- INSTILLED REGARD WORKS FOR SA DERBY; McKINZIE OUT
- KTLA MORNING NEWS WILL BE AT SANTA ANITA THURSDAY
- AGENTLESS BLANC HAS A SOLID PROSPECT IN FIBONACCI
INSTILLED REGARD BREEZES FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY
Instilled Regard had his final major work for next Saturday’s Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby, going five furlongs at 6:45 this morning for the West Coast’s major steppingstone to the May 5 Kentucky Derby. Instilled Regard was timed in 1:01.60 under exercise rider Edgar Rodriguez.
Instilled Regard, winner of the Lecomte Stakes and fourth as the favorite in the Risen Star at the Fair Grounds, went in company with Shackleford Banks, clocked in 1:02.80.
“It was a very good work,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. “I’m happy with him.”
Some three hours after that news, word from Dubai was that McKinzie would miss the race due to a problem in one of his hind legs, trainer Bob Baffert told The Blood-Horse.
“There was an issue and then he was fine the next day–he was sound . . . He’s not going to make the Santa Anita Derby. He’s definitely out,” Baffert said.
That would leave the Santa Anita Derby door open for Baffert’s budding three-year-old superstar Justify to run in the race. “It depends on how he breezes Monday,” Baffert told Daily Racing Form.
Asked for his reaction to the scratch of McKinzie, Mick Ruis, owner/trainer of Bolt d’Oro, who was promoted to first after finishing second by a head to McKinzie in the March 10 San Felipe Stakes, said, “no comment.”
Two longshots could enter the Santa Anita Derby, one being Keith Desormeaux trainee Ayacara, a well-beaten fifth in the San Felipe, and Victor Garcia trainee Pepe Tono, third in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes and a distant third behind Justify in an overnight race on March 11.
Ayacara worked five furlongs in 1:01 Saturday morning, while Pepe Tono is scheduled to breeze Sunday, after which Garcia is likely to render a decision on whether to enter or not. Evin Roman would have the mount.
Entries for the Santa Anita Derby and six other stakes on the blockbuster 12-race card, including the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks, will be taken this Wednesday, April 4.
The Santa Anita Derby awards 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner, 40 to the runner-up, 20 for third and 10 for fourth. The winner’s share is $600,000. Second is worth $200,000, third $120,000 and fourth $50,000.
Ruis will participate in an NTRA national media teleconference this Tuesday at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. Other trainers of leading Triple Crown candidates listed to join in are Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of Enticed (Wood Memorial April 7), and Mark Casse, trainer of Flameaway and Determinant (Blue Grass Stakes, also on April 7).
The toll-free dial in number is 1-866 215-0058. The confirmation code is 8151092.
KTLA MORNING NEWS AT SANTA ANITA NEXT THURSDAY
With the Santa Anita Derby just a week away, the popular KTLA Morning News will be at Santa Anita next Thursday for a full morning of Derby Doings, including mingling with top jockeys and trainers to cutting edge Derby fare.
Beginning in the 5 a.m. hour and through up until 10 a.m., KTLA will be doing live, remote broadcast segments from Clockers’ Corner and Santa Anita’s Paddock Gardens area.
Among those scheduled to appear on Channel 5 are the Voice of Santa Anita, Michael Wrona, legendary Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., winner of the Santa Anita Derby seven times and Baffert, who’s trained a record seven winners himself.
TIME LINE OF EVENTS ON SANTA ANITA DERBY DAY
The Santa Anita Derby which has produced 17 Kentucky Derby winners, will be accompanied by a number of on-track events, including the annual Santa Anita Derby 5k Run and Walk.
The time line and schedule of on-track events:
–4:30 a.m. Clockers’ Corner open for food service.
–6:30 a.m. Derby Day 5k Run & Walk race day registration begins in South parking lot.
–8 a.m. Derby Day 5k Run & Walk begins from Santa Anita starting gate in South lot.
–10 a.m. Admission gates open and all Thoroughbreds members will
receive a Santa Anita Derby Tee Shirt, free with paid admission. Attendees will
receive “bounce backs,” good for free Club House admission on April 8 or the following weekend.
–10 a.m. A number of events will be offered throughout the day, including Santa
Anita’s Trackside Derby Day Party, Woodford Reserve “View” Trackside VIP Party, exclusive 100-to-1 Club, Premium Turf Terrace package, Bud Light Lounge, Sky View package, Infield Family Fun Zone and the New Wave Matinee, featuring Totally 80’s Live Music, craft beer & food trucks in the Infield. More information on these events is available at www.santaanita.com/events.
