- BOLT D’ORO IN ‘EASY’ BREEZE FOR SAN FELIPE
- GARCIA SEEKS LEWIS UPSET WITH PEPE TONO
- ROBERT B. LEWIS STAKES TO AIR LIVE ON FS2
- RED HOT MOREY VS. CHAMP IN PALOS VERDES
- DREAM TREE BACK IN SUNDAY’S LAS VIRGENES
- VAN DYKE LEADS JOCKEYS IN CHARITY VICTORY
BOLT D’ORO WORKS TOWARDS THREE-YEAR-OLD DEBUT
Bolt d’Oro continued to prepare for his three-year-old debut after a tardy start on the
Triple Crown trail, working four furlongs at 9:10 a.m. Friday in 48.40, galloping out five furlongs in 1:01, according to Santa Anita clockers.
“I’m super-happy,” owner/trainer Mick Ruis said after the breeze. “He did it easy.”
Ruis had Agapito Delgadillo aboard for the drill. The retired jockey is one of five full-time salaried exercise riders employed by Ruis. Bolt d’Oro is scheduled to make his three-year-old debut in the Grade II, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at a mile and one-sixteenth on March 10.
The $630,000 son of Medaglia d’Oro had been ticketed for the seven furlong San Vicente Stakes on Feb. 10 before a pulled muscle altered those plans.
TRAINER OPTIMISTIC ABOUT PEPE TONO IN LEWIS STAKES
Pepe Tono, who broke his maiden at 11-1 coming off the pace to win a mile race by 1 ½ lengths on Jan. 19, is going for another upset in Saturday’s Grade III, $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes for three-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.
“He’s doing great; he worked super for this race,” said Victor Garcia, who trains the $85,000 son of Bodemeister for his father, “King” Juan Garcia. “It’s not an easy spot, but we expect him to run well.”
The Lewis offers 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner, four to the runner-up, two for third place and one for fourth.
The field for the Lewis, which goes as the fifth race: Ayacara, Kent Desormeaux, 8-1; Pepe Tono, Evin Roman, 6-1; Dark Vader, Stewart Elliott, 10-1; Lombo, Flavien Prat, 5-1; Shivermetimbers, Rafael Bejarano, 7-2; Inscom, Tyler Baze, 6-1; Peace, Mike Smith, 3-1; Regulate, Joe Talamo, 8-1; and Blame the Rider, Mario Gutierrez, 15-1.
LEWIS STAKES TO AIR LIVE ON FS2 TOMORROW
Fox Sports 2 (FS2) will televise live Saturday’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes, one of Santa Anita’s steppingstones on the Triple Crown trail. I’ll Have Another, who would go on to win the Santa Anita Derby, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes en route to an Eclipse Award as champion male three-year-old of 2012, won that year’s Lewis at odds of 43-1.
The Lewis is part of Saturday’s Cross Country Pick Six wager.
Fox Sports, The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and The Stronach Group are partners in Fox Sports Saturday at the Races, a new live racing program sponsored by Claiborne Farm.
Airing on FS2, the telecasts begin tomorrow and continue over six Saturdays in February and March, culminating with a 3 ½-hour show March 31 headlined by the Grade I Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.
Other key Triple Crown prep races to air will include the Grade II Fountain of Youth, the Grade III Gotham, the Grade II San Felipe at Santa Anita March 10 and the Grade III Withers.
Tomorrow’s telecast will also include a replay of the Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes.
MOREY HOPES HE FITS THE BILL FOR PALOS VERDES
When a trainer is winning at a 60 percent clip, his horses are worth a second look, even if they are running against a champion.
Such is the scenario Saturday, when Bill Morey (nine wins from 15 starts through 21 days of the Winter Meet) sends out Red Lightning against 2017 male sprint champion Roy H and three others in the Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes for four-year-olds and up at six furlongs.
“We were pointing for an allowance race that didn’t fill, so we’re taking a chance in the big one,” Morey explained. “We have a lot of respect for Roy H. He’s a champion sprinter, but in a five-horse field, we’ll roll the dice.”
The Palos Verdes, race three of nine: Roy H, Kent Desormeaux, 3-5; Bobby Abu Dhabi, Victor Espinoza, 6-1; Americanize, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; Mongolian Saturday, Flavien Prat, 8-1; and Red Lightning, Tyler Conner, 8-1.
