STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2019

  • TURF SHOULD SUIT MUCHO UNUSUAL IN CAL CUP OAKS
  • MONDAY IS DOLLAR DAY AT THE GREAT RACE PLACE
  • WEST POINT GROUP TO SEE GALILEAN IN CAL CUP DERBY
  • VICTOR ESPINOZA IS BACK AND READY FOR HIS CLOSEUP
  • SINGLE TICKET JACKPOT CARRYOVER TODAY AT $190,102
  • HRONIS RACING, REDDAM RACING VOTED TOC AWARDS

YAKTEEN HOPES GRASS IS GREENER FOR MUCHO UNUSUAL

Mucho Unusual has the pedigree to succeed in Monday’s $200,000 California Cup Oaks at one mile on turf.

A bay daughter of the Macho Uno sire Mucho Macho Man out of the Unusual Heat dam Not Unusual, Mucho Unusual makes her grass debut in the Oaks, which is a part of the lucrative Golden State Series for California-breds.

“She’s a half-sister to Big Score who earned more than $600,000 ($635,372) on the turf, so I would say the grass pedigree is there,” said Tim Yakteen, who trains the filly for long-time owner/breeder George Krikorian, also the owner/breeder of Big Score, winner of the Grade III Transylvania at Keeneland in 2017 and on the board in eight other graded stakes.

“The Unusual Heat gene has definitely emerged from her pedigree for turf in the past.

She seems to have a real fluid action, and we’re excited to see her stretch out on turf.”

Mucho Unusual not only will be making her turf debut in the Oaks, it will mark her first race beyond seven furlongs, which came in the Golden State Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

She was second in that race after breaking her maiden with an 8 ¼-length romp going 6 ½ furlongs against state-breds in her previous outing at Santa Anita last Oct. 4.

MONDAY IS DOLLAR DAY AT THE GREAT RACE PLACE

In addition to an outstanding nine-race card Monday highlighted by the $200,000 California Cup Derby and the $200,000 California Cup Oaks, tomorrow, Presidents’ Day, is also Dollar Day at Santa Anita. One dollar beers (21 & over) and sodas will be available throughout the day, as will two dollar hot dogs.

First post time is 12:30 p.m. and admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.

The Cal Cup Oaks, race five: Lippy, Mario Gutierrez, 10-1; Mucho Unusual, Joel Rosario, 8-1; Tiz a Master, Heriberto Figueroa, 12-1; Kookie Gal, Flavien Prat, 4-1; Silk From Heaven, Eswan Flores, 12-1; Hot On the Trail, Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1; Creative Instinct, Geovanni Franco, 12-1; Lakerball, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; andApache Princess, Kent Desormeaux, 9-5.

WEST POINT ENJOYS BUSINESS/PLEASURE VISIT TO SANTA ANITA

Jeff Lifson, career race tracker and executive president of West Point Thoroughbreds, was an enthusiastic visitor Sunday morning at Santa Anita, where Galilean runs in Monday’s $200,000 California Cup Derby.

West Point is part-owner of the Uncle Mo colt, Jon White’s 2-5 morning line favorite to win the mile and an eighth race for California-breds.

“My title carries a hefty amount of letters but not a lot of responsibility, as far as that goes,” Lifson said, tongue planted firmly in cheek. “I’ve been part of West Point’s buying team for a number of years now and we have approximately 100 partners.

“Nancy Dollase (wife of trainer Craig Dollase) is out here full time for us, but I’m the guy who rotates all over the country, comes here for Del Mar and Santa Anita because a lot of my partners have horses with Jerry (Hollendorfer, trainer of Galilean).

“I’m here often during the year because it’s my territory. I’m in charge of the happiness quotient for my partners on the West Coast, and anytime I’m here, I’m happier. I love it here.”

The 54-year-old Lifson, who resides in Louisville, Ky., was with TVG for five years after it launched in the late 1990s. “I kind of tell people I was the Bob Ley of TVG,” he said. “I started there, kept rolling with all its ups and downs, but I haven’t stayed like Bob Lee stayed with ESPN. I started in ’99 and left in 2004. I commuted to the studios here in LA, which is how I ultimately hooked up with West Point.” 

