STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – FRIDAY, JANUARY 4, 2019

  • KEITH DESORMEAUX SAYS NO PLACE LIKE SANTA ANITA
  • U.S. DEBUT FOR IRISH JOCKEY IN GRADE II SAN GABRIEL
  • SINGLE TICKET PICK SIX JACKPOT CARRYOVER $396,369
  • POPULAR STRONACH FIVE WAGER AGAIN OFFERED TODAY
  • 1,000 CHARGERS BLANKETS FOR BACKSTRETCH WORKERS

GIANT KILLER DESORMEAUX SEEKS SHAM UPSET

John Keith Desormeaux, a David among trainers, will attempt to slay a Goliath Saturday when he sends out longshots Sueno and Easy Shot to face favored Coliseum and others in the Grade III Sham Stakes at one mile.The $100,000 in purse money offered is a relative afterthought. Horsemen on the Triple Crown trail recognize the Sham as the West Coast’s first major steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby on May 4, offering 10 qualifying points for the Run for the Roses to the winner.

Sueno broke his maiden in an $80,000 claiming race at Del Mar before winning a restricted stakes at Golden Gate Fields on Dec. 1, while Easy Shot is coming off an $80,000 maiden claiming win at Del Mar Nov. 30, not exactly victories that would seem to pose serious threats to Bob Baffert trainee Coliseum, a 6 ¾-length debut winner and Jon White’s even-money morning line choice.

But that didn’t dissuade Desormeaux, whose signature upsets in the past include those of Texas Red, 13-1 winner of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita in 2014; Exaggerator, winner of the Grade II Saratoga Special and the Delta Jackpot as a two-year-old in 2015 and the Santa Anita Derby, Preakness and Haskell at three in 2016; and I’ve Struck a Nerve, stunning winner of the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes in 2013 at odds of 135-1.

“I don’t know if Exaggerator and Texas Red were up against the likes of Coliseum when they won,” Desormeaux said, “but he only has one start, so maybe we can do some damage. My two horses are doing great.

“Sueno has come around like a real class horse should. He’s been developing and seems to accept the extra work we’ve put on him in order to participate in races like the Sham, so it’s just a matter of if he’s fast enough, and there’s only one way to find out.

“We’re kind of taking a shot with Easy Shot, pun intended. Calumet (Farm, owner of the son of Trappe Shot) loves to compete at the highest levels (Calumet led all North American breeders in starts last year with more than 1,600, earning over $8.2 million).

“Mr. (Brad) Kelley (who now leases fabled Calumet Farm from an investment group) does not need to be the favorite in every race he runs. He knows the only way to accumulate Derby points is to run for them. He loves to take a shot and we’ll do that with Easy Shot.

“I know we’re seemingly up against it, but this is the time of the year to swing for the fences. Mr. Kelley is all in, and it’s an absolute honor for me to be able to work for such a storied operation. I know he hasn’t owned it since its inception, but he sure is carrying on the tradition with valor.”

Established in 1924, Calumet dominated racing starting in 1939 under trainer Ben A. Jones and his son, Jimmy, highlighted by two Triple Crown winners, Whirlaway in 1941 and Citation in 1948. Its famed devil’s red and blue silks were worn by icons such as Eddie Arcaro, but now sport Kelley’s black and gold as the devil’s red and blue were sold to a Brazilian investment group.

“I’m very excited to be on the team,” Desormeaux added, “and if running a longshot is what Mr. Kelley wants, this is what he’s going to get.”

Meanwhile, the 52-year-old older brother of Hall of Fame jockey and three-time Kentucky  Derby winner Kent is delighted to be at Santa Anita, where he has 30 head on track.

“I had a good opening week so we’re very optimistic,” Keith said. “I have some developing young horses, and there’s no better place to prepare them. That’s why I’m here. I’m excited about all the upcoming Derby prep races for three-year-olds.

“That’s my bread and butter. That’s what I’m here for, to develop horses with Triple Crown potential, and there’s no better place to do it than Southern California, so I’m very appreciative of having that opportunity.”

