Santa Anita News
STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• DAKOTA PHONE PREPS FOR SAN PASQUAL STAKES
• EVENING JEWEL SHARP FOR SUNDAY’S MONROVIA
• JOCKEY BERRIO HOSPITALIZED
BREEDERS’ CUP WINNER DAKOTA PHONE SET FOR SAN PASQUAL
Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Dakota Phone worked five furlongs under Joel Rosario in 1:01.20 on Santa Anita’s traditional dirt main track Friday in preparation for next Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Pasqual Stakes, a major steppingstone to the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 5.
Dakota Phone’s drill was one of 276 recorded under temperatures that dipped below freezing before sunrise, after which skies were blue and cloudless.
Blind Luck, favored to win an Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding 3-year-old filly of 2010, had her scheduled work moved back one day to Saturday. She is set to make her 4-year-old debut in the Grade II El Encino Stakes on Jan. 16.
“I got Dakota Phone in 1:01.41, and the last eighth in :11.75,” Hollendorfer said. ”It was what I wanted. He’s not a great work horse, but he’s going very smooth right now.”
Dakota Phone, 37-1 upset winner of the Dirt Mile under Rosario, has earned $1,279,810 for Hollendorfer, who owns a share of the 6-year-old gelding along with Ted Aroney (Halo Farms), John Carver and George Todaro. Dakota Phone has a 6-7-9 record from 33 starts.
Hollendorfer says Dakota Phone’s reputation as a horse that enhances his bankroll mainly through minor awards is undeserved.
”He’s always been running in legitimate races,” said Hollendorfer, one of only six trainers with more than 5,000 career victories and a sure-fire bet to one day be inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame. “In the Breeders’ Cup, he just got a pace scenario that set him up real good. That’s why he could run them down going a mile.”
Dakota Phone had run in two Grade I races prior to the Dirt Mile, at a mile and a quarter and a mile and an eighth, respectively, finishing third each time. In his last 11 starts, 10 have been in graded events and only two have been as short as a mile.
Never one to rest on his laurels, the 64-year-old Hollendorfer nevertheless appreciates his successes, especially the emergence of Blind Luck, who rose from the claiming ranks to become a multiple Grade I winner. Through Dec. 28, Hollendorfer ranked third nationally in wins with 279 and fourth in earnings with $9,121,978.
“I’m very grateful for the year that we’ve had,” said Hollendorfer, who, along with right-hand man Dan Ward, runs one of the most efficient operations in the nation. “We’re blessed. What else can I say? I’m just trying to get ready for the New Year and hope we can continue to compete with everyone.”
EVENING JEWEL SET FOR MONROVIA, WEATHER OR NOT
Trainer Jim Cassidy said he plans to run Evening Jewel in Sunday’s Monrovia Stakes come rain or come shine. The Grade III, $100,000 race for older fillies and mares is scheduled for about 6 ½ furlongs on turf, but depending on weather and track conditions, it could be moved to the main track.
Turf or dirt, it makes little difference to her regular rider, Victor Espinoza. “She always tries hard,” said Espinoza, who has ridden the 4-year-old California-bred daughter of Northern Afleet in eight of her 14 career races, four of them victories. “Every time she runs, she runs hard, and she’s ready to go. I worked her and she worked unbelievable.”
Evening Jewel has a 6-5-2 record, with earnings of $1,015,943 for owner Marilyn Braly of Palm Desert. Evening Jewel lost twice by a nose to Blind Luck in Grade I races, the Las Virgenes Stakes and the Kentucky Oaks. “I couldn’t tell whether I won or lost at the wire,” said Espinoza, who rode Evening Jewel in the Las Virgenes. “I was too busy riding.”
‘HRTV AT THE HALF’ TO PREMIERE SATURDAY
HRTV will debut a new feature, “HRTV at the Half” on New Year’s Day. The show will air every Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. It will briefly recap the stakes races run earlier in the day on the East Coast while previewing the stakes competition coming up later in the day on the West Coast. The show will be 10 minutes in length so as not to impact HRTV’s live racing program.
“Our goal is for this show to become horse racing’s version of a football or basketball half-time show,” said Executive Producer Amy J. Zimmerman. “It’s a snapshot look at the newsmakers and news-making races, while giving viewers an insight into what they can look forward to watching in the upcoming stakes.”
FINISH LINES: Jockey Omar Berrio reportedly suffered a stroke early Thursday evening and was in Arcadia Methodist Hospital Friday. The 42-year-old native of Panama City won Thursday’s seventh race in front-running fashion on Celtic Princess for trainer A.C. Avila. Fellow Panamanian jockey Martin Pedroza visited Berrio on Friday . . . Bob Baffert hopes to have Misremembered ready to defend his crown in the Santa Anita Handicap on March 5. Owned by Baffert’s wife Jill and George Jacobs, Misremembered worked three furlongs Tuesday in :37 flat . . . Triple Crown hopeful Tapizar worked six furlongs at Santa Anita Friday in 1:13.40 for Steve Asmussen . . . Golden Shaheen winner Kinsale King worked three furlongs on Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track Friday in :37.20 for trainer Carl O’Callaghan, while Santa Maria Handicap winner St Trinians went four furlongs in :48.80, breezing, for Mike Mitchell . . . Doug O’Neill saddled two winners Thursday including Hey Elvis, who regained the lead late under Rafael Bejarano to win the second race: “He’s such a good rider,” O’Neill said of Bejarano. “He always saves something.” Bejarano won three races Thursday to take an 11-7 lead over Joel Rosario . . . Santa Anita’s popular on-line handicapping contest ShowVivor starts anew Saturday, offering $5,000 in prize money. The contest is free to enter. For details, go to www.santanaita.com.