STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 2019

  • SADLER HOPING FOR BETTER LUCK SATURDAY
  • CLOCKER FAVORS GIFT BOX AND GAME WINNER
  • SLEWGOODTOBETRUE EYES UPSET IN THE OAKS
  • STEADY MS BAD BEHAVIOR TRIES VASILIKA AGAIN
  • O’NEILL HAS 2 SQUARE EDDIES IN EVENING JEWEL
  • LISTING LEANS TOWARDS DIRT IN THE ECHO EDDIE
  • FRENCH CONNECTION WITH SMITH PAYS OFF WELL
  • RAINBOW 6 JACKPOT POOL COULD TOP $3 MILLION

GIFT BOX, NOLO CONTESTO CARRY SADLER HOPES

John Sadler, still smarting from the worst “bad beat” of his exemplary career

when Ohio nailed Catapult by the narrowest of noses in last Saturday’s Frank E. Kilroe Mile, is focusing now on tomorrow’s Santa Anita Handicap and the Santa Anita Derby.

He has second choice Gift Box and outsider Campaign going in the Big ‘Cap and

Nolo Contesto in the Santa Anita Derby.

“Even though we’ve had disruptions in his training schedule, Gift Box is more than

ready to go,” said Sadler, who won his first Big ‘Cap last year with Accelerate. “We also have Campaign, who I think is going to love the distance (a mile and a quarter), so we’re excited about that.

“Nolo Contesto was second to Roadster (by 2 ½ lengths in an overnight race at one mile on March 1) and I thought he was uncomfortable with his trip. He was stuck down on the inside, so hopefully things will be more favorable this time.”

The Santa Anita Derby, race eight: Roadster, Mike Smith, 5-2; More Ice, Geovanni Franco, 30-1; Nolo Contesto, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Synthesis, Rafael Bejarano, 30-1; Instagrand, Flavien Prat; and Game Winner, Joel Rosario, 4-5.

The Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Casino goes as  race 10: McKinzie, Mike Smith, 4-5; Mongolian Groom, Geovanni Franco, 30-1; Prime Attraction, Kent Desormeaux, 5-1; Gift Box, Joel Rosario, 6-5; Prince of Arabia, Joe Talamo, 30-1;and Campaign, Rafael Bejarano, 15-1.

Fans will be treated to a stakes bonanza Saturday, with seven added money events worth $2,750,000, topped by the $1 million Santa Anita Derby and the $600,000 Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Casino.

In addition to the 1 ¼-mile Big ‘Cap and the 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby, Santa

Anita will showcase the Grade I, $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks for fillies at 1 1/16 miles; the $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes for three-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs; the $200,000 Evening Jewel Stakes for three-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs; the Grade II, $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile on turf; and the Grade III, $150,000 Providencia Stakes for three-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on the grass.

First post time for racing’s biggest day to date this year is 12 noon.

CLOCKER LIKES GIFT BOX AND GAME WINNER

Respected private clocker and bloodstock agent Gary Young fancies 6-5 Gift Box over 4-5 morning line choice McKinzie in tomorrow’s Santa Anita Handicap, citing the distance of a mile and a quarter as reason for the edge.

In the Santa Anita Derby, however, Young is sticking with favored Game Winner.

“I’m always looking to beat the favorite, but I think in Game Winner and Gift Box you have really solid choices,” Young said. “Both have trained well. Obviously, Gift Box has had more works for his race than Game Winner, who ran more recently.”

Young expressed distance reservations about McKinzie. “He’s a nice horse but I don’t know if he’s a mile and a quarter horse,” Young said, “and I feel very confident Gift Box is. On ability, they might be about even, but at the distance, I give a slight nod to Gift Box.”

EURTON SEEKS UPSET OF BELLAFINA IN SANTA ANITA OAKS

After two stylish wins at Santa Anita,Slewgoodtobetrue disappointed in the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks on March 23.

The trouble line reads, “2-wide turns, faded,” but Peter Eurton says there’s more to the story, which is why the daughter of Jimmy Creed will take on 2-5 morning line favorite Bellafina in tomorrow’s Santa Anita Oaks.

“She wasn’t wide,” the trainer said. “She broke well, was sitting right off the speed, and as soon as he (jockey Florent Geroux) turned her head loose, she started a bit of bobbing, like she wasn’t getting a hold of the sandy race track.

“That’s the only excuse we would find. We couldn’t find anything wrong with her at all. She scoped clean and physically she’s been training well, so we thought we’d give it a shot. We just hope she gets to run her race. She always seemed to like this race track.”

