STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN SUNDAY, MARCH 3, 2019

  • McKINZIE TOTES HIGH WEIGHT OF 123 IN BIG ‘CAP
  • ALL EYES ON THE SAN FELIPE STAKES SATURDAY
  • BARGAIN CLAIM OHIO IS SET FOR GRADE I KILROE
  • ‘EXPECTATIONS’ ARE HIGH FOR THE SAN CARLOS
  • SINGLE TICKET PICK SIX JACKPOT UP TO $549,038

McKINZIE, GIFT BOX TOP WEIGHTS IN BIG ‘CAP

Multiple Grade I winner McKinzie, who finished second by a half-length as the 1-2 favorite in the Feb. 2 San Pasqual Stakes under 123 pounds, has been assigned one pound less for Saturday’s Grade I Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Casino at a mile and a quarter.

Next on the list is Gift Box at 122 pounds, the same weight the six-year-old son of Twirling Candy carried winning the Grade II San Antonio Stakes on Dec. 26.

Among others expected in Santa Anita’s marquee race for older horses offering $600,000 in purse money are Dabster (118 pounds, Joe Talamo), Mongolian Groom (114, Geovanni Franco), and Noble Commander (115, Flavien Prat).

Mike Smith rides McKinzie, while Joel Rosario retains the mount on Gift Box.

Smith, still on top of his game at 53, is enjoying a sensational Winter Meet while remaining highly selective with his mounts.

Through 40 days, the Hall of Fame member has 23 wins from 67 rides, a gaudy 34 percent. More remarkably, he is the show bettors’ salvation, finishing in the money 22 additional times, a total of 45, for an average of 67 percent.

Fans will be treated to five stakes Saturday, greatest interest focusing on the Grade II, $500,000 San Felipe Stakes expected to match Bob Baffert’s two leading undefeated Triple Crown contenders, champion Game Winner and Improbable in the Grade II test.

Additionally, the prestigious Frank E. Kilroe Mile with Grade I status will be showcased on turf; the Grade II San Carlos Stakes will attract sprint stars going seven furlongs; and for good measure, three-year-old fillies will vie in the $75,000 China Doll Stakes at a mile on grass.

First post time on Big ‘Cap Day will be 12 noon.

LEADING SOPHS VIE IN ATTRACTIVE SAN FELIPE STAKES

The eyes and ears of the racing world will be on Santa Anita Saturday, specifically the most attractive and intriguing three-year-old race to date this year, the Grade II, $500,000 San Felipe Stakes at a mile and one-sixteenth.

Worth 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner, the San Felipe is expected to bring together two undefeated Kentucky Derby favorites, champion Game Winner and Improbable, each trained by two-time Triple Crown king and five-time Run for the Roses winner Bob Baffert.

Understandably, trainers are not waiting in line to enter against the two heavyweights, although Jerry Hollendorfer is an exception. The Hall of Fame conditioner, third all-time in career victories with 7,577, has Sham Stakes winner Gunmetal Gray set to tackle Baffert’s dynamic duo.

A gray son of Exchange Rate owned in part by Hollendorfer, Gunmetal Gray has been beaten twice by Game Winner, running second by 4 ½ lengths in the Grade I American Pharoah last Sept. 29 and fifth by 12 ½ lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 2.

Mike Smith, who was aboard for the one mile Sham on Jan. 5, coming from seventh and last while four wide to score by a length, will be back aboard in the San Felipe.

Hollendorfer’s leading Triple Crown candidate, Instagrand, makes his three-year-old debut in the Grade III Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct this Saturday.

“He’ll work here Tuesday and ship Wednesday,” Hollendorfer said of the son of Into Mischief, winner of his two starts by a combined margin of just over 20 lengths. Javier Castellano has the mount in the Gotham which will be decided over a one-turn mile.

Working on Santa Anita’s training track Sunday for the San Felipe was Easy Shot, who went four furlongs in company for Keith Desormeaux in a bullet 49 flat, the same time given stablemate Speedette.

Calumet Farm’s Sonneteer, bound for the Big ‘Cap, also went in 49 for Desormeaux.

OHIO STATES HIS CASE FOR GRADE I VICTORY

Bargain claim Ohio goes for his first Grade I victory Saturday in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile on turf. Taken by Michael McCarthy for $50,000 last June 10, the eight-year-old Brazilian-bred gelding was third in the Grade II City of Hope Mile, won the restricted Cotton Fitzsimmons at Turf Paradise, and was second by a half-length in the Grade III Thunder Road,

“Everything’s status quo,” McCarthy said, alluding to his training regimen during the recent wet weather. “Luckily enough the rain hasn’t hampered our situation too much. We got a nice work into him on Friday (four furlongs in 47:80).

“He runs turf, dirt, whatever.”

Others expected for the Kilroe include Caribou Club (Joe Talamo), Desert Stone (Geovanni Franco) Hunt (no rider), River Boyne (Flavien Prat) and True Valour (Andrea Atzeni).

GIANT EXPECTATIONS BACK SPRINTING IN SAN CARLOS

Giant Expectations shortens up to seven furlongs in Saturday’s Grade II San Carlos Stakes after seven straight routes at a mile or a longer.

Not to worry, says Peter Eurton.

“He’s done well doing that on occasion,” the trainer said of the six-year-old full horse bred in New York, a two-time Grade II winner and earner of more than a million dollars. “In the Pat O’Brien he shortened up and ran a huge race, probably the best race he’s ever run.”

That was in August of 2017 when he rallied from sixth under Gary Stevens to win the seven furlong race by a length and a half.

