- PARADISE WOODS, AVENGE BREEZE FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
- DR. TROUTMAN BACK DOWN THE HILL IN CALIFORNIA FLAG
- OLD WARHORSE ROYAL F J IS RETIRED AFTER 102 RACES
- FANS WILL BE ‘IN THE PINK’ ON SATURDAY AT SANTA ANITA
PARADISE WOODS ‘COULDN’T BE BETTER’ FOR DISTAFF
Santa Anita Oaks winner Paradise Woods and two-time Rodeo Drive Stakes winner
Avenge each worked for their Breeders’ Cup engagements Friday morning, Paradise Woods breezing for the Distaff on Nov. 3 going six furlongs in 1:14, while Avenge, a contender for the Filly & Mare Turf on Nov. 4, went six furlongs in company in with Twentytwentyvision, each receiving a time of 1:13.80.
Flavien Prat was aboard both, Paradise Woods working at 6:45 and Avenge an hour
later. “She went great, couldn’t be doing any better,” trainer Richard Mandella said of Paradise Woods, front-running winner of the Grade I Zenyatta Stakes last out on Sept. 30.
Breeders’ Cup Mile candidate Bal a Bali worked six furlongs for Mandella Thursday in a
bullet 1:13 flat on the main track.
In other Breeders’ Cup news:
Owner/trainer Mick Ruis plans to work undefeated Breeders’ Cup Juvenile favorite Bolt
d’Oro five furlongs under regular rider Corey Nakatani Sunday at 7:45 a.m.
Phil D’Amato could have as many as four Breeders’ Cup starters if the fates allow:
Midnight Storm in the Dirt Mile, Hunt in the Turf, Ransom the Moon in the Sprint and
Proper Discretion in the Filly & Mare Sprint.
“Hunt will breeze on the grass at Del Mar Sunday before the Breeders’ Cup (Nov. 4),” D’Amato said. “When and where works for the others take place are yet to be determined.”
American Pastime worked six furlongs for Bob Hess Jr. in a bullet 1:12.80 for the Sprint. With Kent Desormeaux committed to ride Roy H in the Sprint for Peter Miller, American Pastime would be ridden by Corey Nakatani, who was aboard for today’s breeze.
Champion Champagne Room (Distaff) went five furlongs for Peter Eurton in a minute flat; Pavel (Classic, four furlongs in 49 flat); Mopotism (Distaff, four furlongs also in 49 flat); and Piedi Bianchi (Juvenile Fillies, five furlongs in 1:02.80), all breezed for Doug O’Neill; while Faithfully (Distaff) went five furlongs for Bob Baffert in 59.40.
Baffert, meanwhile, sits at the ready with four horses for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which he has won the last three years, with Bayern (2014), Triple Crown king American Pharoah (2015) and Arrogate (2016).
Right now the Hall of Fame trainer will pursue the Classic with Arrogate, Collected, Mubtaahij and West Coast.
Tomorrow and Sunday, and also next weekend, Oct. 28 and 29, the main track will be open to training for BREEDERS’ CUP HORSES ONLY for 10 minutes after the second renovation break at approximately 7:45 a.m.
There will be one-time only turf works this Sunday, Oct. 22, for Breeders’ Cup approved horses, which must be signed up by 12 noon tomorrow, Oct. 21, in Santa Anita’s Racing Office, for approval.
TRAINER HOPES DR. TROUTMAN HAS RIGHT RX FOR CALIFORNIA FLAG
Dr. Troutman returns to a course over which he broke his maiden when he runs in Saturday’s $100,000 California Flag Handicap at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
The three-year-old Vronsky colt’s lone win came on the downhill course last March 11, but his last five starts have been at seven furlongs or longer. The chestnut owned by Rustin Kratz is coming off a mile turf race in which he closed well for fourth, beaten just over a length.
“It looks like he favors going down the hill,” said George Papaprodromou, the only trainer with a five syllable last name. “That’s where he broke his maiden and he’s in against Cal-breds tomorrow.”
Papaprodromou plans to cross-enter Win the Space in both the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Dirt Mile, with the preference being the latter.
The California Flag, race five of nine: California Diamond, Brice Blanc, 12-1; Gold Rush Dancer, Corey Nakatani, 3-1; Dr. Troutman, Martin Pedroza, 15-1; El Tovar, Drayden Van Dyke, 15-1; Richard’s Boy, Flavien Prat, 2-1; B Squared, Mario Gutierrez, 5-1; and Tribalist, Victor Espinoza, 9-5.
ROYAL F J RETIRED AFTER HIS 102ND START
Royal F J, a popular campaigner who paid his way under the guidance of trainer Jack Carava for most of his lengthy career, has been retired from racing after his 102nd start in Thursday’s eighth race.
The 10-year-old gelded son of Royal Academy bred in Kentucky finished seventh at odds of 4-1 in the six furlong sprint for $6,250 claimers, beaten 11 lengths after steadying when in tight after the start.
