Santa Anita Stable Notes Friday, January 26, 2024
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN FRIDAY, JANUARY 26, 2024
- D’AMATO’S NEWGRANGE IS FAVORED TO REPEAT IN GII SAN PASQUAL - WHITE ABARRIO, ADARE MANOR LEAD FRIDAY WORK TAB - ROSARIO BACK AT SANTA ANITA AFTER BIG DAY IN NEW ORLEANS - $1 COAST-TO-COAST PICK 5 IS SET FOR SATURDAY
GII SAN PASQUAL: NEWGATE, MR FISK LOOM LARGE FOR BAFFERT After receiving an invitation to compete in Saturday’s GI, $3 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park, the connections for Newgrange had a decision to make.
Either they could make the cross-country trip to South Florida and compete for a hefty seven-figure pot or remain at Santa Anita and defend their title in Saturday’s GII, $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes. After much debate, the call was made to stay home and go for the repeat.
Prompting the decision was the hope Newgrange runs as expected on Saturday and can then make an international trip to the Middle East for a try in the GI, $12 million Dubai World Cup on March 30.
“He has to prove himself tomorrow, but if he does and we can go to Dubai then that would be one less ship he’d have to make,” D’Amato said Friday. “That long travel can take a toll on horses. Hopefully we can run a big race here out of our own stall and have an opportunity to go abroad.”
Owned by Little Red Feather Racing, David A. Bernsen and Rockingham Ranch, Newgrange is the 5-2 morning-line favorite to win his second San Pasqual, which is contested at the same 1 1/8-mile distance as the Pegasus. The 5-year-old Violence horse is exiting a decisive 2 ¼-length victory in the GII San Antonio here going 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 26. That effort earned a career-best 99 Beyer Speed Figure, according to Daily Racing Form.
“I think he’s as good if not better than last year,” D’Amato said Friday. “He won really nicely the other day. It was top-notch. But what I want to see is consecutive big performances from him. He still needs to prove that.”
Newgrange’s win in the San Antonio came under eastern-based rider Irad Ortiz Jr., who Thursday night won his fifth Eclipse Award as the outstanding jockey of 2023. On Saturday, Newgrange will be ridden for the first time by Hall of Famer Victor Espinoza. The Triple Crown-winning jockey, 52, enters Friday just 1-for-14 at the Classic Meet. Newgrange will be his only mount Saturday.
“Victor worked him last time and was really impressed,” D’Amato said. “I know he has confidence in the horse and has a feel for him, which should help. We’ll see what happens.”
The other key contenders in the San Pasqual are both Newgate (3-1) and Mr Fisk (3-1) for Bob Baffert and Mixto (5-1) for trainer Doug O’Neill.
Mixto is an ascending 4-year-old by Good Magic who finished second to Newgrange in the San Antonio following a one-mile maiden win. He was beaten just 2 ¼ lengths in the San Antonio after making up ground in the stretch, which signals he could benefit from the added distance Saturday. The San Pasqual goes as the eighth race Saturday on a nine-race card. Post time is scheduled for 4:22 p.m. PT. The field in post position order: Two Rivers Over, Edwin Maldonado (12-1); Stilleto Boy, Mike Smith (6-1); I’mgonnabesomebody, Kazushi Kimura (15-1); Newgate, Joel Rosario (3-1); Newgrange, Victor Espinoza (5-2); Mr Fisk, Juan Hernandez (3-1); Mixto, Antonio Fresu (5-1); War At Sea, Hector Berrios (12-1).
BC CLASSIC WINNER WHITE ABARRIO, ADARE MANOR LEAD FRIDAY WORK TAB White Abarrio, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic here Nov. 4, continues to work steadily for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. On Friday, White Abarrio drilled five furlongs in 1:00.40, which was the sixth-fastest of 63 moves at the distance.
White Abarrio has worked six time at Santa Anita since Dec. 24. He is pointed to the $20 million Saudi Cup going 1 1/8 miles in Riyadh on Feb. 24. Prior to his win in last year’s 1 ¼-mile Classic, White Abarrio won the GI Whitney going 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga in August. Owned by C2 Racing Stable and La Milagrosa Stable, the 5-year-old Race Day horse has a record of 7-1-3 in 15 starts with $4,946,350 in earnings.
