Santa Anita Stable Notes Thursday, October 5, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN
__THURSDAY, OCT. 5, 2023 __
Photo: Ernie Belmonte
• BREEDERS’ CUP: ARCANGELO HAS 1ST SANTA ANITA WORK • GI SANTA ANITA DERBY WINNER PRACTICAL MOVE RETURNS FRIDAY • SANTA ANITA, KEENELAND TEAM FOR BC CHALLENGE PICK 6 • PLETCHER, COX COME WEST FOR SATURDAY BC PREPS • SANTA ANITA HOSTS SPECIAL HOLIDAY PROGRAM MONDAY
BREEDERS’ CUP:TRAVERS WINNER ARCANGELO HAS 1ST SANTA ANITA WORK
Leading Breeders’ Cup Classic contender Arcangelo had his first work at Santa Anita Thursday. With trainer Jena Antonucci on hand from New York to observe, Arcangelo was officially credited with a five furlong move in 1:02.20.
“We’re just getting him used to the track,” Antonucci said after the drill. “There’s plenty of time go fast.”
Winner of this year’s Belmont Stakes and GI Travers, both in New York, Arcangelo is the No. 1 ranked contender in this year’s official Breeders’ Cup Classic rankings. The $6 million Classic at 1 ¼ miles will be run Nov. 4 at Santa Anita.
For Thursday’s work, which came under exercise rider Robert Mallari, Arcangelo was outfitted in the low-cut blinkers he has worn in recent races. Antonucci said he will remain in the equipment for the Classic.
“I think they’ve worked out well to this point,” Antonucci added with a grin.
Highly respected private clocker Gary Young timed Arcangelo’s work a bit quicker than the official time. Young had the son of Arrogate going five furlongs in 1:01.60 with a six-furlong gallop-out in 1:16.20. Fractions clocked by Young were 13.20 seconds for the opening furlong, 25.4 for a quarter mile, 37.60 for three furlongs and 49.80 for a half mile.
Antonucci is scheduled to return to New York Friday morning. She’ll be back at Santa Anita later this month and will stay here through the Breeders’ Cup.
In other Breeders’ Cup news, three contenders trained by Steve Asmussen – Echo Zulu, Society and Private Creed – are scheduled to work on Friday, assistant Scott Blasi said. Stablemates Clairiere and Gunite will work Saturday.
Echo Zulu, a perfect 3-for-3 this year, is possible to take on males in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint going six furlongs. Society, winner of the GIII Chicago at Ellis Park and Misty Bennet Pink Ribbon Stakes at Charles Town in her two most recent starts, is targeting the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Private Creed, a 3-year-old Jimmy Creed colt, is eyeing the five-furlong Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint after earning his first graded-stakes win in the GII Franklin-Simpson Stakes at Kentucky Downs Sept. 9.
PRACTICAL MOVE RETURNS IN FRIDAY ALLOWANCE FOR YAKTEEN
Practical Move, sidelined since winning the GI Santa Anita Derby here April 8, is set to return here Friday in a competitive one-mile classified allowance for trainer Tim Yakteen.
Practical Move is listed as the 8-5 morning-line favorite for his comeback. Regular rider Ramon Vazquez will be in the irons. Also entered in the field of seven is the comebacking Grade 2 winner Newgrange (3-1), who has been off since a seventh-place effort in the GI Santa Anita Handicap March 4 for trainer Phil D’Amato. Yakteen will also start American Admiral, most recently second in the Sept. 17 Los Alamitos Special.
Practical Move won the Santa Anita Derby by a nose, making him a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs a month later. However, while in Louisville, Practical Move spiked a temperature the week of the race and had to be scratched.
Practical Move returned to the work tab Aug. 13 at Del Mar. He has had nine drills for his comeback. In September had two six-furlong works followed by a pair of quick five furlong moves with the most recent completed in 59.60 seconds on Saturday.
“Everything has been straightforward,” Yakteen said of Practical Move’s preparation.
While it’s going on six months since Practical Move’s last start, Yakteen said he appears to be much the same colt physically as in the spring.
“I haven’t really seen any change. He’s a big horse as it is, 1,250 pounds, so I wouldn’t want him to put any more weight on anyway,” Yakteen said. “I’m very happy with what I’ve seen and how he’s coming in.”
Ideally, Yakteen is hoping a good effort Friday could propel Practical Move to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile here on Nov. 4.
“We’ll take it one race at a time. The main thing is we want him to come back how he left off,” Yakteen said. “If he does, we’ll put our heads together and think about the Breeders’ Cup. It would be nice if we could entertain that.”
By Practical Joke, Practical Move is owned by Leslie A. Amestoy, Pierre J. Amestoy and Roger Beasley. Prior to his win in the Santa Anita Derby, Practical Move won the GII San Felipe on March 4 at Santa Anita and GII Los Alamitos Futurity in December. His career mark is 4-1-2 in seven starts with earnings of $884,200.
Also in the field Friday is Grade I winner Tripoli (8-1) for trainer John Sadler and a pair of colts trained by Bob Baffert, Mr Fisk (4-1) and Tahoe Sunrise (4-1). Mr. Fisk and Tahoe Sunrise most recently dead-heated for the win in the restricted Shared Belief for 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles at Del Mar July 17.
Practical Move’s comeback goes as the eighth race on a nine-race card set for Friday. It is a second-level allowance that’s also open to horses who have not won a race since June 18. Post time is scheduled for 4:42 p.m. Pacific. The field in post position order: Tahoe Sunrise, Victor Espinoza (4-1); American Admiral, J.G. Torrealba (6-1); Mr Fisk, Juan Hernandez (4-1); Newgrange, Edwin Maldonado (3-1); Practical Move, Ramon Vazquez (8-1); Tripoli, Tiago Pereira (8-1); Divine Armor, Antonio Fresu (9-1).
__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: Top eastern-based trainers Todd Pletcher and Brad Cox will be represented in Santa Anita stakes this weekend. Pletcher, an eight-time Eclipse Award winner as outstanding trainer, has the 4-year-old filly Juncture (8-1) entered in Saturday’s GII Rodeo Drive at 1 ¼ miles on turf. Cox, a two-time Eclipse Award winner, will run one-start maiden Scalable (5-1) in the GII Chandelier and the maiden Be You (4-1) in the GI American Pharoah. Be You most recently was fourth in the GI Hopeful at Saratoga…Both Sunday’s card and Monday’s special holiday program at Santa Anita are being drawn on Thursday… Sunday’s card includes the GIII Zuma Beach for 2-year-olds and GIII Surfer Girl for 2-year-old fillies, both on turf, while Monday’s card features the Swingtime Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on turf… On-track fans for Monday’s holiday card will receive $1 beers and sodas and $2 hot dogs at select locations…Sebastian Piscuskas, Santa Anita Loyalty & Marketing Ambassador, will be host Tom Quigley’s handicapping guest Friday on the Santa Anita simulcast feed starting at 11:50 a.m. Pacific.