STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2019

  • ‘FRENCH CONNECTION’ IN SANTA BARBARA
  • VETERAN TRAINER DON WARREN DIES AT 67
  • PREAKNESS IS NOT ‘IMPROBABLE’ FOR SMITH
  • GOLD AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW: $405,029

VIVA LA FRANCE IN GRADE III SANTA BARBARA

The French Connection is ready to take center stage in Saturday’s Grade III Santa Barbara Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, scheduled for a mile and a half on turf.

French-bred Guiliana, trained by Frenchman Leonard Powell and ridden by French-born Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Flavien Prat, will combine efforts in a bid to capture the marathon event.

Guiliana was second in her U.S. debut, rallying from next to last on April 7 in a field of five going nine furlongs on grass despite a slow start with Prat up. In that race she was less than two lengths behind victorious Animosity, who also is in the Santa Barbara.

A five-year-old mare, Guiliana will be racing the longest distance of her 15-race career, but Powell is comfortable with that.

“She’s been running a mile and three-eighths in Europe and I’m sure going a mile and a half won’t be a detriment, and having the benefit of her first race in more than four months under her belt is a plus,” Powell said.

With rain possible Saturday, Guiliana would still run should the race be taken off the turf, pending conditions of the main track.

“It depends on the condition of the main track,” Powell said. “If it’s sealed, probably not. If it’s not sealed, we’d probably run.”

Powell, 42, is a close friend and confidant of fellow countryman Prat, 26, so obviously the trainer was delighted with Flavien’s Kentucky Derby victory last Saturday on 65-1 outsider Country House, albeit by the controversial disqualification from first of Maximum Security.

“I thought the DQ was warranted,” Powell said, “but I think the biggest mistake of all was that the stewards didn’t post the inquiry sign.

“We had to wait so long and I’m sure it was very painful for the connections of Maximum Security (ultimately placed 17th) to go from being on top of the world to having the roses taken away from them.

“If the inquiry sign had been put up right away, it wouldn’t have been such a roller coaster experience for everybody, and I think the stewards’ decision would have been understood much better.

“Another thing I don’t understand is not being able to appeal the stewards’ decision.  People are not gods; humans make mistakes.”

But be that as it may, for Team Prat now and evermore, the victory cry for the 2019  Kentucky Derby will be “viva la France!”

The Santa Barbara, race five of nine with a 1 p.m. first post time: Animosity, Victor Espinoza, 7-2; Causeforcommotion, Geovanni Franco, 9-5; Kodiak West, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1; Lynne’s Legacy, Alonso Quinonez, 2-1; Guiliana, Fravien Prat, 7-2; and Queen Bee to You, Ruben Fuentes, 15-1.

RESPECTED TRAINER DON WARREN DIES AT 67

Trainer Don Warren, a hard-working fixture in California for almost half a century, died

at his Laguna Woods home in Orange County early Thursday morning. He was 67 and had been in ill health since a failed back surgery.

“He had been taking pain medication for a degenerative back disease, which caused his kidneys to shut down,” said his sister, Rhonda Schiewe, wife of former trainer Paul Schiewe. “He had other health issues, too.

“He was one of the finest horsemen I ever knew, and I’m not saying that because he was my brother. He started in racing when he was 18 or 19.”

The oldest of 10 children, Warren’s best horse was Acclamation, who won the 2011 Pacific Classic en route to capturing an Eclipse Award that year as outstanding older male. A son of the late Unusual Heat, Acclamation had career earnings of $1,958,048, entered stud in 2013 and stands at Harris Farm in Coalinga for $7,500 live foal. 

Training most of his career for California’s iconic Old English Rancho in Ontario, California, later in Sanger, 15 miles east of Fresno, Warren won 646 races from 5,316 starters that earned $21,226,170.

“He wasn’t just a good trainer,” said former trainer Kim Lloyd. “He was a good family man; a good husband and a good father.”