The Santa Anita Oaks, which goes as race three: Flor de La Mar, Joel Rosario, 5-1; $8,000 supplemental nominee Chasing Yesterday, Mike Smith, 3-1; Stirred, Drayden Van Dyke, 15-1; Slewgoodtobetrue, Geovanni Franco, 12-1; and Bellafina, Flavien Prat, 2-5.

BALTAS HOPES THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM AGAINST VASILIKA

It’s been close but no cigar for Ms Bad Behavior against monster mare Vasilika, finishing second and third, respectively, in the Grade III Megahertz Stakes and the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes.

Trainer Richard Baltas hopes the third time’s the charm when he sends out Ms Bad Behavior against 3-5 morning line favorite Vasilika in Saturday’s Grade II Royal Heroine Stakes for older fillies and mares at a mile on grass.

“It’s hard to say if we can beat her, but that’s what we’re hoping for,” Baltas said. Vasilika has won nine of 10 races with one second over Santa Anita’s turf course.

“We’re trying,” Baltas continued. “Our filly is doing well and Mike (Smith) got to know her a little bit (in her last two races).

“You never know.”

Ms Bad Behavior, an Ontario-bred daughter of Blame, has a 3-7-3 record from 15 starts with earnings of $320,480.

The field: Vasilika, Flavien Prat, 3-5; Ms Bad Behavior, Mike Smith, 4-1; Meal Ticket, Drayden Van Dyke, 8-1; Cordiality, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Raven’s Lady, Kent Desormeaux, 7-2; Space Talk, Rafael Bejarano, 15-1; and Smoovie, Martin Garcia, 30-1.

O’NEILL SQUARE EDDIES DOING WELL FOR EVENING JEWEL

Leading trainer Doug O’Neill has eight horses entered in five races Saturday, including

Lippy and Settle It in the $200,000 Evening Jewel Stakes for California-bred or sired three-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs on the main track.

Lippy was second last out in the California Cup Oaks at a mile on grass, while Settle It broke her maiden going 6 ½ furlongs on the downhill turf course.

“They’re both daughters of Square Eddie and both coming off good efforts,” O’Neill said. “They’re training well and it’s a pretty wide open race, really.”

O’Neill also has Bizwhacks in the Grade I Ashland and Parsimony in the Grade II Blue Grass Saturday at Keeneland. Mario Gutierrez rides both horses for owner J. Paul Reddam.

The Evening Jewel: Settle It, Martin Garcia, 12-1; Silk From Heaven, Eswan Flores, 8-1; Violette Szabo, Geovanni Franco, 20-1; Naughty Tiger, Ruben Fuentes, 6-1; Lippy, Rafael Bejarano, 7-2; Sneaking Out, Drayden Van Dyke, 8-5; Ruby Bradley, Aaron Gryder, 20-1; Time for Kisses, Joe Talamo, 12-1; and Dr Wyson, Flavien Prat, 4-1.

LISTING RETURNS TO DIRT IN ECHO EDDIE

Ben Cecil is hoping for another winning performance from Listing despite moving the son of Square Eddie from turf to dirt in tomorrow’s $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes for three-year-olds bred or sired in California at 6 ½ furlongs on the main track.

The bay colt won the California Cup Turf Sprint at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf Jan. 26.

“He handled the dirt at Del Mar,” Cecil said, referring to a debut victory in the restricted I’m Smokin for state-breds last Aug. 18. “Then I ran him back east (in the Grade I Champagne at Belmont Oct. 6) and he ripped his quarter open.

“He was a bit flat when I ran him here in the Golden State Juvenile last Nov. 3, so I gave him a break and he’s come back and run well twice. Going back on dirt shouldn’t be a problem.”

The Echo Eddie, race six: Prodigal Son, Rafael Bejarano, 20-1; Daddy Jones, Ruben Fuentes, 20-1; Moon House, Evin Roman, 20-1; Midnight Special, Kent Desormeaux, 6-1; Listing, Joel Rosario, 4-1; Foster Boi, Flavien Prat, 3-1; Lieutenant Dan, Geovanni Franco, Tap the Wire, Drayden Van Dyke, 5-2; Principe Carlo, Tiago Pereira, 10-1; and Oliver, Martin Garcia, 15-1.

FRENCH, SMITH POST $36.40 UPSET IN THURSDAY FINALE

Neil French teamed with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith in Thursday’s eighth race to post a $36.40 upset with Charmingslew in the one mile turf allowance test for California-bred fillies and mares.

