STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2019

  • DANUSKA’S MY GIRL EYES FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN
  • VANTASTIC GOES FROM TURF TO DIRT IN BARRERA
  • SCOTT STEVENS RECEIVES WOOLF AWARD SUNDAY
  • THREE GRADE I’S HEADLINE MEMORIAL DAY CARD
  • $523,445 AT THE END OF TODAY’S ‘RAINBOW’ PICK 6
  • SANTA ANITA REMEMBERS RACING FAN TIM CONWAY
  • HARD WORK PAYS OFF WITH WIN FOR IGGY PUGLISI

STREAKING DANUSKA’S MY GIRL SET FOR DESERT STORMER

Danuska’s My Girl seeks her fourth straight victory and her second stakes in a row Sunday in the Grade III Desert Stormer Stakes for fillies and mares at six furlongs.

All three triumphs, including the Grade III Las Flores Stakes last out on April 7, have come under jockey Geovanni Franco.

“He’s made a big difference,” said Jerry Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward of Franco’s presence in the saddle. “She’s been on the lead all three times he’s ridden her and been further in front at the wire than at any point in the race.”

Albeit a five-horse field, there is ample speed with the likes of Selcourt and Yuvetsi, in addition to Danuska’s My Girl, but Ward is optimistic.

“Some in the race are coming off routes which may have dulled their speed a little bit,” he said, “but I think we can adapt to any situation.”

The field: Selcourt, Joe Talamo, 7-5; Yuvetsi, Drayden Van Dyke, 4-1; Smiling Tigress, Tiago Pereira, 20-1; Danuska’s My Girl, Geovanni Franco, 8-5; and Show It N Moe It, Rafael Bejarano, 7-2.

VANTASTIC SHARP, GETS PRAT FOR LAZ BARRERA

Vantastic has been firing bullets for tomorrow’s Grade III Lazaro Barrera Stakes for three-year-olds and up at seven furlongs, but must adjust from turf to dirt for Peter Eurton, who trains the Florida-bred colt for Ciaglia Racing, Sharon Alesia and Paul Van Doren.

“It’s been nothing but turf his last five races, but he’s trained really well on the dirt so we thought we’d give it a try,” Eurton said.

Vantastic was an eventful seventh going a mile on grass last out on April 4, beaten only three lengths despite steadying at the 6 ½-furlong point.

“It was not a good trip,” Eurton said. “He got away a touch slow and got a bit a rank after that, but we have the Kentucky Derby-winning jockey on Saturday (in Flavien Prat).”

The Laz Barrera, race eight of 10 with a 12 noon first post timeMucho Gusto, Joe Talamo, 4-5; Sparky Ville, Victor Espinoza, 5-2; Principe Carlo, Ruben Fuentes, 12-1; Vantastic, Flavien Prat, 5-1; Manhattan Up, Tiago Pereira, 6-1; and Synthesis, Rafael Bejarano, 12-1.

SCOTT STEVENS TO RECEIVE WOOLF AWARD SUNDAY

In what will surely be an intensely emotional moment, veteran jockey Scott Stevens will be presented with the 2019 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in a Winner’s Circle ceremony following the sixth race Sunday at Santa Anita.

A winner of more than 4,800 races in a career that has spanned 43 years, Stevens will be joined by family, friends and colleagues, including the 1996 Woolf Award winner, retired Hall of Famer Gary Stevens, as the pair thus become the first brotherly tandem to win the prestigious award in its 70-year history.

The winner via a vote of jockeys nationwide, Stevens placed first among a list of five finalists that included Joe Bravo, Kerwin Clark, John Davila, Jr. and Julien Leparoux.

“I know I was there when Gary won, but honestly, it’s been so long ago, I don’t remember,” said Stevens from his base at Turf Paradise in Phoenix. “This award is so special and I was honored just to be nominated. When you think about all the great riders and the great people that have won it and to be selected by a vote of your peers . . . It’s really more than I can describe.”

Born Oct. 6, 1960 in Caldwell, Idaho, Stevens is the son of a former trainer, Ron, and rodeo queen, Barbara. Steeped in the ways of the horse-world from infancy, Stevens, who has more than 32,400 career mounts, broke his maiden on May 30, 1976 at Les Bois Park in Boise, at the age of 15.

