STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – SATURDAY, JUNE 8, 2019

  • BAFFERT EYES BELMONT FROM HOME THIS YEAR
  • CECIL LEANS TOWARDS LISTING IN DESERT CODE
  • JACKPOT IS $1,049,222 AT END OF THE ‘RAINBOW’
  • EDWIN MALDONADO RIDING TALL IN THE SADDLE

BAFFERT VIEWS BELMONT FROM AFAR THIS YEAR

California will have no equine or trainer representation in today’s 151st Belmont Stakes, final jewel in the Triple Crown, but interest remains from afar.

Conspicuous by his absence is Bob Baffert, who swept the Triple Crown with American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018. That doesn’t mean the Hall of Fame trainer was without an opinion on the Belmont, at a mile and a half the most daunting of the three-year-old classics.

“I like Pletcher and Mott,” Baffert said Saturday morning at Clockers’ Corner, alluding to a pair conditioned by Todd Pletcher, 10-1 morning line chance Intrepid Heart and 15-1 Spinoff, in addition to 9-5 morning line favorite Tacitus trained by Bill Mott.

Ten horses were entered in the Belmont, with scheduled post time of 3:37 Pacific Time.

The field: Joevia, Jose Lezcano, 30-1; Everfast, Luis Saez, 12-1; Master Fencer, Julien Leparoux, 8-1; Tax, Irad Ortiz Jr., 15-1; Bourbon War, Mike Smith, 12-1; Spinoff, Javier Castellano, 15-1; Sir Winston, Joel Rosario, 12-1; Intrepid Heart, John Velazquez, 10-1; War of Will, Tyler Gaffalione, 2-1; and Tacitus, Jose Ortiz, 9-5.

LISTING RETURNS TO SPRINT IN DESERT CODE

Ben Cecil hopes returning to a turf sprint will benefit Listing in Sunday’s $75,000 Desert Stakes, a salty event that drew six entrants at five furlongs.

A bay son of prolific sire Square Eddie owned by Reddam Racing, Listing won the California Cup Turf Sprint at about 6 ½ furlongs on Jan. 26 against state-breds, was second in the Echo Eddie vs. Cal-breds on the main track, and ran a creditable fourth when stretching out to a mile on turf against state-breds in the Silky Sullivan at Golden Gate April 28.

After breaking his maiden first out in the restricted I’m Smokin last Aug. 31, he was a distant eighth in the Grade I Champagne at Belmont on Oct. 6 followed by a non-threatening fifth in the Golden State Juvenile at Santa Anita Nov. 3.

“He grabbed a quarter in the Champagne,” the trainer explained. “The trip to New York took too much out of him.”

As for the Desert Code, Cecil said, “He could be on the sharp side but he’s doing well. I think a mile is probably stretching him a little bit, so this seemed like the logical place to go.

There are Cal-bred races down the road, so we can always go back there.”

The Desert Code, race six of nine with a 1 p.m. first post time: Ginger Nut, Drayden Van Dyke, 5-2; Listing, Mario Gutierrez, 5-1; Legends of War, Flavien Prat, 7-2; Rafal, Joe Talamo, 3-1; Alleva, Rafael Bejarano, 5-1; and Strictly Biz, Tiago Pereira, 4-1.

The Desert Code is named for the winner of the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, who scored at Santa Anita as the longest shot in the race at 36-1 under Richard Migliore on Oct. 25, 2008. David Hofmans trained Desert Code for long-time client Tarabilla Farms.

MALDONADO ACHIEVES HIS GOAL BIG TIME

Edwin Maldonado is not the leading jockey at Santa Anita this meet, but at five feet six, he’s certainly among the tallest, and with 13 wins from 63 mounts, a gaudy 21 percent, he is fifth in the standings, thanks in the main to good luck and hard work.

The 35-year-old native of Columbus, Ohio, realizes competition is keen among riders at The Great Race Place, but he and his agent Vic Lipton adhere to a philosophy of full steam ahead, and it’s paid off.

“We’ve been working hard in Southern California since I got back from Oaklawn Park a little over a year ago,” Maldonado said Saturday morning between workouts. “It’s been tough because the competition is stiff, but we never give up.

“Vic and I have a good relationship and, if we fall, we rise again. We ride for a lot of different trainers and that gives us many options. I don’t like to have all my eggs in one basket.”

Although he was born in Ohio, when he was six his mother returned to her native Puerto Rico. “I was raised there and went to school there,” Maldonado said. “When I turned 18, I came to the States.”

Riding was always in his blood and in his family.

“My uncle, Manuel Alicea, was a jockey. My grandfather was a jockey, so I wanted to be a jockey ever since I can remember,” said Maldonado, readily recognizable in the mornings donning his familiar red and black garb.

“When I was 18, I went to Texas and my uncle taught me how to ride.”