In addition to Galilean on Monday, West Point and its partners saw Hard Not to Love win her debut in yesterday’s first race and have Bartlett Hall running in today’s eighth race.

Meanwhile, Lifson continues to absorb with passion every moment of a game he loves, punctuating his emphasis by saying this:

“Racing is the greatest game played outdoors.”

The field for the Cal Cup Derby: Loud Mouth, Joel Rosario, 8-1; Whooping Jay, Mario Gutierrez, 8-1; Irish Heatwave, Kent Desormeaux, 3-1; Galilean, Flavien Prat, 2-5; and Feeling Strong, Tiago Pereira, 12-1.

VICTOR ESPINOZA RETURNS TO ACTION TOMORROW

Victor Espinoza was back on the beat at Clockers’ Corner Sunday morning, blending in with the throng as he prepares for his return to the races in Monday’s first race aboard 5-2 morning line favorite Gallantlystreaming for trainer John Sadler.

“It feels good to come back and start again after such a long time,” said Espinoza, 46, who was sidelined almost seven months after suffering injuries in a training mishap at Del Mar last July 22. The regular rider of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome, Espinoza has been working horses in advance of his comeback and breezed one for trainer Jim Cassidy this morning.

“I’m looking forward to winning some more races,” Espinoza said. “It’s great to see my old friends. I’ve been here so many years, and to suddenly disappear for a little while was hard, so it’s fun to be back.

“I’m really excited and looking forward to riding the next champion.”

SANTA ANITA SINGLE TICKET PICK SIX JACKPOT CARRYOVER OF $190,102

Santa Anita’s popular 20 cent Single Ticket Pick Six Jackpot went unsolved on Saturday, resulting in a Jackpot carryover into Sunday of $190,102. Although there was no Jackpot winner, there were 67 consolation tickets with six winners, each paying $1,443.05.

With $180,325 in “new” money wagered, Saturday’s total Single Ticket Jackpot pool totaled $329,144.

Sunday’s 20 cent Single Ticket Jackpot begins with race four, which has an approximate post time of 2:05 p.m. PT.

TOC HONORS HRONIS RACING, REDDAM RACING

The Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) has announced the winners of its 2018 statistical awards for leading California owners. For the second consecutive year, Hronis Racing LLC was leading owner in total purse earnings and also led all owners by number of California wins and number of stakes wins. Reddam Racing LLC took the award for most California starts.

Hronis’s campaigners earned $3,838,910 in California last year, with 40 victories from 253 starts, including 12 stakes wins. Leading was Horse of the Year runner-up Accelerate, winner of the Santa Anita Handicap, Gold Cup at Santa Anita Stakes, San Pasqual Stakes, Awesome Again Stakes and the $1 Million TVG Pacific Classic.

Their other top stakes runners were Catalina Cruiser (winner of the Pat O’Brien Stakes and San Diego Handicap), Gift Box, Yuvetsi, Shenandoah Queen and Edwards Going Left.

Reddam Racing made a remarkable 300 California starts in 2018 for earnings of $3,000,690. Their top stakes runners included Mopotism, winner of the La Canada Stakes, How About Zero, winner of the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint Stakes, B Squared, Blame the Rider, Lippy, and Listing.

Both winners will be recognized at TOC’s annual meetings, at Del Mar on Saturday, Aug. 10, and at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday, Oct. 19.

LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:

Instagrand (Inside – Blue Helmet), Why Not Us (Red Helmet) & Shining Through (Black Helmet) work 6 furlongs (Hollendorfer)

Roadster (Outside) works 6 furlongs & Reedley works 5 furlongs (Baffert)

Gunmetal Gray works 4 furlongs (Hollendorfer)