“He was in bad form when I originally claimed him some time back, and when I did, I told myself if he ran better we would continue to race him, and as soon as he tells us he doesn’t want to run anymore, we’ll take care of him and find him a good home,” Carava said.
“He had a little trouble early in the race yesterday, but it was the first time he acted like he wasn’t happy running, so it’s time. He’s still very, very sound for a horse his age with that many races, and that’s probably the most amazing thing about him.
“He’s going to have a good life ahead and we’re going to find him a good spot. It’s yet to be determined where he’s going, but we’ve had tons of offers so we’re going to go through those and find him a good home, but he won’t run anymore.
“The good thing is he leaves here sound. All the years I had him, he was always at the barn with me. I never turned him out, he never missed any training. He still wouldn’t be the kind of horse that would miss any training.
“He hits the ground good, he likes going to the track, but it’s just time. I don’t want to keep running him for $6,000 and $8,000 and not have him run well. We ran him all this year and basically he was finishing one, two, three, but now he’s kind of gathered up a few bad races in a row so I don’t want to keep running him.
“I bought him as a yearling and he’s 10 now. He was out of the barn for about six months (after being claimed), so we had him the better part of nine years.”
Royal F J picked up $345 for his efforts Thursday, finishing with earnings of $568,150 from nine wins, 19 seconds and 18 thirds.
PINKTOBER WITH PINK’S HOTDOGS
Santa Anita Park is teaming with the one and only Pink’s Hot Dogs to benefit the American Cancer Society Making Strides against Breast Cancer on Saturday.
This Pinktober Trackside package will not only offer the local cult classic’s famous dog, but access to amazing views of the stretch run where fans are right on top of the action. The $40* package includes one Pink’s famous loaded hot dog or chili dog, one bag of assorted Lay’s potato chips, one craft beer (12 oz.) or soda (20 oz.).
Hot dog options include: All-beef stretch, veggie or turkey. *Get $10 OFF your package with promo code: PINK17. For more information visit: www.santaanita.com/events.
FANS IN PINK COULD WIN BIG
Fans in attendance this Saturday could win a VIP “Day at the Races” package of epic proportions. Patrons can visit the donation tent located in the East Paddock Gardens, across from Champions! Gift Shop, to redeem their complimentary first ticket.
The Great Race Place will offer a bonus entry ticket to any person wearing pink on Santa Anita’s Breast Cancer Awareness Day. There will also be Breast Cancer Awareness memorabilia available for a donation. All donations made will directly benefit the American Cancer Society Making Strides against Breast Cancer.
This VIP “Day at the Races” package will include: Lunch for four, champagne toast for four in the Chandelier Room Speakeasy, $100 betting voucher, a race named in the winner’s honor with paddock and Winner’s Circle tour during their featured race, Club House admission and valet parking. #PINKTOBER.
FINISH LINES: Israel Ocampo and Joe Talamo escaped serious injury when their respective mounts, Warrenscrystalized and Hawk’s Journey, were involved in a mishap that occurred in deep stretch of Thursday’s seventh race at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf. Ocampo suffered a broken left thumb, and his agent, Tommy Ball, expected a medical report later Friday determining how much time the 23-year-old rider might miss. Talamo was none the worse for wear save for a bruised right thigh, but is day to day with a likely return to the races next Thursday.
“His thigh is sore but there’s not a mark on it, although it is swollen,” said his agent, Scotty McClellan . . . Secret Spice comes back in three weeks to run in Sunday’s $70,000 Anoakia Stakes for two-year-old fillies at six furlongs, but trainer Richard Baltas is hopeful she’s up to the task. “It’s a little quick back but she’s doing well,” Baltas said of the bay daughter of Discreet Cat owned by Little Red Feather Racing, who broke her maiden Oct. 1, winning by 5 ¼ lengths at 6-1 . . . Congrats to jockey Saul Arias on his eight-length victory aboard Backintheacademy for trainer Felipe Souza in yesterday’s second race. It was the first Santa Anita win for the 39-year-old native of Columbia since Feb. 16, 2015, when he rode 52-1 shot Triunfo to a 2 ¼-length triumph for trainer Rafael DeLeon . . . Retired longtime jockey agent George O’Bryan was a surprise visitor at Clockers’ Corner this morning. Known on the backstretch as “Black Heart,” O’Bryan was one of the top agents of his era, handling Hall of Fame riders such as Johnny Adams, Ralph Neves, Laffit Pincay, Jr., Donald Pierce and Manuel Ycaza over five decades. O’Bryan, looking spry and alert in company with his son, agent Craig O’Bryan (Tyler Baze), will turn 97 on Oct. 25.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Thursday, Oct. 19)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||45||7||2||3||16%||27%||$449,770|
|J. Keith Desormeaux||21||4||2||3||19%||43%||$234,380|