Santa Anita Stable Notes Friday, January 13, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN __FRIDAY, JAN. 13, 2023 __
• MORE RAIN IN FORECAST FORCES SCHEDULE CHANGES • NEW POST POSITIONS FOR RESCHEDULED GRADE III LA CANADA • JUSTIQUE BACK TO WORK AFTER SANTA YNEZ SCRATCH • O’NEILL’S HOT ROD CHARLIE RETIRED TO STUD IN JAPAN
MORE RAIN IN FORECAST FORCES CHANGES TO RACING SCHEDULE
With Saturday’s card already canceled due to heavy rain in the forecast, Santa Anita will be open for live racing on Sunday and track officials are hopeful that with sunny skies forecast for next week, conditions will return to normal soon.
Saturday’s cancellation is the second of the meet due to inclement weather in Arcadia. On Jan. 1, racing was also canceled. The National Weather Service calls for a “100 percent chance” of precipitation” on Saturday with more than an inch of rain possible after 10 a.m. That storm is expected to move out of the area late Saturday evening, but then on Sunday, another system is expected to arrive after 4 p.m.
Santa Anita Director of Racing and Racing Secretary Chris Merz said the plan is to conduct full training Saturday morning and then prepare the main track for Sunday’s racing.
“We are planning full steam ahead on Sunday,” said Merz.“We should have a better idea about Monday by later today.” Sunday’s eight-race program would be run exclusively on dirt.
The Grade III La Canada for older fillies and mares originally scheduled for Saturday is now carded for Sunday. Also due to Saturday’s cancellation, Santa Anita has added a makeup program for next Friday, Jan. 20, which was originally a dark day.
While Merz noted the abundance of rain this winter has been a challenge for all involved, “I’m really proud of my racing office and hats off to the trainers.
“I know everyone is having a difficult time, but we’re all working together and that’s the most important thing,” he added.
NEW POST POSITIONS FOR RESCHEDULED GRADE III LA CANADA
With the Grade III, $200,000 La Canada pushed back a day to Sunday, entries were re-opened and post positions redrawn on Thursday. Ganadora, the 2-1 morning-line favorite who had originally drawn the rail for Bob Baffert, will now break from post three in a six-horse field under John Velazquez. Inheriting the rail in the mile and one sixteenth feature for older fillies and mares is Kristenbosch, who will have Kazushi Kimura in the irons. Kristenbosch, third most recently in the Grade I La Brea on Dec. 26 for trainer John Sadler, is the 5-2 co-second choice on Jon White’s morning line.
The La Canada goes as the seventh race on Sunday’s nine-race program with an approximate post time of 3:30 p.m. PT.
The field in post position order: Kristenbosch, Kazushi Kimura (5-2); Angel Nadeshiko, Victor Espinoza (6-1); Ganadora, John Velazquez (2-1); Smoothlikebutah, Tiago Perreira (10-1); Natural Colour, Flavien Prat (5-1); Under the Stars, Juan Hernandez (5-2).
JUSTIQUE BACK TO WORK AFTER SCRATCHING FROM SANTA YNEZ
Justique, who scratched from last weekend’s Grade III Santa Ynez due to a brief illness, returned to work on Friday for trainer John Shirreffs. The 3-year-old daughter of Triple Crown winner Justify went an easy half mile in 48.4 seconds.
Justique was installed as the odds-on favorite on the morning line in the seven-furlong Santa Ynez, which was ultimately won by Ice Dancing for trainer Richard Mandella. Shirreffs said Justique was sick for only a day in the leadup to the race and possibly could have run, but out of an abundance of caution the decision was made to wait for the Grade III Las Virgenes going a mile on Jan. 28.
Owned by Lee and Susan Searing’s C R K Stable, Justique has won two of three starts including the seven-furlong Desi Arnaz most recently at Del Mar on Nov. 19.
Justique was among 201 horses to work Friday on either the main track or training track at Santa Anita.
GRADE I WINNER HOT ROD CHARLIE RETIRED TO STUD IN JAPAN
Santa Anita-based Hot Rod Charlie, a fan favorite during three seasons of racing for trainer Doug O’Neill, has been retired and will enter stud at Shadai Farm in Japan for the 2023 breeding season.
A 5-year-old son of Oxbow, Hot Rod Charlie amassed $5.67 million in earnings with a record of 19-5-5-4 for owners Roadrunner Racing, Boat Racing, Gainesway Stable and Strauss Bros. Racing. His biggest wins included the Grade I Pennsylvania Derby and Grade II Louisiana Derby in 2021 along with last year’s Grade II Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs. Hot Rod Charlie also hit the board in four other Grade I’s including the Kentucky Derby (3rd) and Belmont Stakes (2nd) in 2021.
O’Neill reflected on Hot Rod Charlie’s career in a social media post: “What to say? Thank you Hot Rod Charlie for the amazing memories, the great and often unpredictable ride and for inspiring us to give our all every time. Wishing him the best in his new career. We’ll miss him around here.”
Finish Lines: With Saturday’s card canceled, admission passes and Mystery Mutuel Vouchers mailed to Thoroughbred club members can be redeemed on Sunday…The “1/ST Coast to Coast Pick 5” scheduled for Saturday has been canceled due to no racing at Santa Anita. The player-friendly wager with 15% takeout combines races from Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park and is scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays…Next Saturday’s feature, the $100,000 Astra for older fillies and mare going 1 ½ miles on turf, attracted 13 nominees. Among the group is Grade III-placed Queen Ofthe Temple, multiple stakes-winning California-bred Warrens Candy Girl and Ballet Dancing, an impressive allowance winner on opening day for trainer Simon Callaghan