MISSY P. TRIES TURF IN DESERT CODE STAKES
DESORMEAUX ‘TALK OF THE TOWN’ AGAIN AT 51
GOLD AT END OF SUNDAY’S RAINBOW PICK SIX
GRASS GREENER FOR WELL-REGARDED MISSY P.?
Missy P. has been no secret to bettors in her first two races, going off at 2-5 in her debut March 12, winning by 9 ½ lengths, and 3-10 in her second start, the restricted Angel Flight Stakes on May, losing to stablemate Astute by 2 ¼ lengths.
Both races were sprints on Santa Anita’s main track.
But with racing opportunities on the main track limited for the $225,000 daughter of Into Mischief, Richard Mandella has entered her in Sunday’s $75,000 Desert Code Stakes at six furlongs on turf.
“She’s running there only because we don’t have (dirt) sprints for three-year-old fillies,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “I know she does want to sprint, so I’m going to do that.”
The Desert Code is named for the chestnut son of E Dubai who scored a 36-1 shocker under Richard Migliore for trainer David Hofmans and his long-time clients Tarabilla Farm, Inc., in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, 2008.
Desert Code had a career record of 7-4-2 from 24 starts, earning $1,088,939.
The Desert Code is the seventh of nine races with a 1 p.m. first post time.
The field: Whatmakessammyrun, Flavien Prat, 8-5; Touchdown Brown, Trevor McCarthy, 10-1; Missy P., Tyler Baze, 9-5; Mohawk King, Juan Hernandez, 7-2; Enough Nonsense, Mario Gutierrez, 20-1; and Love My Jimmy, Jose Valdivia, Jr., 4-1.
DESORMEAUX RESURGENT AT AGE 51
Kahuna Magic appeared to be running for second in last Sunday’s second race, a maiden allowance event for three-year-olds and up at six furlongs on the main track.
Brutto, the 1-2 favorite, had a clear lead passing the eighth pole and seemed on his way to victory.
But here came Kahuna Magic, fourth entering the stretch, with Kent Desormeaux riding like he was pursuing his fourth Kentucky Derby triumph, even though he was next to last in a field of five at the half-mile marker and at 13-1, aboard the second-longest shot in the race.
Desormeaux would have none of it, ultimately winning by a neck in a three-horse photo finish. As the Equibase chart notes, “Kahuna Magic drew alongside Brutto with a sixteenth remaining and overhauled that rival for the score.”
It was the 17th of 18 victories this meet for Desormeaux, who has overcome life-changing familial issues and substance abuse challenges that required rehabilitation to resurrect a Hall of Fame career which had ebbed to near nothingness.
“I’m very happy to work for him again,” said veteran agent Tony Matos, who represented the Louisiana native two decades ago when Desormeaux won the Kentucky Derby twice, with Real Quiet in 1998 and Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000.
Desormeaux would go on to win a third Run for the Roses on Big Brown in 2008, when Matos did not have his book.
“Kent’s riding as good as ever, maybe better,” said Matos, who also handles business for Edwin Maldonado.
“It’s definitely nice to have clarity and the support of horsemen on the backside,” Desormeaux said. “Tony has the respect of several clients who have given me their trust, so it’s working out.
“It’s nice to be the talk of the town again.”
MANDATORY RAINBOW PICK 6 PAYOUT ON SUNDAY
Santa Anita will offer a mandatory payout in its popular 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot tomorrow, June 6. Track officials project the total pool could approach $3 million.
First post time Sunday is 1 p.m. The Rainbow Six starts in race four which has an approximate post time of 2:30 p.m. PT.
Although there is still no walk-up admission, Santa Anita is now open to the public on a limited basis visiting santaanita.com.
FINISH LINES: Juan Hernandez won three races at Santa Anita Friday, closing the gap to 30 (110-80) behind runaway leader Flavien Prat, who rides in New York today but returns to Santa Anita Sunday . . . There were 181 recorded works at Santa Anita Saturday, including a four-furlong drill in 48.20 by Grade II Santa Maria Stakes winner As Time Goes By for Bob Baffert. There were 160 works on the main track, 21 on the training track.