BALTAS HAS TWO FOR THE MONEY IN GAMELY
ROYAL SHIP SEEKS GRADE I GOLD CUP GLORY
NEXT SHARES, WHISPER NOT, SET FOR SHOEMAKER
UNITED ‘LOOKS GOOD’ SAVE FOR SORE THROAT
DIVERSE BALTAS DUO DOING WELL FOR GAMELY
Richard Baltas has two outside chances in Monday’s Grade I Gamely Stakes, one with probable pace factor Going to Vegas and another with likely closer Bodhicitta, each of whom has paid his way for the meet’s fifth-leading trainer with 27 victories.
Going to Vegas is fresh from a front-running victory in the Grade III Santa Ana Stakes at a mile and a quarter on March 27, while Bodhicitta, second at 14-1 in last year’s Gamely, makes her first start since a disappointing eighth in the Grade I Matriarch at Del Mar six months ago, last Nov. 29.
“Both are doing well,” Baltas said of Going to Vegas, a four-year-old daughter of Goldencents, and Bodhicitta, a five-year-old English-bred mare.
“Everything looks good. The race could set up for Bodhicitta. She just needed a rest,” Baltas noted in explaining her lengthy absence.
Going to Vegas has a 4-8-2 record from 18 starts with earnings of $283,751, while Bodhicitta has a 4-4-1 mark from 16 starts, with a bankroll of $266,308.
The Gamely goes as race nine of nine with a first post time of 1 p.m. The field: La Signare, Mike Smith, 6-1; Charmaine’s Mia, Flavien Prat, 8-5; Going to Vegas, Umberto Rispoli, 6-1; Red Lark, Ricardo Gonzalez, 12-1; Keeper Ofthe Stars, Abel Cedillo, 5-2; Maxim Rate, Juan Hernandez, 5-1; and Bodhicitta, Trevor McCarthy, 8-1.
Raymundos Secret was scratched.
ROYAL SHIP DOING ‘GREAT’ FOR GOLD CUP
Royal Ship, a versatile Brazilian-bred son of Midshipman, seeks his second straight graded stakes win in Monday’s Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup for three-year-olds and up at 1 ¼ miles.
He captured the Grade II Californian in a game effort last out on April 17.
“He’s coming into the race great,” said Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. “I hope he runs as good or better (than he did in the Californian) this time.”
The field for the Gold Cup, race eight: Royal Ship, Mike Smith, 5-2; Country Grammer, Flavien Prat, 5-2; Brown Storm, Umberto Rispoli, 20-1; Heywoods Beach, Tyler Baze, 5-1; Rushie, Trevor McCarthy, 5-1; $6,000 supplemental nominee Two Thirty Five, Abel Cedillo, 30-1; and Express Train, Juan Hernandez, 2-1.
BALTAS DUO DOING WELL FOR SHOEMAKER MILE
Next Shares and Whisper Not each seek their first Grade I victory in Monday’s Shoemaker Mile, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race that gives the winner a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar on Nov. 6.
Next Shares was supplemented to the Shoemaker for $6,000, while Whisper Not is coming off a game head victory in the Grade III San Francisco Mile on April 24.
“It’s not the toughest race in the world,” trainer Richard Baltas said. “Whisper Not is doing well and Next Shares is doing really well. He may be getting a little long in the tooth (at age eight) but we’ll see what happens.”
The Shoemaker is race seven of nine. The field: Next Shares, Trevor McCarthy, 12-1; Smooth Like Strait, Umberto Rispoli, 4-5; Crossfirehurricane, Mario Gutierrez, 12-1; Restrainedvengence, Tyler Baze, 8-1; Whisper Not, Geovanni Franco, 5-2; and Say the Word, Flavien Prat, 4-1.
Raymundos Secret was scratched.
UNITED FINE EXCEPT FOR SORE THROAT
United, a disappointing fourth and last beaten almost five lengths as the 3-10 favorite in Saturday’s Grade II Charles Whittingham Stakes, came out of the race well except for “a little bit of a sore throat,” Richard Mandella said Sunday morning.
“That’s all we could really find,” the trainer said. “Other than that, he looks good. The horse was never in the race like he usually is.”
Comments in the Equibase chart noted United “never responded.”
“I’m hoping he’s not getting sick,” Mandella said, “but he looks fine this morning, although he does have some irritation in his throat.”
Mandella was understandably proud of the eight-year-old War Front gelding Bombard winning the Grade III Daytona Stakes Saturday by 1 ¼ lengths as the 7-10 favorite, but had no immediate plans for his next race.
“We’re shopping, trying to figure the next one out,” he said.
FINISH LINES: Idol, who has not raced since winning the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 6, “is doing good and coming back for one more stand,” trainer Richard Baltas reports. “Just mark him down as pointing to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (at Del Mar on Nov. 6) and go from there.” . . . There were 185 recorded workouts Sunday, including a bullet five-furlong breeze of 59.20 by multiple California-bred stakes winner Fashionably Fast for trainer Dean Pederson. It was the fastest of 43 drills at the distance by nearly three seconds as the average time was 1:02.13. There were 38 works on the training track, among them a bullet five-furlong breeze by Gregorian Chant in 1:00.40 for leading trainer Phil D’Amato. A five-year-old English-bred gelding, Gregorian Chant has won three straight turf sprints, including the Grade III San Simeon Stakes on March 13 . . . Today’s sixth race is “bugged,” pun intended, as 10 of the maidens entered will be ridden by five apprentice riders: Can Fly (12-1, Cesar Ortega), Life’s Emotions (6-1, Emily Ellingwood), Indi Galle (30-1, Juan Espinoza), Backtoflash (15-1, Diego Herrera) and Sweet Sonny (9-5, Jessica Pyfer) . . . Deuces are wild for Funkenstein, who tries to break his maiden breaking from the No. two post position for the third straight time in today’s third race, while The Bambino, George Herman Ruth, drew the rail for the third consecutive race in today’s ninth event . . . Irish eyes are smiling: in today’s third race, a mile maiden allowance test on turf for three-year-olds, jockey Trevor McCarthy rides Eagle in the Sky for trainer Michael McCarthy, while trainer Sean McCarthy sends out first-time starter Harbor Sky. The men are not related, as far as we know.