- ONE FAST BROAD FITS IN CALIFORNIA CUP OAKS
- SKYE DIAMONDS, PEREIRA PROVE WINNING TEAM
- ECLIPSE WINNER ROMAN RIDES IN CAL CUP DERBY
- GEOVANNI FRANCO ON THE RISE AT SANTA ANITA
ONE FAST BROAD TACKLES CAL-BREDS ON PRESIDENTS’ DAY
One Fast Broad, a versatile and consistent daughter of Decarchy owned and trained by Mick Ruis, works Tuesday under Flavien Prat who rides the three-year-old filly in next Monday’s Feb. 19 Presidents’ Day co-feature, the $200,000 California Cup Oaks at a mile on turf.
“In her last two $100,000 turf races against open company she was second,” Ruis said, referring to the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar on Sept. 4, 2017, and the Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 31. Each race was at a mile.
“She lost by a half-length in the Blue Norther and came flying,” Ruis pointed out, as she came from 10th in a field of 11, went four wide and just missed under 124 pounds.
“She should be pretty tough going against Cal-breds.”
In six career starts, One Fast Broad has won three with two seconds and a fourth for total earnings of $249,160.
The Presidents’ Day co-feature is the $200,000 California Cup Derby, which is expected to lure California Chrome’s full brother, promising maiden Faversham trained by Art Sherman.
Santa Anita offers another of its popular Dollar Days on Feb. 19, with sodas and beers on sale for a buck apiece, and hot dogs for $2.
Meanwhile, Triple Crown contender Bolt d’Oro, scheduled to make his three-year-old debut in the Grade II, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on March 10, is due to work Wednesday, weather permitting.
“We’ll see how the rain goes,” Ruis said.
SKYE DIAMONDS, PEREIRA HOPE TO KEEP WINNING IN LAS FLORES
Tiago Pereira has ridden Skye Diamonds ever since Bill Spawr claimed the California-bred daughter of First Dude for $40,000 on Aug. 27, 2016, a string of 10 straight races, winning seven, including three stakes.
Spawr hopes the streak is embellished next Sunday when Pereira and Skye Diamonds team up again in the Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes for fillies and mares, four and up, at six furlongs.
“He wins on her, and the day that we took her, he was on her,” Spawr said succinctly in explaining why he maintains the winning combination. In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
“He seems to get along with her real well. You don’t want to change a good thing. Why be crazy? He knows and understands her, he’s been working her, and he’s a good rider and a good horseman.
“It makes sense.”
ROMAN RETURNS, HAS MOUNT IN CAL CUP DERBY
Eclipse Award-winning apprentice of 2017 Evin Roman resumes riding today after serving a suspension. He is named on five horses, and next Monday, Feb. 19, has been booked to ride Psycho Dar for trainer Steve Miyadi in the $200,000 California Cup Derby.
A gray gelded son of Storm Wolf owned by Amber Sandoval, Psycho Dar was second despite a wide trip last out in the California Cup Turf Sprint at about 6 ½ furlongs on Jan. 27.
Among those likely the face Psycho Dar in the 1 1/16-mile Derby are Campaigner, Continental Divide, Dynamic Duo, Faversham, Fire When Ready, Heck Yeah, Intimidate, Kaleidoscope Kid, Lucky Roman and Night At the Opera.
FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT FOR GEOVANNI FRANCO
Geovanni Franco is quietly making a name for himself at Santa Anita Park.
The native of Mexico City who turned 27 on Jan. 28 ranks among the top 10 jockeys in
wins with 10 through 27 days of the Winter Meet, all from only 73 mounts (14 percent), plus eight seconds and 14 thirds (44 percent in the money).
“He’s a good rider,” said trainer Eric Kruljac, who gave Franco a leg up on $30 winner Coronado Cool in Thursday’s fourth race and on 12-length even-money victor Miz Tianjin in Friday’s fourth race.
“The guy’s going to make it here. He’s got talent and puts a lot of effort into his races.”
James Giannone couldn’t agree more. He is the 64-year-old agent for Franco (no relation to apprentice rider Cesar Franco, who is represented by agent Vince DeGregory. Cesar, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, turns 20 on March 22).
“Geovanni came to the U.S. when he was 19 years old and we hooked up in 2013 at Turf Paradise where he was the leading rider,” Giannone said. “After that, he rode in the Midwest, Remington, Oaklawn, Kentucky.
“He won the Oaklawn Handicap in 2017 on Inside Straight (at a $41.40 win payoff) for Robertino Diodoro, beating (Phil) D’Amato’s 1-2 favorite, Midnight Storm, who finished third. That race really turned the corner for us.”
Giannone has been an agent for 10 years, but broke into the game in 1973 with the late trainer Jerry Dutton. “Jerry Hollendorfer was the groom for Dutton’s stakes horses,” recalled Giannone, who is looking forward to an increasingly bright future with Geovanni.
“We’re very grateful for the support and opportunities trainers have given us this meet,” he said. “We want to continue fulfilling both their goals and ours.”
FINISH LINES: Santa Anita has two exotic carryovers today, $18,592 in the single ticket Pick Six Jackpot pool and $86,787 in the main Pick Six pool . . . Drayden Van Dyke will be at Oaklawn Park on Presidents’ Day to ride Smarty Jones winner Mourinho for Bob Baffert in the Southwest Stakes and Malibu winner City of Light for Michael McCarthy in the Razorback. With Van Dyke at Oaklawn, Mike Smith rides undefeated Heck Yeah for Baffert in the Cal Cup Derby. Van Dyke had been aboard the son of Acclimation in his two daylight wins . . . Eclipse Award winner as champion three-year-old male of 2017 West Coast worked three furlongs for Baffert at Santa Anita Sunday in 36.60. Asked about the next race, Baffert said it would be, “Something big,” likely referring to the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 31 . . . There were 239 recorded workouts at Santa Anita Sunday, including 24 on the training track, one of which was a six furlong move in 1:15.40 by Megahertz Stakes winner Madame Stripes, a contender in next Saturday’s Grade II Buena Vista Stakes at a mile on turf for Neil Drysdale. Also likely for the Buena Vista are Insta Erma, Juno, Madame Dancealot, Sassy Little Lila and Sweet Charity . . . Another prominent worker was Selcourt, 7 ½-length winner of the Kalookan Queen Stakes, who went five furlongs in a bullet one minute flat for John Sadler, who is preparing the daughter of Tiz Wonderful for a meeting with Skye Diamonds in next Sunday’s Las Flores . . . Congratulations to Patricia Warren, wife of former trainer Don Warren, on owning the winner of Saturday’s first race, Adventurous, a five-year-old Vronsky gelding ridden by Tyler Baze and trained by Don’s long-time former assistant, Kenny Black. A large and happy group celebrated in the winner’s circle . . . Santa Anita will be dark for live racing this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday but be open Wednesday for simulcast wagering, with free admission and free parking. Admission gates open that day at 10 a.m.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Saturday, Feb. 10)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||92||14||10||8||15%||35%||$997,013|
|William E. Morey||20||9||0||6||45%||75%||$347,968|