Santa Anita Stable Notes Wednesday, September 27, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 27, 2023
• CLEARLY UNHINGED TAKES ON BAFFERT PAIR IN CHILLINGWORTH • BREEDERS’ CUP: ECHO ZULU, CLAIRIERE ARRIVE FOR ASMUSSEN • TOP FILLY TAMARA BACK ON THE TAB FOR MANDELLA • TYLER BAZE RETURNS TO THE SADDLE AT AUTUMN MEET • FREE PARKING/ADMISSION, DRINK AND FOOD SPECIALS FRIDAY
CLEARLY UNHINGED TAKES ON BAFFERT PAIR IN GIII CHILLINGWORTH
Trainer Michael McCarthy made a bold move this summer when shipping 3-year-old filly Clearly Unhinged across the country for a shot at the GI Test at Saratoga. She proved more than worthy of the decision when coming up just a head short of multiple Grade I winner Pretty Mischievous at 17-1.
On Friday, Clearly Unhinged will get a different test when she tackles older fillies and mares for the first time in the GIII Chillingworth going 6 ½ furlongs. Among her rivals are 4-5 morning-line favorite Eda, California’s top female sprinter, and stablemate Home Cooking. Both are trained by Bob Baffert.
When it comes to Clearly Unhinged, you can count Baffert among her many admirers.
“This is a tough race,” Baffert said Wednesday morning of the Chillingworth. “McCarthy’s horse is fast. That’s a serious filly.”
Clearly Unhinged is the 4-1 third choice on the morning line behind Eda and Elm Drive (3-1), who cuts back to a sprint for Phil D’Amato after finishing third in the GI Clement L. Hirsch going 1 1/16 miles on Aug. 5 at Del Mar. Clearly Unhinged will break from the rail under Umberto Rispoli, who was also aboard for an allowance win at Santa Anita on June 16 prior to the Test.
In the seven-furlong Test, which was marred by the breakdown of leader Maple Leaf Mel approaching the wire, Clearly Unhinged nearly won despite trouble on the backstretch. Near the nine-sixteenths pole, the chart notes Clearly Unhinged clipped heels and bobbled slightly.
“I thought it was a gallant effort in the Test,” McCarthy said Wednesday morning. “She did kind of bobble a bit and didn’t have the cleanest of trips.”
A homebred daughter of Into Mischief for Rock Brother Racing, Clearly Unhinged has had two five-furlong works at Santa Anita since her cross-country adventure.
“It seems like she came out of it well and the spacing is good for this race,” McCarthy said.
Eda has won all three starts this year including the GII Great Lady M at Los Alamitos and GIII Rancho Bernardo at Del Mar Aug. 22. She will have regular rider Juan Hernandez in the irons Friday.
The Chillingworth could be a potential springboard to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 4. While a win in both the Chillingworth and Breeders’ Cup would seemingly make Eda a candidate for an Eclipse Award as champion female sprinter, Baffert downplayed those potential ramifications.
“She hasn’t run against those top horses from back east. We’re just taking it one race at a time with her,” Baffert said.
Home Cooking breaks from post two and will have Edwin Maldonado in the irons for the first time. She was sixth in the Rancho Bernardo when running inside of horses for most of the race.
“She always draws poorly,” Baffert said of Home Cooking. “I wish she’d draw outside one time.”
Home Cooking, a 3-year-old Honor Code filly, has been working fast for the Chillingworth. She has fired three straight bullets, including a five-furlong move in 1:00.0 at Santa Anita last Friday.
The Chillingworth, which is named in honor of longtime California racing executive Sherwood Chillingworth, goes as the eighth race on Friday’s nine-race program. Post time is approximately 4:30 Pacific. The field in post position order: Clearly Unhinged, Umberto Rispoli (4-1); Home Cooking, Edwin Maldonado (12-1); Kirstenbosch, Hector Berrios (8-1); Elm Drive, Ricardo Gonzalez (3-1); Eda, Juan Hernandez (4-5); Violent Runner, Mario Gutierrez (30-1); Lady T, Mike Smith (12-1).
BREEDERS’ CUP: ECHO ZULU, CLAIRIERE AMONG ASMUSSEN ARRIVALS
The first wave of Breeders’ Cup hopefuls trained by Steve Asmussen arrived at Santa Anita late Tuesday. Accompanied by assistant Scott Blasi and enjoying an easy Wednesday morning in Santa Anita’s Breeders’ Cup barn were Echo Zulu, Clairiere, Gunite and Society.
“We got in last night and everything went smooth,” Blasi said. “It was a long trip from Saratoga, but everyone seems to be settling in nicely.”
Echo Zulu, last year’s champion 2-year-old filly, is under consideration for either the Breeders’ Cup Sprint against males going six furlongs or the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at seven furlongs. Society is pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Clairiere is headed to the 1 1/8 miles Distaff and Gunite is a candidate for either the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile or Sprint.
“We’ll get them into their routine tomorrow. Hopefully everything goes well between now and Breeders’ Cup,” Blasi said.
GI DEBUTANTE WINNER TAMARA BACK ON THE TAB FOR MANDELLA
Royally bred Tamara, winner of the GI Del Mar Debutante on Sept. 9, returned to the work tab Wednesday for trainer Richard Mandella. With Hall of Famer Mike Smith in the irons, the daughter of Bolt d’Oro out of four-time champion Beholder went three furlongs in 36.0 seconds.
“It was an easy three-eights,“ Smith said. “She went around there nice and happy.”
Tamara is expected to make her next start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 3, which would be her first try around two turns. This week Mandella said Tamara would likely skip the GII Chandelier here a week from Saturday and head straight to the Breeders’ Cup.
Tamara won her debut by 2 ¼ lengths when going 6 ½ furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 19. Wheeled back three weeks later in the seven-furlong Debutante, Tamara crushed 11 rivals by 6 ¾ lengths when Smith in the irons.
Tamara is campaigned by breeder Spendthrift Farm.
TYLER BAZE RETURNS TO THE SADDLE AT AUTUMN MEET
Veteran jockey Tyler Baze, who has had just one mount since April 16, plans to ride regularly at the Santa Anita Autumn meet. Baze, who is represented by agent Brandon O’Bryan, is scheduled to ride the ninth race on Friday’s opening-day program aboard Captain Choochies for trainer George Papaprodromou.
Baze rode regularly at the Oaklawn Park meeting in the winter and spring but has been largely inactive in the interim. His lone mount since came Sept. 9 at Del Mar aboard Stan From Malibu, who finished last in a starter allowance for trainer Ryan Hanson.
Baze won the Eclipse Award as outstanding apprentice jockey in 2000. He has won 2,888 races with purse earnings of $132,720,667.
FINISH LINES: First post for Friday’s opening day card is 1 p.m. PT…Admission gates open at 11 a.m.…Saturday’s blockbuster card featuring four graded stakes is being 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.