- MASOCHISTIC IN SHARP WORKOUT FOR CAL CUP SPRINT
- CALIFORNIA-BREDS TAKE CENTER STAGE NEXT SATURDAY
- GIANT EXPECTATIONS FARES WELL AFTER PEGASUS DRILL
- BARGAIN CLAIM SKYE DIAMONDS EYES FEB. 18 LAS FLORES
MASOCHISTIC IN BULLET GATE DRILL FOR CAL CUP
Masochistic, a prime contender for next Saturday’s $150,000 Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint for four-year-olds and up at six furlongs, worked five furlongs in company from the gate for Bob Baffert Saturday in a bullet 59.80. Drayden Van Dyke was in the irons.
It was the fastest of 77 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:01.94. Stablemate Senditlikechilly was given a four furlong clocking of 50 seconds flat.
Masochistic, an eight-year-old California-bred Sought After gelding, has not raced since last May 6, when he faded to 13th after setting the pace early on in the Churchill Downs Stakes. He had been entered in the Grade III Midnight Lute Stakes on Dec. 30 but was scratched.
Thus Masochistic would be making his first start for Baffert in the Cal Cup Sprint, having previously been trained by Ron Ellis and earlier on by A.C. Avila. The speedy bay has an 8-3-0 record from 16 starts with earnings of $857,550.
SANTA ANITA SHOWCASES CAL-BREDS NEXT SATURDAY
California-breds will be in the spotlight at Santa Anita next Saturday with the 2018 edition of the California Cup and Sunshine Millions Day.
Four stakes restricted to California-bred or sired horses with total purses of $600,000 will be supported by an overnight card of allowance, maiden and claiming races with purses supercharged by the Cal-bred race fund.
The main event will be the $200,000 guaranteed Unusual Heat Turf Classic presented by City National Bank for four-year-olds and up at 1 1/18 miles.
The $150,000 guaranteed Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint for fillies and mares, four and up will be run at about 6 ½ furlongs on the hillside course. The $150,000 guaranteed Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint for four-year-olds and up will be decided at six furlongs, and the $100,000 guaranteed California Cup Turf Sprint Stakes for three-year-olds will be run at about 6 ½ furlongs on the hillside course.
The card also includes the following races restricted to Cal-breds: a $70,000 first-condition allowance for four-year-olds and up at about 6 ½ furlongs on the hillside turf course; a $65,000 maiden special weight race for three-year-olds at a mile on turf; a $65,000 maiden special weight race for three-year-old fillies at 5 ½ furlongs; a $35,000 purse maiden claimer ($50,000 claiming price) for three-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs; and a $30,000 purse claimer ($16,000 claiming price) for four-year-olds and up.
First post time next Saturday is 11:45 a.m. Admission gates open at 10 a.m.
SO FAR, SO GOOD FOR GIANT EXPECTATIONS AND PEGASUS
After working five furlongs Friday in a bullet 58 seconds flat for the $16 million Pegasus
World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park next Saturday, all systems were go for Giant Expectations in the second edition of the world’s richest race, to be run at 1 1/8 miles.
“So far, so good,” trainer Peter Eurton said. “He looked really good this morning. He’ll get to Gulfstream Wednesday, probably walk Thursday and school in the afternoon, school again Friday, and maybe just jog him a long way or give him a light gallop.
“Problem with him is, he doesn’t do anything light. He likes to honk around there, so we’ll see what I do with him on Friday.”
Pegasus contenders Collected and West Coast are scheduled to have their final works for Bob Baffert Sunday at Santa Anita before also departing next Wednesday for Florida.
RAGS-TO-RICHES SKYE DIAMONDS EYES FEB. 18 LAS FLORES
Bargain claim Skye Diamonds is advancing steadily for her 2018 debut in the Grade III Las Flores Stakes for fillies and mares, four and up, at six furlongs on Feb. 18.
The California-bred daughter of First Dude, claimed for $40,000 on Aug. 27, 2016, has since gone on to win three added money events, including the Grade II Great Lady M and the Grade III Rancho Bernardo Handicap, in addition to a fourth-place finish in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
Thus far, she has earned a total of $539,150, and trainer Bill Spawr credits the ownership group of Jon Lindo, Tom Acker, Bloom Racing and Allen Racing in large part for her post-claim success.
“They gave me time to let her develop,” Spawr said. “Owners don’t get enough credit for that,” although former jockey and part owner Jeff Bloom disputes the trainer, saying “It’s all Bill.”
Spawr has a keen eye for a horse’s potential, and the 78-year-old showed his prowess in taking Skye Diamonds, who was given two months off after being claimed before Spawr ran her back for $50,000, resulting in a victory on Oct. 22, 2016.
“She was consistent and she was a Cal-bred and she was three,” Spawr said, succinctly summing up why he made the claim.
Skye Diamonds worked five furlongs on the training track Saturday in 1:02.60 under
regular rider Tiago Pierera.
FINISH LINES: Actor John Ortiz, who played trainer Turo Escalante in HBO’s LUCK, which was set at Santa Anita, will present the trophy for today’s Grade III Las Cienegas Stakes . . . Aided by a variety of factors, yesterday’s all-sources handle of $8,058,678 was in stark contrast to last year’s $4,831,001 . . . Doug O’Neill, who won back-to-back races Friday with odds-on favorites Line Drive and Dr. Ann, has Smarty Jones winner Pavel ticketed for the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes on Feb. 3, while Phil D’Amato is considering either the Grade III Thunder Road Stakes Feb. 10 or next Saturday’s $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic presented by City National Bank for Joe Hernandez Stakes winner Peewee Reese. Blackjackcat, third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, also is possible for the Thunder Road, trainer Mark Glatt said. Pavel worked five furlongs Saturday in 1:00.60. Line Drive, a three-year-old Line of David filly, won yesterday’s fourth race by a whopping 17 lengths under the steady late handling of Kyle Frey, making the $3.60 win payoff seem like a gift . . . Sign on with the Los Angeles Times horse racing newsletter. Authored by John Cherwa, it offers entries, charts and more at: http://www.latimes.com/newsletters/la-newsletter-racing-signup-page-htmlstory.html.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, Jan. 19)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||49||8||2||5||16%||31%||$519,809|
|William E. Morey||9||4||0||2||44%||67%||$85,923|