Santa Anita Stable Notes Monday, October 9, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN
MONDAY, OCT. 9, 2023
Photo: Ernie Belmonte
• BREEDERS’ CUP: WHITE ABARRIO, GEAUX ROCKET RIDE WORK • TRAINER JAUREGUI HEADED TO 1ST BREEDERS’ CUP WITH DREAMFYRE • MCARTHY EYES BREEDERS’ CUP WITH ENDLESSLY, NGANNOU • CALIFORNIA-BREDS IN SPOTLIGHT NEXT WEEKEND AT SANTA ANITA • TRAINER JOSE VALDEZ WINS FOR FIRST TIME AT SANTA ANITA • SANTA ANITA HOSTS SPECIAL HOLIDAY PROGRAM MONDAY
BREEDERS’ CUP: WHITE ABARRIO, GEAUX ROCKET RIDE WORK
It was a rough morning to be a clocker at Santa Anita Monday. With thick fog setting on The Great Race Place, at least two contenders for the Breeders’ Classic worked. Only one received an official time.
With trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. in from New York to observe, White Abarrio worked five furlongs at about 6:45 a.m. He was clocked in 1:00.20. About an hour later, Geaux Rocket Ride went to the track to work with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith up. Due to the fog, Equibase clockers were unable to determine a final time and distance.
Geaux Rocket Ride’s trainer, Richard Mandella, said the Candy Ride colt worked six furlongs.
“We’d liked to have seen it,” the Hall of Famer said. “I saw him come through the finish line, that was it. He worked six furlongs. Mike rode him and said he went well. We’ll go with that.”
The official Santa Anita Park Workout Tab for Monday notes “dense fog from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.”
Geaux Rocket Ride, a 3-year-old, is exiting a runner-up effort to Arabian Knight in the GI Pacific Classic Sept. 23 at Del Mar. Prior to taking on older, Geaux Rocket Ride shipped to New Jersey and won the GI Haskell at Monmouth Park.
White Abarrio’s work was his third since arriving at Santa Anita from New York. Jockey Emily Ellingwood was in the irons.
“He did his business,” said Chip Dutrow, Rick Dutrow’s brother and assistant. “He does everything so easy. Just a very smart, classy horse. We thought he nailed it and Emily was happy. It looked like he got just enough out of the breeze.”
A 4-year-old Raceday colt, White Abarrio most recently won the GI Whitney going 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga on Aug. 5.
The $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at 1 ¼ miles will be run Nov. 4 at Santa Anita.
Also working Wednesday towards a potential start in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint was Speed Boat Beach for trainer Bob Baffert. He went three furlongs in 36.40 seconds. It was Speed Boat Beach’s first work since a game second-place effort to Dr. Schivel in the GII Santa Anita Sprint Championship Sept. 30, which came after a nearly nine-month layoff.
TRAINER JAUREGUI HEADED TO 1ST BREEDERS’ CUP WITH DREAMFYRE
If all goes well between now and Nov. 3, veteran Northern California-based trainer O.J. Jauregui will have his first starter in the Breeders’ Cup.
Set to provide the career achievement for Jauregui is Dreamfyre, a front-running winner of Sunday’s GIII Surfer Girl for 2-year-olds going a mile on turf. Stewards reviewed the stretch drive after Dreamfyre and runner-up Buttercream Babe bumped near the finish line, but no change was made to the order of finish.
Jauregui, a veteran trainer who’s spent a lifetime in racing, was back at his base at Golden Gate Fields Monday morning. He reported all appeared well with Dreamfyre the morning after her neck victory as the 9-5 favorite.
“My groom said she was doing great. Everything seems good,” Jauregui said.
Dreamfyre, ridden by Hector Berrios Sunday, will now be pointed to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf going a mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
“It’s so exciting,” Jauregui said of the Breeders’ Cup. “It’s a dream come true.”
A daughter of Flameaway, Dreamfyre will enter the Breeders’ Cup with a perfect 3-for-3 record. Prior to the Surfer Girl, Dreamfyre won her first two starts sprinting on dirt. She won the 5 ½-furlong Everett Nevin Stakes at Pleasanton on debut July 9 and returned to win the GIII Sorrento going six furlongs when shipped south to Del Mar Aug. 12.
Jauregui said he had considered three options for Dreamfyre after the Sorrento. She could either stay on dirt and stretch out to 1 1/16 miles in Saturday’s GII Chandelier, stay sprinting but face males in Saturday’s Speakeasy at five furlongs on turf, or try the Zuma Beach.
