Santa Anita Derby winner Gormley worked seven furlongs in 1:26.20 under regular rider Victor Espinoza following the 9 a.m. renovation break Saturday morning, after which trainer John Shirreffs said he was undecided on whether the son of Malibu Moon would run in the final jewel of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes a week from today, Saturday, June 10.

“Victor was very pleased with the work, and I thought the horse looked sensational,” Shirreffs said, “but we haven’t made up our minds yet (on the Belmont). I haven’t discussed it with Mr. Moss (part owner Jerry Moss), and we haven’t talked about the logistics of shipping.”

Gormley worked solo for the first time and with blinkers on for the first time.

Santa Anita clockers caught the bay colt in fractional times of 24.60, 36.80, 48.80, 1:00.80 and 1:13 for six furlongs, with a one mile gallop out clocking of 1:40.60.

Gormley did not run in the Preakness on May 20 after finishing ninth by more than 14 lengths in the May 6 Kentucky Derby, in which he was fourth at the mile marker in the mile-and-a-quarter race, less than three lengths behind leader and eventual winner Always Dreaming.



            Hiking was second in the Pleasantly Perfect Stakes last year when it was run at a mile and a half on grass, and trainer Simon Callaghan is hoping for a modicum of improvement Sunday when the $75,000 race for fillies and mares, three and up, is contested at the shorter distance of a mile and a quarter.

            A Kentucky-bred daughter of First Defence, Hiking was seventh by 13 lengths at 29-1 in the Grade III Santa Barbara Stakes on April 30. The Possibly Perfect will be only the third stakes race for Hiking, a six-year-old mare with a 4-3-4 record from 22 starts.

“I think she’s doing as well as she has since we’ve had her,” Callaghan said. “The Possibly Perfect is a pretty competitive race. Paddy Gallagher’s two fillies (Evo Campo and September Stars) look pretty tough, but my horse is training well, so we’re hopeful.”

The Possibly Perfect lineup: Evo Campo, Rafael Bejarano, 2-1; Place des Verges, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 4-1; September Stars, Gary Stevens, 5-2; Responsibleforlove, Joe Talamo, 9-2; Laseen, Santiago Gonzalez, 5-1; Stylish in Black, Agapito Delgadillo, 15-1; and Hiking, Israel Ocampo, 12-1.



The Elite Program Inc., through its Groom Elite programming, is excited to announce a unique opportunity for owners of racehorses to receive the same instruction that has been taught to over 3,000 grooms, inmates and others since 2001. Owners Groom Elite Session I will be conducted at Santa Anita Park July 10-14 followed by Session II on Sept. 25-29. .

At the request of a group of racehorse owners in Southern California, Dr. C. Reid McLellan, a nationally recognized equine educator, will present the materials taught in Basic Grooming 099, Groom Elite 101 and Groom Elite 201 during two intense weeks of six-hour per day instruction. The Groom Elite proven format of lecture and hands-on will be the mode of instruction. Owners will learn “best-practices” for taking care of their racehorses with the opportunity to see where they can make decisions that can improve their horse’s chances of winning races.

Sessions will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day with a 90-minute lunch break. During session I, McLellan will present “Behavior and Grooming,” the foundation and underlying philosophy of working safely with horses while increasing confidence in human and horses.

“Confident horses win races,” McLellan says. Longtime Santa Anita veterinarian Helmuth Von Bluecher, DVM, participated in McLellan’s instructor training at Isothermal College (Tryon, NC) and teaches in ICC’s ongoing Groom Elite program. Dr. Von Bluecher was impressed with the first two lectures in Basic Grooming 099.

“Dr. Mac presented information about how horses react the way they do. Experienced grooms and horse people already use some of those principles without understanding the background. Understanding and applying those principles can help a horse get comfortable with its groom faster. I learned new information and I think any horseman would benefit from attending this program from the beginning.”

In addition to Horse Behavior, Session I will present the first two-thirds of Groom Elite 101, including Height, Weight and Body Condition Score; Health Check; Basic Conformation, Leg Anatomy and Exam; Hay for horses; Horse Digestive System, Feeding Racehorses; and Introduction to Bandaging.

Session II will return to Santa Anita Sept. 25-29 and continue the Groom Elite 101 materials with more Bandaging, Tacking, The Horse’s Foot, and Test Barn. Groom Elite 201 (Advanced Grooming) includes advanced discussions of Skeleton, Muscles, Injuries, Therapy, Cooling out Hot Horses, Tying up and Non-Sweaters. Attendees of Session I will have priority for one of 20 limited seats in Session II.

Liane Hart, racehorse breeder and owner, Groom Elite 101/201 graduate (Indiana), Trainer Exam Prep Class graduate (Lexington) and now a Groom Elite Board member, passed her Kentucky assistant trainer’s licensing exam June 1. Liane wrote Dr. Mac, “Thank you for everything you have done for me over the years. I couldn’t have done this without you and the Groom Elite classes. You covered basically everything that was on the test.”