Warren is survived by his wife, Patty, twin daughters Jennifer and Diana, and daughter Amanda. Don’s brother Ron is a former jockey who was based in the Bay Area and currently resides in Lake Tahoe.

Funeral services are pending.

SMITH LOOKS FORWARD TO IMPROBABLE IN PREAKNESS

With an “Aw shucks” demeanor that belies an intensely competitive nature, superstar jockey Mike Smith is anxiously awaiting his opportunity to ride Bob Baffert’s talented Improbable in the 144th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, May 18.

Following an extensive taped interview with NBC Sports that included Baffert in Santa Anita’s Chandelier Room late Thursday morning, Smith, who won his first Preakness Stakes with Prairie Bayou in 1993 and his second with eventual undefeated Triple Crown champion Justify last year, was happy to take additional time to address this year’s Preakness and more in Santa Anita’s East Paddock Gardens area.

     Q. You’ve never ridden Improbable, but you’ve seen him run a number of times.  What are your thoughts about riding him for the first time in the Preakness?

     A. “I’m extremely excited to get back there, especially to ride this colt. I still think there’s talent there that we haven’t seen. To be back riding in this year’s Preakness, with Bob, (owners) WinStar, all the connections, back together again, it kinda means a little more. We’ll see if we can pull it off, he’s definitely got the ability to do so.”

     Q. He got beat about 3 ½ lengths in the Derby. What about his running style and how do you approach this race with him, based upon what you’ve seen?

     A. “Depending upon who’s actually going to run and where we draw, I could see him running a big race and I could see this playing out with two different scenarios. I’ve got some ideas about him, hopefully I can pull a race out of him that he hasn’t quite run before. I try to figure out some ways to do that . . . Instead of doing the same old thing.”

     Q. You’re known as “Big Money” Mike, and it’s for good reason. You’ve often said that even very early in your career, you liked pressure that goes with being in big-race situations.  Why?

     A. “When you’re in a big race and you’re the one to beat, it just kind of takes me to a different level, a different kind of focus. I really like to try to figure out why the horse I’m riding is so good and what makes him so good, and really use those tactics to try and beat the competition. I’ve been blessed to have pulled it off a few times and we’re gonna try again.”

     Q. It sure sounds like you believe Improbable has quite a bit of upside over what he’s already shown?

     A. “I certainly believe he has better races in him and the fact that Bob’s running him back gives me confidence, because he’s not running the other two (Game Winner and Roadster). So, this horse must’ve come out of the race in really good shape.  And I’m sure that’s why he’s running . . . He should have a really good foundation now and be really, really ready for a race like this.”

     Q. As you know, there’s been a great deal of controversy surrounding the disqualification of the winner, Maximum Security. You finished mid-pack with Cutting Humor, but what is your take on the incident at the top of the stretch?

     A. “In this situation, I don’t think Luis Saez (aboard Maximum Security) was trying to be unsafe.  I don’t think it was something he did on his own.  The horse saw something and went out for whatever reason . . . Whether he saw something, or somebody hit him from behind, whatever it was, he certainly veered out and it wasn’t the rider’s fault…The horse took him there.”

     Q. Following the race, a good friend of yours, Jon Court, who lodged a claim of foul against Maximum Security, said that he thought all jockeys, regardless of whether they’re riding stakes or claiming horses, need to be safety-conscious.

     A. “We all need to understand we’re on some extremely delicate and extremely valuable horses and we need to take care of each one of them as best we can.  This was just a situation where no one was looking to do anything crazy, it just happened.”       

SINGLE TICKET RAINBOW PICK SIX JACKPOT CARRYOVER AT $405,029

Live racing will resume with an eight-race card today at Santa Anita and fans will be greeted by a 20 cent Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot carryover of $405,029.