It was a circuitous route for the 66-year-old French, down to four horses but still one of the state’s most respected horsemen.

Owned by her breeder Bob Frear, Charmingslew took the lead at the start, relinquished it briefly at the head of the stretch, but fought back gamely to win by a neck, earning $34,200.

“Gary Stevens has always been my go-to guy, but since he’s retired, he suggested Mike Smith,” said French. “I’d been trying for maybe three months to get a mile turf race for her, but it never filled.

“I was desperate to run her, so I entered yesterday’s race which was originally scheduled down the hill (at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf). By a stroke of luck, it was taken off the hill and run at a mile on the grass, so it all worked out.”

It was the second win from 11 starts for the bay filly by Roi Charmant out of the Afleet Alex dam Afleet Slew. She broke her maiden on the lead going a mile on turf at Del Mar last Aug. 9. It was no surprise to French that she won in similar fashion yesterday.

“She gets courageous on the lead,” he said.

SATURDAY’S TOTAL RAINBOW SIX JACKPOT POOL COULD EXCEED $3 MILLION

With anticipation building for a potential $3 million mandatory payout pool on Saturday, Santa Anita’s popular 20 cent Single Ticket Pick Six Jackpot went unsolved again on Thursday, resulting in a Jackpot carryover into Friday of $779,629.

With a healthy $150,125 in “new” money wagered Thursday, the total Rainbow Six Jackpot reached $895,383, fueling a payout of $3,912.10 to 21 consolation tickets with six winners each.

Approximate post time for race three, the beginning of the Rainbow Six, is 2:04 p.m. PT.

HENRIQUEZ CHOICE IN SANTA ANITA DERBY DAY 5K RUN

Like the compact yet seasoned field for the Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita’s two-legged runners entered in the Employee Division will know how to navigate the 3.1 mile road course.

Of the 15 employees entered, only two are new to the event–Albert Razo from the Plant Department and Joe Tootell, a Vet Tech who works on the backside.

Everyone else can do this race in their sleep, which is not encouraged if they want to collect medals in this competitive division.

Among women, last year’s champion of both genders, Millie Ball, is not running this year, opening up the field considerably. But two of the perennial “Big Three” are entered– Christine Beer of the Receiving Barn and Mary Forney of the TOC (the other third, Sandy Hoar of Hospitality, is no doubt getting into work early for a big afternoon at the racetrack)–and they have placed in the top three in prior years.

Among men, I like last year’s champ, Rene Henriquez, who ran a respectable 23:35, to repeat. Lead pony rider Jesus Camacho is back to run this year. I know he has been training like Game Winner, so he will give Rene a run, if he gets an equally good jump from the gate. Noe Meza (third last year) and Alec Jimenez (fourth last year) from the Corp Yard will be looking to pick up the pieces.

Champions no matter where they finish are Lucinda Mandella and Natalie Rietkirk who represent CARMA, which does fantastic work with our retired equine athletes. The top three in each division receive medals.

You guys rock!!– Pete Siberell.

The odds:

Women’s Division

Christine Beer                                              Receiving Barn                              8-5

Jo Tootell                                                       Racing/Vet Tech                                      2-1

Mary Forney                                                  TOC                                              3-1

Voni Walker                                                   Parking                                                        5-1

Lucinda Mandella                                       CARMA                                         7-1

Natalie Rietkirk                                            CARMA                                         7-1

Wendy Thatcher                                         Hospitality                                                 10-1

Terri Hanks                                                     Accounting                                                20-1

Men’s Division

Rene Henriquez                                          Starting Gate                                 4-5

Jesus Camacho                                           Racing                                           3-2

Noe Meza                                                        Corp Yard                                       4-1

Alec Jimenez                                                 Corp Yard                                       5-1

Albert Razo                                                     Plant                                               8-1

Billy Malone                                                   Hospitality                                      10-1

Rey Solis                                                         Accounting                                     20-1      

BALDWIN AVE. CLOSED FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY 5K RUN & WALK

Fans and horsemen are advised that Baldwin Ave. will be closed to vehicular traffic between the 210 Freeway and Huntington Drive from 7:45 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning in order to accommodate foot traffic related to Santa Anita’s annual Derby Day 5k Run and Walk.

Accordingly, Santa Anita’s Gate 8, which adjoins the Westfield Shopping Mall on Baldwin Ave., and Gate 7, at the track’s northwest perimeter, will also be closed to vehicles during the same time frame.

