- CASTELLANO TO RIDE BOLT D’ORO IN SAN FELIPE
- PAVEL SHOULD FANCY DISTANCE OF SAN PASQUAL
- THE MOREY THE MERRIER AND A ROMAN HOLIDAY
- SANTA ANITA JOCKS VS. HOLY ANGELS THURSDAY
BOLT D’ORO GETS NEW RIDER FOR THREE-YEAR-OLD DEBUT
Javier Castellano will ride Bolt d’Oro when the runner-up for an Eclipse Award in the two-year-old male division last year makes his three-year-old debut in the Grade II, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on March 10, owner/trainer Mick Ruis said Sunday morning.
Corey Nakatani had ridden the $630,000 son of Medaglia d’Oro in his four career starts, winning three, including the Grade I Del Mar Futurity and the Grade I FrontRunner Stakes, but finished third to eventual Eclipse Award winner Good Magic in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar last Nov. 4, going wide throughout the mile and one-sixteenth test as the 7-10 favorite.
Good Magic broke his maiden in the race at odds of 11-1.
“Castellano’s going to ride Bolt d’Oro the San Felipe,” Ruis said. “I was disappointed in the Breeders’ Cup, but I just don’t want to make excuses.”
Yesterday, Bolt d’Oro had his first workout since the Breeders’ Cup, going three furlongs with Nakatani aboard in 36.80. The bay colt had missed valuable training time up till then due to a pulled muscle, delaying his start on the Triple Crown trail.
The Breeders’ Cup defeat no doubt cost Bolt d’Oro the championship, which he lost by only 18 points, 131-113, the closest margin in any of the 17 Eclipse Award categories.
Castellano, a 40-year-old native of Venezuela who is represented by agent Mike Lakow, a former Santa Anita and NYRA racing executive, won four consecutive Eclipse Awards as the nation’s outstanding jockey from 2013 through 2016, and finished fourth behind victorious Jose Ortiz in 2017. Castellano is one of five finalists for Santa Anita’s prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, the winner of which will be announced next month.
Ruis, meanwhile, was off to Kentucky Sunday afternoon for a first-hand look at his new purchase, Chestnut Farm in Lexington, a 169-acre spread formerly owned by Michael House. “I bought it sight unseen,” said Ruis, a major entrepreneur in other business endeavors in addition to Thoroughbred racing.
Ruis will return to Santa Anita Tuesday to oversee training activities.
SAN PASQUAL DISTANCE SUITS PAVEL
Doug O’Neill expects Pavel to move forward off his fourth-place behind City of Light in the Grade I Malibu Stakes at seven furlongs Dec. 26, when the son of Creative Cause runs in next Saturday’s Grade II San Pasqual Stakes for four-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles.
“I think so,” O’Neill said. “He breezed well (Saturday, six furlongs in a bullet 1:13) and the distance should suit him well. He’s in his own backyard here so we’re very optimistic of a big effort from Pavel.”
Pavel, a four-year-old gray colt owned by Reddam Racing, has raced at five different tracks in his six-race career, including Parx, where he won the Smarty Jones last Sept. 4.
Mario Gutierrez, who has ridden Pavel every time, will be back aboard in the San Pasqual, a major steppingstone to the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino on March 10.
MOREY, ROMAN RED HOT AT SANTA ANITA
It might be risky to get in Bill Morey’s way these days, more dangerous, say, than getting between Homer Simpson and a box of Krispy Kremes.
The 43-year-old trainer is on the roll of his life, with nine wins from 14 starters through 19 days at Santa Anita’s Winter Meet, including two Saturday topped by Rye’s head triumph in the $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic.
“It’s amazing,” Morey said Sunday morning. “Obviously there’s a lot of luck involved, like horses getting in the right races at the right time. Rye came out of the race good, tired but good. He ran hard. We haven’t even thought about his next race. He gave everything he had.”
Morey is tied with Bob Baffert for second in the standings, two behind leader Pete Miller.
With four wins Saturday, newly minted Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s outstanding apprentice of 2017 Evin Roman opened a 21-15 lead over resurgent Kent Desormeaux, proving that youth will be served.
Roman is 19. Hall of Fame veteran Desormeaux will be 48 on Feb. 27.
“I’m happy he won after receiving the Eclipse Award,” said Roman’s agent, Tony Matos. “That shows he’s for real.”
Roman is named to ride in all nine races today, “and he’s riding for everybody,” Matos pointed out, “which is good for business.”
SANTA ANITA RIDERS VS. HOLY ANGELS FEB. 1 IN CHARITY GAME
The 51st annual Santa Anita Jockeys vs. Holy Angels Elementary Charity Basketball Game will be played this Thursday, Feb. 1, at La Salle High School in Pasadena, with proceeds to benefit Holy Angels Athletics and The Bill Hartack Charitable Foundation, which contributes to Thoroughbred racing industry charities and presents the winning rider in each year’s Kentucky Derby with the Hartack Memorial Award.
The award is named in honor of the late Hall of Fame jockey William Hartack, who along with Eddie Arcaro, won a record five Kentucky Derbies.
Hall of Fame jockeys Kent Desormeaux, Laffit Pincay, Jr., Mike Smith and Alex Solis will be available at center court for an autograph session beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $5 per person, and for every two tickets purchased, individuals will receive one free admission ticket to Santa Anita Park.
La Salle High School is located at the southwest corner of Sierra Madre Blvd. and Michillinda in Pasadena, approximately three miles from Santa Anita. Admission tickets and promotional tee shirts are on sale now at Champions! Gifts and Apparel in Santa Anita’s East Paddock Gardens, or through Holy Angels Elementary School in Arcadia.
FINISH LINES: California Chrome‘s full brother, Faversham, worked four furlongs for Art Sherman Sunday at Santa Anita in 48.20 for an expected start in the $200,000 California Cup Derby on Feb. 19. It was one of 200 recorded works, 12 on the training track . . .Drayden Van Dyke rides in two stakes today for Tom Proctor at Sam Houston, while Mario Gutierrez rides Zia Park Oaks winner Sandy’s Surprise in the Houston Ladies Distaff at the Texas track for Doug O’Neill . . . Racing rarity dept.: Candy Boss drew the No. three post position in today’s sixth race after breaking from the No. One spot in her last five races and in six of her last seven, drawing the two hole in the other race . . . Eclipse Award winner as champion female sprinter of 2017 Unique Bella worked five furlongs Saturday in 1:00.60, breezing, for the Grade II Santa Maria Stakes at 1 1/16 miles Feb. 10. Exercise rider Freddie Garcia was aboard. “Clockers gave her ‘breezing,’ and that’s hard to get,” noted Jerry Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward . . . This unsolicited testimonial from fellow trainer Kenny Black on owner/trainer Mick Ruis: “He’s great for the game. He spends a lot of money investing in racing and we need owners like that.” . . . Santa Anita will be dark for live racing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday but will be open Wednesday for simulcast wagering with free admission and free parking. Admission gates open that day at 10 a.m. . . . Remember, PARLAY WAGERING returns at Santa Anita this Thursday, Feb. 1.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Saturday, Jan. 27)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||68||12||6||6||18%||35%||$741,928|
|William E. Morey||14||9||0||2||64%||79%||$314,123|