• YAKTEEN MULLS NEXT MOVE FOR TAIBA, MESSIER
• D’AMATO AIMS FOR A SANTA BARBARA SURPRISE
• BELHOLDER THE NEWEST HALL OF FAME MEMBER
• ECLIPSE CHAMPION CE CE BREEZES A HALF MILE
• MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY OFFERS GREAT RACING & MORE
YAKTEEN REGROUPING AFTER DERBY DEFEATS
Taiba and Messier are back home at Santa Anita preparing to fight another day after absorbing one of the greatest upsets in the 148-year history of the Kentucky Derby last Saturday, inflicted by 80-1 shot Rich Strike.
Taiba, sent off at 5.80 to one in the field of 20, finished 12th, beaten nearly 18 lengths, while 7-1 shot Messier was 15th, beaten just over 19 lengths.
“They both made it back to Santa Anita in good shape,” said Tim Yakteen, trainer of the two colts that finished one-two in the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby on April 9.
“We’ll regroup for their next starts. We’ll figure it out over the next couple of weeks and come up with a game plan.
“I was happy my family was able to enjoy it, although we wish we would have run better, but it is what it is. We have two really nice horses and look forward to their next starts.”
While there is no known analyst who gave Rich Strike a pre-race mention, in hindsight, Yakteen pointed out a “horse for course” theory that was overlooked on the son of Keen Ice.
“Horses that show a fondness for Churchill Downs have a tendency to repeat that in big races,” Yakteen observed. “Rich Strike had won a race at Churchill by 18 lengths (actually 17 ¼).
“I know it was a maiden 30 ($30,000 on Sept. 17, 2021), but you can go back and look at other examples. One of the greatest was when Blame beat Zenyatta (in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic).” In his 13-race career, four of Blame’s five races at Churchill resulted in victories, with one third.
“He was a horse that loved Churchill,” Yakteen said.
Ditto for Rich Strike.
CONFIDENCE HIGH FOR CARPE VINUM ON SATURDAY
Carpe Vinum seeks her first added money win in Saturday’s Grade III Santa Barbara Stakes for fillies and mares three and up at a mile and a half on turf.
Even though she’s a slight outsider in the compact field of six (she has never been favored in 14 career starts), Phil D’Amato feels the five-year-old mare has much in her favor.
“She should like the distance and her last race was a good confidence booster for her,” said D’Amato, who’s opinion deserves merit, since he is pulling away as Santa Anita’s leading trainer with 40 victories, seven more than runner-up Doug O’Neill.
“I think two (races) back when she ran against those horses (favorites Queen Goddess and Neige Blanche) she was just too far out of it and that wasn’t her style,” D’Amato said.
“I think she’ll be in a nice, stalking position this time. She probably should have won her last race, but she got beat a nose (in a one-mile overnight race April 17) and galloped out really well, so hopefully a mile and a half will be perfect for her.”
Freely translated from Latin, Carpe Vinum means “seize the wine,” an appropriate celebratory display should she win.
This is the 72nd edition of the Santa Barbara, the fifth of nine races with a 1 p.m. first post time: Queen Goddess, Victor Espinoza, 6-5; New Heat, Tyler Baze, 12-1; Queen Ofthe Temple, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1; Neige Blanche, Juan Hernandez, 9-5; Cover Version, Ramon Vazquez, 20-1; and Carpe Vinum, Abel Cedillo, 7-2.
BEHOLDER IN HALL OF FAME AT FIRST ASKING
Congratulations to the connections of Beholder on the four-time Eclipse Award winner being elected to the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility, to the surprise of absolutely no one.
The daughter of Henny Hughes trained by Richard Mandella for B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm won Eclipse Awards in 2012 (champion two-year-old filly), 2013 (champion three-year-old filly) and 2015 and 2016 (champion older dirt female) and is one of only two horses (Goldikova is the other) with three Breeders’ Cup victories.
Winner of 18 of 26 races with six seconds and earnings of $6,156,600, Beholder called Santa Anita home for much of her career and has the Grade I Beholder Mile named in her honor.
Beholder along with other members of the class of 2022 will be enshrined Aug. 5 at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. at 7:30 a.m. Pacific Time.
The ceremony will be broadcast live on the Museum website (www.racingmuseum.org). The event is open to the public and free to attend.
Mandella presently is in New York to saddle 2-1 morning line favorite Set Sail in Saturday’s Grade III Peter Pan Stakes, a one-turn mile and one eighth event at Belmont Park that drew a field of eight. Joel Rosario rides the son of Malibu Moon who broke his maiden by more than seven lengths at Santa Anita on March 27.
The Peter Pan is a prep for the Belmont Stakes on June 11.
ALL SIGHTS SET ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, MAY 28, 29 & 30
With a total of 11 stakes scheduled over a three-day period, all sights are set on Memorial Day Weekend at Santa Anita May 28, 29 & 30.
Five California-bred stakes will be run on May 28, the $150,000 Melair, the $150,000 Snow Chief, the $100,000 Thor’s Echo, the $100,000 Crystal Water and the $100,000 Fran’s Valentine.
On Sunday, May 29, top sprinters will go seven panels in the Grade II, $200,000 Triple Bend Stakes, 3-year-old fillies will go a mile and one eighth on turf in the Grade III, $100,000 Honeymoon Stakes and older horses will go about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course in the Grade III, $100,000 Daytona Stakes.
Three Grade I stakes will be run on Memorial Day, May 30, the $400,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at a mile and one quarter, the $500,000 Shoemaker Mile (turf) and the $400,000 Gamely Stakes for fillies and mares at a mile and one eighth on grass.
In addition to world class racing over the three-day holiday, Santa Anita’s Infield Carnival will return with a Ferris Wheel and a number of other rides, a super slide, fun house and much more.
Fans are encouraged to make dining and seating reservations as well as to save big on unlimited ride Carnival wristbands, by visiting santaanita.com/events.
FINISH LINES: There were 79 recorded workouts at Santa Anita Friday, including a four-furlong move by Eclipse Award champion female sprinter Ce Ce in 49.20 for Michael McCarthy, who is contemplating her next start. Owned and bred by Bo Hirsch, Ce Ce was third last out to 2021 female dirt champion Letruska in the Grade I Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park on April 23 . . . Juan Hernandez has tied departed Flavien Prat for Santa Anita’s riding lead with 72 victories, although Prat has ridden in far fewer races, 245 to Juan’s 329, thus giving the Frenchman a higher win percentage at 29 to 22 . . . Horse player and owner Mark Stanton is host Tom Quigley’s guest today, while Daily Racing Form West Coast correspondent Steve Andersen will do honors Saturday, each day at 11:50 a.m. from the XBTV Studios.
LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:
Preview of Race 6, May 13, 2022
Preview of Race 7, May 13, 2022
Preview of Race 5, The Santa Barbara Stakes
Ce Ce (M. McCarthy) 5-13-22
Lane Way (Mandella) 5-12-22
Tizzy Twister (Knapp) 5-12-22
Cathkin Peak (D’Amato) 5-12-22
Current Mood (Drysdale) 5-12-22
Eight Rings (McCarthy) 5-12-22
Brickyard Ride (Lewis) 5-12-22