- SMITH SMELLS THE ROSES AND MORE WITH JUSTIFY
- JUSTIFY TAKES A BOW AT SANTA ANITA TOMORROW
- WISER STONE HANDS SET FOR GRADE II SAN CARLOS
- CHROME’S BROTHER EYES STAKE AFTER MAIDEN WIN
- D’AMATO ENTERS TWO FOR CLOSING DAY’S WILSHIRE
SMITH’S TRIPLE CROWN MEMORIES ARE EVERGREEN
Mike Smith may not be fined for excessive use of the riding crop, but he could be fined for excessive use of the Sharpie come Saturday.
That’s when the Hall of Fame jockey and regular rider of Triple Crown champion Justify will be signing posters depicting the undefeated colt’s sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
The eye-catching, high-quality posters will be free to the first 4,000 in attendance at Santa Anita Saturday while supplies last, and Smith will be available to sign them from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. adjacent to the Kingsbury Fountain in the West Paddock Gardens area.
“It’s great stuff,” the 52-year-old Smith said at Clockers’ Corner Friday morning, on a rare break from the whirlwind media hoopla that erupted following Justify’s victory in the Belmont Stakes on June 9.
“It’s been crazy, but it’s all good. You hate to leave anyone out, but it seems like everyone wants to see you at the same time. It’s all fun; it’s all good. I can’t complain one bit.”
Smith is well aware that the demand for his presence, like youth, will one day fade away, but he is mature enough to enjoy the ride while he can.
“The requests for your time and participation will eventually come to an end,” he said, “but the memories always will stay with you here (tapping his hand over his heart), and that’s all that matters.”
JUSTIFY ON PARADE AT SANTA ANITA TOMORROW
Triple Crown champion Justify will parade through Santa Anita’s Paddock Gardens and onto the main track and Winner’s Circle between races four and five on Saturday.
The imposing chestnut son of Scat Daddy will be accompanied in the Winner’s Circle by his trainer, Bob Baffert, and his jockey, Mike Smith, who will be available to credentialed media.
Approximate post time for Saturday’s fourth race is 1:36 p.m. Pacific Time.
There will be an early first post time of 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m.
OLDER, WISER STONE HANDS SET FOR SAN CARLOS
Streaking Stone Hands goes after his third straight victory and his first stakes win Saturday in the Grade II, $250,000 San Carlos for three-year-olds and up at seven furlongs.
The four-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Tapizar trained by meet leader Doug O’Neill for principal client J. Paul Reddam was a well-beaten fifth in his only previous stakes, the Shared Belief at Del Mar last August.
“We always thought he was a nice horse when he was young,” explained O’Neill assistant Leandro Mora. “But he got a little sour, so Doug and Mr. Reddam started from scratch and it looks like he’s picking it up again. As he’s gotten a little older, maybe he’s gotten wiser.”
The San Carlos, race 11 of 12: Top of the Game, Israel Ocampo, 15-1; St. Joe Bay, Tyler Baze, 12-1; El Huerfano, Geovanni Franco, 15-1; American Anthem, Mike Smith, 9-5; Horse Greedy, Stewart Elliott, 15-1; Touching Rainbows, Flavien Prat, 5-2; Stone Hands, Mario Gutierrez, 4-1; and Dabster, Martin Garcia, 4-1.
STAKE RACE CONSIDERED FOR CALIFORNIA CHROME’S BROTHER
Faversham, a full brother to two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome, broke his maiden impressively Thursday, winning at one mile on turf by 3 ¼ lengths under Tiago Pereira.
It was the sixth career start for the three-year-old chestnut ridgling trained by Art Sherman, who made a rider change and removed blinkers for the race.
“He was a big overlay, but he had bad experiences in his last two races (beaten a combined margin of 26 ½ lengths),” Sherman said by phone Friday morning. “He didn’t have a clear path to run. He’d been training well and I took the blinkers off.
“I think he’ll get better as he gets older. He hasn’t realized his potential yet and he’s a Cal-bred, so that gives us lots of options. There’s a possibility he could run in the Oceanside at Del Mar (one mile on grass opening day, July 18).”
Asked if any money was gleaned other than the $35,400 winner’s share, Sherman said, “I bet on him the last two times he ran, but not yesterday. I didn’t want to jinx him.”
D’AMATO HAS TWO FOR GRADE III WILSHIRE ON CLOSING DAY
Phil D’Amato, five behind training leader Doug O’Neill with three racing days remaining in the Spring Meet, sends out Ancient Secret and Storm the Hill in Sunday’s closing day feature, the Grade III Wilshire Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at a mile on turf.
Ancient Secret, a five-year-old New York-bred mare, is coming off three straight races at about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course, while Storm the Hill, a four-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Get Stormy, rallied for third despite lacking room in an overnight grass route at Churchill Downs on May 12.
“Ancient Secret already is a graded stakes winner on grass going long,” D’Amato pointed out, referring to the Grade II Lake George at Saratoga in July of 2016. “So I don’t think the stretch-out’s going to hurt her any.
“Storm the Hill is a new horse for me (having previously been conditioned by Eddie Kenneally) who is training very well. It looks like the right spot to see what she can do.”
The $100,000 Wilshire: Beau Recall, Joe Talamo, 7-2; Sassy Little Lila, Mike Smith, 6-1; Shehastheritestuff, Edwin Maldonado, 30-1; Miss Julia Star, Drayden Van Dyke, 8-1; Sophie P, Kent Desormeaux, 3-1; Cordiality, Tyler Baze, 6-1; Storm the Hill, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Bella Luma, Gary Stevens, 15-1; and Ancient Secret, Flavien Prat, 7-2.
FINISH LINES: Congratulations to Evin Roman on winning Thursday’s sixth race aboard Ransomed ($17.60) for trainer Sal Gonzalez. It was the first victory for the 2017 Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s outstanding apprentice since recovering from a fractured left toe suffered on April 24 . . . Speedy recovery from a broken left ankle to veteran turf writer Art Wilson of the Southern California News Group . . . James Giannone, agent for Geovanni Franco, and Derek Lawson, agent for Flavien Prat, will be Tom Quigley‘s guests, 10:50 a.m. Saturday and 11:20 a.m. Sunday, respectively, in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Among the 146 recorded workouts Friday, including 16 on the training track, was a three furlong breeze for Bob Baffert in 37.80 by Chasing Yesterday, a half-sister to 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Thursday, June 21)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||116||20||20||16||17%||48%||$1,160,040|