Santa Anita Stable Notes Saturday, October 7, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN
SATURDAY, OCT. 7, 2023
• BREEDERS’ CUP: ARABIAN KNIGHT, CLAIRIERE WORK AT SANTA ANITA • PRACTICAL MOVE DOING WELL AFTER BIG COMEBACK WIN • UNBEATEN ENDLESSLY LOOMS LARGE IN GIII ZUMA BEACH • SANTA ANITA, KEENELAND TEAM FOR BC CHALLENGE PICK 6 • SANTA ANITA HOSTS SPECIAL HOLIDAY PROGRAM MONDAY
BREEDERS’ CUP: ARABIAN KNIGHT, CLAIRIERE WORK AT SANTA ANITA
Clairiere and stablemate Gunite each had their first works at Santa Anita Saturday for trainer Steve Asmussen and Arabian Knight worked six furlongs towards the Breeders’ Cup Classic for Bob Baffert.
Also on Saturday, Breeders’ Cup Sprint hopefuls Anarchist and The Chosen Vron each worked and Arcangelo, a leading contender for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic here Nov. 4, returned to the track after working Thursday. Fellow Breeders’ Cup classic hopeful White Abarrio galloped for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.
Arabian Knight, winner of the GI Pacific Classic at Del Mar Sept. 2, blitzed six furlongs in 1:12.60. It was his third work since the 1 ¼ mile Pacific Classic.
Clairiere, bound for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, worked an easy half mile in 51.0 seconds. Gunite, possible for either the Breeders’ Cup Sprint or Dirt Mile, went the same distance in 50.2 seconds.
On Friday, Breeders’ Cup-bound Echo Zulu (Sprint or Filly & Mare Sprint), Society (Filly & Mare Sprint) and Private Creed (Turf Sprint) all had easy works for Asmussen with top assistant Scott Blasi in attendance.
As for Clairiere and Gunite’s works, Blasi noted “it was the same thing as we did yesterday. Just giving them a feel for the track. We’ll start to pick things up next week.”
The Chosen Vron, winner of the GI Bing Crosby at Del Mar July 29, worked five furlongs on the training track in 1:02.40 for trainer Eric Kruljac. It was his fourth work since the Bing Crosby.
Anarchist was second to The Chosen Vron in the six-furlong Bing Crosby but came back to win the GII Pat O’Brien going seven furlongs at Del Mar Aug. 26, a race The Chosen Vron skipped. Trained by Doug O’Neill, Anarchist worked five furlongs on the main track in 1:00.00.
PRACTICAL MOVE DOING WELL AFTER BIG COMEBACK WIN FRIDAY
Trainer Tim Yakteen reported GI Santa Anita Derby winner Practical Move was in good order the day after winning his return from a nearly six-month layoff on Friday.
“He’s in great shape,” Yakteen said Saturday morning.
Returning in a classified allowance going a mile on dirt, Practical Move stalked a lively pace and then drew off in the stretch to notch a comfortable four-length victory under Ramon Vazquez. The winning time was 1:35.14, which earned a 98 Beyer Speed Figure according to Daily Racing Form. Yakteen and Practical Move’s owners – Leslie A. Amestoy, J. Pierre Amestoy and Roger K. Beasley – will now decide whether to move on to the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita on Nov. 3-4. Practical move is a candidate for either the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile or $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at 1 1//4 miles, both on Nov. 4.
Following his win in the Santa Anita Derby April 8, Practical Move was sent to Churchill Downs for a try in the Kentucky Derby on May 6. The week of the race, Practical Move spiked a fever and had to be withdrawn. He did not return to the work tab until Aug. 13 at Del Mar. The Practical Joke colt worked nine times for his comeback.
UNBEATEN ENDLESSLY LOOMS LARGE IN SUNDAY’S GIII ZUMA BEACH
Trainer Michael McCarthy has three of the nine runners entered in Sunday’s GIII Zuma Beach for 2-year-olds at a mile on turf including 9-5 morning-line favorite Endlessly.
An Amerman Racing homebred by Oscar Performance, Endlessly has been impressive in two starts to date. In his debut going a mile on turf July 30 at Del Mar, Endlessly stalked the pace under Juan Hernandez and kicked clear in the stretch to win by 2 ½ lengths. He retuned in the GIII Del Mar Juvenile Turf at a mile on Sept. 10 and turned in a similar performance. Endlessly sat off the early pace, bid three-wide entering the stretch and drew off to again win by 2 ½ lengths.