A member of both the Idaho and Canterbury Park (MN) Halls of Fame, Stevens has been a helpful, guiding influence to scores of young jockeys for decades.

A nine-time leading rider at Turf Paradise, Stevens, who resides in Phoenix with his longtime partner Pam Isles, has two grown children, a daughter Jessica and a son, Jake, as well as five grandchildren, four of whom will join him on Sunday.

Named for the legendary Hall of Fame jockey George Woolf, who died at age 35 following a spill on Santa Anita’s Club House turn on Jan. 3, 1946, the Woolf Award can only be won once, and it is intended to recognize riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing.

The Woolf trophy is a replica of the life-size statue of George Woolf which adorns Santa Anita’s Paddock Gardens Area.

OHIO ON COURSE FOR GRADE I SHOEMAKER ON MEMORIAL DAY

Michael McCarthy is looking for another upset with Ohio when he saddles the bargain claim in the Shoemaker Mile on Monday, May 27, one of three Grade I races on the Memorial Day holiday card along with the Gamely Stakes and the Gold Cup at Santa Anita.

The Shoemaker Mile will be run on grass and is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race, giving the winner a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Mile on Nov. 2.

At 9-1, Ohio nosed out odds-on favorite Catapult in the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe mile on turf March 30.

 “These races are always tough for a half-million dollars and being a Grade I,” McCarthy noted of the Shoemaker. “Ohio is doing very well. I’m very pleased with his works. He’ll come back and work again tomorrow and we’ll go from there.”

RAINBOW PICK SIX JACKPOT CARRYOVER REACHES $523.445

Santa Anita’s popular 20 cent Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot proved elusive again on Sunday, resulting in a Jackpot carryover of $523,445 into Friday.

With $254,311 in “new” money wagered, Friday’s total Rainbow Six pool reached $719,530, and although there were no single ticket winners, 26 consolation tickets with six winners each paid $5,276.10.

First post time for today’s eight-race card is 1 p.m., with post time for the fourth race, the first leg of the Rainbow Pick Six, approximately 2:30 p.m. PT.

VETERAN COMEDIAN TIM CONWAY DEPARTS AS BELOVED FIGURE AT SANTA ANITA

When news of comedian Tim Conway’s passing at the age of 85 became known Tuesday morning, fond memories of the comedic giant were rekindled among the many people in the racing industry whose lives he touched, perhaps none more so than the hundreds of jockeys with whom he interacted and advocated for.

In a Winner’s Circle appearance on the occasion of Santa Anita’s Tim Conway Stakes, for two-year-olds at six furlongs on Oct. 6, 2012, Conway, who was alongside his son, Tim Jr. and retired Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, deadpanned, “They (jockeys) used to give me a lot of tips. None of them ever won. Amazing.”

On the serious side, Conway and his wife Charlene were tireless in their efforts to raise money for disabled riders through the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund, which was co-founded by their close friend, Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, in 1987 and assisted more than 2,000 jockeys over a 25-year run.

“He was as classy a gentleman as he was funny,” said McCarron. “He was generous with heart, spirit, generous with his time and he was just a class act through and through. He could not have been more generous, especially with his time.”

When asked why he thought Conway was able to connect so well with jockeys, McCarron responded, “Well, first and foremost, he had the utmost respect for riders. He understood what’s involved. You know, he tried galloping horses for a little while when he was very young in Cleveland, so for the rest of his life, he had the utmost respect for riders and trainers and owners . . . He had a deep love and respect for the industry as well.

“When he was on tour with Harvey Korman, Tim used to tell his tour manager to book them in cities where they had races going on, so he could go to the races when he wasn’t on stage. That’s how much he loved the sport.”

World famous as a result of legendary television roles on “McHale’s Navy” in the early 1960s, “The Carol Burnett Show” throughout the 1970s and various big screen appearances, Conway won six Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe trophy and was also widely acclaimed for playing the character of a hapless jockey named Lyle Dorf. Conway was hilariously funny as “Dorf” in appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and in many other television and film opportunities, including a comedic sketch during the 1987 Breeders’ Cup telecast on NBC from Hollywood Park.

