- SANTA ANITA OFFERS KENTUCKY DERBY EXPERIENCE
- PACIFIC WIND TAKES ON UNDEFEATED SIRCAT SALLY
- SINGLETARY GRASS IS GREENER FOR SHARP SAMURAI
- CHAMP STELLAR WIND BREEZES FOR BEHOLDER MILE
- SINGLE TICKET JACKPOT PICK SIX IS HIT FOR $439,362
ENJOY THE DERBY ATMOSPHERE AT SANTA ANITA
The Kentucky Derby is not dubbed The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports without a serious sense of credibility. It’s a happening, and if it seems exciting on TV, it’s not like being at Churchill Downs live and in color on the first Saturday in May.
More than 100,000 people will pack the Louisville track tomorrow, with thousands more at venues worldwide, including Santa Anita, where fans can watch and wager on the 143rd Run for the Roses, plus a plethora of other attractive and challenging betting opportunities.
Two men who have participated in the Kentucky Derby first hand are Simon Callaghan and Eoin Harty, Santa Anita-based trainers from Across the Pond who will watch the race tomorrow at The Great Race Place.
“It was a great experience,” said the 34-year-old Callaghan, a native of England who saddled Firing Line to finish second to eventual Triple Crown champion American Pharoah in 2015. “There’s nothing like walking over there with a live horse. The atmosphere makes you want to go back there again.
“This year’s race looks really wide open, and with a sloppy track, it’s even more so. If I had to pick a horse it would be Irish War Cry, but as I said, it’s a really, really open race.”
Harty, born in Ireland, has participated in the Kentucky Derby both as an assistant to Bob Baffert and on his own, when he ran 2008 Santa Anita Derby winner Colonel John.
“For me, it was all they say it is the first time, but after that, you want to be there with a contender,” Harty said. “After that, I wouldn’t say it’s just another race, but the excitement of the first year is never replicated.
“My first year there was with Cavonnier (trained by Baffert and beaten a nose by the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Grindstone in 1996). I went back with Silver Charm (winner in 1997) and Real Quiet (winner in 1998) and lots of others, including my own horses, but there’s nothing like the first time.”
Approximate post time for the Derby is 3:46 p.m. Pacific Time.
To accommodate fans on Kentucky Derby Day, Santa Anita will offer extended hours on the Gold Line Shuttle Service in Arcadia, operating between 12 noon and 2 p.m. to handle peak attendance hours.
Fans at Santa Anita tomorrow can enjoy the biggest Derby party west of Kentucky and watch and wager on the Run for the Roses. Derby Day highlights include a Kentucky Derby Trackside event; a KROQ Super Games and Craft Beer Festival; a Chandelier Room Derby Party; a Kentucky Derby Hat Contest; the Bud Light Lounge; and a guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool of $500,000 and Pick 6 pool of $100,000.
The Derby Day Hat Contest presented by Southern California Life Magazine is free to enter and boasts three grand prizes including $1,000 cash and a year’s subscription to the publication for each winner. The three categories (Most Creative, Most Glamorous and Fascinators and Fedoras) will be judged by a panel of fashion industry experts just west of the winner’s circle at 2:30 p.m. Look for the rent tent to enter and please visit santaanita.com/events for more information.
TOUGH TASK FOR PACIFIC WIND IN SENORITA
Pacific Wind steps up from an impressive maiden allowance win first out to Saturday’s Grade III Senorita Stakes for three-year-old fillies at one mile on turf.
“It’s a tough race and she’ll get some experience in her second start,” noted Peter Eurton, who trains the chestnut daughter of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin. “There’s a very nice filly in there in Sircat Sally, and she’ll be tough to beat, no doubt about it.”
The Senorita will be presented as race five of 11 with a first post time of 12 noon: Spy Ring, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Helen Hillary, Tiago Pereira, 10-1; Beau Recall, Joe Talamo, 4-1; Sircat Sally, Stewart Elliott, 4-5; Tiburtina, Corey Nakatani, 20-1; and Pacific Wind, Jamie Theriot, 3-1.
SHARP SAMURAI ON WARPATH FOR SINGLETARY
Sharp Samurai won his grass debut impressively on April 6, capturing an overnight race by 2 ½ lengths at a mile and an eighth, and Mark Glatt is optimistic the three-year-old gelded son of First Samurai can keep it going in Saturday’s $75,000 Singletary Stakes even though he is shortening up to one mile.
“He ran really well,” the trainer said, “although I don’t think grass or dirt makes a big difference to him. He wants to be forwardly placed and he got a good trip last out. He handled the grass really well, so we’ll see what happens Saturday.
“The mile is not ideal. I’d just as soon not take a step back in distance but that was really the only spot available for him. He’s got good, tactical early speed, so he should be able to put himself up where he needs to be.”
The Singletary, named for the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner: Ventry Bay, David Flores, 8-1; Double Touch, Israel Ocampo, 12-1; Vending Machine, Norberto Arroyo Jr.,
8-1; Bird Is the Word, Rafael Bejarano, 7-2; Fashion Business, Stewart Elliott, 6-1; Kenzou’s Rhythm, Edwin Maldonado, 12-1; Sharp Samurai, Joe Talamo, 3-1; Bowies Hero, Tiago Pereira, 4-1; Comma Sister, Martin Pedroza, 20-1; and Monster Man, Santiago Gonzalez, 12-1.
CHAMPION STELLAR WIND IN ‘PERFECT’ DRILL
Stellar Wind, champion three-year-old filly of 2015, worked four furlongs Saturday morning in 47.80 under exercise rider Jose Contreras in what trainer John Sadler termed “a beautiful” drill for the Grade I Beholder Mile and a potential meeting with two-time champion Songbird on June 3.
“I got her in 48, but the clockers got her a bit faster,” Sadler said of the daughter of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin. “It was perfect.”
Stellar Wind won the Grade I Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park April 14 in her 2017 debut.
FINISH LINES: Santa Anita’s single ticket Jackpot Pick Six paid $439,362.20 to a single winner on Thursday. The ticket was purchased through Elite Turf Club’s Maryland-based hub as part of a $5,300 play. The winning horses were Demigoddess ($34), Madelyn’s Wild Max ($20.40), Exotic Ghost ($6), Call The Queen ($10.20), Zapperkat ($12.20) and Kona Dreams ($3.80) . . . Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. has been suspended five days (May 14, 18, 19, 20 and 21) for causing interference on Buckys Pick in Sunday’s ninth race, resulting in a disqualification from third to sixth . . . Billy Koch, founder and managing partner of Little Red Feather Racing, will be Tom Quigley‘s guest 10:50 a.m. Saturday, and David Nance, $500 winner of Santa Anita’s Spring Challenge Handicapping Contest, will do honors Sunday at 11:50 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Royal F J finished third in Thursday’s fourth race, the 97th start in the 10-year-old gelding’s career, with no end in sight. Trainer Jack Carava, asked if the chestnut son of Royal Academy would shoot for 100, said, “We’ll see if the racing gods let him get there.”
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Thursday, May 4)|
|Norberto Arroyo, Jr.||32||5||4||7||16%||50%||$268,188|