- McCARTHY HOPES FOR TRIFECTA ON SATURDAY
- TRAINER OPTS FOR SLOW PACE IN JOHN HENRY
- HALL OF FAME POSTERS ARE FREE TOMORROW
McCARTHY HAS THREE FOR ‘WIN AND YOU’RE IN’ STAKES
Mike McCarthy has three horses entered Saturday in four of Santa Anita’s Grade I, Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” stakes races, all of them not favored, but that isn’t preventing the 47-year-old trainer from looking at the glass as half full.
A protégé of Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, McCarthy has Paved in the Rodeo Drive Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at a mile and a quarter on turf; The Lieutenant in the Awesome Again Stakes for three-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles; and Vibrance in the Chandelier Stakes 1 1/16 miles for two-year-old fillies.
“Paved is a three year old facing older horses and we’re looking to get back on track with her,” McCarthy said, alluding to out-of-the-money finishes in her last two starts, the Grade I Belmont Oaks and the Grade I Del Mar Oaks.
“She’s trained wonderfully here since Del Mar and a mile and a quarter should be right up her alley.
“The Awesome Again is an awful tough spot for The Lieutenant, but he’s training well. He went a mile and a quarter in the Suburban (second to Diversify at Belmont Park July 7 before finishing nearly 22 lengths behind Accelerate in Del Mar’s Pacific Classic on Aug. 18).
“It didn’t seem he liked the surface at Del Mar that day, he got a little farther back than we wanted and didn’t break well, so we’ll try and put our best foot forward tomorrow.
“Vibrance has a win going two turns, but she’s in against five other very talented fillies. That said, we have a bit of an edge with a couple two-turn races under our belt, so hopefully that plays to our strengths, we have a nice trip, and have something to say at the finish line.”
SOFT PACE WOULD AID RITZY A.P. IN JOHN HENRY
Trainer Dan Blacker maintains that a slow pace would enhance the chances of Ritzy A. P. in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship for three-year-olds and up at a mile and a quarter.
Owned by Calumet Farm, the four-year-old English Channel colt has raced at four different tracks in his last four races, finishing third in the restricted Rolling Green at Golden Gate Fields on Sept. 3. Before that he won at Santa Rosa in the Bay Area and prior to that was second in an overnight race at Del Mar.
“The horse is doing well and a mile and quarter is his best distance,” Blacker said. “If there’s a slow pace, we have a good chance. If it’s fast, it’s Fashion Business’s race.”
Fashion Business, a stone closer, came from 11th and last to capture the Grade II Del Mar Handicap on Aug. 18. The English-bred son of Frankel has two wins in 10 U.S. starts.
The John Henry, race six of nine with a 12:30 first post: Ritzy A.P., Tyler Baze, 8-1; Ann Arbor Eddie, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1; Ashleyluvssugar, Gary Stevens, 5-1; Ya Gotta Wanna, Geovanni Franco, 5-1; Secretary At War, Drayden Van Dyke, 5-1; Liam the Charmer, Tyler Gaffalione, 7-2; and Fashion Business, Flavien Prat, 2-1.
FREE HALL OF FAME POSTER AVAILABLE SATURDAY
In addition to four Grade I Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge races, the first 5,000 on-track fans at Santa Anita will be treated to a beautiful full color poster depicting some of the greatest Hall of Fame jockeys and trainers of all time Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the track’s Paddock Gardens area.
Retired Hall of Famers Eddie Delahoussaye, Julie Krone, Laffit Pincay, Jr., Donald Pierce and Alex Solis will be joined by active HOFers, including Kent Desormeaux, Mike Smith, Gary Stevens, Neil Drysdale, Jerry Hollendorfer, Richard Mandella and Ron McAnally.
Vintage photos of the aforementioned are on the poster, as well as printed recognition of legends Charlie Whittingham, Lazaro Barrera, Bill Shoemaker, John Longden, Eddie Arcaro, Chris McCarron, Chris Antley, William Molter, Milo Valenzuela, Bill Hartack, Russell Baze, Gary Jones, Garrett Gomez, Manuel Ycaza, George Woolf, Bill Boland, Ted Atkinson, Mesh Tenney, Bob Wheeler, Buster Millerick and others.
FINISH LINES: Private clocker and bloodstock agent Gary Young and Horseplayer Leo Vukmanovich will be Tom Quigley‘s guest handicappers, 10:50 a.m. Saturday and 11:20 a.m. Sunday, respectively, in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Agapito Delgadillo is looking forward to a brief but beneficial 22-day Autumn Meet at Santa Anita. Now 52, the native of Mexico City “has no plans to retire right now. Racing is in my blood.” He is represented by agent Susan McBrayer . . . Meanwhile, jockey Brice Blanc continues to represent himself, although lately business has been moving slower than the hands on a traffic school clock. “If things don’t start to click soon,” the affable Frenchman said, “I may have to fire my agent.”