Santa Anita Stable Notes Monday, September 25, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN MONDAY, SEPT. 25, 2023
• SANTA ANITA KICKS OFF 19-DAY AUTUMN MEET FRIDAY • BREEDERS’ CUP HOPEFULS ARRIVING AT SANTA ANITA • MILLION DOLLAR MAN: MALDONADO GETS CAREER MILESTONE • BAFFERT BRIGADE LEADS 174 WORKERS ON MONDAY • TRADITIONAL PICK 6 RETURNS TO SANTA ANITA
ENTRIES ON TUESDAY FOR OPENING DAY OF AUTUMN MEET
Santa Anita will host 19 days of live racing beginning Friday and culminating with the 40th edition of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 3 & 4. Entries for Friday’s opening day program, which includes the GIII Chillingworth Stales for female sprinters, will be taken on Tuesday.
This year will be a record 11th time Santa Anita has hosted the Breeders’ Cup, which is the richest two days of racing in North America and lures worldwide participation and interest. This week Santa Anita will host nine stakes with Breeders’ Cup implications including the GI Awesome Again on Saturday. The 1 1/8-mile Awesome Again is a “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race qualifier for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at 1 ¼ miles on Nov. 4.
In addition to the Awesome Again, Saturday’s blockbuster card will also include the GII Santa Anita Sprint Championship at six furlongs, GII City of Hope Mile on turf and the GII Eddie D at about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course. On Sunday, Santa Anita will present the GII Zenyatta for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles; the GIII Tokyo City Cup at 1 ½ miles on the main track; and the Unzip Me Stakes for 3-year-old fillies down the hillside turf.
Jason Egan, Santa Anita’s Director of Racing and Racing Secretary, noted grass racing will again play a prominent role during the Autumn Meet.
“I think it’s going to be a good meet, capped by our 11th time hosting the Breeders’ Cup,” Egan said Monday morning. “We’re obviously going to lean into the turf like we have the last couple of years. The front half of the meet especially will be heavy on the grass. We’ll be a bit limited on turf the second half with the Breeders’ Cup being here due to rail settings and things like that. But we’re still going to run what we can to accommodate our horsemen.”
Next week, Santa Anita will host five more stakes with Breeders’ Cup implications. The Saturday, Oct. 7 program will include the GI American Pharoah for 2-year-olds, GII Chandelier for 2-year-old fillies, GII Rodeo Drive for fillies and mares on turf and Speakeasy Stakes for 2-year-old turf sprinters. The Sunday, Oct. 8 card will include the GIII Zuma Beach for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf and GIII Surfer Girl for 2-year-old fillies at a mile on turf.
“The fall is always an interesting time of the year,” Egan noted. “You have the 3-year-olds growing up, and certainly the 2-year-olds coming into focus starting at Del Mar. As they mature in the fall, it’s fun to watch them progress and see where they go.”
On most Fridays throughout the meet, including opening day, on-track fans will receive free parking and admission along with $3 beers and $5 margaritas.
BREEDERS’ CUP HOPEFULS ARRIVING AT SANTA ANITA FOR SHOT AT GLORY
With Santa Anita hosting the Breeders’ Cup for a record 11th time on Nov. 3-4, horses from around the globe are starting to make their way to The Great Race Place.
Earlier this month, GI Whitney winner White Abarrio made the cross-country trip from New York to Santa Anita for trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. White Abarrio was accompanied to Santa Anita by Dutrow’s brother and assistant, Chip Dutrow. The 4-year-old Race Day colt is stabled with Doug O’Neill.
Last Wednesday, White Abarrio had his first work at Santa Anita when drilling five furlongs in 1:00.80. He is currently the fourth-rated horse in the official Breeders’ Cup Classic rankings.
Set to arrive Wednesday from New York is Arcangelo for trainer Jena Antonucci. Winner of the GI Belmont and GI Travers, Arcangelo is currently the No. 1 horse in the Breeders’ Cup Classic rankings.
