bred gelding has raced only once since, finishing fourth in the Eddie D. Stakes in September.
A nagging “frog” issue on his right front foot kept him away from the races most of that time. But with Caracortado still in the barn, walking daily but not ready to breeze again, Machowsky goes with Plan B for today’s Daytona, running El Commodore in the Grade III, $100,000 event at about 6 ½ furlongs on Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course.
“Hard to believe it’s two years,” Machowsky said of Caracortado’s win, “but El Commodore is doing well. He’s never run down the hill, obviously, but we wanted to try him on it. He’s always been routing, and he’s kind of a speed horse, so shortening him up might work in his favor.”
A 6-year-old El Prado gelding, El Commodore has a 6-6-5 record from 34 starts. He has earned $267,236, but has never won a stakes.
The field for the Daytona, race eight of nine: El Commodore, Gary Stevens, 5-1; Chips All In, Aaron Gryder, 5-2; Unbridled’s Note, Corey Nakatani, 2-1; Handsome Mike, Mario Gutierrez, 12-1; Gallant Son, Isaias Enriquez, 7-2; Truest Legend, Brice Blanc, 15-1; and Ain’t No Other, Rafael Bejarano, 5-1.
MUCHO MACHO MAN SPECIAL ON HRTV SUNDAY
With the curtain falling on the memorable 2013 racing season, HRTV will present a special half-hour show chronicling one of the sport's enduring stars, Mucho Macho Man, tomorrow at 5:30 p.m.
"HRTV Presents: Mucho Macho Man" will detail the storybook career of the 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic winner as seen through the network's in-depth coverage since 2011.
Additionally, it was announced Thursday that Mucho Macho Man was bestowed with the 2013 Secretariat Vox Populi, or "Voice of the People," Award.
The 5-year-old's on-track exploits are, obviously, a major part of the story, but hardly overshadow another compelling element. He is trained by heart transplant recipient Kathy Ritvo, whose determination and courage has allowed her to battle extreme odds to reach the pinnacle of racing.
Uniquely intertwined in this feel-good scenario is Hall of Fame jockey and former HRTV analyst Gary Stevens. Included in Sunday's special will be Stevens' comments from 2011 when Mucho Macho Man started his career by winning the Risen Star at the Fair Grounds.
His ascent continued from there, and Stevens witnessed Mucho Macho Man's growth through several graded stakes, along with a hard-fought runner-up finish in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic. The son of Macho Uno avenged that loss in the Classic at Santa Anita in November, Stevens riding him to a nose victory as his notable comeback and return to the saddle came full circle.
It was Stevens' second Grade I win aboard Mucho Macho Man. The first came in the Awesome Again at Santa Anita in September.
JERANIMO WORKS FOR FOURTH START IN SAN GABRIEL STAKES
Versatile and venerable Jeranimo, who turns eight on New Year’s Day, will seek his third San Gabriel Stakes win in the past four runnings when he goes in next Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 race for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Trained by Mike Pender for Robert LaPenta and B.J. Wright, Jeranimo won the San Gabriel in 2010 and again on Jan. 13 of this year. He was second in the 2012 edition.
A Florida-bred son of Congaree, Jeranimo worked five furlongs Saturday on Hollywood Park’s soon-to-be-gone Cushion Track in 1:02.60 under Rafael Bejarano, who rides the bay horse in the San Gabriel.
Jeranimo’s last start came Nov. 2 in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at about 6 ½ furlongs at Santa Anita. Prior to that, he was ninth in the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes in his only start on traditional dirt, and before that, ninth in the Pacific Classic on Polytrack.
His 10 career wins from 38 starts have come on either turf or synthetic surfaces. Jeranimo has earned $1,401,364.
FINISH LINES: CashCall Futurity winner Shared Belief, prepping for his 3-year-old debut in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 8, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Saturday morning for Jerry Hollendorfer in 1:02.20 with Corey Nakatani aboard. Also with Nakatani up, San Felipe Stakes winner Hear the Ghost went five furlongs in 1:01 for the Grade II Strub Stakes on Jan. 18. Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward termed both drills “perfect.” Native Diver winner Blueskiesnrainbows also worked for Hollendorfer, going five furlongs in1:02.40 . . . Egg Drop, winner of the Grade I Matriarch, went three furlongs for Mike Mitchell in 36, breezing . . . Foodies alert: The “Cupcake Wars” episode filmed by the Food Network at Santa Anita during the Breeders’ Cup in early November, airs tonight at 8 p.m. . . . Jose Contreras, ambassador for America's Best Racing (ABR), will be Tom Quigley’s guest handicapper at Sunday’s seminar, 11:20 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens. Contreras, born and raised in Southern California, studied in the Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona . . . Santa Anita kicks off the New Year with beers, sodas and hot dogs for one dollar on New Year’s Day, Wednesday, Jan. 1. First post time is 12:30 p.m. Santa Anita races through Sunday, then is dark Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 30 and 31.