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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• SADLER HOPES THAT LUCK’S BACK FOR KOBE’S BACK
• ‘GOLDEN’ CLAIM FOR MILLER IN GRADE II SANTA MARIA
• BUENA VISTA GRASS IS GREENER FOR MISS SERENDIPITY
KOBE’S BACK ‘DOING WELL’ FOR SAN VICENTE STAKES
If it wasn’t for bad luck, Kobe’s Back would have no luck at all. In his three starts, the gray colt’s Daily Racing Form’s trouble lines read
as follows: “Broke in air, slowly; Off slow, three-wide turn,” and “Clipped heels ½, weakened.”
Remarkably, despite breaking in the air in his first start, the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes at Hollywood Park last June, Kobe’s Back won by 3 ¼ lengths. He was second to champion Shared Belief in the Hollywood Prevue and virtually eliminated next out in the Grade I CashCall Futurity in December.
Trainer John Sadler expects a less eventful trip when the son of Flatter owned by Lee and Susan Searing’s C R K Stable and named for Lakers’ superstar Kobe Bryant runs in next Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.
“In his second race, he was second-best, and in his third race, he clipped heels, so he’s had a couple of excuses,” Sadler said. “I’m anxious to get him started this week. He’s doing really well.”
In other news from the Sadler barn:
Robert B. Lewis Stakes winner Candy Boy came out of his race in good shape and likely will be pointed to the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 5.
On Vagabond Shoes, winner of the 1 ¼-mile San Marcos: “I haven’t looked at the calendar yet, but there are some longer turf races here for him.”
Overcoming an uncharacteristically slow start at Santa Anita, where he is a two-time training king: “It’s a long year, so we stopped on a lot of horses last year and have a lot of horses coming back in. It’s the second month of the year; we’ve got a long way to go.”
Probable for the San Vicente: Cherubim, Mike Smith; Grazen’s Hope, no rider; Indianapolis, Martin Garcia; Kobe’s Back, no rider; and Papa Turf, Joe Talamo.
STREAKING GOLDEN PRODUCTION STEPS UP IN SANTA MARIA
Golden Production has done nothing wrong since Peter Miller claimed the daughter of Exchange Rate for $40,000 last October.
Since that race, which she won going about 6 ½ furlongs on turf, the 5-year-old mare has won three more, the last two in photo finishes, including the Paseana Stakes on Jan. 12.
Next up: her first try in a graded stakes, Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes for older fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth on the main track.
“She’s won four in a row, three for us,” Miller said. “She’s doing really well. So far, so good.”
MISS SERENDIPITY RETURNS TO TURF IN NEXT MONDAY’S HOLIDAY FEATURE
Miss Serendipity disappointed as the 2-1 favorite when she made her U.S. debut in the Paseana Stakes on Jan. 12.
The 6-year-old Argentine-bred mare finished fourth, beaten 2 1/4 lengths, in the Paseana Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on dirt Jan 12.
Ron McAnally expects improvement when she runs in next Monday’s Presidents’ Day feature, the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile on turf.
“She likes the grass,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “Her last race in Argentina was very impressive,” referring to an easy four-length win going a mile and a quarter under 132 pounds in June 2013. “She’s won at a shorter distance, too.
“In the Paseana, when Gary (Stevens) rode her, it didn’t work out the way we thought. There were a couple of speeds in the race but they didn’t go and we wound up on the lead and she didn’t want to be.
“He was trying to rate her a little bit and in the stretch, he finally got out from behind horses and she started to come on again. She acts like a nice filly; we’re looking forward to the Buena Vista.”
FINISH LINES: Bob Baffert said Game On Dude came out of the San Antonio Stakes in good order and will be pointed to the Santa Anita Handicap on March 8, barring any bumps in the road. Addressing the costly pace duel between his horse and Blueskiesnrainbows that resulted in both going down in flames, Game On Dude finishing fifth as the 3-10 favorite and Blueskiesnrainbows sixth as the 7-2 second choice, Baffert said, “That’s what happens when you give riders the same instructions.” . . . George Papaprodromou has Imperative ticketed for the Big ’Cap after his monster second-place finish by a half-length at 26-1 under Kent Desormeaux in the San Antonio. “I liked his breeding, by Bernardini,” the trainer said in explaining why he claimed the 4-year-old gelding for $50,000 last Dec. 21. “We added blinkers yesterday to make him focus a little more.” . . . Jerry Hollendorfer said Shared Belief is “in training again, but won’t be breezing for another few days.” The male 2-year-old champion of 2013 has been recovering from a quarter crack on his right front foot . . . Texas Rangers’ star Adrian Beltre will present the trophy to the winning connections of today’s Wishing Well Stakes. The youngest player in the National League when he made his Major League debut in 1998 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the native of the Dominican Republic is known for his signature home run swing of dropping to one knee when connecting with an off-speed pitch. Beltre has a career batting average of .282 with 376 home runs . . . Agent Tony Matos reports that Corey Nakatani rides Smarty Jones winner Tarzanite Cat for Cody Autry in the Grade III, $300,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park next Saturday . . . Congratulations to Rafael Bejarano on winning with seven straight mounts, starting in Thursday’s third race aboard Warren’s Judy and culminating with Yankee Rebel in Saturday’s first race . . . Congrats to two-time Santa Anita Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Champ Groupie Doll, who ended her career today with a 7-length win in Gulfstream Park’s Grade III Hurricane Bertie Stakes.