Santa Anita Stable Notes Friday, January 6, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN __FRIDAY, JAN. 6, 2023 __
• BAFFERT FOURSOME LOOMS LARGE IN THE SHAM • CRYPTO RIDE GETS 2ND CRACK AT RIVAL IN CAL CUP DERBY • CARMELITA’S MAN RATES TOP BILLING IN TURF CLASSIC • MANDATORY RAINBOW 6 JACKPOT PAYOUT SATURDAY
BAFFERT FOURSOME LOOMS LARGE IN THE SHAM
The road to the Kentucky Derby officially kicks off Sunday at Santa Anita with the Grade III, $100,000 Sham Stakes going a flat mile. Six sophomore colts are set to go postward, which includes a quartet for Bob Baffert led by 2-1 morning-line favorite National Treasure.
Baffert, an eight-time Sham winner and a six-time winner of the Kentucky Derby, provided insight on all four of his starters on Friday.
National Treasure won his debut sprinting at Del Mar in September and returned to finish second behind stablemate Cave Rock when stretched to 1 1/16 miles in the Grade I American Pharoah. The Quality Road colt, who was a $500,000 auction purchase as a 2-year-old, was subsequently sent to Keeneland for the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and finished third, beaten about 3 ¾ lengths by Forte, the de-facto 2-year-old male champion of 2022 for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher.
Since the Breeders’ Cup, National Treasure has signaled his readiness for the Sham with several fast works that includes a bullet six-furlong work in 1:11.6 on Monday.
“This is the time of year you see them mature, and this horse is maturing,” Baffert said. “I think he ran a big race in the Breeders’ Cup and he’s continued to work that way.”
National Treasure will break from post 2 on Sunday with John Velazquez returning to the irons.
Newgate will be back around two turns following a second-place finish behind stablemate Havnameltdown in the Grade III Bob Hope going seven furlongs at Del Mar on Nov. 20. Prior to that effort, the Into Mischief colt was sent to Keeneland for his two-turn debut in the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity at 1 1/16 miles. Dispatched at 11-1, Newgate showed speed for a half mile before fading to fifth, 7 ¼ lengths adrift of winner Forte.
“I think he’s better than what he’s shown,” Baffert said of Newgate. “He’s kind of a slower-maturing type physically and mentally. We’re trying to figure him out and that’s what these races are for.”
Newgate, who was an $850,000 auction purchase as a yearling, will break from the rail in the Sham with new rider Frankie Dettori in the irons.
Speed Boat Beach returns to dirt following a pair of stakes wins on grass, which includes the Grade III Cecil B. DeMille most recently when stretched to a mile at Del Mar on Dec. 4. Last week, the son of Bayern was scratched from the Eddie Logan Stakes on turf.
“He’s a horse we’ve been thinking about sending to the Saudi Derby and Dubai, so I wanted to give him a prep on dirt,” Baffert said.
Speed Boat Beach could be the pacesetter on Sunday under Flavien Prat.
“He’s extremely fast, definitely the quickest of the group,” Baffert said.
Rounding out Baffert’s Sham starters is Reincarnate, a front-running maiden winner when going a mile at Del Mar on Nov. 25. The Good Magic colt, who commanded $775,000 at auction, has four works since including a six-furlong drill in 1:13 last Friday.
“He’s a big, strong horse,” Baffert said. “He’s not as quick as those other horses, but he can jump up if the pace is quick. He wants to go a mile and a quarter. Distance is going to be his friend.”
Baffert’s eight Sham Stakes scores include the last three, with Newgrange (2022), Life Is Good (2021) and Authentic, who would go on to also win the Kentucky Derby in 2020.
The field: 1. Newgate, Frankie Dettori (6-1);National Treasure, John Velazquez (2-1); Speed Boat Beach, Flavien Prat (5-2); Reincarnate, Juan Hernandez (8-1); Packs a Wahlop, Ramon Vazquez (6-1); Spun Intended, Mike Smith (5-2).
CRYPTO RIDE GETS 2ND CRACK AT RIVAL IN CAL CUP DERBY
In the one-mile King Glorious Stakes for California-breds on Dec. 18, odds-on favorite Giver Not a Taker for trainer Peter Miller needed every inch of the lengthy stretch at Los Alamitos to rundown 47-1 longshot Crypto Ride and prevail by a head.
Those two rivals will meet for a second time on Saturday, this time at Santa Anita, in the $200,000 California Cup Derby. Giver Not a Taker is listed as 9-5 favorite by morning-line maker Jon White with Crypto Ride the 5-1 co-fourth choice in a seven-horse field.
Crypto Ride’s near shocker in the King Glorious came following a $50,000 maiden-claiming win at Los Alamitos nine days earlier. In the King Glorious, Crypto Ride ran into trouble on the first turn when a rider fell from his mount and he was forced to steady. But by the head of the stretch, Crypto Ride had made his way to the front and was 1 ½ lengths clear at the eighth pole. It was not enough, however, as mounting a winning rally on the rail was Giver Not a Taker under Flavien Prat.