With $212,693 in “new” money wagered on Sunday, the total Jackpot pool reached $569,025. Although there was no Single Ticket winner, there were eight consolation tickets with six winners, each worth a hefty $14,203.10. Santa Anita offers free Club House and General Admission on Fridays, as well as free General Parking, in addition to two dollar beers and six dollar Specialty Cocktails, sponsored by Woodford Reserve.

Post time for today’s third race, the beginning of the Rainbow Six, is 2 p.m.

LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:

Kingly (Inside) &  Westport work 5 furlongs (Baffert) 5-08-19

Bombard (Outside) &  Next Gen work 5 furlongs (Mandella) 5-08-19

Morse Code works 4 furlongs (Baltas) 5-08-19

Resident Liberal
 works 4 furlongs (Proctor) 5-08-19

Le Ken works 4 furlongs (McAnally) 5-08-19

Just a Smidge (Outside) &  Mucho Gusto work 5 furlongs (Baffert) 5-08-19

FINISH LINESRichard Mandella reports that Omaha Beach, who was the pre-race favorite for the Kentucky Derby, is scheduled to return to California next Sunday, May 19, barring any blips . . . John Sadler has Santa Anita Handicap winner Gift Box set to work tomorrow morning “if it doesn’t rain” for the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27 . . . Dept. of Good News: Since new safety protocols were introduced at Santa Anita March 15, a total of 6,635 horses have worked and received official times, with no fatalities . . . Rafael Bejarano has been suspended three days (May 12, 17 and 18) for causing interference on Sneaking Out in last Saturday’s second race, resulting in the disqualification of his mount from first to second . . . After a respite from training for a few months, Kenny Black is galloping horses at Santa Anita. “I’m freelancing here after working with trainer Ed Freeman at San Luis Rey,” Black said . . . Frank Scatoni, co-author of “Six Secrets of Successful Bettors,” and Santa Anita simulcast co-host Michelle Yu will be Tom Quigley‘s guests Saturday and Sunday, respectively, 11:50 a.m. in the XBTV studios . . . Attention IRS: Agent Derek Lawson‘s share from his jockey Flavien Prat‘s winnings in the Kentucky Derby was $45,000, not $18,600 as previously reported here.

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS
(Current  from April 12 through Sunday, May 5)
Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Rafael Bejarano

58

11

9

12

19%

55%

$566,715

Flavien Prat

31

10

9

2

32%

68%

$459,593

Tiago Pereira

51

9

4

8

18%

41%

$380,538

Victor Espinoza

23

9

1

1

39%

48%

$468,554

Joseph Talamo

44

8

8

8

18%

55%

$422,170

Ruben Fuentes

53

8

8

7

15%

43%

$309,035

Drayden Van Dyke

33

7

7

5

21%

58%

$434,679

Kent Desormeaux

22

7

1

3

32%

50%

$265,298

Aaron Gryder

38

6

6

3

16%

39%

$264,672

Edwin Maldonado

25

6

4

6

24%

64%

$197,593

Martin Garcia

23

3

7

7

13%

74%

$223,595

Mario Gutierrez

21

3

4

2

14%

43%

$150,097

Heriberto Figueroa

24

3

0

0

13%

13%

$93,980

Trainer

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Doug O’Neill

28

9

1

7

32%

61%

$336,835

Richard Baltas

30

8

6

2

27%

53%

$464,008

John Sadler

22

6

4

5

27%

68%

$423,562

Philip D’Amato

25

6

4

0

24%

40%

$298,650

Mark Glatt

29

5

8

2

17%

52%

$251,941

Andrew Lerner

7

4

0

0

57%

57%

$111,020

Jerry Hollendorfer

21

3

6

2

14%

52%

$193,779

J. Keith Desormeaux

13

3

2

2

23%

54%

$100,993

John Shirreffs

12

3

2

1

25%

50%

$243,291

George Papaprodromou

11

3

0

2

27%

45%

$68,262

Tim Yakteen

8

3

0

1

38%

50%

$86,793