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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
‘BIG’ EFFORT EXPECTED FROM MISREMEMBERED IN BIG ’CAP
A bigger and hopefully more successful Misremembered could make amends for finishing second as the 7-10 favorite in the Strub Stakes when the 4-year-old son of Candy Ride runs in Saturday’s Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino.
“He’s feeling great,” said former jockey Joe Steiner, who worked Misremembered six furlongs on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride Monday in a bullet 1:12.20. “He’s a cool horse. He’s really filled out and he’s going from a boy to a man. I think he keeps getting better.”
Misremembered was second in his last three races, the Grade II Clark Handicap, the Grade I Malibu Stakes and the Grade II Strub. Prior to that, the chestnut ridgling won the Grade II Indian Derby. He has four wins and four seconds from 10 starts, with earnings of $738,589. Victory in the Big ‘Cap would make him a millionaire.
The field for the Santa Anita Handicap, which goes as race 10 on an 11-race program: Pick Six, Alex Solis, 114; St Trinians, Joel Rosario, 113; Rendezvous, Joe Talamo, 114; Neko Bay, Mike Smith, 117; Eagle Poise, Tyler Baze, 114; Loup Breton, Garrett Gomez, 117; Mast Track, David Flores, 117; Pool Play, Chantal Sutherland, 114; Marsh Side, Martin Pedroza, 117; Tiger’s Rock, David Cohen, 114; Dakota Phone, Victor Espinoza, 114; Delightful Kiss, Juan Leyva, 115; Misremembered, Martin Garcia, 116; and Jeranimo, Rafael Bejarano, 116.
All fans in attendance at Santa Anita on Big ‘Cap day will receive free a 75th Anniversary Wall Clock with paid admission, while supplies last. Also, there will be a $500,000 late Pick 4.
First post time is12 noon. Gates open at 10 a.m.
GOMEZ, MONZANTE TOGETHER AGAIN FOR GRADE I KILROE
Garrett Gomez is reunited with Monzante for Saturday’s Grade I, $250,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile on turf and the two-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey is delighted to be back on board.
“I’ve liked him from the first time I got on him in this country,” Gomez said. “It took me a long time to get him back, and I was impressed with him the other day, because a mile isn’t really his best distance, and he came with a solid run.”
He was referring to an allowance race on Jan. 14, in which Monzante rallied from sixth and last to get up by a nose as the even-money favorite. Gomez has ridden the gray son of Maria’s Mon twice before, finishing third in the Grade II Strub Stakes on Pro-Ride in 2008, and winning an allowance race when the gelding made his U.S. debut in November 2007.
“The Kilroe should be a good stepping-stone for him when he goes in longer races,” Gomez said. “I know the Kilroe is a mile, too, but we just need pace. Some of his better races have been at longer distances, but he overcame slow fractions the other day. He’s a little more handy when he’s fresh.”
Trained by Mike Mitchell, who also sends out 2008 Kilroe winner Ever a Friend in the race, Monzante has a 5-3-3 record from 19 starts, with earnings of $508,874.
The field for the Kilroe: Red Sun, Victor Espinoza, 111; Blue Chagall, Alex Solis, 114; Awesome Gem, David Flores; 117; Acclamation, Martin Garcia, 114; Ever a Friend, Joel Rosario, 118; Red Alert Day, Rafael Bejarano, 113; Monzante, Gomez, 115; Proviso, Mike Smith, 114; Fluke, Joe Talamo, 116; Battle of Hastings, Tyler Baze, 119; and Tuscan Evening, no rider, 116.
BLIND LUCK SHARP FOR SANTA ANITA OAKS
Blind Luck seeks her fourth Grade I victory Saturday in the $250,000 Santa Anita Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles. The daughter of Pollard’s Vision trained by Jerry Hollendorfer made her 3-year-old debut with a desperate nose victory in the Grade I Las Virgenes Stakes at one mile on Feb. 13.
Blind Luck worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride Monday in 1:01 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The field for the Santa Anita Oaks: Sister Dawn, Victor Espinoza; Crisp, Joel Rosario; Riviera Chic, Michael Baze; All Due Respect, Garrett Gomez; Blind Luck, Rafael Bejarano; Warren’s Jitterbug, Joe Talamo; Cozi Rosie, Mike Smith; and Zilva, Jose Valdivia Jr. Each carries 122 pounds.
CO-OWNER JERRY MOSS ONE OF ZENYATTA’S GREATEST FANS
Zenyatta’s fans will be out en masse come March 13, when the charismatic mare returns to the races at Santa Anita.
Among them will be Jerry Moss, who, along with his wife, Ann, owns the undefeated Breeders’ Cup Classic winner. Following an abbreviated retirement after she became the first female to defeat males in the Classic at Oak Tree last Nov. 7, the Mosses, trainer John Shirreffs and his wife, Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs, racing manager for the Mosses, agreed to “unretire” Zenyatta and race her again in 2010.
Start No. One will come in the Grade I, $250,000 Santa Margarita Handicap at 1 1/8 miles a week from Saturday. Beyond that, if all goes well, is the race for the ages: a meeting with 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in the $5 million Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park April 9.