“It was bittersweet,” Lewis said. “We ran a terrific race and didn’t win.”
While Crypto Ride was the second-longest shot on the board in the King Glorious, Lewis said the performance was anything but a surprise for those who had watched the gelding train.
“I didn’t think he would (outrun his odds). I knew,” Lewis said, while also noting, “We supplemented him to the race. We wouldn’t have done that if we didn’t think we had a chance.”
Lewis and owner Zephyr Racing will now look to turn the tables on Giver Not a Taker. By Clubhouse Ride, Crypto Ride’s only start at Santa Anita came on turf in a maiden special weight in October. All three of his dirt tries have been at Los Alamitos.
Lewis is hoping that among other things, the shorter stretch at Santa Anita will play to Crypto Ride’s advantage.
“Now we’re getting to the interesting part,” Lewis said. “We don’t know if he loves Los Al or he’s turned the corner. That’s what we’ll find out on Saturday.”
The Cal Cup Derby goes as the seventh race on the card with a post time of approximately 3 p.m. Pacific.
The field: Thirsty John, Juan Hernandez (4-1); Passarando, Umberto Rispoli (2-1); Amigo G A, Armando Aguilar (20-1); Giver Not a Taker, Flavien Prat (9-5); Merit Song, Luis Contreras (20-1); Crypto Ride, Hector Berrios (5-1); Geezer, Tiago Pereira (5-1).
CARMELITA’S MAN THE MORNING-LINE FAVORITE IN TURF CLASSIC
The 10th and final race on Saturday’s California Cup program is the $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic for older state-breds going 1 ⅛ miles on turf. While a field of nine was entered, led by 2-1 morning-line favorite Carmelita’s Man, only eight will go postward as The Chosen Vron has been scratched in favor of the $150,000 California Cup Sprint.
Trained by Dean Pederson, Carmelita’s Man won last year’s Crystal Water Stakes for state-breds at Santa Anita and the California Dreamin’ Stakes at Del Mar, both on turf. Most recently, the 6-year-old gelding finished fourth in the Oct. 29 Lure at Santa Anita behind a trio graded-stakes winners: Air Force Red, Prince Abama and Gregorian Chant.
Air Force Red would go on to win last weekend’s Grade II Joe Hernandez at Santa Anita in his subsequent start while Prince Abama prevailed in the Grade II Hollywood Turf Cup in his next outing.
“He ran a good race,” Pederson said of Carmelita’s Man’s performance in the Lure. “He’s one of those horses who always gives a good effort.”
Santa Anita’s leading rider Juan Hernandez will replace Mike Smith aboard Carmelita’s Man in the Turf Classic. Hernandez previously piloted the 6-year-old gelding to his wins in the Crystal Water and California Dreamin’.
The field: Aligato, Flavien Prat (5-2); Doc Adams, Ramon Vazquez (6-1); Coalinga Road, John Velazquez (5-1); Kings River Knight, Frankie Dettori (6-1); Bang for Your Buck, Abel Cedillo (15-1); Royal ‘n Rando, Umberto Rispoli (8-1); Carmelita’s Man, Juan Hernandez (2-1); Luvluv, Joe Bravo (15-1).
MANDATORY RAINBOW SIX JACKPOT PAYOUT SATURDAY AT SANTA ANITA
With a big 10-race card planned for California Cup Day this Saturday, Jan. 7, Santa Anita Park has announced there will also be a mandatory payout in the 20 cent Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot, with the likelihood of a $3 million total Rainbow Six pool. A total of five California-bred races, highlighted by the $200,000 Cal Cup Derby and the $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic, will be included in the 10-race card which will begin with first post time at 12 noon.
The Rainbow Pick Six will be comprised of races five through 10, with fifth race post time scheduled for approximately 2 p.m. PT.
The Cal Cup Derby, which was won by eventual Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome in 2014, will be contested at a mile and one sixteenth. The Unusual Heat Turf Classic, for older horses at a mile and one eighth on grass, is presented by City National Bank.
Additional Cal Cup races for Saturday are the $150,000 Leigh Ann Howard California Oaks, for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on turf, the $150,000 Don Valpredo California Cup Sprint, for older horses at six furlongs and the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint at about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course.
With first post time at 12 noon, admission gates will open Saturday at 10 a.m.
For additional information, please call (626) 574-RACE.
Finish Lines: On Saturday, Santa Anita will offer fans a mandatory payout in the 20 cent Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot. It is expected the total Rainbow Six pool will exceed $3 million…Also on Saturday will be the inaugural “1/ST Coast to Coast Pick 5" tying to together races from Santa Anita and sister track Gulfstream Park. It is a $1 minimum wager with a player-friendly 15 percent takeout . The sequence kicks off at 4:10 p.m. Eastern with race 9 at Gulfstream and continues with race 4 at Santa Anita, race 11 at Gulfstream, race 6 at Santa Anita and race 8 at Santa Anita.