Those wishing to visit Clockers’ Corner on Derby Day morning will be able to enter the track at Santa Anita’s northeastern perimeter, via Gate 5, or on the track’s southern perimeter, via Gate 3 at Holly Ave. Gates 3 and 5 will be open for easy access to Clockers’ Corner beginning at 5 a.m. and will remain open throughout the day. Santa Anita’s main track will be closed for training at 7:30 a.m.

Gate 3 is located at the intersection of Holly Ave. and Huntington Drive, while Gate 5 is situated at the confluence of Colorado Place and Huntington Drive.

LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:

Improbable works 6 furlongs (Baffert)

Ameerah B (Outside) and  Koritsi work 5 furlongs (Sadler)

Rickey B (Outside) and  Stone Hands work 5 furlongs (Sadler)

Mantaray Island (Outside) and   Don’t Sell works 5 furlongs (O’Neill)

Stronach 5 All-Star Ticket for April 5th, 2019

Jerry Hollendorfer discusses  Vasilika in the Royal Heroine and  Instagrand in the Santa Anita Derby tomorrow.

Phil D’Amato talks about Foster Boi in the Echo Eddie Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

Bob Baffert Talks  Roadster Ahead of His Next Start in the Santa Anita Derby.

Santa Anita Derby Memories:  Laffit Pincay Jr. talks about the 1973 Santa Anita Derby
.
McKinzie works  6 furlongs prep for Santa Anita Handicap. (Baffert) 4-01-19

Dream Tree works 5 furlongs. (Baffert) 4-01-19

FINISH LINESImprobable, second by a neck in the first division of the Rebel March 16, worked six furlongs Friday morning in a bullet 1:14 under Joe Talamo for Bob Baffert, who will send the son of City Zip back to Oaklawn Park April 13 for the Arkansas Derby. Improbable worked in company with Hot Sean who was clocked in 1:16.60. “Very nice,” Baffert said of the drill. “I’m happy.” . . . Scoot Coles, 2019 National Handicapping Championship king, and Trey Stiles, 17-time NHC qualifier, will be Tom Quigley‘s guests in the XBTV studios, 10:50 a.m. Saturday and 11:50 a.m. Sunday, respectively.

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS

(Current Through Thursday, April 4)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Joel Rosario

210

52

37

34

25%

59%

$2,612,707

Flavien Prat

180

47

36

26

26%

61%

$2,807,469

Rafael Bejarano

156

25

28

30

16%

53%

$1,415,153

Geovanni Franco

202

25

26

33

12%

42%

$1,480,912

Tiago Pereira

167

25

19

20

15%

38%

$1,023,484

Mike Smith

71

24

12

11

34%

66%

$1,425,038

Heriberto Figueroa

179

23

18

28

13%

39%

$886,499

Drayden Van Dyke

150

22

22

20

15%

43%

$1,482,864

Tyler Baze

195

21

34

25

11%

41%

$1,531,897

Joseph Talamo

127

14

23

16

11%

42%

$987,070

Assael Espinoza

129

14

14

15

11%

33%

$536,398

Ruben Fuentes

95

12

13

17

13%

44%

$631,062

Edwin Maldonado

75

12

9

4

16%

33%

$352,858

Kent Desormeaux

103

11

12

16

11%

38%

$900,813

Aaron Gryder

66

11

9

5

17%

38%

$340,333

Mario Gutierrez

106

10

20

14

9%

42%

$746,928

Agapito Delgadillo

61

9

7

7

15%

38%

$267,372

Trainer

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Doug O’Neill

174

29

28

29

17%

49%

$1,512,256

Richard Baltas

119

22

21

23

18%

55%

$1,531,201

John Sadler

82

22

19

10

27%

62%

$1,365,986

Peter Miller

109

21

17

13

19%

47%

$1,143,281

Philip D’Amato

105

15

17

11

14%

41%

$961,985

Jerry Hollendorfer

98

15

15

17

15%

48%

$1,198,193

Mark Glatt

76

14

13

9

18%

47%

$668,400

Bob Baffert

70

14

12

11

20%

53%

$1,291,730

William E. Morey

56

10

13

10

18%

59%

$482,030

J. Keith Desormeaux

57

10

8

8

18%

46%

$507,820

Jeff Mullins

49

9

9

8

18%

53%

$611,418

Peter Eurton

48

9

9

6

19%

50%

$419,429

Steve Knapp

55

9

4

9

16%

40%

$223,827

Richard E. Mandella

42

9

4

2

21%

36%

$320,053

Simon Callaghan

31

9

3

5

29%

55%

$493,848

Vladimir Cerin

57

8

7

11

14%

46%

$328,459