- MANDELLA STANDS ‘UNITED’ ON A BUSY WEEKEND
- BAFFERT EYES 7TH AWESOME AGAIN WIN SATURDAY
- GLATT HAS RIGHT RX FOR STREAKING DR. SCHIVEL
- CLOCKERS’ CORNER WELCOMES RETURN OF FANS
MANDELLA EYES STAKES GLORY THIS WEEKEND
Richard Mandella could have an exciting opening weekend at Santa Anita.
The Hall of Fame trainer has 10 horses entered over the three-day period, headed by the popular multi-Grade II turf stakes winner United in Saturday’s Grade II John Henry Turf Championship for three-year-olds and up at a grassy 1 ¼ miles.
Jockey Joe Bravo rides.
“We’ve been a bit unlucky with United in some of his earlier races. Hopefully, our luck will be coming,” Mandella said.
Commited front-runner Tizamagician, who led in the Pacific Classic before finishing second by 1 ¼ lengths to Tripoli, tackles him again in the Grade I, Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race at a mile and an eighth Awesome Again Stakes:
“Going a mile and an eighth, it might be a pretty fast pace, but he should be up front or right there,” Mandella said.
As for United, the six-year-old gelded son of Giant’s Causeway has been with Mandella for so long, he considers him “Part of the family now.”
The John Henry Turf Championship, race 11 with an early 12:30 p.m. first post time: Award Winner, Kyle Frey, 12-1; Camino Del Paraiso, Abel Cedillo, 15-1; Neptune’s Storm, Florent Geroux, 6-1; United. Flavien Prat, 5-2; Ready Soul, John Velazquez, 12-1; Acclimate, Ricardo Gonzalez, 9-2; Master Piece, Drayden Van Dyke, 5-1; Count of Amazonia, Victor Espinoza, 12-1; Media Blitz, Juan Hernandez, 20-1; Red King, Joe Bravo, 15-1; $4,000 supplemental entry Cupid’s Claws, 12-1; Friars Road, Umberto Rispoli, 15-1; and K P All Systems Go, Tyler Baze, 20-1.
BAFFERT SEEKS SEVENTH AWESOME AGAIN VICTORY
Opting for a more favorable pace scenario than it appeared he would have had on paper in last Saturday’s Pennsylvania Derby won by Hot Rod Charlie, Medina Spirit passed on that Grade I race and is entered in the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes Saturday at Santa Anita at 1 1/8 miles.
A bargain son of Protonico trained by Bob Baffert for Amr Zedan, Medina Spirit crossed the wire first in the Kentucky Derby leading throughout, and won the Shared Belief Stakes last out at Del Mar on Aug. 29 in wire-to-wire fashion, as he has done in all of his four victories.
Medina Spirit worked five furlongs last Saturday in 59.80.
Baffert will be after his seventh Awesome Again win, having won with Improbable, 2020, Mubtaahij, 2017, Game On Dude, 2011 and 2012, Richard’s Kid, 2010 and Silver Charm, 1998.
The Awesome Again, race 10 of 11: Tizamagician, Flavien Prat, 4-1; Midcourt, Edwin Maldonado, 12-1; Express Train, Juan Hernandez, 4-1; Stilleto Boy, Kent Desormeaux, 20-1; Medina Spirit, John Velazquez, 5-2; Azul Coast, Abel Cedillo, 12-1; Tripoli, Tiago Pereira, 3-1; and Idol, Joe Bravo, 5-1.
DR. SCHIVEL ‘SET TO GO’ IN SANTA ANITA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP
Dr. Schivel seeks his fifth straight victory Saturday in the Grade II Santa Anita Sprint Championship for three-year-olds and up at six furlongs.
A three-year-old Violence colt conditioned by Mark Glatt in his last two starts, including a come-from-behind victory by a neck in the Grade I Bing Crosby at Del Mar July 31, Dr. Schivel (pronounced SHIV-el) won the Grade I Del Mar Futurity as a two-year-old when trained by Luis Mendez.
Dr. Schivel drew the rail for Saturday’s race but already has a win from that post in an allowance race at Santa Anita June 18.
“He’s going into the race really well,” said Glatt, a 48-year-old native of Spokane, Washington, who also has Collusion Illusion entered in the Sprint, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge race with a purse of $200,000.
“He should be all set to go,” Glatt said of Dr. Schivel. “He’s done well since I’ve had him and we expect to come from off the pace as he’s done in the past.”
The Santa Anita Sprint Championship, race eight: Dr. Schivel, Flavien Prat, 2-1, Vertical Threat, Abel Cedillo, 6-1; Colt Fiction, Geovanni Franco, 8-1; C Z Rocket, Florent Geroux, 5-2; Flagstaff, Joe Bravo, 7-2; and Collusion Illusion, Juan Hernandez, 4-1.
FINISH LINES: Clockers’ Corner, Santa Anita’s popular breakfast destination located at the top of the stretch, has reopened to the public seven days a week. Replete with a revised breakfast menu offering something for everyone, Clockers’ Corner is open daily to the public seven days a week from 5 to 10 a.m., offering a close-up view at morning training with the majestic San Gabriel Mountains as a verdant backdrop. Accessible via Gate off of Baldwin Ave. admission is free to Clockers’ Corner and ample seating is available on a first come, first served basis. Families are welcome as attendees have an opportunity to interact with some of the top jockeys and trainers in America, many of whom make Clockers’ Corner a part of their daily routine. In addition to a complete breakfast menu that includes coffee, tea and juices, track programs and Daily Racing Form are also offered for sale each racing day. . . On a glorious Friday morning appropriate for opening day, there were 96 recorded workouts this morning, 30 on the training track. SPECIAL EARLY FIRST POST TIME ON SATURDAY IS 12:30 P.M.
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