Doug O’Neill Shedrow Stroll: Shut It Up

San Antonio Stakes winner Gift Box working 6 Furlongs (Sadler) 2-16-19

Amandine working 5 Furlongs (Sadler) 2-16-19

Easy Shot working 4 Furlongs (Desormeaux) 2-16-19

Nolo Contesto (Outside) & Encanta working 5 Furlongs (Sadler) 2-16-19

FINISH LINES: The remarkable Vasilika worked six furlongs early Sunday morning in 1:14.40 for Saturday’s Grade II Buena Vista Stakes at a mile on turf. “She galloped out real nice,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said of the five-year-old Skipshotmare, winner of eight of nine starts on Santa Anita’s grass course with one second. “She’s doing great, looks great and is feeling good. She’s a happy horse right now.” . . . Hollendorfer also sent Triple Crown contender Instagrand six furlongs in 1:13.40 in preparation for the Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 9. Going in company with Shining Througand Why Not Us, Instagrand broke behind that pair but overtook them while finishing on the rail. Another Hollendorfer Triple Crown candidate, Gunmetal Gray, worked four furlongs in 48.40 . . . Barbara Beatrice and S Y Sky each worked today for Phil D’Amato, who plans to run them in this Sunday’s $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes for older California-bred fillies and mares at six furlongs. Also ticketed for the Spring Fever is Show It N Moe It for trainer Gary Sherlock. In all there were 246 recorded works, 48 on the training track. . .At Tokyo Race Course today, Japanese-bred Inti won the Group 1 February Stakes under Yutaka Take to secure the first automatic berth into the$6million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Nov. 2 through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge . . . Andrea Atzeni scored his second victory of the meet Saturday in the sixth race for Simon Callaghan aboard first-time starter Maxim Rate at a $59.40 win payoff. The native of Sardinia leaves for England on Feb. 25 but will return to ride Thunder Road winner True Valour for Callaghan in the Grade I Kilroe Mile on March 9, according to his agent, Matt Nakatani . . . The California Horse Racing Board has its monthly meeting 9:30 a.m. Thursday at Santa Anita. The public is encouraged to attend. An audio-only webcast can be heard through a link on the CHRB website (webcast).

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS

(Current Through Saturday, Feb. 16)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Flavien Prat

139

33

29

19

24%

58%

$2,140,292

Joel Rosario

158

33

28

29

21%

57%

$1,819,333

Heriberto Figueroa

137

21

12

21

15%

39%

$773,216

Tiago Pereira

106

19

16

10

18%

42%

$718,484

Geovanni Franco

137

17

16

21

12%

39%

$847,834

Mike Smith

55

17

10

8

31%

64%

$1,133,745

Rafael Bejarano

113

16

18

21

14%

49%

$907,244

Drayden Van Dyke

101

16

15

13

16%

44%

$934,843

Tyler Baze

157

14

29

21

9%

41%

$1,046,358

Assael Espinoza

85

11

5

12

13%

33%

$371,217

Joseph Talamo

104

10

19

15

10%

42%

$834,362

Kent Desormeaux

70

9

9

11

13%

41%

$706,127

Ruben Fuentes

71

9

8

14

13%

44%

$307,425

Mario Gutierrez

76

7

12

10

9%

38%

$476,688

Agapito Delgadillo

45

7

6

5

16%

40%

$191,800

Edwin Maldonado

48

7

6

1

15%

29%

$240,916

Aaron Gryder

43

6

4

3

14%

30%

$183,636

Trainer

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Doug O’Neill

126

21

21

18

17%

48%

$1,036,395

Peter Miller

82

17

13

9

21%

48%

$951,131

John Sadler

59

14

14

9

24%

63%

$890,801

Richard Baltas

82

13

19

15

16%

57%

$875,137

Jerry Hollendorfer

71

12

11

11

17%

48%

$831,098

Bob Baffert

53

10

9

8

19%

51%

$996,435

J. Keith Desormeaux

43

10

8

5

23%

53%

$454,744

Philip D’Amato

67

8

9

11

12%

42%

$593,582

William E. Morey

44

8

9

9

18%

59%

$403,159

Richard Mandella

32

8

3

2

25%

41%

$270,958

Jeff Mullins

37

7

9

6

19%

59%

$498,764

Mark Glatt

48

7

9

5

15%

44%

$314,794

Vladimir Cerin

36

7

4

5

19%

44%

$264,155

Simon Callaghan

27

7

3

5

26%

56%

$457,696

Steve Knapp

36

7

2

5

19%

39%

$152,880

Peter Eurton

35

6

5

5

17%

46%

$292,596

Hector O. Palma

33

6

5

3

18%

42%

$178,578