DREAM TREE ‘DOING WELL’ FOR SUNDAY’S LAS VIRGENES
Undefeated Dream Tree makes her first start in two months Sunday in the Grade II, $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes for three-year-old fillies at one mile.
The $750,000 daughter of Uncle Mo captured the Grade I Starlet at Los Alamitos last Dec. 9 after winning her first two races by a nose, all under Drayden Van Dyke, who is back aboard Sunday.
“She got a little sick after her last race,” said Bob Baffert, who trains the bay filly for Phoenix Thoroughbred III, “but she’s doing well now.”
The Las Virgenes, race four of nine: Thirteen Squared, Tyler Baze, 5-2; She’s No Drama, Kyle Frey, 8-1; Dream Tree, Drayden Van Dyke, 3-5; Exuberance, Corey Nakatani, 15-1; Steph Being Steph, Stewart Elliott, 4-1; and Holy Diver, Cesar Franco, 50-1.
FINISH LINES: A reminder, $2 Win-Place-Show PARLAY Wagering is now offered on each race . . . Led by Drayden Van Dyke‘s 22 points, Santa Anita’s Jockeys defeated Holy Angels Middle School, 39-28, in last night’s 51st annual charity basketball game which was well-attended at La Salle High School in Pasadena. Kent Desormeaux had five points and Corey Nakatani four for the jockeys. Proceeds will benefit Holy Angels Athletics and the Bill Hartack Charitable Foundation, which contributes to Thoroughbred racing industry charities and presents the winning rider of each year’s Kentucky Derby with the Hartack Memorial Award . . . Fans can enjoy live racing at Santa Anita before Sunday’s Big Game. First post time is 11 a.m., allowing patrons after the races to park in front of a plethora of TVs at Sirona’s Sports Bar, which will offer free general admission and drink specials all day. Admission gates open at 9 a.m. . . . Congrats to Tyler Conner on two longshot wins Thursday, aboard Spokane Eagle ($15.80) for Neil Drysdale in the first race and Allaboutaction ($60.40) for Jerry Hollendorfer in the fifth, triggering a Pick Six carryover into Friday of $63,573. “It’s a slow grind, but we’re moving forward,” said Conner’s agent, Jim Pegram. “Riding for two Hall of Fame trainers helps.” Added Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward: “Conner is a good rider and tries hard.” . . . Also deserving of kudos is seven-pound apprentice Franklin Ceballos who won the eighth race on Proudly Elegant by nearly three lengths for Vladimir Cerin at a $49.80 payoff. “Very happy; it’s the best,” the 18-year-old native of Venezuela said Friday morning at Clockers’ Corner, with his agent, Saul Marquez, in close attendance. “This was his first win in the United States,” Marquez said. “He’s won 24 races and been riding in the U.S. for 10 months, at Gulfstream, Laurel, Delaware and Penn National.” With his next victory, Ceballos will lose two pounds from his weight allowance and ride with a five-pound ‘bug’ . . . Skye Diamonds worked six furlongs on the training track Friday in 1:14 flat for Bill Spawr, who has the bargain claim ticketed for the Grade III Las Flores Stakes on Feb. 18 . . . Brice Blanc has been suspended three days (Feb. 8, 9 and 10) for causing interference aboard Fibonacci in Sunday’s ninth race . . . Condolences to family and friends of Santa Anita security guard Steven Flowers who passed away recently. Funeral services will be Wednesday, Feb. 7, 11 a.m., at Live Oak Memorial Park, 200 East Duarte, in Monrovia . . . Tom Quigley‘s guest handicapper Saturday will be commercial actor Steve Brady, 11:20 a.m. in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Santa Anita goes cosmopolitan: in today’s eighth race, six of the 10 fillies and mares were bred at points all over the globe: Wonderful Lie (California), Joyable (Illinois), Utana (West Virginia), Miss Boom Boom (Kentucky), Peach Cove (New Zealand) and Little Bit Lovely (Florida).
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Thursday, Feb. 1)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||71||12||6||6||17%||34%||$745,813|
|William E. Morey||15||9||0||2||60%||73%||$314,623|