“I’m an owner and a fan, and a fan and an owner,” Moss said when asked which came first, the chicken or the egg. “We’re lucky to have this horse. Right now, she’s progressing really well and her presence is good for the game, because I would agree that racing needs all the help it can get.”
Zenyatta worked six furlongs on Cushion Track at her Hollywood Park headquarters last Friday in 1:13.20, breezing, under regular rider Mike Smith. “She’s doing very well, based on her last workout,” Moss said. “I know John was very happy with it.”
As for the world-class showdown with Rachel Alexandra that Oaklawn Park owner Charlie Cella has created, Moss is experienced and knowledgeable enough to take things one day at a time. “It’s very exciting,” he said. “We like Oaklawn. We’ve been there a couple of times. I think Charlie Cella’s done a beautiful job promoting this race, and I hope it happens.”
LOOKIN AT LUCKY ON COURSE FOR 3-YEAR-OLD DEBUT ON MARCH 13
Bob Baffert pronounced “all systems go” for Lookin At Lucky Wednesday after the son of Smart Strike worked seven furlongs on Pro-Ride Monday in 1:25.20 under jockey Martin Garcia. Lookin At Lucky worked in company with El Martillo, who was clocked in 1:27.20.
“That work caught him right up,” Baffert said. “He worked really well. He broke off six or seven (lengths) behind El Martillo, and I got him a lot faster than what they gave him. I got him in like 1:23 4/5. I’m still considering either the Rebel (Grade II, $300,000, 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park on March 13) or the San Felipe (Stakes, Grade II, $150,000, 1 1/16 miles the same day at Santa Anita).”
WORLD FAMOUS BOXING TRAINER ROACH TO PRESENT TROPHY AT SANTA ANITA
World-famous boxing trainer Freddie Roach will be at Santa Anita this Sunday, March 7, and he will present the trophy for the afternoon’s feature, the Joe Hernandez Stakes, in a winner’s circle ceremony.
Roach, 49, is a former boxer who is a member of the World Boxing Hall of Fame and he has been voted Trainer of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America on four different occasions. Regarded as one of the greatest trainers of all time, Roach currently works for superstar fighter Manny (Pac Man) Pacquiao. Roach has trained 25 world champions to date, including Pacquiao, who has held seven separate weight division championships.
“We’re honored to have Freddie join us,” said Santa Anita President Ron Charles. “There was a great story on him in Sports Illustrated recently and he really is the go-to-guy in his business. There’s a great deal of interest in Pacquiao’s upcoming fight with Joshua Clottey at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas on March 13 and I think a lot of fans, both racing and boxing, will come out to see Freddie here at Santa Anita. Let’s just hope he can pick horses as well as he does fighters.”
A native of Dedlam, Massachusetts, Roach now resides in Los Angeles and is the owner of the Wild Card Boxing Club/Gym in L.A. First post time on Sunday is 12:30 p.m.
FINISH LINES: Mike Mitchell, trainer of the 5-year-old mare St Trinians, unbeaten in four U.S. starts and one of the choices in Saturday’s Santa Anita Handicap, will be Kurt Hoover’s guest on HRTV today at 1:45 p.m. No female has won ever won the Big ‘Cap in 72 previous runnings . . . Mike Machowsky reports his Triple Crown hopefuls, Caracortado and Nextdoorneighbor, are doing well as they await the San Felipe Stakes on March 13 and Saturday’s rescheduled Sham Stakes, respectively. “Both horses are happy,” the trainer said. “This track can handle a little rain, as long as it doesn’t come down all at once.” . . . Jim Cassidy passed Saturday’s Grade I, $250,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile with The Usual Q.T. in favor of the $5 million Duty Free at 1 1/8 miles on turf in Dubai on March 27. “I’ll train him up to that race and plan to leave on March 16,” the trainer said . . . Always A Princess, second in the Oak Leaf Stakes and fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, worked five furlongs on Pro-Ride Wednesday in :59.80 for Bob Baffert. “We rested her since the Breeders’ Cup, but she’ll be ready soon,” said owner Arnold Zetcher. “She looks really good.” . . . San Carlos Handicap winner Bob Black Jack worked four furlongs at Hollywood Park Wednesday in :47.80 for Jim Kasparoff . . . Tyler Kaplan makes his riding debut in Thursday’s fifth race aboard Soldier Betty for trainer Vladimir Cerin. A 10-pound apprentice rider from Norco, near Corona, Kaplan tacks 109 pounds and attended Chris McCarron’s North American Riding Academy in Kentucky. Kaplan is represented by agent Tom Knust . . . M Racing’s Generous Stakes winner Who’s Up, a candidate for the Santa Anita Derby, worked four furlongs under the supervision of Mike Puhich in :49 3/5 Tuesday at the Pegasus facility in Redmond, Washington. “It’s like a four-star hotel,” said agent Tony Matos, who flew up to see the workout along with M Racing owner Mickey Gonzalez . . . Handicapper Jon Lindo of “Thoroughbred Los Angeles” on radio 830 AM Saturdays, will be Jerry Antonucci’s guest on Saturday’s Today’s Racing Digest seminar, 10:30 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens, weather permitting . . . ShowVivor II had 190 players alive going into Wednesday’s races.