- DERBY FEVER HAS TEMPERATURES RISING
- IT’S MILLER TIME IN SATURDAY’S DAYTONA
- STREAKING MARE IS BACK IN WISHING WELL
TOP SOPHS PREP FOR THREE-YEAR-OLD STAKES
With the Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Oaks six weeks away, it seems apropos for fans and horsemen alike to turn their focus to aspiring three-year-olds.
That said, both Robert B. Lewis Stakes winner Lombo and Santa Ynez winner Midnight Bisou worked at Santa Anita Friday morning with bigger things in mind down the road, such as the aforementioned Santa Anita Derby and the Santa Anita Oaks, both on April 7.
Lombo, 8-1 winner of the Lewis for trainer Mike Pender, worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 under Rafael Bejarano, while Midnight Bisou went seven furlongs in 1:27.80 with Mike Smith in the irons for trainer Bill Spawr.
Midnight Bisou, who broke her maiden winning the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes at seven furlongs by 4 ½ lengths on Jan. 7, is ticketed for the Grade III Santa Ysabel Stakes at a mile and one-sixteenth on March 3.
In other news on the three-year-old front, Southwest Stakes winner My Boy Jack has returned to Santa Anita following Monday’s 4 ½-length triumph at Oaklawn Park under Kent Desormeaux for his brother, trainer Keith Desormeaux
“He’s back here with us, galloped this morning, and we’ve got a lot of things to consider, as far as his next race is concerned: Kentucky Derby points, time in between races, all that stuff,” Keith said Friday morning at Santa Anita.
“We’re just trying to figure out the best direction right now. It’s still early, so we’ll enjoy the win for a few days and figure it out.”
Asked if he was surprised with the wide margin of victory, Desormeaux said, “Yeah. Anytime you beat such a strong field at 10-1, nobody’s that good. At least I’m not that good. I’m surprised the way he won, but he’s been training well, so it’s pretty gratifying.”
Two-time Grade I winner and runner-up in the Eclipse Award voting for outstanding two-year-old male of 2017 Bolt d’Oro will work in company from the gate under Javier Castellano this Monday, Feb. 26, owner/trainer Mick Ruis said.
Paved, the only filly to win the El Camino Real Derby, will return with her own gender in the immediate future. Trainer Michael McCarthy said the daughter of Quality Road would be nominated to the Grade III, $150,000 Providencia Stakes for three-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf and the Grade I, $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks at 1 1/16 miles on dirt, both on April 7.
Also Friday morning at Santa Anita, Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner and Eclipse Award champion in the 2017 male sprint category Roy H worked six furlongs for Peter Miller with regular rider Kent Desormeaux up in 1:01.
Roy H captured the Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes by 3 ½ lengths on Feb. 3 in his six-year-old debut.
FOR PETE’S SAKE, DAYTONA ODDS FAVOR MILLER
With almost 50 percent of the horses entered, Peter Miller would appear to have percentages in his favor when it comes to the outcome of Saturday’s Grade III, $150,000 Daytona Stakes for four-year-olds and up at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
The Winter Meet’s leading trainer through 33 days with 18 wins, one more than Bob Baffert, Miller has Calculator, Stormy Liberal and Conquest Tsunami entered. They happen to be the first three morning line choices on Jon White’s odds.
Calculator, a six-year-old In Summation horse, is unbeaten in three starts on the unique downhill course; Conquest Tsunami has never finished worse than third in three outings over it, also with a win and a second; and Stormy Liberal has won seven times with three seconds in 12 starts over the venue.
A six-year-old Stormy Atlantic gelding, Stormy Liberal won the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint last Nov. 4 under Joel Rosario, in from the East Coast to reunite with the bay Kentucky-bred, who would earn millionaire status even if he finishes third.
First money is worth $90,000, second $30,000 and third $18,000. Stormy Liberal’s earnings stand at $983,570.
The field for the Daytona, race four of 10 with a 12:30 p.m. first post time: Fabozzi, Joe Talamo, 15-1; Tombelaine, Mike Smith, 8-1; What a View, Tyler Baze, 5-1; Conquest Tsunami, Victor Espinoza, 4-1; Calculator, Flavien Prat, 5-2; Perfectly Majestic, Kent Desormeaux, 6-1; and Stormy Liberal, Joel Rosario, 2-1.
STREAKING ALGORHYTHMIC RETURNS IN WISHING WELL
Claimed for 32,000 last March 10, Algorhythmic proceeded to rip off four straight wins over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course at about 6 ½ furlongs before trainer Mike Machowsky opted to give the six-year-old mare a breather after her July 4 victory.
On Saturday, the California-bred daughter of Vronsky makes her stakes debut in the extremely contentious $70,000 Wishing Well for four-year-olds and up over a course on which she has won five times in nine career starts, the aforementioned last four in a row.
“She just seemed to be jammed up everywhere, so we gave her the time she needed,” Machowsky said in explaining the absence. “We turned her out and gave her the summer off.
“She loves the hill and the outside post is good, better than the one, put it that way.”
The Wishing Well, which goes as race 10: Princess Princess, Tyler Conner; Miss Southern Miss, Kent Desormeaux; Cuyathy, Austin Solis; Bendable, Mike Smith; Samba Inc, Flavien Prat; Anita Partner, Tyler Baze; Gliding By, Rafael Bejarano; Malibu Stacy, Corey Nakatani; Barbara Beatrice, Tiago Pereira; Algorhythmic, Joe Talamo; and Mongolian Shopper, Stewart Elliott.
FINISH LINES: Jockey Diego Sanchez is returning to Santa Anita after a lengthy tour in the Midwest including Arlington Park. The jockey is represented by agent Kenny Huth, a former Major League prospect who’s got a keen eye trained on all Cactus League action . . . Racing fans, sign on with the Los Angeles Times Horse Racing Newsletter. Authored by John Cherwa, it offers entries, charts and much, much more at the following link: http://www.latimes.com/newsletters/la-newsletter-racing-signup-page-htmlstory.html.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Monday, Feb. 19)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||101||18||10||8||18%||36%||$1,127,883|
|William E. Morey||25||9||1||7||36%||68%||$379,378|
|J. Keith Desormeaux||31||7||2||5||23%||45%||$249,965|