Gary Stevens missed an opportunity to win his fourth Kentucky Derby when his mount, Royal Mo, didn’t draw into the field of 20 from his 21 spot on the also eligible list, but the Hall of Fame rider is looking forward to the Preakness Stakes on May 20 with the son of Uncle Mo trained by John Shirreffs for Jerry and Ann Moss.

            “We were disappointed we didn’t get to run in the Derby, but maybe it was a blessing, because we’ve got a fresh horse,” Stevens said Friday at his Santa Anita base.

“Royal Mo was happy at Churchill all Derby week and it looks like he’s training great at Pimlico right now, so I’m happy to be headed in that direction.”

In another Preakness development, Cecil B. DeMille winner Term of Art leaves Santa Anita Tuesday to face Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming in the mile and three-sixteenths race, according to Leandro Mora, assistant to Doug O’Neill.

Santa Anita will offer a free cooler backpack presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino on Preakness Day, May 20, to Thoroughbred members only at Santa Anita while supplies last, one per paid admission.

Fans at Santa Anita can watch and wager on the second leg of the Triple Crown from the Preakness Trackside Event, or camp out in the Infield for the Californian Motorcycle Show. Event admission is $10.



Champion Stellar Wind worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Friday in 1:00.40. The Eclipse Award winner as outstanding three-year-old filly of 2015 is preparing for the Grade I, $400,000 Beholder Mile on June 3.

“It was a very nice work, super easy,” trainer John Sadler said. “She’s right on target for the Beholder. She’ll have two more works before the race.”

Regular rider Victor Espinoza will be aboard for each, including the next one a week from today. Jose Contreras was aboard Stellar Wind Friday.

“She looked good,” said Espinoza, recently elected to racing’s Hall of Fame, who watched Friday’s breeze that was in company with stablemate Pappou. The latter was clocked in 1:00.80.

“Stellar Wind has never been a fast work filly,” Espinoza said. “She saves it for the races, and that’s what we want.”

Also possible for the Beholder are two-time champion Songbird and streaking graded stakes winner Vale Dori, winner of her last six races.



Aristocratic makes his first start for Simon Callaghan in Saturday’s Grade III Lazaro Barrera Stakes for three-year-olds at seven furlongs and the trainer is looking forward to it.

“He came to me in good condition and seems to be training well,” said Callaghan, who received the son of Malibu Moon from owner Kaleem Shah earlier this week after a brief tour with Doug O’Neill.

“We’ll just try to keep him on the same path,” Callaghan said. “I like the post (six in a field of six). He’s definitely got speed, but that post is where you’d like to be, for sure.”

Aristocratic won the six furlong San Pedro Stakes from the number two post position under O’Neill’s direction on April 16.

The Laz Barrera, the fifth of nine races: American Anthem, Mike Smith, 2-1; Kimbear, Joe Talamo, 3-1; Bobby Abu Dhabi, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 4-1; Taxman’s Quest, Tyler Baze, 12-1; Sutton’s Impact, Flavien Prat, 6-1; and Aristocratic, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2.


Safe to say trainer Matt Chew, 56, has seen a lot in a lifetime on the racetrack. The son of popular trainer Richard (Dickie) Chew, he took out his assistant trainer’s license in 1978 at age 18 and went on his own in 1982.

“My dad passed away 10 years ago at age 77 and it’s always nice to hear from people who knew him,” said Chew, who saddled two winners from as many starters yesterday at Santa Anita. “Coming into yesterday, we had 13 head, so it was really nice to win a couple.”

Victorious with a pair of distaffers–Back Beauty, a 5-year-old Florida-bred mare who took a drop in yesterday’s sixth race from 20,000 claiming into a $10,000 affair at six furlongs and aired by 4 ¾ under Tiago Pereira–and English-bred Poster Girl, a 4-year-old filly who took Thursday’s eighth race, a 6 ½ furlong turf allowance, by 2 ¼ lengths under Gary Stevens.

“Both of them were training well and moving in the right direction,” said Chew. “Back Beauty was aggressively placed. We thought we might lose her, but in this business, you need to win (Back Beauty was haltered for $10,000 by Jack Carava).

“From the time we got Poster Girl, I thought she was a nice filly, but she fooled us the first couple times we ran her. The first time (a one mile turf allowance on Jan. 16), we thought she’d probably run like most Europeans do, from off the pace, but she left the gate running and was only beaten about three lengths, so we thought that’s the way she wanted to do things.

“Gary rode her yesterday for the first time, but he’d been on her a couple times in the morning and he thought he could get her covered up and make one run. It worked out real well, and now we’ve decided to look for a stakes race on the grass here, probably at one mile.”

Chew also noted the positive impact Poster Girl’s co-owner, Peter Jeung, has had on his stable. “He’s very enthusiastic and I think that’s infectious,” Chew said. “We got lucky with his first horse, Singing Kitty, who we claimed for $32,000.

“She ended up winning three stakes and made about $360,000 for us. Peter just loves the game. He comes out to the barn every weekend and does massage therapy on all of the horses. Like I say, his positive attitude rubs off!”


FINISH LINES: Early probables for the Grade I, $300,000 Gamely Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at 1 1/8 miles on turf May 27: Avenge, Goodyearforroses, Illuminant, Mokat, Perfect Pic, Pretty Girl, Sassy Little Lila and Sheeza Milky Way. Mokat worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s training track Friday in a bullet 1:00.20 for Richard Baltas . . . What a View also worked five furlongs on the training track under trainer Kenny Black, going in 1:00.60 for the Grade I Shoemaker Mile June 3 . . . Rebel Stakes and West Virginia Derby winner Cupid worked seven furlongs from the gate for Bob Baffert in 1:25.40 under leading rider Rafael Bejarano . . . Multiple graded stakes winner Masochistic, 13th as the favorite in the Churchill Downs Stakes on Derby Day, will be given a couple months off, “a little vacation, not for any reason other than to let him regroup a bit,” trainer Ron Ellis said. “He’ll stay at Taylor Made (Farm) in Kentucky for a little rest.” . . . XBTV’s Zoe Cadman and Santa Anita clocker Donald Harris will be Tom Quigley‘s guests, Saturday and Sunday respectively at 11:50 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens . . . There is a Pick Six carryover Friday of $38,700.


(Current Through Thursday, May 11)          
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won  
Rafael Bejarano 61 16 10 9 26% 57% $687,425  
Joseph Talamo 70 12 12 9 17% 47% $485,129  
Flavien Prat 48 11 8 10 23% 60% $458,423  
Tyler Baze 55 8 7 13 15% 51% $388,673  
Tiago Pereira 51 8 7 8 16% 45% $322,615  
Martin Pedroza 50 8 4 5 16% 34% $252,420  
Stewart Elliott 60 7 5 9 12% 35% $284,917  
Edwin Maldonado 44 6 8 7 14% 48% $326,975  
Norberto Arroyo, Jr. 40 6 5 8 15% 48% $329,358  
Trainer Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won  
Philip D’Amato 43 11 7 4 26% 51% $522,000  
Richard Baltas 35 11 5 5 31% 60% $399,859  
Peter Miller 36 8 7 6 22% 58% $347,125  
Bob Baffert 17 7 1 3 41% 65% $413,475  
Doug O’Neill 30 5 8 5 17% 60% $247,568  
Jerry Hollendorfer 28 5 4 5 18% 50% $233,570