Santa Anita Stable Notes Friday, December 30, 2022
__STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN FRIDAY, DEC. 30, 2022 __
• WET WEATHER FORCES TWEAKS TO RACING SCHEDULE • OPENING DAY CROWD OF 41,446 HELPS RECORD HANDLE • DICEY MO CHARA EYES $1 MILLION PEGASUS TURF • ONE MORE BID HAS STAKES BREAKTHROUGH IN MATHIS
WET WEATHER FORCES TWEAKS TO RACING SCHEDULE
A picturesque opening day at Santa Anita with temperatures reaching the high 70s helped drive an on-track attendance of 41,446 and a record all-sources opening day handle of $26.3 million.
Weather-wise, it will be different story this holiday weekend at the The Great Race Place, which has led to some changes in the racing program including an all-dirt card on Sunday.
On Friday’s nine-race program, five are scheduled for the turf including both the $100,000 Eddie Logan and $100,000 Blue Norther. The card is expected to go as scheduled. But then things start could change on Saturday. The National Weather Service forecasts a “100 percent chance of precipitation” with up to an inch of rainfall in Arcadia.
As a result, both of Saturday’s turf stakes are carded early on the program to try and avoid the pending rainstorm. The opener will be the Grade II, $250,000 Joe Hernandez on the hillside turf course with the Grade III $100,000 Robert J. Frankel going as race three.
“For today and tomorrow, everything should go according to plan,” said Santa Anita Director of Racing and Racing Secretary Chris Merz. “The really hard rain on Saturday isn’t supposed to hit until about 6 o’clock on Saturday. And talking with our turf guy (Jessie Martinez), despite the rain we have already had, he felt everything is right where it is supposed to be.”
For Sunday, the Racing Office took no chances. The eight-race program will be run exclusively on dirt. As for the scheduled Grade III, $100,000 Las Cienegas on the hillside turf course, it was moved to the special New Year’s holiday card on Monday.
“We might see traces of rain Sunday, but it shouldn’t affect how we do business,” Merz said. “And then on Monday, there is a lot of sun and wind in the forecast. We’re hoping to be full steam ahead.”
DICEY MO CHARA EYES $1 MILLION PEGASUS TURF
Dicey Mo Chara could go Grade I hunting following his half-length victory over stablemate Flashiest in the Grade II, $200,000 San Gabriel on opening day for trainer Leonard Powell.
The 4-year-old English-bred gelding collected his first stakes win in the San Gabriel when scoring as the 7-2 third choice under top jockey Juan Hernandez. It followed a string of minor awards at the graded-stakes level for Dicey Mo Chara, who in his previous three starts was fourth in the Grade II Hollywood Turf Cup, second in the Grade II John Henry Turf Championship and third in the Grade II Del Mar Handicap. In addition to the $120,000 winner’s share of the San Gabriel purse, Dicey Mo Chara also earned an automatic bid to the Grade I, $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 28.
On Friday, Powell said the cross-country trip was under consideration for Dicey Mo Chara.
“It was only a few days ago, but he came out of the race in good order. We’re going to wait a few more days for a decision on whether he stays here or ships out of town. He’s got an invitation (to the Pegasus), so that’s an option,” Powell said.
Owned by Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal, Dicey Mo Chara now sports a record of 17-4-4-3 with $430,277 in earnings.
“He had been knocking on the door for a while, but had been getting some rough trips,” Powell said. “The other day was his day. He got a good trip, a good ride and was good enough to win it.”
ONE MORE BID HAS STAKES BREAKTHROUGH IN MATHIS MILE
Just five weeks after breaking his maiden in his eighth attempt, One More Bid got the 2022 Classic Meet off to a rousing start in Monday’s opener when springing a 16-1 upset in the Grade II Santa Anita Mathis Mile by a nose over favorite Balnikhov.
The upset win under Ramon Vazquez provided trainer Ryan Hanson with the second graded-stakes win of his blossoming career following Weston’s victory in the 2020 Grade II Best Pal at Del Mar. Hanson said taking a shot in the Mathis Mile with One More Bid off just a maiden win was due to a variety of circumstances.
“We knew there wasn’t anything in the book, no ‘one-other-than’ allowance going a mile on turf,” he noted. “And this was our last chance to run against straight 3-year-olds. We knew this race was probably going to come up with a little shorter field because the Hollywood Derby (on Dec. 3) was close for a lot of these guys. It would be tough to wheel them right back.
“So the circumstance made a lot of sense and it all worked out.”
Hanson is also a co-owner of One More Bid along with Ciaglia Racing and California Racing Partners. The gelding by California Chrome debuted in March and had three runner-up finishes before finally graduating Nov. 19 at Del Mar.
“We had him as a 2-year-old and he was big and gangly and needed some time,” Hanson said. “We probably rushed him. He worked really well one time and we jumped into a spot before he was truly ready. Then every time after that he just found a lot of trouble, most of it self-imposed.”
One More Bid’s victory added to what has been a breakout season for Hanson. His stable stable this season, which typically has about 32 horses at Santa Anita, has banked $1,363,644. That is almost double Hanson’s previous high of $769,186 set last year.
“It’s really been a matter of getting better quality horses,” Hanson said of his added success.
As for One More Bid’s next assignment, Hanson said that will be determined after discussion with his fellow owners.
“There’s a couple of spots that are interesting, but we’re going to sit quietly for a little bit and see,” Hanson said. “My thoughts and the other owner’s thoughts might be different. But everything is on the table at this point.”
Finish Lines: Ice Dancing, a contender in Sunday’s Grade III, $200,000 Santa Ynez for 3-year-old fillies, had a three-furlong blowout in 39.80 seconds Friday for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella…Tostado, who was scratched from Friday’s Eddie Logan Stakes, worked five furlongs in 1:01.6 for trainer Vladimir Cerin…There will be a special New Year’s program on Monday featuring the rescheduled Grade III, $100,000 Las Cienegas on the hillside turf course...On-track fans Monday will be offered $1 beers and sodas and $2 hot dogs…Santa Anita wishes a belated “Happy Birthday” to Hall of Fame jockey and racing icon Laffit Pincay Jr., who turned 76 on Thursday. The great Pincay was on-hand Monday to present the trophy for the Grade I La Brea Stakes, looking fit to ride.