- PROUD PAPA JOE SET FOR THE CALIFORNIAN
- BALTAS TACKLES FAVORITE WITH FOURSOME
- DERBY HORSES SET FOR WEEKEND BREEZES
- INJURED ROMAN EXPECTED BACK IN A MONTH
TALAMO SEEKS THIRD IN ROW ON DR. DORR
Joe Talamo hopes to make it three in a row on Dr. Dorr when he rides the son of Lookin At Lucky Saturday’s Grade II Californian Stakes for three-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles.
Talamo won an overnight race at 6 ½ furlongs on a wet/fast track March 2, stalking before getting up to score by a half-length, then led throughout the restricted Santana Mile on March 31 to win by four lengths.
“He’s a really nice horse,” Talamo said of the five-year-old gelding trained by Bob Baffert for his wife, Jill. “When I won on him the first time, he sat off
horses about three-wide the whole way, but last time he went to the lead and kept going. I think he’s going to love this distance.
“He should be in front. If not, he’s tactical enough to where he can sit right off of them. His last two races have been phenomenal, so if he stays like that, we should be in good shape.”
As to whether or not he’s getting enough sleep now that his second child, Dominic Anthony Talamo, is a week old, Joe credits his wife, Elizabeth, for making sure he is.
“I married a saint,” he said. “The baby’s doing well, my wife’s doing well, so it’s all good.”
The field for the Californian, race five of 11: Soi Phet, Kent Desormeaux, 4-1; Full of Luck, Flavien Prat, 5-1; Curlin Road, Tyler Baze, 5-1; Dr. Dorr, Joe Talamo, 8-5; The Lieutenant, Drayden Van Dyke, 7-2; and Prince of Arabia, Stewart Elliott, 5-1.
BALTAS SENDS OUT FOUR VS. PLEIN AIR IN SANTA BARBARA
Richard Baltas has 75 percent of the field entered in Saturday’s Santa Barbara Stakes, but that doesn’t mean he has a 75 percent chance of winning, because there’s an 8-5 morning line favorite entered named Plein Air.
The Argentine-bred mare won her first U.S. start in front-running fashion, going a mile and half on turf at 7-1 under Tyler Baze, who rides back on Saturday.
“She doesn’t work well on dirt,” said Bob Baffert, who trains Plein Air for Sunny Brook Stables, LLC, which could explain all 11 of her career races being on grass, winning eight with one second and one third.
Baltas, meanwhile, entered Lucy De, Pantsonfire, Queen Blossom and Space Cadet in the Grade III Santa Barbara for fillies and mares, four and up at a mile and a half on turf.
“All the horses are doing well so we’re taking a shot,” Baltas said. “The owners want to run and we’ll see what happens. I’m not planning to scratch any, unless I have to.”
The Santa Barbara, race four: Lucy De, Kent Desormeaux, 3-1; Pantsonfire, Corey Nakatani, 2-1; Queen Blossom, Flavien Prat, 8-1; Causeforcommotion, Geovanni Franc, 6-1; Space Cadet, Franklin Ceballos, 12-1; and Plein Air, Tyler Baze, 8-5.
JUSTIFY, BOLT D’ORO, INSTILLED REGARD TO WORK FOR DERBY
Santa Anita Derby winner Justify and runner-up Bolt d’Oro are scheduled to have their final major workouts this weekend for the Kentucky Derby less than two weeks hence on May 5.
Undefeated Justify, favored to win the 144th Run for the Roses, will work either Saturday or Sunday, according to Bob Baffert, in pursuit of his fifth Kentucky Derby victory.
Bolt d’Oro is set to work a half mile at 7:45 Saturday morning under Victor Espinoza for owner/trainer Mick Ruis.
Instilled Regard, a distant fourth in the Santa Anita Derby, now is among the top 20 in qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby thanks to recent defections and will work Sunday for the race under Drayden Van Dyke, said Dan Ward, assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer.
“We’re excited about the Derby,” Ward said. “It’s going to be a big field, not four or five, and with more pace up front, that will help him.”
Instilled Regard is scheduled to ship for Kentucky early Monday morning, April 30.
FINISH LINES: Evin Roman, Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s outstanding apprentice of 2017, is expected to resume riding in about a month after suffering a minor fracture to his left foot in a training mishap Tuesday morning. “He’s walking on it, he’s in no pain, taking no pain medication, and is wearing a boot, no cast,” said his agent, Tony Matos, Thursday morning. “He’ll have X-rays again May 17 and we’re very optimistic he’ll be fine.” Roman, 20, has won five Southern California riding titles including the recent Winter Meet crown at Santa Anita with 46 victories . . . Condolences to family and friends of Dominick Chila, 86, who passed away early this morning at Arcadia Methodist Hospital after a brief illness. He is survived by wife Barbara, a brother and sister, children Tammy (a member of the Pari-Mutuel Department and married to Dennis O’Neill, brother of trainer Doug O’Neill), Kim (also a Pari-Mutuel Department member and married to radio show host and handicapper Bob Ike), Greg and five grandchildren. A son of Italian immigrants born in Detroit, Dominick was a graduate of Michigan State University and served in the Korean War. A former mutuel clerk, Chila worked three jobs to support his family, eventually becoming a very successful contractor in the San Gabriel Valley. Dominick was an avid handicapper and horseplayer, producing his famed “Brown Sheet” on a daily basis for family, friends and various racetrack cronies. His passion for racing kept him engaged and active through the later years of his life . . . There is a single ticket Pick Six Jackpot carryover today of $121,040 . . . Heriberto Figueroa, 18-year-old apprentice from Puerto Rico, makes his Santa Anita debut Saturday on Dee Way to Go for Jorge Periban in the ninth race and returns in the 10th on Cow Dog for Steve Miyadi. Figueroa, who has a seven-pound weight allowance, won four races in Puerto Rico and three at Gulfstream Park, where his agent was Angel Cordero Jr. Figueroa tacks 106 pounds and will be represented at Santa Anita by agent Nelson Arroyo . . . Kent Desormeaux is named on four horses Saturday, three in a row breaking from the number one post position: Lucy De in the fourth race, Soi Phet in the fifth, and Oscar Dominguez in the sixth.