- FAIRYTALE FILLY SOUTHERN TRUCE REMEMBERED
- KOBE‘S BACK BACK TO DEFEND SAN CARLOS TITLE
- SINGLE TICKET PICK SIX JACKPOT REACHES $193,829
RAGS TO RICHES SOUTHERN TRUCE HONORED SUNDAY
The tale of Southern Truce is one of many faded into the rich lore of racing, but to those associated with the horse for which Sunday’s stakes race is named, ill or good, it is indelibly etched in their memory.
Claimed for $16,000 in March of 1991 by trainer Roger Stein for Vic and Peggy Johnson of Monrovia, who raced as the Regal Rose Stable, Southern Truce reached racing’s apex when she won Santa Anita’s Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes at 1 1/8 miles by a head in 1993 over Eclipse Award champion Paseana. A 22-year-old Corey Nakatani was aboard.
A year later at The Great Race Place, Southern Truce captured the Grade II Santa Maria Stakes at seven furlongs with Gary Stevens up. A California-bred daughter of Truce Maker, Southern Truce had raced for a claiming tag as low as $12,500 before emerging as one of the game’s most stupefying bargains.
She campaigned until age seven, racing 50 times overall, winning 19, with eight seconds, seven thirds and earnings of $867,578.
But this is one fairytale that did not have a happy ending.
Southern Truce suffered an untimely death when she was struck by lightning at Stone Farm in Paris, Ky., on July 5, 1995, almost 22 years ago to the day.
“It’s just so hard to deal with because you worry so much about these horses when they’re on the race track, and then, lo and behold, something like this happens,” said John Adger at the time. He was the bloodstock agent who had coordinated the sale of Southern Truce to Robert and Janice McNair of Houston 18 months earlier.
“We had a big thunder storm the night before and just found her dead early the next morning. She was in foal to Seattle Slew and was due in March. She finished fourth in her final race at Churchill Downs in May, and we bred her right off the race track. We were all in shock, of course.
“She was such a sweet mare, too, and she had such a big heart.”
KOBE‘S BACK RETURNS FOR SAN CARLOS STAKES
Kobe’s Back, a full horse still doing his thing at age seven, worked five furlongs under regular rider Gary Stevens Saturday morning in 1:00.60 for next Saturday’s Grade II, $250,000 San Carlos Stakes for three-year-olds and up at seven furlongs.
Workmate Arrowsphere was timed in 1:02.20. Kobe’s Back won the San Carlos last year as the 2-1 favorite.
A gray son of Flatter trained by Peter Eurton for the C R K Stable of Lee and Susan Searing, Kobe’s Back is a multiple graded stakes millionaire with earnings of $1,056,250.
“He worked a beautiful five-eighths today in a minute and two fifths,” Eurton said. “He was just kind of galloping along. It was probably one of his better moves since his comeback. Gary liked his work a lot.”
Kobe’s Back had been off from June 25, 2016 until March 11 of this year when he finished fifth in the Grade I Triple Bend. He was fourth in the Grade II Kona Gold after that on May 20, being compromised by an eventful start, which is his wont.
The stretch-running sprinter obviously likes his job, having performed admirably since he broke his maiden in a stakes race in his first start, the Willard Proctor Memorial at Hollywood Park on June 15, 2013.
“He’s a handful at the barn,” Eurton said, “but you trust him pretty much because he’s not a mean horse. He has idiosyncrasies that are all good. There’s nothing vicious and you don’t have to be careful around him, although he’ll nip and play like some horses, but he’s very relaxed in his stall. He doesn’t like to get back into the barn once he gets outside. He’s funny about that.”
Kobe’s Back typically makes a late run, but Eurton doesn’t necessarily buy into the premise that he is better suited at seven furlongs than six.
“I think he’s run some great races at six when he’s on his game,” Eurton said. “When he’s really doing well, and if he’s got a good pace to run at, anything short between six and seven is good for him.”
As to life after seven, Eurton said Kobe’s Back likely will complete 2017 as a race horse, barring anything unforeseen.
“He probably will finish this year up and then go to stud,” Eurton said. “I’m not stepping out of bounds by saying that. I think that’s the plan, but right now, all I’m thinking is one race at a time.”
FINISH LINES: There will be no simulcast wagering at Santa Anita next Thursday, July 29. After Sunday’s races, Santa Anita will resume live racing on Friday, June 30, and race through Tuesday, July 4, when the Spring portion of the current meet ends. Santa Anita will offer free Club House and General Admission on Friday, as well as free General Parking. Both Monday, July 3, and July 4, are Dollar Days, with beer, hot dogs and soda on sale for a buck apiece . . . There is a single ticket Pick Six Jackpot carryover today of $193,829.77 . . . Kent Desormeaux rides Sorry Erik for brother Keith in today’s Grade III Ohio Derby at Thistledown, while Mike Smith pilots Louisiana Derby winner Girvin for Joe Sharp in the 1 1/8-mile race offering $500,000 . . . Next Saturday, newly minted Hall of Fame member Victor Espinoza rides Whittingham Stakes fourth-place finisher Liam the Charmer for Michael McCarthy in the Grade I United Nations at Monmouth Park. Run at Atlantic City Race Course back in the day, the UN will be decided at 1 3/8 miles on turf . . . Rye Patch, 5-2 morning line choice in today’s eighth race, has been claimed six times in his last 12 races . . . Agent Derek Lawson reports that leading rider Flavien Prat has appealed a four-day riding suspension and will thus be in action at Santa Anita through closing day, July 4.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, June 23)|
|Norberto Arroyo, Jr.||67||10||11||11||15%||48%||$637,299|
|Hector O. Palma||43||7||8||5||16%||47%||$287,206|