- Live Racing
- Racing Information
- Press Box
- The Park
- Host an Event
- New Fans
- Get Tickets
STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
RACING GREAT PETE ANDERSON SEEKS BIG ’CAP VICTORY
In a bygone era when racing was in its hey day, Pete Anderson rode with the greats: Shoemaker, Arcaro, Baeza, Hartack. He began his career in the late 1940s and was the leading apprentice jockey in New York in 1948. Among his major graded stakes victories was the 1966 Washington Park Handicap aboard Bold Bidder, in which he defeated future Hall of Fame inductee Tom Rolfe.
In the 1973 Kentucky Derby, he rode the great Forego to a fourth-place finish behind eventual Triple Crown champion Secretariat. Anderson’s most important win came in 1958, when he rode Cavan to an upset over Tim Tam to deny the Calumet Farm colt the Triple Crown. Anderson retired from riding in the mid-1970s and became a trainer. Fast forward to 2010. Now 78, the Hialeah, Florida-based native of Southampton, Long Island will be at Santa Anita Saturday to saddle Delightful Kiss in the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino.
A 6-year-old Florida-bred gelding by Kissin Kris, Delightful Kiss is a multiple graded stakes winner with a 7-4-5 record from 27 starts. He has earned $1,058,033 and was third to 12 3/4-length winner Quality Road in the Grade I Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 6.
“He’s doing great,” said Anderson, who watched with care as the eye-catching gray exercised at Santa Anita Friday morning after leaving the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, where he has taken up residence. “He got in Wednesday and he’s doing perfect.”
Anderson devotes all his attention to Delightful Kiss, since it’s the only horse he trains right now. “I had three stakes horses last year, and I’m down to one,” he said. “One of those I bred, the other was operated on, so I’m down just to Delightful Kiss.”
But his memories will never diminish. “I rode for 25 years, and it was great,” Anderson said. “Every era has its highlights, and that was a great era. Who was the best? It was a dead-heat between Shoemaker and Arcaro.”
Added veteran agent Tony Matos: “Pete was a very good rider and he’s a very good horseman. I’ve known him all my life. He’s an asset to the game.”
The field for the Santa Anita Handicap, which goes as race 10 on an 11-race program: Pick Six, Alex Solis, 114, 20-1; St Trinians, Joel Rosario, 113, 7-2; Rendezvous, Joe Talamo, 114, 20-1; Neko Bay, Mike Smith, 117, 8-1; Eagle Poise, Tyler Baze, 114, 20-1; Loup Breton, Garrett Gomez, 117, 4-1; Mast Track, David Flores, 117, 12-1; Pool Play, Chantal Sutherland, 114, 15-1; Marsh Side, Martin Pedroza, 117, 12-1; Tiger’s Rock, David Cohen, 114, 15-1; Dakota Phone, Victor Espinoza, 114, 20-1; Delightful Kiss, Juan Leyva, 10-1, 115; Misremembered, Martin Garcia, 116, 8-1; and Jeranimo, Rafael Bejarano, 116, 8-1.
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.
AWESOME GEM RETURNS TO TURF IN GRADE I KILROE
Awesome Gem makes his first start since finishing seventh to Zenyatta in the Breeders’ Cup Classic last Nov. 7 when he runs in Saturday’s Grade I, $250,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile on turf. David Flores, who was aboard for that race and also for a winning ride in the Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup last October, is back on for the Kilroe.
A 7-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and trained by Craig Dollase, Awesome Gem has a 6-11-3 record from 31 career starts, but is only one for nine on the grass.
“I think his best races are on the turf,” Flores said. “But he runs good on anything. He always tries. He’s an honest horse.”
Flores felt Awesome Gem might have been closer in the Classic with better racing luck. He broke outward from the No. 12 post position, was less than three lengths off the lead entering the stretch, but tired late.
“It wasn’t that bad breaking from the outside,” Flores recalled, “because one time before the turn I had the opportunity to go down to the fence. I tried to do my best on the horse and I came a little bit wide on the second turn. The first turn was fine. I made the decision to stay outside because I didn’t want to get trapped. You never know what’s going to happen in a race.”
The field for the Kilroe, which will be presented as the ninth race: Blue Chagall, Alex Solis, 114, 4-1; Awesome Gem, David Flores, 10-1; Acclamation, Martin Garcia, 114, 20-1; Ever a Friend, Joel Rosario, 118, 3-1; Red Alert Day, Rafael Bejarano, 113, 20-1; Monzante, Garrett Gomez, 115, 8-1; Proviso, Mike Smith, 114, 8-1; Fluke, Joe Talamo, 116, 7-2; and Battle of Hastings, Tyler Baze, 119, 4-1.
Red Sun and Tuscan Evening were scratched.
SADLER DOUBLE TEAMS BLIND LUCK IN SANTA ANITA OAKS
John Sadler is nothing if not naïve. He knows Blind Luck is the horse to beat in Saturday’s Grade I, $250,000 Santa Anita Oaks, and Santa Anita’s defending training king is sending out two of his best to challenge the three-time Grade I stakes winner and a finalist for an Eclipse Award as outstanding 2-year-old filly of 2009.