McCarron recounted a real-life mishap with Conway that provided a window into his comedic depth as well as his genuinely self-deprecating humor.

“Tim and Charlene were at my house for Christmas, 1986,” said McCarron.  “I was recuperating from a broken leg that I suffered at Oak Tree, right before the Breeders’ Cup.  My wife Judy, had purchased an Equicizer from Frankie Lovato and it was in my living room.  My book shelves were loaded with trophies and Tim got on the Equicizer and he says, ‘McCarron, if I was a jockey, all these trophies would be mine.’

“So, he got on, leaned forward and pushed on the horse’s neck and the neck snapped back and hit him right in the nose and actually broke his nose.  He couldn’t stop laughing, even though he was bleeding right away. Charlene took him to the Encino Hospital . . . Tony DeFranco (a close mutual friend) and Tim’s daughter Kelly took a video camera into the emergency room, which was against the rules, but Tim talked the doctor into letting them do it.

“So Tony sets it up like he’s reporter and a jockey has been injured and they’re on-scene to find out his condition. The doc starts examining Tim and he asked him, ‘So tell me. What time did this incident happen?’

“Tim goes, ‘Let’s see. It was the third race. That would’ve been about 1:30.’ Even though he was in serious pain, he couldn’t keep from laughing and he couldn’t keep us from laughing . . . That’s the kind of guy he was.  He was a wonderful human being and I feel a terrible sense of loss for Charlene and all the kids.”

And, the same can be said of all those who knew the legendary Tim Conway here at Santa Anita and throughout the racing world.

Tim Conway is survived by his wife, Charlene, and seven children, including Tim Conway, Jr., who hosts “The Tim Conway Jr. Show” weeknights from 6 to 10 p.m. on KFI AM 640 in Los Angeles.

LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:

Cistron works 6 furlongs. (Sadler) 5-17-19

Pricing works 5 furlongs. (Proctor) 5-17-19

Juggles works 4 furlongs. (O’ Neill) 5-17-19

Ashleyluvssugar works 5 furlongs. (Eurton) 5-17-19

Friday’s at Shady works 4 furlongs. (Bonde) 5-17-19

Weekend Watch: Highlighting  weekend action at Santa Anita Park Starting May 18th, 2019

Stronach 5:  All-Star Ticket for May 17, 2019.

Improbable galloped at Pimlico Race Course. 5-17-19 (Baffert)

Anothertwistafate on the track at Pimlico Race Course. 5-17-19 (Wright)

Brill galloped at Pimlico in preparation for the Black Eyed Susan Stakes. 5-16-19 (Hollendorfer)

Elliott Walden talks about Improbable ahead of the Preakness Stakes.

Bob Baffert discusses his pair of stakes contenders this weekend at Pimlico.

Jimmy Barnes assistant trainer to Bob Baffert on  Improbable.

Preakness Memories:   Kent Desormeaux recaps Real Quiet’s win in 1998.

Preakness Memories:
  Victor Espinoza highlights War Emblem as his favorite Preakness Victory.

Preakness Memories:  Gary Stevens talks about Silver Charm in 1997.

Kittyhawk Lass works 4 furlongs. 5-16-19 (Pupye)

Caribou Club works 5 furlongs. 5-16-19 (Proctor)

Bowl of Soul (outside) in company with  Dark Prince worked 4 furlongs. (Baffert) 5-15-19