–12 noon first post time for a 12-race program that will include the Grade I Santa
Anita Derby, the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks, the Grade II Royal Heroine Stakes, the Grade III Providencia Stakes, the $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes, the $200,000 Evening Jewel Stakes and the $100,000 Darley Award Arabian Stakes.
–12 noon. Undefeated middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin will
be on-hand throughout the day. The Santa Anita jockey colony will honor him with a birthday cake in a Winner’s Circle ceremony early in the day and he will present the winner’s trophy following the Santa Anita Derby.
–4:12 p.m. Santa Anita Derby approximate post time. The race will be shown live
on NBC Sports Net, with the telecast airing from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT. Hosted by Laffit Pincay, who will be assisted on set by Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey. Donna Brothers and Eddie Olczyk are also part of the broadcast team.
–5:05 p.m. Approximate post time for $100,000, Grade I Sheikh Mansoor
Festival/Arabian Race, which will be accompanied by a Best Dressed Competition and other prizes, including a trip giveaway to Madrid, Spain and Abu Dhabi.
For additional information, please visit www.santaanita.com/events or call
BLANC SUCCEEDS WITH NO MIDDLE MAN
Stakes wins have been all too infrequent for Brice Blanc since Famous Digger back in 1997 and more recently Spanish Queen and Flamboyant, but that void could be filled in the near future by a three-year-old ridgling named Fibonacci.
Blanc rode the son of prolific turf sire Artie Schiller to an impressive five-length victory for trainer Richard Baltas in Friday’s fourth race, a mile and one-eighth allowance over a firm grass course in 1:46.25.
With seven wins from 55 mounts, Blanc is not within hailing distance of Santa Anita’s leaders this meet, but knowledgeable race trackers recognize his innate ability on a horse.
Sure, he was on the best one in Fibonacci, but his skills, sagacity and savvy were evident throughout the race, and he is grateful to Baltas for the opportunities presented.
The trainer returns the compliment.
“Brice has a lot of knowledge and he knows when he’s on a good horse,” said Baltas, who sent out two winners Friday giving him 25 for the meet, putting him third in the standings behind Bob Baffert and Peter Miller. Baltas mentioned the Grade I, $1,200,000 Belmont Derby at a mile and a quarter on turf July 7 as a long-range goal for Fibonacci.
Wherever he goes, Blanc plans to be on board the striking gray, winner of his last two races, each at a mile and an eighth on turf.
“It’s a lot of fun riding horses like that,” Blanc said by phone Friday night before departing Saturday morning for Golden Gate Fields, where he rides 6-1 morning line chance Editore for Paulo Lobo in today’s Grade III San Francisco Mile on turf.
“Fibonacci is becoming more confident, more mature, every race. Everything comes easy to him. Some horses can be hard to handle and stress out, but every race he gets better. He can be any kind. He’s a cool dude.”
Blanc has found his stride since booking his own mounts, saving the 25 percent of a rider’s earnings typically paid an agent, but it’s a work in progress, and progress is being made.
“I’ve been my own agent for the past five months,” said Blanc, a 45-year-old native of Lyon, France, in his 25th year as a jockey. “It’s given me great opportunities. I enjoy meeting with people on the backstretch in the morning and it’s definitely been a huge learning experience since I’ve eliminated the middle man.”
FINISH LINES: Families can enjoy Easter Sunday at Santa Anita tomorrow with a Turf Terrace Brunch and an Infield Easter egg hunt. Admission gates open at 10 a.m., with first post time at 11:30 a.m. For more info, visit santaanita.com/events . . . Bruce Headley, currently in rehab after suffering a recent brain bleed, “is doing better and expected to be back at the track as soon as he’s able,” said his daughter, trainer Karen Headley. “He’s been a wild man his whole life,” Karen said of her feisty father, 84. “Before he comes back, doctors want to make sure he’s not a fall risk.” . . . Midnight Bisou worked six furlongs this morning for trainer Bill Spawr in 1:12.40 for next Saturday’s Grade I Santa Anita Oaks . . . Champion Unique Bella, bound for the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park April 13, worked six furlongs Saturday under Edgar Rodriguez for Jerry Hollendorfer in yet another bullet, this one in 1:11.80, breezing . . . Clocker Andy Harrington will be Tom Quigley‘s guest 10:20 a.m. Sunday in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Jockeys Martin Garcia, Ruben Fuentes and Drayden Van Dyke have been suspended three days for recent infractions.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, March 30)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||154||34||18||17||22%||45%||$2,055,552|
|William E. Morey||38||11||2||11||29%||63%||$449,683|
|Robert Hess, Jr.||68||9||10||7||13%||38%||$316,481|
|J. Keith Desormeaux||44||9||5||8||20%||50%||$315,739|