- Live Racing
- Racing Information
- Press Box
- The Park
- Host an Event
- New Fans
- Get Tickets
STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• NEW YEAR, NEW HORIZONS FOR SO-CAL HORSEMEN
• STREAKING PONCHATRAIN SET FOR MONROVIA
• WIN MACHINE JOE CARL POPULAR AT THE CLAIM BOX
• HRTV TO TELEVISE LIVE ECLIPSE FINALISTS JAN. 8
HORSEMEN ADJUST TO TRANSITION IN TRAINING VENUES
Horsemen who made Hollywood Park their primary training headquarters are adjusting to the new landscape in Southern California, dictated by the closing of Hollywood Park.
Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who comes off the best year of his incredible career, is one of only five men to record more than 6,000 career victories and has enjoyed remarkable success training out of Hollywood Park.
“If you’re not flexible and you can’t adjust, then you can’t be in this business anyway,” he reasoned. “We’ll be as flexible as we can and adjust as well as we can. If we do a good job then we’ll be all right. If we don’t, then they’ll run us out of here.”
Told that was unlikely, Hollendorfer said the current Santa Anita main track, under the direction of former Hollywood superintendent Dennis Moore, is more than holding its own.
“So far, it seems OK,” Hollendorfer said, “but we’ve just been here since the 22nd (of December), so I can’t honestly tell you.”
Richard Mandella, who has trained at both Santa Anita and Hollywood, is “very happy with everything. I’m happy to be here, and it’s exciting to look forward to the New Year. Santa Anita has never looked better.”
Mike Puype, trainer of two-time Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Mizdirection among other stakes winners, faces minimal, if any, adjustments.
“I’ve trained at Santa Anita, so it won’t be any adjustment at all,” he said. “With Dennis Moore spearheading the race track expansion at Los Alamitos, I think that’s good. I think he’ll put a great track together.
“We need good places to train horses, and his coming to Santa Anita seems to have helped already. The racing’s been fair. There’s not been a front-runner (winning) every race.
“I think you’re looking at better things happening right now.”
HORSE FOR COURSE PONTCHATRAIN SET FOR GRADE II MONROVIA
Gary Stevens hopes to continue the remarkable success he enjoyed in his comeback year of 2013 when he rides Pontchatrain for trainer Tom Proctor in Sunday’s Grade II Monrovia Stakes for fillies and mares at about 6 ½ furlongs on Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course, where she is unbeaten in two starts.
“She’s a quality filly; she comes home running every time,” Stevens said of the 4-year-old daughter of War Front, who won the Grade III Sen. Ken Maddy last Nov. 2 after taking the Unzip Me Sept. 28, each over Santa Anita’s venue that features a right-hand turn before crossing a patch of dirt and returning to the grass for the run through the homestretch.
Pontchatrain has finished worse than third only once in six career starts, and was beaten less than two lengths on that occasion, when she ran fourth in Del Mar’s one-mile Sandy Blue Handicap after she was bumped at the start.
Probable for the Monrovia: Camryn Kate, Tyler Baze; Ciao Bella Luna, no rider; Judy In Disguise, no rider; Kindle, Rafael Bejarano; Pontchatrain, Gary Stevens; Purim’s Dancer, Joe Talamo; and Sky High Gal, Corey Nakatani.
TRAINERS LOVE CONSISTENT, VERSATILE GELDING JOE CARL
If Joe Carl takes a wrong turn heading to his barn these days, he deserves a pass.
The 8-year-old gelding has been claimed from 10 of his last 12 races, including a stretch of eight in a row from Oct, 11, 2012, through Aug. 11, 2013.
A veritable win machine with 12 victories, 10 seconds and 10 thirds from 50 lifetime starts, the Kentucky-bred son of Jump Start was taken by trainer Kristin Mulhall for $16,000 at Hollywood Park last out, on Nov. 11. Prior to that, dating back to Oct. 11, 2012, Joe Carl was claimed by Dan Hendricks, Jerry Hollendorfer, Bob Hess Jr., Mike Mitchell, Hess again, Hollendorfer again, Doug O’Neill and Jack Carava.
Overall, Joe Carl has been claimed 23 times, nearly 50 percent of his starts.
“He’s a real consistent horse, and when you claim him, you know he’s pretty versatile,” said Carava, one of the most successful claiming trainers on the circuit.
“If you claim him for 16 (thousand) and run him back for 20, he’s always got a chance. He’s a horse that seems like, typically, if you claim him, the next time he’s in you’re going to be a fairly short price and he’s got a chance.
“I know his form has slipped a bit recently but he’s a nice, hard-trying, consistent horse. He was a really neat horse to be around.”
HRTV TO TELEVISE LIVE 2013 ECLIPSE FINALISTS
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters and Daily Racing Form announced that finalists for the 2013 Eclipse Awards will be revealed live on HRTV, the Network for Horse Sports, on Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 8:30 a.m Finalists in 17 equine and human categories will be aired during “Eclipse Award
Finalists" presented by Hidden Brook Farm. The 30-minute show from Los Angeles will be hosted by Laffit Pincay III and Christina Blacker. The Eclipse Awards, honoring excellence in Thoroughbred racing, are voted upon by the NTRA, NTWAB and Daily Racing Form. Winners in all categories will be announced at the 43rd annual Eclipse Awards, presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group, on Saturday evening, Jan. 18, at Gulfstream Park Racetrack and Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
HRTV will also provide live coverage of the ceremony. Tickets to the Eclipse Awards are available for $400 each. Order forms for tickets and the Eclipse Awards’ weeklong schedule of events are available at http://bit.ly/18TJ0Tx. Hotel Reservations at the Westin Diplomat can be made at http://bit.ly/1kVxdac. Hotel reservations at the Trump International can be made at http://bit.ly/1h8WgXe.
For additional information, please contact Michele Ravencraft of the NTRA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FINISH LINES: Jockey Tyler Baze resumes riding today after a four-month suspension for alcohol abuse. “I just can’t wait,” the 31-year-old Seattle native said Wednesday morning during a workout break. “I’m going to make the best of it and enjoy myself out there.” Baze is named on five horses Wednesday, including One More Wild Ride in the $75,000 Blue Norther Stakes . . . Ten-pound apprentice Steve Garcia, who makes his Santa Anita riding debut in today’s fourth race aboard 20-1 morning line chance Silectico for owner/trainer Frances Meza, is the stepson of jockey Omar Berrio, who considers him his son, since Garcia has lived with Berrio since he was four years old. Garcia rode for 2 ½ years at the Laffit Pincay Jr. Riding School in Panama . . . Isaias Enriquez, beaten a dirty nose on Stormy Lucy in Sunday’s Robert J. Frankel Stakes by Customer Base, ridden by Mike Smith, received high praise from the Hall of Fame jockey after the loss. "Mike Smith told me after the race, ‘You’ll be back at riding at Santa Anita real soon’ and that is a complement, because Mike Smith is one of the guys who has always helped me throughout my career,” Enriquez said. “I always look up to him and Gary Stevens.” Enriquez, who is based at Golden Gate Fields, was third aboard Gallant Son in Saturday’s Daytona Stakes after his mount grabbed a quarter shortly after the start . . . Doug O’Neill, asked if he celebrated last night: “I celebrate every day. Every day is New Year’s Day.” . . . And this observation from trainer Gary Stute: “So far this year’s biggest story is the Rajin’ Cajun wearing long pants.” The reference was to trainer Eric Guillot, a Louisiana native whose daily morning training garb invariably features cargo shorts. But with temps dipping into the 40s Wednesday morning, Guillot even donned a ski cap.