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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
SIDNEY’S CANDY ON FAST TRACK FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY
With front-running victories in the seven-furlong San Vicente Stakes and the San Felipe Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth, Sidney’s Candy is the one to catch in the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles a week from today.
But that doesn’t mean the chestnut son of Candy Ride has to be on the lead to run his best race.
“He doesn’t have to be in front, but he does have kind of a free-running style,” said John Sadler, well on his way to his second straight Santa Anita training title. “If he’s not in front, he’s going to be forwardly placed, because he’s that kind of horse.”
Owned and bred by the Sid and Jenny Craig Trust, Sidney’s Candy is scheduled to have his final major workout for the Santa Anita Derby on Monday. “He breezed last Monday in :59 and three (the clockers gave him :59.40), beautiful,” Sadler said.
Probable for the Santa Anita Derby: Alphie’s Bet, Alex Solis; Caracortado, Paul Atkinson; Cardiff Giant, Christian Santiago Reyes; Lookin At Lucky, Garrett Gomez; Posse Power, Leslie Mawing; Setsuko, Rafael Bejarano; Sidney’s Candy, Joe Talamo; Stephen’s Got Hope, Alonso Quinonez; Skipshot, no rider; Thomas Baines, Joel Rosario; and Who’s Up, Victor Espinoza.
In other Santa Anita Derby news:
Bob Baffert said Lookin At Lucky “galloped a mile and a half this morning. I’m not sure how far we’ll work tomorrow, but it’ll probably be three-quarters. We’ll go right after the (renovation) break at 8 o’clock. I want to stay here, but we’ll make a decision on where we run on Monday or Tuesday.”
Lookin At Lucky, the 2009 male 2-year-old champion, comes off a hard-fought neck victory in his 3-year-old debut in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park March 13. Baffert has been considering either the Santa Anita Derby or the Grade I, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn for the colt’s final major prep prior to the Kentucky Derby on May 1. Should Lookin At Lucky win the Santa Anita Derby, he would be the first 2-year-old champion to win the track’s marquee race for 3-year-olds since Affirmed in 1978.
Doug O’Neill plans to enter the maiden Stephen’s Got Hope, who was claimed for $75,000 in his first start and was fifth last out in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes March 13. Alonso Quinonez rides. Stephen’s Got Hope worked four furlongs at Hollywood Park Saturday in :47.40, while O’Neill’s other Santa Anita Derby candidate, Thomas Baines, went the same distance in :49 flat.
“He’s a really nice colt with a lot of quality,” O’Neill said of Stephen’s Got Hope. “He very easily could have broken his maiden in either of his last two starts, and the distance should be no problem for him.”
Cardiff Giant has been transferred from trainer Jorge Periban to trainer Mike Puhich, who also sends out Who’s Up for Michael Gonzalez, owner of M Racing.
All fans in attendance at Santa Anita next Saturday will receive a free, high-quality casual shirt with paid admission, while supplies last. There will also be a $500,000 guaranteed Pick 4.
First post time is 12 noon. Gates open at 10 a.m.
DAL JONES MEMORIAL POKER TOURNAMENT TOMORROW
The Dal Jones Memorial Texas Hold’ Em No-Limit Poker Tournament will be held Sunday at the top of the stretch at Santa Anita. The event will benefit trainer Dal Jones Jr., who died of an apparent heart attack on Feb. 16 at the age of 38 and left behind a wife and two young children.
There will be food, drinks, music and a silent and live auction at 5:15 p.m. sharp, or 15 minutes after the last race. The tournament starts at 6:15 p.m. There will be prizes for the top three finishers, as well as constant raffles for all in attendance. There is a $200 buy-in, which is not tax deductible.
Interested parties can sign up via credit card or mail in a donation or buy-in to see the prize list. First prize is a Rolex Submariner. For more information, visit www.Daljonesmemorial.com or contact Victor Smith at DalJonesMPT@yahoo.com
SANTA ANITA HOSTS “UNCORKED” WINE EVENT SUNDAY
Santa Anita’s popular “Santa Anita Uncorked” wine event will take place Sunday in the Paddock Gardens area, adjacent to the Seabiscuit Walking Ring. The event, which debuted in 2008, will include wine tasting, cuisine sampling, an art show and a day at the races.
Fans 21 and over are encouraged to spend a day at spectacular Santa Anita tasting fine wines, world-class cuisine from popular area restaurants, and perusing a colorful Paddock Art Exhibit while experiencing a day at the races. “Santa Anita Uncorked” will again be sponsored by the Wine of the Month Club based in nearby Monrovia.
Among those upscale area restaurants participating are: San Marino Seafood, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Cafe 322, Charcuterrie and Santa Anita’s FrontRunner. Wineries represented will include Zaca Mesa, Mike Smith and Alex Solis’ Jinetes, and many more.
“Santa Anita Uncorked” packages will include parking, Club House admission with a grandstand seat, program, wine tasting, cuisine sampling, art exhibit and a souvenir wine glass.
Tickets for admission, parking, program and restricted area wrist band are available for $60 each and can be purchased at the Santa Anita ticket office, or by phone at (626) 574-RACE. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at www.santaanita.com. Proceeds from “Santa Anita Uncorked” will go to benefit Rotary Club Youth Services.
FINISH LINES: Chantal Sutherland’s final day of riding at Santa Anita before heading to her native Canada probably will be April 1. “She has to serve three days of suspension from last year, and she’ll probably do that April 2, 3 and 4, when she gets to Woodbine,” agent Tommy Ball said . . . Battle of Hastings, second in three of his last five starts, will try to get back on the winning track next Saturday in the Grade II, $150,000 Arcadia Handicap for older horses at one mile on turf. Tyler Baze rides the Royal Applause gelding for Jeff Mullins. Baze also rides Eaton’s Gift for trainer Mike Mitchell Saturday in the Grade II, $150,000 Potrero Grande Handicap for older horses at 6 1/2 furlongs, and Alpha Kitten for John Sadler in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Handicap for older fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs, agent Vic Stauffer reports . . . Las Virgenes Stakes winner Blind Luck worked six furlongs in 1:15.20 on Santa Anita’s training track Saturday for Jerry Hollendorfer, who is preparing the filly for the Grade II, $250,000 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park next Friday, April 2. “Fantastic” is how Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward described the drill. Hollendorfer is considering the Grade II, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap next Saturday for Dakota Phone, Ward said. Third at 23-1 in the Santa Anita Handicap, Dakota Phone worked six furlongs on the training track Saturday in 1:16.20 . . . The third and final pool of the 2010 Kentucky Derby Future Book Wager started Friday and closes Sunday at 3 p.m.