On Tuesday, the first wave of horses trained by Steve Asmussen is set to arrive. The group is scheduled to include champions Echo Zulu and Clairiere; as well as Grade I winners Gunite and Society.
Also scheduled to arrive this week from South America is Belleza de Arteaga. Bred in Argentina, Belleza de Arteaga earned an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff via a win in the GI Gran Premio Criadores going 1 ¼ miles at Hipodromo de Palermo in Argentina. She will join trainer Marcelo Polanco’s barn at Santa Anita.
MILLION DOLLAR MAN: MALDONADO BACK TO WORK AFTER MILESTONE WIN
Two days after winning the first million-dollar race of his career at Parx Racing near Philadelphia, jockey Edwin Maldonado was back at Santa Anita working horses Monday morning.
Maldonado’s milestone victory came in front-running fashion aboard Ceiling Crusher in the Grade I, $1 million Cotillion for 3-year-old fillies. Ceiling Crusher is a California-bred daughter of Mr. Big trained by Doug O’Neill.
Maldonado won the 1 1/16-mile Cotillion on a sloppy and sealed track after heavy rain pelted Parx for most of the day.
“It was quite an experience,” said Maldonado, whose only previous Grade I win came in last year’s Awesome Again at Santa Anita aboard Defunded. “I haven’t ridden in the rain in a long time. It reminded me of riding in Louisiana at Delta Downs.
“But it worked out great because the track got fast the end of the day when it started drying out. That worked out in our favor.”
Sent off the 3-1 co-second choice, Maldonado and Ceiling Crusher clicked off fractions of 22.31 seconds for the opening quarter mile, 47.64 for a half mile and 1:12.98 for six furlongs. They crossed the wire in a final time of 1:45.69, which earned a 93 Beyer Speed Figure.
“The pace was great,” Maldonado said. “I think it was the 1:12 that did it. I got a little break around the second turn. Turning for home I knew I had a lot of horse.”
Bred by Harris Farms, Ceiling Crusher was purchased for $22,000 at the 2021 CTBA Northern California Yearling Sale. She has won six of seven starts and banked $938,400 for owners Wonderland Racing Stables, Todd Cady, Tim Kasparoff and Ty Leatherman.
BAFFERT BRIGADE LEADS 174 WORKERS ON MONDAY
Several top horses trained by Bob Baffert were among 174 workers at Santa Anita on Monday.
Among those working four furlongs for Baffert on the main track were graded-stakes winners Adare Manor (46.40), Arabian Lion (46.80), Faiza (49.20) and National Treasure (48.20).
Faiza’s drill was her first since being scratched from the Torrey Pines on Sept. 2 at Del Mar. National Treasure had his second work since finishing fifth in the GI Travers at Saratoga on Aug. 26. Adare Manor has been working weekly this month following her win in the GI Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar on Aug. 5. Arabian Lion has also been working steadily this month following a third-place effort in the GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial on Aug. 26 at Saratoga.
Working four furlongs on the training track for Baffert was Du Jour, who completed the move in 49.20 seconds. This was Du Jour’s second work since winning the GII Del Mar Mile on Sept. 2.
FINISH LINES: Saturday’s blockbuster card featuring four graded stakes will be drawn on Wednesday…The Autumn Meet will mark the return of the traditional Pick 6 at Santa Anita with a $1 minimum…Santa Anita is offering customers limited-edition Zenyatta Pins while supplies last. A Zenyatta Pin can be acquired by either donating $25 to Old Friends Equine or betting $50 through 1/ST Rewards, 1/ST BET, or Xpressbet. They can be redeemed at Santa Anita during live racing from Oct. 1 through Oct. 9...During the Autumn Meet, XB Rewards members who wager at least $100 on-track on Santa Anita races through 1/ST BET or Xpressbet will receive a free Santa Anita hooded sweatshirt…The Fasig-Tipton California Fall Yearling & Horses of Racing Age Sale will be held Tuesday at Fairplex Park in Pomona starting at 11 a.m..