In 2001, Maldonado rode his first winner at Assinobia Downs in Winnipeg, Manitoba,  Canada, the same town where Lipton was born.

All these years later, for lack of a better description, call it karma.

SINGLE TICKET RAINBOW PICK SIX JACKPOT AT MASSIVE $1,049,222

With eight consecutive Grade I stakes, highlighted by the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes coming in from New York, Santa Anita will also offer fans a massive 20 cent Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot carryover of $1,049,222 today.

With $137,061 in “new” money bet, Friday’s Jackpot pool reached $1,154,902. Although there was no Single Ticket winner, there were 88 consolation tickets with six winners, each worth $836.80. Approximate post time for race five that begins the Rainbow Six is 2:05 p.m.

LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:

Blitzkrieg works 4 furlongs. 6-8-19 (O’Neill)

Caribou Club works 4 furlongs. 6-8-19 (Proctor)

Nolo Contesto (Outside) in company works 5 furlongs. 6-8-19 (Sadler)

Cajun Treasure works 4 furlongs. 6-8-19 (Eurton)

XBTV Sunday: What to Watch for at Santa Anita Park on June 9th, 2019

Weekend Watch: Highlighting weekend action at Santa Anita Park Starting June 8th, 2019.

Game Winner (Outside) and Shocking Fast worked 4 furlongs. 6-7-19 (Baffert)

Roadster worked 5 furlongs. 6-7-19 (Baffert)

She’s Devoted (Outside) and Rip City worked 3 furlongs. 6-7-19 (Baltas)

Square Peggy worked 4 furlongs. 6-7-19 (Koriner)

Bitter Ring Home worked 3 furlongs. 6-7-19 (Drysdale) 

FINISH LINES: With eight racing days remaining in the spring portion of the current meet, Flavien Prat holds a 24-18 lead over runner-up Joe Talamo among jockeys, with Rafael Bejarano and Tiago Pereira tied for third at 17 each. Talamo and Drayden Van Dyke are atop the stakes-won department with four added money wins each…Doug O’Neill leads Richard Baltas among trainers, 20-16, although Baltas leads O’Neill in purse earnings, $1,099,074 to $993,045. Favorites are winning overall at 34.65 percent, but considerably higher on dirt, 39.06 (50 out of 128), than on turf, where they succeed 29 percent of the time (29 of 100).

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS

(Current from April 12 through Friday, June 7)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Flavien Prat

102

24

22

19

24%

64%

$1,796,776

Joseph Talamo

94

18

14

12

19%

47%

$1,009,177

Rafael Bejarano

106

17

20

20

16%

54%

$1,007,634

Tiago Pereira

109

17

8

17

16%

39%

$885,914

Ruben Fuentes

98

15

18

14

15%

48%

$677,088

Drayden Van Dyke

85

13

14

13

15%

47%

$1,186,688

Edwin Maldonado

63

13

8

9

21%

48%

$501,676

Victor Espinoza

53

13

5

8

25%

49%

$798,131

Kent Desormeaux

57

12

7

8

21%

47%

$592,625

Aaron Gryder

72

11

12

7

15%

42%

$549,484

Martin Garcia

56

11

11

10

20%

57%

$626,576

Mario Gutierrez

58

7

13

7

12%

47%

$503,314

Geovanni Franco

80

7

9

10

9%

33%

$485,838

Norberto Arroyo, Jr.

34

6

5

5

18%

47%

$384,642

Jorge Velez

46

5

6

8

11%

41%

$248,589

Martin Pedroza

34

5

5

5

15%

44%

$235,488

Heriberto Figueroa

41

5

2

2

12%

22%

$196,479

Agapito Delgadillo

38

4

4

7

11%

39%

$190,005

 

Trainer

 

Mts

 

1st

 

2nd

 

3rd

 

Win%

 

ITM%

 

Money Won

Doug O’Neill

86

20

11

18

23%

57%

$993,045

Richard Baltas

61

16

11

6

26%

54%

$1,099,074

Mark Glatt

61

13

12

4

21%

48%

$681,122

Philip D’Amato

65

12

10

4

18%

40%

$902,537

John Sadler

56

12

7

13

21%

57%

$875,492

Jerry Hollendorfer

46

8

10

4

17%

48%

$749,427

Bob Baffert

27

7

7

5

26%

70%

$482,033

Andrew Lerner

11

6

0

0

55%

55%

$156,722

Vladimir Cerin

41

5

10

5

12%

49%

$286,941

Steve Knapp

28

5

6

6

18%

61%

$214,356

John Shirreffs

20

5

4

2

25%

55%

$386,722

J. Keith Desormeaux

27

5

3

6

19%

52%

$212,105

Richard Mandella

22

5

2

4

23%

50%

$248,162