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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• MAJESTIC CITY SET FOR GRADE II SAN PASQUAL STAKES
• KRISTO WORKS FOR SATURDAY’S GRADE III SHAM STAKES
MAJESTIC CITY STRETCHES OUT IN SATURDAY’S SAN PASQUAL
Majestic City, a consistent and versatile son of City Zip, is on course for next Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes, an important steppingstone to the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 8.
The 5-year-old horse owned by Jeff Bloom of Oceanside and trained by Ron Ellis was a solid second, though beaten six lengths, in the Grade III Berkeley Handicap on Golden Gate’s Tapeta surface at 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 29.
“He ran OK; the horse in front of him (Summer Hit) kind of freaked,” Ellis said. “He’s a nice horse anyway. He has six wins out of eight starts on that track.”
But back to Majestic City. One start before the Berkeley he won the ungraded Big Bear Stakes at one mile over Santa Anita’s traditional main track surface. Prior to that, he had sprinted five straight times, once on grass and four times on synthetic.
“I’ve wanted to stretch him out for a while, since we first ran him in the Big Bear, where he ran really well,” Ellis said. “He was really game in that effort.”
Probable for the San Pasqual: Blingo, Victor Espinoza; Blueskiesnrainbows, Martin Pedroza; Drill, Mike Smith; Majestic City, no rider; Majestic Harbor, no rider; and Rousing Sermon, Rafael Bejarano.
Not to be confused with the aforementioned “Majestic,” Majestic Harbor worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday in 1:12.60. “He worked well,” trainer Sean McCarthy said of the 6-year-old Rockport Harbor horse. “We’re still looking for a rider, but we’re likely to run.
“The horse is owned by a partnership that’s partially here in California and partially in Kentucky, but he was brought back here because the weather this time of year is so good. There’s a chance we could run him on the turf here, but he does well on the dirt, too.”
Drill, winless in 10 starts—all stakes—since capturing the Grade III Laz Barrera Memorial at Hollywood in May of 2012, worked six furlongs for Bob Baffert in 1:13.20.
SHARP MAIDEN WINNERS KRISTO, MIDNIGHT HAWK SET FOR SHAM
The stage is set for what could be a pre-Kentucky Derby showdown on Saturday when impressive maiden winners Kristo and Midnight Hawk meet in the Grade III, $100,000 Sham Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile.
Kristo, a $500,000 son of Distorted Humor trained by John Sadler for the Hronis brothers, Kosta and Pete, worked six furlongs Sunday under Rafael Bejarano in 1:12.80.
The bay colt is coming off a 6 ¾-length maiden victory at 1 1/16 miles Oct. 31 at Santa Anita. It was his third start. He was second in his first two, but was the 3-10 favorite each race.
Midnight Hawk, a gray son of 2007 and 2008 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Midnight Lute bred by Mike Pegram, won his maiden outing by 6 ¼ lengths after a slow start, going 7 ½ furlongs at Hollywood on Dec. 13. Mike Smith, who was aboard that day, retains the mount.
FINISH LINES: Jeranimo, smashing winner of Saturday’s Grade II San Gabriel Stakes at 1 1/8 on turf, is ticketed for the Grade II Arcadia Stakes at one mile on grass Feb. 1, trainer Mike Pender said Sunday morning. The 8-year-old won the San Gabriel for a record third time and provided Rafael Bejarano with his record sixth consecutive win in the race . . . Citation Handicap winner Silentio, who worked four furlongs Saturday in 51 seconds flat for Gary Mandella, has the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile on March 8 as his major goal . . . Vosburgh Invitational winner Private Zone worked six furlongs Sunday in a bullet 1:12 under regular rider Martin Pedroza. Runner-up in the Cigar Mile in his most recent start, Private Zone is scheduled to run in the Grade I, $500,000 Donn Handicap at 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 8. “We liked the way he galloped out,” said Leandro Mora, assistant to trainer Doug O’Neill. “We kind of agreed with our man main in Florida, (Racing Manager) Rene Douglas, to run in the Donn. It’s a longer distance than he’s been running, but he ran well in the Cigar Mile and now we have no options. Mucho Macho Man won the Breeders’ Cup (Classic), so we figured let’s try the Donn. Private Zone and Mucho Macho Man are by the same sire (Macho Uno).” . . . Former Hispanic Media Publicist for Hollywood Park Michael Burns has taken the book of jockey Efrain Hernandez . . . Frenchman Matthieu Autiere is working horses for trainer Richard Baltas with the hopes of getting a leg up in a race at Santa Anita before he heads back to his native country in two months. The 22-year-old has ridden 76 winners to date and tacks 114 pounds . . . Congratulations to trainer Tom Proctor on winning career race No. 1,000 Saturday. His Avanzare, the 7-10 favorite, rolled to a five-length victory in a one-mile turf allowance test at Tampa Bay Downs . . . Congrats as well to jockey Saul Arias and agent Craig Haines on winning two races at Santa Anita yesterday, on favored Avare ($5.60) for O’Neill and The Mad Hungarian ($15.40) for Hector Palma . . . Citing illness, jockey Agapito Delgadillo took off his two scheduled mounts today.