Santa Anita Stable Notes Friday, October 20, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN
FRIDAY, OCT. 20, 2023
• BREEDERS’ CUP: GEAUX ROCKET RIDE WORKS 6F IN COMPANY • 2-YEAR-OLD FILLIES TAKE SPOTLIGHT IN SATURDAY’S ANOAKIA STAKES • BREEDERS’ CUP PRE-ENTRIES TO BE ANNOUNCED WEDNESDAY • RAMON VAZQUEZ TO REMAIN FULL-TIME IN SO CAL • SANTA ANITA’S FRIDAY FOOTBALL FORECAST IS BACK
BREEDERS' CUP: GEAUX ROCKET RIDE WORKS 6F IN COMPANY
Geaux Rocket Ride continued his preparations for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic here Nov. 4 with a six-furlong work in company under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith Friday.
Sent to the main track around 7:45 a.m., Geaux Rocket Ride completed the move in an official time of 1:13.80. His company-mate, the stakes-placed 6-year-old gelding Salesman, was timed in 1:14.20.
“It was a good work, especially for him,” Smith said of Geaux Rocket Ride. “He’s never been the flashiest horse in the morning.”
Eleven days ago, Geaux Rocket Ride also drilled six furlongs, but the work was not recorded because of dense fog that left the colt out of view. Mandella on Friday said Geaux Rocket Ride emerged from that work with a slight temperature but bounced-back quickly.
“We had to put him on an antibiotic,” the trainer noted. “Luckily, he got right through it. It didn’t amount to much. We’re happy. Next week he’ll have a better work.”
A 3-year-old by Candy Ride, Geaux Rocket Ride has three wins and a pair of seconds in five starts this year. His victories for owner Pin Oak Stud include the Affirmed Stakes here June 4 and GI Haskell at Monmouth Park July 22. Most recently, Geaux Rocket Ride was second to Arabian Knight in the GI Pacific Classic at Del Mar Sept. 2, which is at the same 1 ¼-mile distance of the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Geaux Rocket Ride was among several horses to work Friday who are pointing to the Breeders’ Cup. Three horses who won stakes here two weekends ago – Chatalas, Endlessly and Slider—all returned to the tab following their triumphs.
Chatalas, winner of the GII Chandelier Oct. 7 for trainer Mark Glatt, went four furlongs in 47.40 seconds. The Gun Runner filly is pointed to the $2 million Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 3. Endlessly, winner of the GIII Zuma Beach on turf here Oct. 8 for trainer Michael McCarthy, worked four furlongs in 48.20 seconds for the $1 million Juvenile Turf on Nov. 3. Also returning to the tab for McCarthy was Zuma Beach runner-up Ngannou, who also went a half mile in 48.20 seconds. Ngannou is possible for the Juvenile Turf.
Slider won the Speakeasy for 2-year-olds going five furlongs on turf here Oct. 7 for trainer John Sadler. The Jimmy Creed colt worked four furlongs in 47.40 seconds for the $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint Nov. 3.
2-YEAR-OLD FILLIES TAKE SPOTLIGHT IN SATURDAY’S ANOAKIA STAKES
Among the four fillies looking to upset 6-5 morning-line favorite Dua in Saturday’s Anoakia Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs on dirt are Sandy Bottom, the 5-2 second choice for trainer Michael McCarthy, and Tambo (5-1) for trainer Peter Eurton.
Sandy Bottom, from the first crop of sire Omaha Beach, exits a sharp 3 ½-length debut win against maidens going 5 ½ furlongs on dirt at Del Mar Sept. 10. She has worked four times since that effort including a five-furlong move in 1:00.00 here last Saturday. It was the third-fastest of 46 works at the distance.
“She trained professionally all summer for her debut,” McCarthy said. “A few of her works were really eye catching. She ran to expectations first time out and has continued to train well.”
Jockey Umberto Rispoli was aboard for Sandy Bottom’s debut win and will again be in the irons Saturday. He and Sandy Bottom will have to negotiate breaking from the rail this time around.
“This is a competitive spot.,” McCarthy said. “Drawing inside, hopefully she’ll bounce out of there and get in the game.”
Owned by James M. Daniell and Donna Daniell, Sandy Bottom was a $145,000 auction purchase as a yearling.
Tambo was second sprinting against straight maidens in her debut at Los Alamitos on July 22, then returned to graduate versus $80,000 maiden-claimers at Del Mar going 5 ½ furlongs on dirt July 28.
By the Medaglia d’Oro stallion Enticed, Tambo next tried grass in the one-mile Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar. She was forwardly placed throughout before tiring to fourth.
Eurton said the turf test for Tambo was largely due to circumstances.
“You don’t have a lot of choices sometimes about where to run when it’s time to face winners, so we thought we’d give it a try on the grass,” Eurton said. “It wasn’t a bad effort. She was a little aggressive and getting out on the first turn. I would have sprinted her on grass, but there was nothing like that either.”
