Santa Anita Stable Notes Thursday, October 19, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN THURSDAY, OCT. 19, 2023
• D’AMATO CLASS DROPPERS LOOM LARGE IN FRIDAY FEATURE • BREEDERS’ CUP CONTENDER DIDIA BACK ON TAB AFTER GII RODEO WIN • BREEDERS’ CUP PRE-ENTRIES TO BE ANNOUNCED WEDNESDAY • FREE PARKING AND ADMISSION, DRINK SPECIALS FRIDAY
D’AMATO CLASS DROPPERS LOOM LARGE IN $71,000 FRIDAY FEATURE
The feature on Friday’s nine-race card, a $71,000 classified allowance going 5 ½ furlongs on turf, has four horses dropping out of stakes including both Turn On The Jets and Unconquerable Keen for trainer Phil D’Amato.
Turn On The Jets, the 2-1 morning-line favorite for D’Amato, exits a fourth-place effort in the GIII Green Flash going five furlongs on turf at Del Mar Sept. 2. Stablemate Unconquerable Keen, the 5-2 second choice, most recently was seventh in the GIII Eddie D. going 6 ½ furlongs on the flat turf course here Sept. 30.
Turn On The Jets was up close to a swift pace in the Green Flash and did well to hold on late for a minor share. He was just a half-length back through an opening half mile in 44.70 seconds then finished 2 ½ lengths back of winner Motorious, also trained by D’Amato.
“He was a little closer to the pace then I was expecting. They were fast fractions,” D’Amato said. “He was really the only one that was up close and held. I thought overall he ran a good race. But his style is to be a little further back than that.”
Turn On the Jets will have a new rider Friday. Antonio Fresu replaces Hector Berrios, who was aboard in the Green Flash and also for an allowance win at Del Mar one race prior on Aug. 4.
Unconquerable Keen wheels back 20 days after making his stakes debut in the Eddie D. Racing in the back-half of an 11-horse field throughout, the chart for the Eddie D notes the 4-year-old Irish-bred was bothered early and had to steady at the seven-sixteenths pole.
D’Amato thinks Unconquerable Keen will appreciate the cutback in distance.
“I don’t know if he really likes 6 ½ furlongs. I think 5 ½ should be more to his liking,” the trainer said.
D’Amato hopes Friday’s race will serve as a steppingstone to the Stormy Liberal Stakes going five furlongs on turf at Del Mar Dec. 2. Last year, Turn On The Jets won the Stormy Liberal as the favorite.
Also dropping out of the stakes ranks are both Sumter, sixth in the Eddie D most recently for trainer Richard Mandella, and the comebacker Sharp Aza Tack for trainer Doug O’Neill. Sumter and Sharp Aza Tack are both 4-1 on the morning line.
Sharp Aza Tack hasn’t started since March 5 when he finished sixth in the Baffle Stakes here over the hillside turf course. Tyler Baze will be aboard Sharp Aza Tack for the first time Friday.
Last year, Sharp Aza Tack won his first two starts including an eye-catching 7 ¼-length romp in the Tyro Stakes sprinting on turf at Monmouth Park. Sharp Aza Tack would eventually close-out the year with a seventh-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Keeneland on Nov. 4.
Friday’s feature goes as the seventh race with post time scheduled for 4:04 p.m. Pacific. The field in post position order: Barristan the Bold, Ramon Vazquez (12-1); Sumter, Umberto Rispoli (4-1); Sharp Aza Tack, Tyler Baze (4-1); Turn On The Jets, Antonio Fresu (2-1); Unconquerable Keen, Joe Bravo (5-2); See Through It, Edgar Payeras (4-1).
BREEDERS’ CUP CONTENDER DIDIA BACK ON TAB AFTER GII RODEO WIN
Didia, a leading contender for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita Nov. 4, returned to the work tab Thursday following her victory in the GII Rodeo Drive here Oct. 7.
Trained by Ignacio Correas IV, Didia drilled a half mile on the main track in 49.40 seconds.
Didia has won three of four starts this year and sports a sparkling lifetime record of 9-2-0 in 13 outings. In the Rode Drive, Didia settled in mid-pack before uncorking a late bid as the even-money favorite to win going away by 1 ¾ lengths under Vincent Cheminaud.
Prior to the Rodeo Drive, Didia was second in the GI New York at Belmont Park. Earlier this year she won both the GIII Modesty at Churchill Downs in May and the Tom Benson Memorial at Fair Grounds in March.
Bred in Argentina, Didia is a 5-year-old mare by the Lure stallion Orpen. She is campaigned by Merriebelle Stable.
BREEDERS’ CUP PRE-ENTRIES ANNOUNCED WEDNESDAY, OTHER THINGS TO KNOW
Pre-entries for the 40th Breeders’ Cup Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita will be announced next Wednesday beginning at 9 a.m. Pacific. The announcement can be viewed live on FanDuel TV and at Breederscup.com.
There will be 14 Breeders’ Cup races run over two days at Santa Anita. On Friday, Nov. 3, 2-year-olds will be in the spotlight as part of a 10-race program beginning at 11:30 a.m. PT. That day’s Breeders’ Cup races are the $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint, $1 million Juvenile Turf, $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf, $2 million Juvenile Fillies and $2 million Juvenile.
On Saturday, Nov. 4, a 12-race card will include nine Breeders’ Cup events. First post is 10:10 a.m. Pacific with the first Breeders’ Cup race set to go at 11:30 a.m. Note this year that the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic will not go as the final race on the card. Instead, it is set as the ninth race with post time scheduled for 3:40 p.m. Pacific.
The post-position draw for this year’s Breeders’ Cup will be held Monday, Oct. 30 starting at 4:45 p.m. Pacific at the nearby Pasadena Civic Center. It will also be televised on FanDuel and livestreamed on Breederscup.com.
CLOCKERS’ CORNER ICON ‘LOUIE’ THE DOG PASSES AWAY
Condolences go out to trainer Carla Gaines following the loss of her beloved white Labrador retriever, ‘Louie,’ on Saturday. Louie was approaching his 13th birthday when he died from the infirmities of old age.
A friend to all, Louie was a Clockers’ Corner icon, well-known among racetrackers in Southern California and beyond. He was held in such high esteem there is even a Clockers’ Corner menu item named in his honor, “Loui-ccinos.” They are complimentary dog treats provided to canine visitors of Santa Anita.
“He was a Clockers’ Corner landmark. Just a fantastic dog,” Gaines said Thursday morning.
FINISH LINES: Jockey Abel Cedillo will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico Saturday to ride Santa Anita-based Arham for trainer Vladimir Cerin in the $200,0000 Downs at Albuquerque Handicap. Arham is the 7-2 third choice on the morning line…Leading rider Juan Hernandez had his third three-win day of the meet Sunday. His wins included the California Flag Handicap aboard Kings River Knight for trainer John Sadler. He has 17 total wins through the first nine day of the stand, which includes a meet-high six stakes victories…Sunday’s Pick 6 returned $35,255,30 for four winning tickets…On-track fans Friday will receive free parking and admission, $3 beers and $5 margaritas