The recent record confirms Desormeaux’s enthusiasm. In the past seven years, from 2012 through 2018, five of the Kentucky Derby winners were based in Southern California, four of them at Santa Anita: Justify (2018), Nyquist (2016), American Pharoah (2015) and I’ll Have Another (2012). California Chrome (2014) was headquartered at Los Alamitos.

As to younger brother Kent turning 49 on Feb. 27 and needing just six wins to reach career victory 6,000 in North America, Keith was fraternally proud and will give Kent a leg up on Sueno in the Sham.

“I hope I’m the one lucky enough to put him on number 6,000,” he said. “Some might shrug off statistics as just a name, just a number, but I know he appreciates competing in Southern California, too, and although he must be aware that at 49, a jockey’s career is in the homestretch, he’s still amazingly healthy and strong.

“I don’t know how he does it, but I’m confident he’ll be happy to reach that plateau, and beyond.”

Brotherly love, to be sure.

The field for the Sham, race nine of 10 with a 12 noon first post time: Sueno, Kent Desormeaux, 20-1; Gray Magician, Flavien Prat, 4-1; Savagery, Joel Rosario, 10-1; Easy Shot, Rafael Bejarano, 30-1; Coliseum, Joe Talamo, 1-1; Gunmetal Gray, Mike Smith, 5-2; and Much Better, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1.

IRISHMAN FOLEY MAKES U.S. DEBUT SATURDAY

Shane Foley makes his United States debut Saturday aboard Platinum Warrior in the Grade II San Gabriel Stakes for four-year-olds and up scheduled for 1 1/8 miles on turf.The 30-year-old Irishman rides the Irish-bred colt for John Sadler, who trains the gray for owner Yuesheng Zhang.

“I know the horse quite well,” Foley said. “I rode him several times at home and also in the Irish Derby in Dubai, so I’m looking forward to riding him at Santa Anita. I ride all of Mr. Zhang’s horses in Ireland and I’ve won on Platinum Warrior, so we decided to try here.

“Santa Anita is a beautiful track, my first time here, although I have seen it on the telly.”

The field for the San Gabriel, race seven: Liam the Charmer, Kent Desormeaux, 4-1; Platinum Warrior, Shane Foley, 15-1; Cleopatra’s Strike, Flavien Prat, 8-1; Oscar Dominguez, Rafael Bejarano, 20-1; Chicago Style, Drayden Van Dyke, 3-1; Flamboyant, Brice Blanc, 5-1; Next Shares, Joel Rosario, 7-2; Big Score, Mike Smith, 6-1; Big Bend, Joe Talamo, 12-1; and $4,000supplemental nominee Arms Runner, Martin Pedroza, 30-1.

SINGLE TICKET PICK SIX JACKPOT CARRYOVER OF $396,369 TODAY

Live racing resumes today at Santa Anita and fans will be greeted with a 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six Single Ticket Jackpot carryover of $396,369.With a healthy $320,286 in “new” money combined with a carryover from Monday of $323,044, Tuesday’s total Rainbow Six Jackpot pool was $643,330, which accounted for seven winning tickets, each worth $24,441 as Santa Anita’s 20 cent minimum wager continues to gain steam through six racing days.
Friday’s fourth race, leg one in the Rainbow Six, has an approximate post time of 2 p.m.

FOUR BETTORS CASH $29,000 EACH IN LAST FRIDAY’S STRONACH 5

Four bettors had all five winners in last Friday’s Stronach 5, resulting in a payout for each of $29,068.30.The Stronach 5, which included races from Gulfstream Park, Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita Park, included a $51.20 winner at Gulfstream, a $16.60 winner at Golden Gate and a $10.60 winner in the last leg from Santa Anita Park.

There was a $132,149 bet into the national Pick 5 with an industry-low 12-percent takeout.