Other graded stakes winners to work Friday included Adare Manor, Endlessly and Stay Hot.
Adare Manor, a Grade I winner last year for Bob Baffert, worked for the fourth time since Dec. 29 with a four-furlong drill completed in 48.40. The 5-year-old Uncle Mo mare has been off since finishing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff here Nov. 4.
Prior to the Breeders’ Cup, Adare Manor reeled off four-straight graded stakes wins including the GI Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar and GII Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita.
Endlessly and Stay Hot were both graded-stakes winner on turf last year as 2-year-olds. Endlessly, off since finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Nov. 3, worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 for trainer Michael McCarthy. The Oscar Performance colt last year won both the GIII Del Mar Juvenile Turf at Del Mar and GIII Zuma Beach at Santa Anita prior to the Breeders’ Cup.
Stay Hot finished 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf for trainer Peter Eurton, one race after breaking his maiden at Santa Anita. Following the Breeders’ Cup, Stay Hot returned to win the GIII Cecil B. DeMille at a mile on turf at Del Mar Dec. 3. On Friday, the Summer Front ridgling worked four furlongs in 49.40 seconds.
ROSARIO BACK AT SANTA ANITA AFTER BIG DAY IN NEW ORLEANS Jockey Joel Rosario is back at Santa Anita Friday following a busy and productive trip to New Orleans last weekend. At Fair Grounds on Saturday, Rosario rode 10 races and bagged three wins including the featured GIII Lecomte Stakes for 3-year-olds with favorite Track Phantom.
The marathon 13-race card at Fair Grounds was capped by Rosario piloting Track Phantom to a front-running victory in the Lecomte for trainer Steve Asmussen. It was the second-straight stakes win for the son of Quality Road following his score in the Gun Runner Stakes at Fair Grounds Jan. 20.
The 1 1/16-mile Lecomte is a points-paying prep for the 150th Kentucky Derby on May 4.
Earlier on the card, Rosario also won a maiden race with the promising 3-year-old colt Hall of Fame for Asmussen. Hall of Fame, a son of Gun Runner who is slated to join the Kentucky Derby trail in his next start, cost $1.4 million at auction as a yearling.
Rosario has 12 mounts booked this weekend at Santa Anita. On Saturday, his rides include Newgate, the 3-1 co-second choice in the featured GII San Pasqual Stakes for trainer Bob Baffert.
Rosario claimed three riding titles at Santa Anita last decade with the final coming at the 2018-19 winter-spring meet. He subsequently moved his tack east and in 2021 won the Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding jockey. Rosario, winner of 3,659 races and more than $315 million in earnings, will be based at Santa Anita through the end of the Classic Meet on April 7. Entering Friday, he had three wins from 20 mounts at the stand.
$1 COAST-TO-COAST PICK 5 IS SET FOR SATURDAY The $1 Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 Saturday features three races from Santa Anita and from Gulfstream Park both the GI, $3 million Pegasus World Cup and GI, $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf.
The sequence begins at 1:55 p.m. PT with the Pegasus World Cup Turf, which goes as the 12th race at Gulfstream. The Pegasus World Cup at 1 1/8 miles on dirt is next before the action shifts to Santa Anita.
The three races from Santa Anita are the sixth, seventh and eighth. The eighth race is the featured GII San Pasqual, which has a scheduled post time of 4:22 p.m. PT.
Saturday’s sequence averages 9.8 starters per race before scratches.
The Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 features a player-friendly 15 percent takeout rate. It is offered every Saturday and Sunday through the end of the Santa Anita Classic Meet April 7.
FINISH LINES: The Clockers’ Corner Stakes on the hillside turf course Sunday attracted a wide-open group of eight older horses led by tepid 3-1 morning-line favorite Daniel’s Magic for trainer Eoin Harty. It goes as the seventh race at approximately 3:30 p.m. PT…Cody’s Wish was named 2023 Horse of the Year at Thursday night’s Eclipse Awards ceremony in West Palm Beach, Fla. Trained by Bill Mott, Cody’s Wish won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile here Nov. 4 … The deadline for early nominations to the 2024 Triple Crown is this Monday…Billy Koch, managing partner of Little Red Feather Racing, will be host Tom Quigley’s handicapping guest Saturday on the Santa Anita simulcast feed starting at 11:20 a.m. PT.