“She’s very tough,” Sadler said. “She’s the leader in the division, but both my fillies are nice fillies. One’s already a stakes winner, the other’s won two in a row, and they’re both doing well, so we’re looking forward to getting out there and competing.”
Sadler entered Sister Dawn, Crisp and Cozi Rosie in the Oaks, but only the latter pair will run. With two wins Thursday, Sadler held a 26-21 lead over Bob Baffert in the race for leading trainer. “Overall, the meet’s gone very welI,” Sadler said. “I’m very happy.”
The field for the Santa Anita Oaks: Crisp, Joel Rosario, 6-1; Riviera Chic, Michael Baze, 20-1; All Due Respect, Garrett Gomez, 8-1; Blind Luck, Rafael Bejarano, 1-2; Warren’s Jitterbug, Joe Talamo, 30-1; Cozi Rosie, Mike Smith, 5-1; and Zilva, Jose Valdivia Jr., 8-1. Each carries 122 pounds. Sister Dawn ran fourth in Thursday’s seventh race and was scratched from the Oaks.
TEENAGE TYLER KAPLAN SETTLES IN AFTER WINNING WITH FIRST MOUNT
It was business as usual Friday morning for 16-year-old Tyler Kaplan, who won his first race with his first mount when he guided Soldier Betty to a half-length victory for trainer Vladimir Cerin in Thursday’s fifth race.
The Norco native was exercising horses at Santa Anita after enduring a traditional “indoctrination” in the jockeys’ room following the race, and a lesson in intimidation from veteran Danny Sorenson, riding Too Pink, who forced Kaplan to steady leaving the half-mile marker in the mile and a sixteenth race for $10,500-$12,500 claiming fillies and mares.
“It was just race-riding,” Kaplan said. “Sorenson was just doing his job. I had to do my job and I had to try and win.”
Kaplan weathered the welcome from his peers when he got back to the jockeys’ room and was hit with everything but the kitchen sink. “They got me old-school,” he said. “Everything in the jocks’ room, they threw it on me. They threw all the trash in a water bucket and threw it all on me, wet trash. They painted my (private) and my butt, put pepper on me; I was burning.”
His family, meanwhile, was burning with pride. “We were a little nervous before the race, but it all turned out well,” said Tyler’s mother, Heidi Clemons (she is married to her second husband, Fred Clemons). Obviously, we’re very proud and look forward to his continued success.”
Cerin, meanwhile, joshingly added pressure for the fuzzy-faced Kaplan during pre-race instructions. “I told him if he gets beat,” Cerin said, “don’t come back.”
FINISH LINES: Caracortado worked five furlongs in company on Pro-Ride Friday under regular rider Paul Atkinson in :58.60 for next Saturday’s Grade II San Felipe Stakes. “Actually, he went six furlongs in 1:12,” trainer Mike Machowsky said. “He worked great. I’m tickled.” The California-bred gelding, one of the Kentucky Derby Future Book favorites, is unbeaten in five starts, including the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 6. Meanwhile, Bob Baffert indicated that male 2-year-old champion Lookin At Lucky would pass the San Felipe. “Today, I’m going to the Rebel,” the Hall of Fame trainer said, referring to the Grade II, $300,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park the same day as the San Felipe . . . Zenyatta worked six furlongs at Hollywood Park in a bullet 1:11.80 for her 2010 debut in the Grade I, $250,000 Santa Margarita Handicap on March 13 . . . Dancing in Silks will be turned out for freshening “for a couple of months” at the Winner’s Circle Ranch in Bradbury, Carla Gaines said Friday. “He appears to be very sound but as a precaution, we’re giving him a nuclear scan today (at the Southern California Equine Foundation on Santa Anita’s backstretch),” the trainer said. A 5-year-old California-bred gelding by Black Minnaloushe, Dancing in Silks finished fifth as the 7-5 favorite in the Grade II San Carlos Handicap on Feb. 20. “He came out of the race fine,” Gaines said, adding that it was no surprise, “since he didn’t do much running.” . . . World-famous boxing trainer Freddie Roach will be at Santa Anita Sunday to present the trophy to the winning connections of the Joe Hernandez Stakes in a winner’s circle ceremony. Roach, a former boxer who is a member of the World Boxing Hall of Fame, currently works for superstar fighter Manny (Pac Man) Pacquiao. The affable Roach celebrated his 50th birthday Friday . . . Richard J Maturi will be at Champions! Gift Shop today, Saturday and Sunday to sign his book, “Triple Crown Winner: The Earl Sande Saga.” On Saturday at the same location, author Rudi Alvarado will autograph his book, “The Untold Story of Joe Hernandez, the Voice of Santa Anita,” from 10:30 a. m. to 12 noon. The award-winning book includes an audio CD of some of Joe’s most memorable calls. Joe’s son, Father Frank Hernandez, will also be on hand for the signing . . . Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Book Wager opened Friday morning and closes Sunday evening, coinciding with the only Kentucky Oaks Future Wager this year . . . ShowVivor II players fell from 149 Thursday to only 26 alive going into Friday.