“I was thinking she could get a mile but wasn’t really sure because she is so fast. That made the Chandelier going a bit farther kind of questionable at this point,” Jauregui said. “And I wasn’t worried about turf because of her pedigree. But the Speakeasy wasn’t graded. We decided to keep her with the fillies, try a mile on the grass and try and at least to get a graded stakes placing. It worked out.”
According to Equibase statistics, Jauregui has won 376 races and banked $8,172,875 in purse earnings. The most wins he’s had in a season was 35 in 2013. His highest-earning season came in 2021 when his stable banked $770,692 with 27 wins from 158 starters.
Dreamfyre was purchased for $140,000 by owner Danny Eplin at this year’s OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training. She has earned $285,000 through her first three starts.
Jauregui said Dreamfyre would likely ship back to Golden Gate this week and then return to Santa Anita “a week to 10 days” ahead of the Breeders’ Cup.
“It’s the same thing we did for this race,” Jauregui noted.
MCCARTHY EYES BREEDERS’ CUP WITH GIII ZUMA BEACH 1-2 FINISHERS
Trainer Michael McCarthy could have two runners in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Nov. 3 at Santa Anita after Endlessly and Ngannou ran one-two in Sunday’s GIII Zuma Beach for 2-year-olds going a mile on turf.
Endlessly, ridden by Juan Hernandez, won the Zuma Beach by 2 ¼ lengths after overtaking his pacesetting stablemate in the final furlong. Ngannou, with Antonio Fresu up, finished 1 ¼ lengths clear of third-place finisher Grand Mo the First.
McCarthy reported all was well with both colts Monday morning.
“It was another professional effort from Endlessly,” McCarthy added. “It seems like he just continues to get better with racing.”
Endlessly will enter the Breeders’ Cup with a perfect 3-for-3 record. Prior to the Zuma Beach, the son of Oscar Performance beat maidens going a mile on turf July 30 then returned to win the GIII Del Mar Juvenile Turf on Sept. 10.
All three of Endlessly’s wins have been by exactly 2 ¼ lengths.
“Don’t really know what to make of that,” McCarthy said.
Endlessly is a homebred for Amerman Racing.
As for Ngannou, he remains a maiden after two starts. The Mendelssohn colt was beaten a half-length as the favorite in his debut going a mile on turf at Del Mar Sept. 10 prior to the Zuma Beach.
“I thought the runner-up ran a very respectable race,” McCarthy said. “It looks like he’s on the improve. Things are coming together with him. We’ll see where this leads.”
It could lead to Ngannou taking a crack at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, McCarthy confirmed.
“We’d have to think about pre-entering,” he said.
McCarthy added another option for Ngannou, a $120,000 auction purchase campaigned by Wells Watson, would be the $150,000 Qatar Golden Mile at a mile on turf on the Breeders’ Cup undercard Nov. 3.
CALIFORNIA-BREDS IN SPOTLIGHT NEXT WEEKEND AT SANTA ANITA
After a furious opening two weeks of the Santa Anita Autumn Meet, which included 16 stakes races, California-breds will get their turn in the spotlight next weekend at The Great Race Place.
The first two statebred stakes of the meet are on top with the California Distaff for fillies and mares on the downhill turf course on Saturday and the California Flag for 3-year-olds and up, also on the hillside turf course, on Sunday.
The California Flag is expected to include the popular Cal-bred Brickyard Ride. Trained by Craig Lewis, Brickyard Ride has won 13 times in 28 starts and has banked $865,477 for owner Alfred Pais. Brickyard Ride is a 6-year-old full horse by Clubhouse Ride.
With Santa Anita hosting a special holiday card on Monday, there will be no live racing this Friday. Saturday’s card featuring the California Distaff will be drawn on Wednesday.
FINISH LINES: Other notable workers that were able to be timed on a foggy morning were Reincarnate (5f, 59.60) and Eda (5f, 59.60), both for Baffert…Trainers Mark Glatt and Michael McCarthy each won two races on Sunday’s 10-race card…Jockeys Umberto Rispoli and Antonio Fresu also both won two races Sunday…Sunday’s $1 Pick 6 handled $194,872 and returned $3,599.90 to 29 winning tickets…On-track fans for today’s special holiday card will receive $1 beers and sodas and $2 hot dogs at select locations…Due to Monday’s holiday card, there will be no live racing Friday at Santa Anita. Simulcast wagering will be available on-track…Trainer Sean McCarthy will be host Tom Quigley’s handicapping guest Monday on the Santa Anita simulcast feed starting at 11:50 a.m. Pacific.