Tuition for each week-long session is $599. Session I registration is open now and participants who sign up before June 23 pay an EARLY BIRD special tuition of $499. Space will be limited to 20 spots to allow for discussion and hands-on opportunities. Attendees of Session I will have priority for a seat in Session II and will be able to sign up for Session II at Session I before registration is open to the public.

A waiting list will be established if either session is over subscribed. Those interested are encouraged to go to and sign up. Anyone without internet access is invited to call 859-252-8648 (Race for Education) or Dr. McLellan at 859-321-4377 and sign up over the phone.

Don’t forget the upcoming Trainers’ Exam Prep Classes in Lexington, KY on June 28-30, and Remington Park on Aug. 16-18. Links to information about those classes also available at

The National HBPA ( based in Lexington, Ky. is the largest racing horsemen’s representative organization in North America with 30 affiliate organizations and over 30,000 member horsemen. Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, Lavin Insurance Group LLC, Xpressbet, NTRA Advantage,, Red Brand, Finish Line Horse Products Inc. and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA.


FINISH LINES: Drayden Van Dyke is about to resume his riding career after being sidelined since suffering a compound fracture of his right arm in a two-horse spill on Jan. 27. The nation’s Eclipse Award-winning apprentice rider in 2014, the 22-year-old Van Dyke had five wins from 51 rides at the time of the mishap. “He gets his release from doctors on June 6 and he’ll be getting on horses next week,” said his agent, Brad Pegram, who also represents the nation’s leader in purse earnings with $10,842,688, Mike Smith. “Drayden is ready to return; he’s more than ready.” . . . Santa Anita enjoyed major increases in attendance this Memorial Day weekend compared with last year. On track attendance for the month of May totaled 154,669 to last year’s 138,572, an increase of 11.6 percent. This Memorial Day weekend, attendance was 48,100 to 2016’s 38,160, a jump of 26 percent. Links to view are: Memorial Day Weekend Recap Video:, and Memorial Day Monday Video Recap: . . . Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Drefong (pronounced DRAY-fong) worked four furlongs Saturday for Bob Baffert in :48 flat under regular rider Martin Garcia for the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar on July 29. Workmate Pretty Owl was timed in 48.40 . . .  On the training track, Grade I winner Union Strike had her final major breeze before shipping Tuesday for next Saturday’s Grade I Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park, going four furlongs in a bullet 47.80 under regular pilot Brice Blanc for part owner and trainer Mick Ruis. Ibon also got a bullet clocking of 47.80 for trainer Paulo Lobo. “She went great, just a perfect work,” Blanc said of Union Strike. “She’s doing well and we’re ready to go. She just needs a little luck. Hopefully, we’re good enough, and I think she is.” . . . Fans are invited to experience the 10th annual “Santa Anita Uncorked” at The Great Race Place on Belmont Stakes Day. In addition to wine tasting, a souvenir wine glass, cuisine sampling, an art show featuring a silent auction and a day at the races, the Santa Anita Uncorked package includes parking, admission, racing program and a Club House seat all for just $60. Tickets are available from or, and the Santa Anita ticket office.

(Current Through Friday, June 2)          
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won  
Flavien Prat 113 27 15 21 24% 56% $1,323,818  
Rafael Bejarano 102 23 15 17 23% 54% $1,314,999  
Joseph Talamo 130 22 25 18 17% 50% $1,126,615  
Evin Roman 81 20 7 11 25% 47% $517,469  
Tyler Baze 126 16 26 20 13% 49% $904,388  
Tiago Pereira 99 14 15 12 14% 41% $542,665  
Martin Pedroza 77 10 7 10 13% 35% $351,615  
Edwin Maldonado 78 9 12 15 12% 46% $497,298  
Kent Desormeaux 44 9 10 5 20% 55% $646,884  
Gary Stevens 37 9 7 4 24% 54% $530,368  
Stewart Elliott 102 8 11 14 8% 32% $403,307  
Norberto Arroyo, Jr. 46 8 6 8 17% 48% $482,348  
Trainer Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won  
Peter Miller 74 22 10 10 30% 57% $801,965  
Richard Baltas 72 18 10 11 25% 54% $859,914  
Philip D’Amato 80 17 12 10 21% 49% $1,010,310  
Doug O’Neill 59 11 15 9 19% 59% $532,638  
Steven Miyadi 46 11 6 10 24% 59% $292,133  
Bob Baffert 32 11 5 5 34% 66% $946,445  
Jerry Hollendorfer 49 8 7 7 16% 45% $368,640  
Peter Eurton 32 8 6 4 25% 56% $444,673  
Jack Carava 30 7 1 7 23% 50% $165,260  
Jeff Mullins 15 7 1 2 47% 67% $196,700  
John Sadler 40 6 8 4 15% 45% $331,435  
Simon Callaghan 19 6 1 3 32% 53% $229,245  
Eddie Truman 15 6 1 2 40% 60% $214,450