Tambo will be ridden for the first time Saturday by Antonio Fresu, who ranks second in the jockey’s standings behind Juan Hernandez. They will break from post four.
“She’s done nothing wrong on dirt and she drew well,” Eurton said. “Well see if she can compete against what I think is a pretty solid group.”
As for the favorite, Dua, she returns to sprinting for Bob Baffert 14 days after running third in the GII Chandelier here going 1 1/16 miles. Prior to the Chandelier, the Arrogate filly won her debut going five furlongs at Del Mar and was third in the GIII Sorrento at six furlongs.
Dua will have a new rider Saturday, Ramon Vazquez. Hernandez had ridden her in all three previous starts, but he is serving a three-day suspension and the Anoakia is not considered a “designated” race, according to Hernandez’s agent Craig O’Bryan.
The other key contender is Becky’s Dream, the 5-2 co-second choice. She posted a field-high 76 Beyer Speed Figure in her debut win here going 4 ½ furlongs May 27. She has been off since a second-place effort in the five-furlong Fasig-Tipton Debutante here June 17. By City of Light, Becky’s Dream is now trained by Jose Valdez. He replaces former trainer Hector Palma.
The Anoakia goes as the eighth race on Saturday’s nine-race card. Post time is set for 4:41 p.m. Pacific. The field in post position order: Sandy Bottom, Umberto Rispoli (5-2); Cheeky Gal, Tyler Baze (10-1); Dua, Ramon Vazquez (6-5); Tambo, Antonio Fresu (5-1); Becky’s Dream, Tiago Pereira (5-2).
RAMON VAZQUEZ QUELLS TALK OF A SHIFT IN BASE OF OPERATIONS
Jockey Ramon Vazquez and agent Bill Castle want it made known Vazquez is staying at Santa Anita this winter and not returning to Oaklawn Park where he had previously ridden.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Vazquez said Friday morning.
Castle said in recent days “four or five different trainers have told me they heard he was going back to Oaklawn.
“We are not leaving the state of California,” Castle said. “There have been a lot of false rumors going around. We’re so grateful for the opportunities and support Ramon has been given. This is home.”
Vazquez, 39, arrived in Southern California from Oaklawn in April 2022. He led all riders here a year ago, finishing first in Santa Anita’s Autumn Meet jockey’s standings with 25 wins. Vazquez finished fourth at the 2022-23 Santa Anita Classic Meet behind the powerhouse trio of Juan Hernandez, Flavien Prat and Frankie Dettori. At the Hollywood Meet this past summer, Vazquez was second behind Hernandez.
In addition to his success at Santa Anita, which included his first GI Santa Anita Derby win earlier this year aboard Practical Move, Vazquez has won or shared five-straight riding titles at Los Alamitos since his arrival.
A native of Puerto Rico, Vazquez enters this week with 3,613 career wins dating back to 2002.
FRIDAY FOOTBALL FORECAST FOR THIS WEEKEND
The following is a sampling of racetrack personnel regarding their thoughts on this weekend’s pro and college football matchups: Michael McCarthy, Browns -3; Matt Nakatani, Raiders -2 ½; Jack Carava, Rams -3; Mark Glatt, Seahawks -7 ½; Ryan Glatt, Eagles -2 ½; “Oakland Ron” Freitas, Univ of Texas -23 ½; Tom Knust, Steelers +3; Brian Beach, Browns -3; Brandon O’Bryan, Seahawks -7 ½; Craig O’Bryan, Chargers +5 ½; Joe Griffen, Steelers +3; Derek Lawson, Univ of Utah +7; Tony Matos, Rams +3; Doug O’Neill, Univ of Miami +3; Gary Stute, Ravens -3; George Papaprodromou, 49ers -7; Mike Puype, Univ of Utah +7; Dean Pederson, Seahawks -7 ½; Phil Oviedo, Duke +14 ½; Phil D’Amato, Rams -3; Vladimir Cerin, UCLA “Over” 54 ½; Ryan Cosato, Dolphins +2 ½; Bob Baffert, TCU +6 ½
FINISH LINES: Saturday’s fifth race is named in honor of “Louie Gaines,” trainer Carla Gaines’ beloved white Labrador retriever and Clockers’ Corner icon who passed away last weekend at the age of 12. Trainers are invited to bring their canine companions down to the winner’s circle following the race to honor Louie...Santa Anita has nine races carded for Sunday. First post is 1 p.m… Santa Anita simulcast analyst Zoe Cadman will be host Tom Quigley’s handicapping guest Saturday on the Santa Anita simulcast feed starting at 11:50 p.m. Pacific…On-track fans Friday will receive free parking and admission, $3 beers and $5 margaritas.