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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14TH, 2009
UNBEATEN RAIL TRIP COULD RUN IN SAN CARLOS; JOHNNY EVES INJURED
Rail Trip, who has been mentioned as a candidate for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap at 1 ¼ miles on March 7, could make his next start in next Saturday’s Grade II San Carlos Handicap at seven furlongs.
“It’s a possibility,” trainer Ron Ellis said Saturday morning. “I looked at the race, and it’s not a very strong field other than Georgie Boy, so it’s a possibility.”
Rail Trip, a 4-year-old gelding by the A.P. Indy stallion Jump Start, is unbeaten in three starts by a combined margin of more than 12 lengths. He won his last race “handily” on Jan. 30, going two turns for the first time after two sprint victories.
“Seven-eighths might be a good distance for him,” Ellis continued. “I’ve got to talk to them (owners Mace and Samantha Siegel) this week and see what we’re going to do. If I shorten back up, it would rule out the Big ’Cap.”
Palos Verdes Handicap winner and 2007 Malibu Stakes winner Johnny Eves was not nominated to the San Carlos and has been turned out at Bonnie Acres Ranch in Hemet with a pulled suspensory, trainer Jay Robbins said. The son of Skimming is expected to miss four months. NICE GUY FINISHES FIRST WHEN PUGLISI WINS FOR HOFMANS
Trivia question: What active jockey at Santa Anita was born in a city with a name that’s the same as a surname of one of his fellow riders?
Iggy Puglisi is back, thanks in large part to David Hofmans. The 66-year-old trainer gave Puglisi a leg up on two winners at Santa Anita on Thursday and Friday, for which the jockey is eternally grateful. Puglisi only recently returned to riding. He was sidelined for some 18 months with an injury, lending his expertise as an analyst with TVG during his recuperation. But now he’s back doing what he loves.
“I was hurt and took a year and a half off,” said Puglisi, who turns 35 on April 15. “I had knee surgery--had it done twice, actually--because there was a little cyst that grew on a pin. During that time I did TV and other little things. But riding is my passion. This is awesome.” Puglisi won Thursday’s fourth race for Hofmans with Saugatuck River, owned by William Betz and Philip Needham, and Friday’s third aboard Silent Soul, owned by the Tarabilla Farm of Susan Osborne.
“I’ve been using Iggy as my exercise rider for about six months now,” Hofmans said. “He gets on most of the horses I breeze and has been working for us pretty steadily. He’s gotten along with horses that other jocks haven’t gotten along with, and he’s riding them good.” Puglisi reciprocates, and then some.
“David is a good guy who gives you a shot on good horses as well as maidens,” Puglisi said. “He takes care of you great. Truthfully, I’m not kissing butt, he’s the nicest guy I’ve ever ridden for.
“I just started galloping for Dave about six months ago. He knew I was making a bit of a comeback, and he gave me a shot. In 20 years of racing, David is by far the nicest guy I’ve ever worked for. There’s no doubt about it.” Trivia answer: Ignacio Puglisi. He was born in Rosario, Argentina. One of his current peers is jockey Joel Rosario. FREE UMBRELLAS AT SANTA ANITA THIS MONDAY, PRESIDENTS’ DAY
With rain dominating the Los Angeles area recently and more forecast in the immediate future, Santa Anita offers perhaps its most timely giveaway ever Monday--free umbrellas to all THOROUGHBREDS members at Santa Anita with general admission while supplies last on Presidents’ Day. First post time is 12:30 p.m. FINISH LINES: Champs Elysees, seventh by six lengths at odds of 3-1 in the Grade II San Antonio Handicap on Pro-Ride on Feb. 8, comes back in next Sunday’s Grade II San Luis Obispo Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf. “The race just didn’t shape up for him at all,” Bobby Frankel said of the San Antonio. “I don’t think the synthetic had anything to do with it.” Garrett Gomez, who won three races Friday to take a 42-41 lead over Rafael Bejarano in the Santa Anita jockeys’ race, rides Champs Elysees . . . Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare sprint winner and Santa Monica Handicap winner Ventura worked four furlongs on Pro-Ride for Frankel Saturday in :48.60 . . . Robert B. Lewis Stakes runner-up Papa Clem worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 for Gary Stute, who plans to run the colt in the Louisiana Derby on March 14 . . . Raise the Heat, winner of Friday’s fourth race under Joe Talamo for trainer Bill Spawr, gave the sire Unusual Heat his 13th victory this meet, according to Madeline Auerbach, who manages Unusual Heat’s stud career. Unusual Heat sired a Santa Anita meet record 26 winners last season. The victory by the 9-year-old Raise the Heat, the 14th of his career, was his first since he was a 7-year-old. He has earned more than $350,000 with no black type. “He’s a blue collar horse,” Auerbach said . . . Agent Richie Silverstein has taken the book of Alonso Quinonez effective today . . . Of the 76 recorded Cushion Track workouts at Hollywood Park Saturday, 19 were for horses trained by Mike Mitchell . . . Ken Norton Jr., assistant football coach at USC, celebrated his wife Angela’s birthday and Valentine’s Day today at the FrontRunner Restaurant . . . Legendary jockey Johnny Longden would have been 102 years old today. -30-