Last Friday’s Stronach 5 Sequence

  • Leg One – Gulfstream Park 10th Race – Blasphemy $6.40
  • Leg Two – Gulfstream Park 11th Race – Oblio’s Wish $51.20
  • Leg Three – Golden Gate Park 4th Race – Wyoming Chief $16.60
  • Leg Four – Golden Gate Park 5th Race – Mr. Twinery $3.80
  • Leg Five – Santa Anita Park 6th Race – Epical $10.60

The minimum wager on the multi-race, multi-track Stronach 5 is $1. If there are no tickets with five winners, the entire pool will be carried over to the next Friday.

For the Stronach 5, if a change in racing surface is made after the wagering closes, each selection on any ticket will be considered a winning selection. If a betting interest is scratched, that selection will be substituted with the favorite in the win pool when wagering closes. The Maryland Jockey Club serves as host of the Stronach 5.

BACKSTRETCH WORKERS RECEIVE 1,000 KING SIZE ‘CHARGERS’ BLANKETS

Three days before the LA Chargers play the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC Wild Card Round playoff game in Baltimore, Santa Anita backstretch workers will score a touchdown of their own, as courtesy of former horse owner, Bhart Manwani, 1,000 blue, black, gold and white king-sized blankets, emblazoned “Chargers,” will be distributed Friday at 11 a.m. near the Kingsbury Fountain.”I’ve owned horses with my good friend Nick Cosato (Slam Dunk Racing) over the years and I thought of all the people here at the track that are dealing with this cold weather,” said Bhart Manwani, owner of S.L. Fashions, Inc., located in Vernon. “This is what we call liquidation merchandise, meaning that the message or logo for whatever team it may be, has changed in some way.

“The merchandise can no longer be sold, so instead of shipping this truckload full of blankets out of the country, I’m hoping the backstretch workers here will enjoy them and keep warm this winter.”

The blankets, which measure 108 inches by 90 inches, are sure to be a hit in the early morning hours, as temperatures in Arcadia have dipped as low as 35 degrees the past week.

“We manufacture merchandise for NFL teams, MLB, the NBA and other leagues,” said Manwani, whose two children and other family accompanied him on his charity run to The Great Race Place. “I’ve got offices here and in New York, in China, India and in Central America, so it’s nice to be home and to be able to do something like this with my family.”

For those punters who may be interested, kickoff for the Chargers vs. Ravens game on Sunday is set for 10:05 a.m. PT. The most current line shows the Ravens are a three point favorite, with the over/under at 41 and a half.

FINISH LINES: Trainer John Sadler has Horse of the Year contender Acceleratescheduled to work six furlongs at 6:30 tomorrow morning for the $9 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 26 . . . Agent Patty Sterling, who represents Tiago Periera, has also taken the book of Aaron Gryder, with apprentice Luis Fuentes shifting to Saul Marquez . . . Leo Vukmanovich, who hit the 20 cent Rainbow Pick 6 on New Year’s Day for $24K, and private clocker and bloodstock agent Gary Young, will be Tom Quigley‘s guests, Saturday and Sunday, 10:50 a.m. and 11:20 a.m., respectively . . . World War II buffs man your battle stations for today’s parlay: Normandy Beach, 5-1 in the third race; Omaha Beach, 9-5 in the sixth; and Okinawa, 5-2 in the seventh.

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS

(Current Through Tuesday, Jan. 1)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Flavien Prat

34

8

5

3

24%

47%

$589,533

Heriberto Figueroa

30

7

2

3

23%

40%

$231,343

Joel Rosario

39

6

7

7

15%

51%

$589,393

Drayden Van Dyke

27

4

2

6

15%

44%

$210,236

Joseph Talamo

27

4

2

3

15%

33%

$262,163

Rafael Bejarano

23

3

3

3

13%

39%

$179,870

Mike Smith

11

3

1

3

27%

64%

$311,089

Edwin Maldonado

14

3

1

1

21%

36%

$130,190

Trainer

Sts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Richard Baltas

27

6

7

3

22%

59%

$323,388

Doug O’Neill

21

5

0

1

24%

29%

$158,357

William Morey

15

4

2

2

27%

53%

$113,986

Peter Miller

19

3

3

3

16%

47%

$150,487

J. Keith Desormeaux

12

3

1

2

25%

50%

$121,776

For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

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