FINISH LINES: Trainer Jack Carava was more than pleased after jockey Iggy Puglisirode Bouncing Around to a 4 ¼-length victory at a $21 payoff in Sunday’s sixth race for $30,000 maiden claimers at 6 ½ furlongs. It marked the first win for the 45-year-old rider since November 2017. “Iggy’s always been a good friend and he’s really been helping me by breezing a lot of horses in the morning,” Carava said. “He breezed Bouncing Around two or three times, and the owners, Tim and Jed Cohen, who race as Red Barons Barn, told me Iggy had helped them a couple years ago breezing some of their young horses and to help him out anytime I could. They were nice enough to let him ride this horse, and it all worked out well.” . . . Condolences to family and friends on the passing Wednesday of owner Louis Figone at age 92.  Figone, who grew up in El Cerrito and ran the majority of his horses over the years at Bay Area tracks, raced as Frankfort Stable and owned 1987 Santa Anita Derby winner Temperate Sil in partnership with Charlie Whittingham, who gave Bill Shoemaker a leg up for the victory. Figone’s Billy Ball, trained by Ross Brinson, was a multiple stakes winner at Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields . . . Congratulations to Debby Baltas on her 40th birthday today. In addition to assisting at the barn with husband Richard, the meet’s second-leading trainer, she also serves lip-smacking fare in Santa Anita’s track kitchen . . . Eric Kruljac is considering the Grade I Beverly D. at Arlington Park on Aug. 10 for Causeforcommotion, smashing nine-length winner of last Saturday’s Grade III Santa Barbara Stakes. At 1 3/16 miles on turf, the Beverly D. is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race awarding the winner a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Nov. 1 . . . Apprentice J.C. Diaz Jr. has been suspended three days (May 19, 24 and 25) for causing interference on Spanish Channel in last Friday’s first race, resulting in a disqualification of his mount from third to fifth . . . Preston Simms, winner of $327,000 in the 2019 Pegasus World Cup Handicapping Tournament, will be Tom Quigley‘s guest Saturday, 10:50 a.m., in the XBTV studios . . .  Senior Citizen Superfecta: Silver Summer (age seven); Crown the Kitten (also seven); Play Hard to Get (age eight) and Kristi’s Copilot (another seven-year-old) captured the first four placings in Sunday’s second race to produce a $70.73 superfecta . . . The popular spring carnival at Santa Anita offers three days of exciting rides, games and entertainment on Memorial Day weekend, Saturday May 25 through Monday, May 27. For details, please visit santaanita.com/events . . . Special early first time at Santa Anita Preakness Day tomorrow is 12 noonPaddock Room doors will open at 7 a.m. for Early Bird action on Pimlico’s 14-race program, while Santa Anita’s restaurants, bars and Infield Area open at 9 a.m.

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS

(Current  from April 12 through Sunday, May 12)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Rafael Bejarano

66

12

11

12

18%

53%

$634,079

Flavien Prat

44

12

11

7

27%

68%

$606,915

Ruben Fuentes

67

11

14

9

16%

51%

$459,506

Joseph Talamo

57

11

8

9

19%

49%

$567,394

Tiago Pereira

62

11

4

10

18%

40%

$466,903

Kent Desormeaux

27

9

2

4

33%

56%

$345,918

Victor Espinoza

29

9

2

2

31%

45%

$501,385

Drayden Van Dyke

45

7

7

7

16%

47%

$468,223

Mario Gutierrez

31

7

7

4

23%

58%

$370,520

Edwin Maldonado

30

7

4

6

23%

57%

$218,364

Aaron Gryder

47

6

8

5

13%

40%

$315,505

Martin Garcia

28

4

7

8

14%

68%

$260,477

Heriberto Figueroa

29

4

0

0

14%

14%

$124,733

Geovanni Franco

36

3

5

5

8%

36%

$213,620

Trainer

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Doug O’Neill

42

14

3

11

33%

67%

$601,840

Richard Baltas

35

10

8

3

29%

60%

$566,248

John Sadler

27

7

4

6

26%

63%

$459,244

Mark Glatt

36

6

8

2

17%

44%

$302,365

Philip D’Amato

34

6

4

1

18%

32%

$315,014

Jerry Hollendorfer

23

4

7

2

17%

57%

$223,979

Steve Knapp

18

4

3

4

22%

61%

$143,256

J. Keith Desormeaux

15

4

2

2

27%

53%

$142,753

Tim Yakteen

11

4

0

1

36%

45%

$149,724

Andrew Lerner

7

4

0

0

57%

57%

$111,020

J. Eric Kruljac

16

3

3

2

19%

50%

$164,257

John Shirreffs

12

3

2

1

25%

50%

$243,291

William Spawr

11

3

1

3

27%

64%

$108,065

Richard Mandella

15

3

1

3

20%

47%

$129,902

George Papaprodromou

13

3

0

2

23%

38%

$71,30