Santa Anita Stable Notes Sunday, February 19, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN
SUNDAY, FEB. 19, 2023
• LEYAS CANDY TAKES AIM AT THE CHOSEN VRON IN TIZNOW • SHIRREFFS EYES THE SAN FELIPE WITH SKINNER __• DETTORI CONTINUES HOT RIDING WITH 4-WIN SATURDAY __ • ICE DANCING OUT, COFFEE IN BED A GO IN GIII SANTA YSABEL • SPECIAL PRESIDENTS’ DAY CARD SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY
LEYAS CANDY TAKES AIM AT THE CHOSEN VRON IN TIZNOW Trainer Mark Glatt will try and slay the California-bred giant that is The Chosen Vron when he sends out Leyas Candy for his stakes debut in Monday’s $100,000 Tiznow Stakes for state-breds going a mile.
Leyas Candy earned the opportunity when romping to a 6 ½-length victory in a state-bred allowance going a mile here Feb. 7. The son of Danzing Candy is the 7-2 third choice on the morning line.
“He’s a nice horse that’s getting better. Unfortunately, there is a really good horse in the race,” Glatt said in reference to The Chosen Vron.
The Chosen Vron has won four straight races, all California-bred stakes, and nine of 13 starts lifetime for trainer Eric Kruljac. He is the prohibitive 2-5 favorite.
Leyas Candy broke his maiden against state-breds going 5 ½ furlongs at Del Mar in August. Last month, the 4-year-old cleared his first-level state-bred allowance condition when going a mile for the second time. He was purchased by Glatt for $42,000 at the 2020 Washington Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Yearling and Mixed Sale. He is campaigned by Muir Hut Stables.
“I’m from up there originally and have always had pretty good luck at that sale,” Glatt noted. “Over the last few years, they’ve been selling quite a few Cal-breds, which obviously is advantageous if you’re racing in California.”
The other major contender in the Tiznow is Coalinga Road, the 5-2 second choice for trainer Carla Gaines. The 6-year-old Quality Road gelding returns to dirt after winning the Unusual Heat Turf Classic on Jan. 7.
As for Leyas Candy, he will again have the services of Santa Anita leading rider Juan Hernandez, who has been aboard for all seven prior starts.
“I think he’s competitive with the rest of the field,” Glatt said of his charge. “And I don’t wish The Chosen Vron any bad luck, but if for whatever reason he doesn’t run his best race maybe we can upset him.”
The Tiznow goes as Monday’s third race with a scheduled post time of 1:29 p.m. The field in post position order: 1. Coalinga Road, John Velazquez (5-2); Finneus, Ramon Vazquez (20-1); Club Cal, Geovanni Franco (20-1); Leyas Candy, Juan Hernandez (7-2); The Chosen Vron, Hector Berrios (2-5).
SHIRREFFS EYES THE GII SAN FELIPE WITH MAIDEN WINNER SKINNER Skinner, a sharp maiden winner going a mile here on Feb. 12, could return to the stakes ranks on March 4 in the Grade II San Felipe, trainer John Shirreffs said.
Skinner graduated in his 3-year-old bow when rallying from second-last under Victor Espinoza to win going away by 3 ¼ lengths. Last year while still a maiden, the colt by Curlin out of graded stakes winner Winding Way was third in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity and sixth in the Grade I American Pharoah here Oct. 8.
Shirreffs said Skinner exited his maiden win in good order and the San Felipe is being considered.
“It could be next for him, but it comes up pretty quick,” Shirreffs said. “We’ll see.”
Skinner is campaigned by C R K Stable. He was a $510,000 auction buy at last year’s OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training.
DETTORI CONTINUES HOT RIDING WITH 4-WIN SATURDAY Jockey Frankie Dettori is making the most of his winter stay at Santa Anita. On Saturday, the international superstar won four races including the featured Wishing Well aboard 7-1 shot Freedom Flyer to be a clear-cut second in the Santa Anita jockey’s standings.
Dettori, who plans to retire after this year’s Breeders’ Cup, also won the second race aboard Piroli ($6.20) for trainer Michael McCarthy; the fifth on Harper’s Gallop ($3.80) for trainer Leonard Powell; and the eight with Teddy’s Barino for trainer Mark Glatt.
“You’ll have to go back a few years since I’ve had four winners in one day,” Dettori said after Freedom Flyer’s victory.
Santa Anita has served as the first stop on Dettori’s “farewell tour” this season. He plans to ride at The Great Race Place until Santa Anita Derby Day on April 8 before moving on. The 52-year-old reinsman has won with eight of his last 22 mounts at Santa Anita. Overall at the Classic Meet, Dettori has 18 wins including five stakes, which trails only Juan Hernandez among jockeys in both categories.
“It’s been super,” Dettori said of his Santa Anita stay. “All the horses and all the people...they have been great.”
MANDELLA’S COFFEE IN BED A GO FOR SANTA YSABEL, ICE DANCING OUT Trainer Richard Mandella’s top 3-year-old filly Ice Dancing will miss “at least a couple of months” after chipping an ankle during her most recent work last Sunday.
Ice Dancing, who was an emphatic 3 ¼-length winner of the Grade III Santa Ynez going seven furlongs on Jan. 8, was prepping for a potential start in Saturday’s Grade III Santa Ysabel at 1 1/16 miles when she suffered the setback.
“We found it the day after her last work,” Mandella said of the chip. “It’s nothing major, we’ll take it out (surgically). But the timing is bad.”
Ice Dancing completed the six-furlong work in 1:14.00. In the Santa Ynez, Ice Dancing was last after the opening half mile before uncorking a winning rally under Flavien Prat to earn 10 qualifying points toward this year’s Kentucky Oaks. Last year while still a maiden, the Frosted homebred for Perry and Ramona Bass was fourth in the Grade II Chandelier in her only try around two turns and third in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante at seven furlongs.
While Ice Dancing is sidelined, Mandella will still be represented in the Santa Ysabel by flashy debut winner Coffee in Bed. The Hall of Fame trainer confirmed her scheduled participation on Saturday.
By Curlin out of the stakes-placed Hennessy mare Sumptuous, Coffee in Bed served notice on Jan. 6 when coming from off the pace to score at 19-1 against maiden fillies going six furlongs on dirt. She went the final furlong in a respectable 12.82 seconds to win with a final time of 1:10.68.
Coffee in Bed has worked five times since her debut, which includes a six-furlong move in 1:12.60 on Saturday.
The Santa Ysabel is the final major steppingstone to the Grade II Santa Anita Oaks on April 1. It is an also an official prep for the Kentucky Oaks with 50 qualifying points going to the winner. The Santa Ysabel will be drawn on Wednesday along with the remainder of Saturday’s card.
Finish Lines: Santa Anita will offer a special Presidents’ Day card on Monday featuring $1 beer and sodas and $2 hot dogs for on-track patrons…Santa Anita will conduct live racing on Friday, Feb. 24, which was originally scheduled to be a dark day. First post time will be at 12:30 p.m. The card has been added as a makeup for weather-related cancellations earlier in the Classic Meet…There is a $125,149.61 carryover in the Rainbow 6 Jackpot entering Sunday’s card...Horseplayer Dylan Donnelly, runner-up on the 2022 National Handicapping Championship Tour, will be Tom Quigley’s featured handicapping guest Monday on the Santa Anita simulcast feed starting at 11:20.