Joel Rosario, who rode the son of First Giant for the first time last out finishing third on a sloppy track in the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes at 1 1/8 miles Feb. 2, rides back Saturday.

Also expected for the San Carlos are Ax Man (Drayden Van Dyke), Dr. Dorr (Joe Talamo), Kanthaka (Flavien Prat), St. Joe Bay (Victor Espinoza) and Touching Rainbows (Tiago Pereira).

St. Joe Bay worked five furlongs on a fast main track Sunday in 59.80 for John Sadler.

SANTA ANITA SINGLE TICKET PICK SIX JACKPOT CARRYOVER OF $549,038          

Santa Anita’s popular 20 cent Single Ticket Pick Six Jackpot continues to grow, as a Jackpot carryover of $549,038 awaits fans today.

The Rainbow Six begins with race four, with an approximate post time of 2:46 p.m. PT.

The $100,000 Tiznow Stakes, for older horses bred or sired in California at one mile, highlights Sunday’s program and it has been carded as race five.

With $156,029 in “new” money wagered helping to create a total Jackpot pool Saturday of $669,346, there were 335 consolation tickets, each worth $248.50.

LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:

Irish Heatwave works 4 furlongs (Desormeaux)

St. Joe Bay
 (Outside) and  Acker works 5 furlongs (Sadler)

Easy Shot (Outside) and  Speedette works 4 furlongs (Desormeaux)

Always Forgiven (Outside),  Beautiful Shot (Middle) and  Ocean Fury works 4 furlongs (Desormeaux)

Campaign works 6 furlongs (Sadler)

Quite A Starlett works 3 furlongs (Stute)

Shedrow Stroll:  Lava Man (O’Neill)

Quick Questions With Jockey  Joseph Talamo

Enaya Alrabb works 6 furlongs (O’Neill)-3/01/19

Dream Tree works 6 furlongs (Baffert)-3/01/19

Bellafina works 4 furlongs (Callaghan)-3/01/19

Kanthaka works 6 furlongs (Hollendorfer)-3/01/19

Instagrand preparing for San Felipe Stakes Mar. 9 (Hollendorfer)-2/25/19

Improbable working 6 furlongs (Baffert)-2/25/19

Game Winner (outside) works 6 Furlongs with  Dr. Dorr (Baffert)-2/25/19

FINISH LINES: Congratulations to apprentice Jorge Velez on winning his first race at Santa Anita yesterday aboard Just Be Held for trainer Craig Dollase in the third event. “It felt good,” said the native of Puerto Rico, who came back to win the seventh on Coil to Strike for trainer Bill Morey . . . Impressive maiden winner Bizwhacks runs Saturday in the Grade III Honeybee at 1 1/16 miles for three-year-old fillies at Oaklawn Park. Mario Gutierrez has the mount on the daughter of Fed Biz trained by Doug O’Neill for J. Paul Reddam . . . Santa Anita will be dark for live racing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but resume live action Thursday, March 7 at 1 p.m. There will be simulcast wagering Wednesday with free general admission and free parking. Admission gates open at 10 a.m.

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS

(Current Through Saturday, March 2)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Joel Rosario

200

47

35

34

24%

58%

$2,383,086

Flavien Prat

173

45

34

24

26%

60%

$2,718,176

Geovanni Franco

172

23

19

26

13%

40%

$1,036,157

Heriberto Figueroa

165

23

18

26

14%

41%

$868,953

Mike Smith

67

23

11

11

34%

67%

$1,378,736

Tiago Pereira

141

21

18

17

15%

40%

$872,079

Tyler Baze

181

19

30

24

10%

40%

$1,274,293

Rafael Bejarano

133

19

23

26

14%

51%

$1,103,457

Drayden Van Dyke

130

17

20

16

13%

41%

$1,055,318

Assael Espinoza

111

13

11

13

12%

33%

$459,889

Joseph Talamo

125

12

23

16

10%

41%

$940,770

Edwin Maldonado

65

11

8

2

17%

32%

$329,972

Mario Gutierrez

95

10

18

12

11%

42%

$682,662

Ruben Fuentes

80

10

10

15

13%

44%

$343,458

Kent Desormeaux

89

10

10

13

11%

37%

$805,204

Agapito Delgadillo

55

8

7

6

15%

38%

$245,730

Aaron Gryder

54

8

7

4

15%

35%

$243,390

Trainer

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Doug O’Neill

159

28

25

26

18%

50%

$1,420,321

Peter Miller

101

21

16

12

21%

49%

$1,113,837

Richard Baltas

102

18

20

20

18%

57%

$1,074,074

John Sadler

69

18

16

9

26%

62%

$989,304

Jerry Hollendorfer

84

14

12

16

17%

50%

$1,102,351

Philip D’Amato

87

11

14

11

13%

41%

$764,428

Bob Baffert

58

11

9

9

19%

50%

$1,042,146

William E. Morey

56

10

13

10

18%

59%

$482,030

Mark Glatt

63

10

11

7

16%

44%

$446,927

J. Keith Desormeaux

53

10

8

7

19%

47%

$493,437

Jeff Mullins

47

9

9

8

19%

55%

$587,067

Richard Mandella

38

9

3

2

24%

37%

$307,251

Peter Eurton

43

8

8

6

19%

51%

$384,127

Vladimir Cerin

49

8

4

9

16%

43%

$296,979

Steve Knapp

48

8

4

8

17%

42%

$201,484

Simon Callaghan

30

8

3

5

27%

53%

$481,198