“He’s acted like a horse that had a touch of class right from the beginning,” McCarthy said. “Both of his races were very, very professional. It seems like he’s improved with each start. We’re looking for the same thing tomorrow.”
McCarthy’s other entrants are Formidable Man (6-1) and Ngannou (8-1), who ran one-two in a one-mile maiden race on turf Sept. 10 at Del Mar.
In their first meeting, Formidable Man and Ngannou dueled throughout until Formidable Man edged clear under Umberto Rispoli to win by a half-length.
“He ran a very game race,” McCarthy said of Formidable Man, who was 9-2 for his debut. “His works on the dirt had been just ok, but you could see he had some ability. The turf obviously moved him up.”
Nnganu was the 2-1 favorite in his debut with Flavien Prat in the irons. A $120,000 auction purchase, the son of Mendelssohn was entered in a one-mile maiden race on turf Saturday at Santa Anita but was relegated to the also-eligible list. He will now go in the Zuma Beach instead.
“He was unlucky to get beat the other day,” McCarthy said. “I tried to run him back in a maiden race a couple times and couldn’t get in. This was the next best option.”
In the Zuma Beach, Rispoli takes off Ngannou and rides Formidable Man for the first time. Antoniou Fresu has the call on Ngannou.
The other main players in the Zuma Beach appear to be European import Pour Dompter for Phil D’Amato and Boltage for Richard Mandella, who was beaten 3 ¼ lengths by Endlessly when third in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf.
Pour Dompter had a win and never missed the board in five starts in his native France.
“He’s done nothing wrong since he’s been here,” D’Amato said. “We haven’t had him too long, but he’s shown to be a horse with a nice late kick. That’s probably what we’ll do in this race.”
Pour Demptor will be ridden by Hector Berrios.
The Zuma Beach, which is a potential steppingstone to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf here Nov. 3, goes as the sixth race on Sunday. Post time is scheduled for 3:38 p.m. The field in post position order: Mici’s Express, Tiago Pereira (12-1); Ngannou, Antonio Fresu (8-1), Endlessly, Juan Hernandez (9-5); Pour Dompter, Hector Berrios (5-2); Grand Mo the First, Emisail Jaramillo (8-1), Boltage, Ramon Vazquez (5-1).
__SANTA ANITA, KEENELAND TEAM FOR BREEDERS’ CUP CHALLENGE PICK 6 __
Keeneland and Santa Anita will combine forces to offer an all-stakes Breeders’ Cup Challenge Pick 6 Saturday featuring a player-friendly 15 percent takeout rate. It is a minimum $1 wager.
The sequence kicks off at 1:12 p.m. Pacific from Keeneland with the GII Thoroughbred Club of America going seven furlongs on dirt. It continues with the GII Chandelier for 2-year-old fillies at Santa Anita, then returns to Keeneland for the GI Breeders’ Futurity and GI Coolmore Turf Mile. The sequence concludes at Santa Anita with the GII Rodeo Drive for fillies and mares on turf and GI American Pharoah for 2-year-olds on the main track.
All six races are part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, which provides the winners with automatic berths in the Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita.
FINISH LINES: Jockeys Ramon Vazquez and Antonio Fresu each won three races on Friday’s nine-card. Vazquez’s wins came aboard Smuggler’s Run ($4.60) in the second race, Paleo’s Princess ($20.60) in the seventh and Practical Move ($2.80) in the eighth. Fresu scored with Benedict Canyon ($17.20) in the fifth, Noble Union ($3.60) in the sixth and She is Romantic ($11.80) in the nightcap...Friday’s Pick 6 handled $116,218 and returned $4,139.20 to 15 winning tickets… Trainer Craig Lewis said popular Cal-bred Brickyard Ride is set to return in next Sunday’s California Flag Stakes for statebreds on the hillside turf course …On-track fans for Monday’s special holiday card will receive $1 beers and sodas and $2 hot dogs at select locations…There is no live racing next Friday at Santa Anita. Simulcast wagering will be available on-track…Clocker Toby Turrell, publisher of The Winner’s Card, will be host Tom Quigley’s handicapping guest Saturday on the Santa Anita simulcast feed starting at 11:50 a.m. Pacific.