D’AMATO GEARS UP FOR CLOSING WEEKEND
JOCKEY ‘CRUZES’ TO FIRST SANTA ANITA WIN
SINGLE TICKET PICK 6 JACKPOT HITS $912,155
POST TIMES ARE SET FOR FINAL THREE DAYS
D’AMATO LOOKS TO THE BIG MEET AT SANTA ANITA
Phil D’Amato, once again among the training leaders, has designs on two stakes as Santa Anita’s 22-day Autumn Meet comes to a close this weekend, the $70,000 Lure Stakes for three-year-olds and up at a mile on turf Friday, and the Grade III Senator Ken Maddy Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf Saturday.
Kenjisstorm, a six-year-old full horse by Stormy Atlantic, returns to a route in the Lure after going about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course in the Grade III Eddie D Stakes Sept. 28, when he finished fifth.
Storm the Hill, a four-year-old Get Stormy filly, remains at a distance she favors, with two wins and a third going a mile on grass, four of those victories coming at Santa Anita.
“Kenjisstorm had a nice little prep race down the hill in the Eddie D Stakes,” D’Amato said. “We just wanted to try something, and I thought as fast as they ran (1:10.80 for about 6 ½ furlongs), it was a good effort and it will have him primed for the mile of the Lure.
“Storm the Hill is a stakes winner here going down the hill (capturing the Unzip Me by a head under Corey Nakatani on Sept. 30, 2017), and being reunited on the course, and with some nice speed to run at, that should hopefully do the trick.”
As for the performance of his barn during the brief meeting, D’Amato said, “Overall, we did all right. We’re kind of developing our two-year-olds, and hopefully we’ll have a lot of them ready for the big meet at Santa Anita that starts Dec. 26.”
Agent Tora Yamaguchi has booked Rafael Bejarano to ride both Kenjisstorm and Storm the Hill.
Jerry Hollendorfer has two expected for the Lure, Colonist (Geovanni Franco) and He Will (Kent Desormeaux). Also likely for the Maddy are Painting Corner and Rubilinda.
Agent Tony Matos has Evin Roman booked to ride Painting Corner and Gary Stevens to pilot Rubilinda.
ANGEL CRUZ ENJOYS FIRST VICTORY AT SANTA ANITA
It was business as usual Sunday morning for 23-year-old Santa Anita newcomer Angel (pronounced AIN-jell, as in a celestial being) Cruz and his 26-year-old agent, Matt Nakatani, son of Corey Nakatani.
Cruz won his first race at Santa Anita Saturday with only his second mount this meet, piloting The Hunted to an impressive 5 ¼-length win at nearly 8-1 for trainer Richard Baltas.
“We were both very excited,” Matt said of the victory in the one mile turf event in which The Hunted launched a five-wide bid on the second turn and drew clear in the stretch.
“This is Angel’s fourth year of riding. He came to the U.S. from Puerto Rico when he was 11 years old. He grew up with the Ortiz brothers (Irad Jr. and Jose, currently dominating racing anywhere they choose to hang their tack).
“They taught him how to ride.”
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
TODAY’S 20 CENT SINGLE TICKET JACKPOT AT $912,155
With the prospect of a massive multi-million dollar mandatory payout looming on closing day a week from today, there is a Single Ticket Pick Six Jackpot carryover of $912,155 heading into Santa Anita’s penultimate Sunday racing program.
A healthy $413,271 in “new money” was wagered into Saturday’s Rainbow Six, creating total pool of $1,230,813, which resulted in 41 tickets with six winners, each worth $5,422.
With a nine-race card on tap today, the 20 Cent Rainbow Pick Six will start with race four, which has an approximate post time of 2:05 p.m. PT.
Average field size for the Rainbow Six stands at 9.1 horses per race and Sunday’s feature is the $70,000 Comma to the Top Stakes, which has been carded as race eight.
SANTA ANITA ANNOUNCES POST TIMES FOR CLOSING WEEKEND
Santa Anita’s 22-day Autumn Meet, which concludes next Sunday, Nov. 4, will consist of a three-day live racing week, coinciding with the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships Churchill Downs, beginning this Friday, Nov. 2. Santa Anita will be open for simulcast wagering Wednesday, Oct. 30, and Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Paddock Room.
There will be free general admission and parking. Admission gates open both days
at 10 a.m. Following are first race post times and admission gate openings on closing weekend.
Friday, Nov. 2 1st Post Time 12 noon (Gates Open 9 a.m.)
Saturday, Nov. 3 1st Post Time 10:30 a.m. (Gates Open 7:15 a.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 4 1st Post Time 11 a.m. (Gates Open 9 a.m.)
FINISH LINES: Collected, hoping to draw into the field for the Breeders’ Cup Classic this Saturday, worked seven furlongs in 1:25.20 Sunday for Bob Baffert. Joe Talamo was aboard the speedy four-year-old colt who was given fractional times of 25.20, 49.80 and 1:13.40, with a one-mile gallop out clocking of 1:40.60 . . . Congrats to jockey Alonso Quinonez on winning yesterday’s $75,000 Pike Place Dancer Stakes by five lengths on even-money favorite Lakerball at Golden Gate Fields. “Doug (trainer Doug O’Neill) was very happy,” said Quinonez, an articulate 34-year-old native of Mexico. “The horse should win again,” Quinonez said of the two-year-old daughter of Lakerville . . . Jockey Geovanni Franco makes his Breeders’ Cup debut aboard Isotherm for Phil D’Amato in the Dirt Mile . . . Early reminder: Daylight Saving Time begins next Sunday, Nov. 4. “Fall back” one hour Saturday night, Nov. 3
XBTV VIDEO WORKS OF THE DAY:
XBTV VIDEO INTERVIEWS OF THE DAY:
John Sadler on Catalina Cruiser
Bob Baffert on Marley’s Freedom and the Defection of Dream Tree
Bob Baffert on the BC Distaff
Bob Baffert on the BC Classic
Jerry Hollendorfer on the BC Juvenile
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Saturday, Oct. 27)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||66||13||14||11||20%||58%||$798,025|
|Robert Hess, Jr.||24||4||6||3||17%||54%||$123,670|
|J. Keith Desormeaux||31||4||2||2||13%||26%||$131,765|