- INSCOM: FROM TURF TO DIRT IN LEWIS STAKES
- IKE WALKER RETURNS FAST FOR SAN PASQUAL
- FREE ROSE ON A GRADED ROLL IN SAN MARCOS
- SANTA ANITA JOCKS FACE HOLY ANGELS TONIGHT
CALLAGHAN SEEKS STAKES SWEEP SATURDAY
Simon Callaghan will be a busy man on Saturday.
In addition to sending out Inscom in the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes for three-year-olds at a mile and one-sixteenth on dirt, the 34-year-old trainer has Americanize entered in the Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes against 2017 champion male sprinter Roy H for four-year-olds and up at six furlongs.
Inscom has made his last four starts at one mile on turf, finishing second by a head in the restricted Eddie Logan last out on Dec. 29.
“He’s been steadily progressing in each of his races on turf,” Callaghan said of Inscom, an $850,000 son of Distorted Humor owned by Kaleem Shah, “and I think it’s the right time for us to try the dirt and open up some new doors.
“He’s been training well and this seems like the right race to take a shot.”
The Lewis offers 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner, four to the runner-up, two for third place and one for fourth.
Americanize, a five-year-old gelded son of Concord Point, owned and bred by Shah, was a sharp second to Silent Bird in the Grade III Midnight Lute Dec. 30, beaten only a neck.
“I’m pleased that we drew outside of Roy H,” Callaghan said. “Americanize is training really well and we expect him to run a good race.”
The field for the Lewis, which goes as the fifth race: Ayacara, Kent Desormeaux, 8-1; Pepe Tono, Evin Roman, 6-1; Dark Vader, Stewart Elliott, 10-1; Lombo, Flavien Prat, 5-1; Shivermetimbers, Rafael Bejarano, 7-2; Inscom, Tyler Baze, 6-1; Peace, Mike Smith, 3-1; Regulate, Joe Talamo, 8-1; and Blame the Rider, Mario Gutierrez, 15-1.
The Palos Verdes, race three of nine: Roy H, Kent Desormeaux, 3-5; Bobby Abu Dhabi, Victor Espinoza, 6-1; Americanize, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; Mongolian Saturday, Flavien Prat, 8-1; and Red Lightning, Tyler Conner, 8-1.
SAN PASQUAL CONDITIONS SUIT IKE WALKER
Ike Walker stretches out and comes back in just over a month for Saturday’s Grade II San Pasqual at 1 1/8 miles, but Jerry Hollendorfer feels conditions suit the six-year-old Bellamy Road gelding, claimed for $50,000 on Jan. 1, 2017, and winner of three of nine starts since.
“It’s back a little quick but he seems to run well like that,” said the Hall of Fame trainer.
Ike Walker was sixth in the Grade III Midnight Lute Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs last out, beaten just over four lengths, but had run in seven straight races at a flat mile prior to that, winning three.
The San Pasqual would be his first stakes victory, should he win the steppingstone to the Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino on March 10.
The San Pasqual: Pavel, Mario Gutierrez, 4-1; Mubtaahij, Drayden Van Dyke, 7-2; Accelerate, Victor Espinoza, 4-1; Win the Space, Rajiv Maragh, 20-1; The Lieutenant, Flavien Prat, 20-1; Ike Walker, Rafael Bejarano, 20-1; Irish Freedom, Mike Smith, 6-1; Prime Attraction, Tiago Pereira, 6-1; and Top of the Game, Kent Desormeaux, 3-1.
FREE ROSE MAINTAINS GRADED STATUS IN SAN MARCOS
Free Rose makes his seventh straight start in a graded race Saturday in the Grade II San Marcos, a mile and a quarter marathon for four-year-olds and up on turf.
The five-year-old Munnings gelding prompted the pace before finishing sixth last out in the Grade II San Gabriel but won the Grade III La Jolla Handicap and the Grade II Del Mar Derby at the seaside course in 2016.
“The horse is training great,” Richard Baltas said.” He’s schooling well and showing a lot of energy.”
The San Gabriel was his first race in seven months, so he would be entitled to move forward off that performance.
The San Marcos: Prince of Arabia, Tiago Pereira, 30-1; Free Rose, Joe Talamo, 8-1; $4,000 supplemental nominee Mr. Roary, Rajiv Maragh, 15-1; Isotherm, Flavien Prat, 3-1; Itsinthepost, Tyler Baze, 9-5; Flamboyant, Drayden Van Dyke, 4-1; Hayabusa One, Victor Espinoza, 6-1; and Editore, Brice Blanc, 6-1.
SANTA ANITA RIDERS VS. HOLY ANGELS TONIGHT IN CHARITY GAME
The 51st annual Santa Anita Jockeys vs. Holy Angels Elementary Charity Basketball Game will be played tonight 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: Owner/trainer Mick Ruis has Bolt d’Oro set to breeze at 9 a.m. Friday for his three-year-old debut in the Grade II, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes on March 10 . . . Bob Baffert sent three-year-old filly champion of 2017 Abel Tasman three furlongs this morning in 36.20. It was her first breeze since finishing second by a half-length in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff last Nov. 3 . . . Fans can enjoy live racing at Santa Anita before Sunday’s Big Game. First post time is 11 a.m., allowing patrons to park in front of TVs before the kickoff at approximately 3:30 p.m., when the underdog Philadelphia Eagles and Bill Belichick‘s dynastic New England Patriots do battle. Sirona’s Sports Bar offers free general admission and will show Big Game LII on its plethora of big screens, with drink specials available all day. Admission gates open at 9 a.m. . . . This Saturday is Dumpling Day at The Great Race Place from 12 noon to 4:30 p.m. A $30 dumpling package includes an order of dumplings, a craft beer, Club House admission, program, tip sheet, a $5 betting voucher and trackside and Grandstand seating. Tickets can be purchased on santaanita.com/events, with a 20 percent savings using promo*code: DUMPLING18. Must be 21 and older to purchase, online only .
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Sunday, Jan. 28)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||68||12||6||6||18%||35%||$741,928|
|William E. Morey||15||9||0||2||60%||73%||$314,623|