STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2019

  • LEADING TRAINER O’NEILL SET FOR SANTA MONICA
  • AUTOMATIC PREAKNESS BERTH AT GOLDEN GATE
  • ROSARIO CLOSES GAP ON PRAT IN JOCKEYS’ RACE
  • THIS MONDAY IS PRESIDENTS’ DAY AND DOLLAR DAY

ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR MOPOTISM IN SANTA MONICA

Mopotism returns to a sprint after eight straight route races, two on turf, in Saturday’s Grade II Santa Monica Stakes for older fillies and mares at seven furlongs.

On paper, the five-year-old Uncle Mo mare conditioned by leading trainer Doug O’Neill for principal client J. Paul Reddam would appear to have only a longshot’s chance, but O’Neill, a three-time Santa Anita training king, isn’t leading the pack in quest of number four for nothing.

“The most important thing is she’s doing really, really well right now,” O’Neill said of the Kentucky-bred bay, who often grabs a piece of the purse. She has a 3-5-4 record from 22 starts, with earnings of $750,090.

Mopotism has not raced since Dec. 2, when she weakened to finish 13th in the Grade I Matriarch on Del Mar’s turf course, only her second start on grass, over which she has shown no affinity. She was seventh in the Grade I Gamely on turf at Santa Anita last May.

But that’s old news.

“Her weight is better, her energy is good and her works are good,” O’Neill said. “That’s what you’re looking for against this kind of competition. Granted, seven furlongs probably isn’t her perfect distance, but I do think it’s her preferred surface and she’s doing well.”

Ditto for O’Neill’s entire operation at Santa Anita. Through 29 racing days, the 50-year-old Michigan native leads all trainers with 19 victories. He also has been a racing secretary’s dream with 110 starters, 37 more than runner-up Peter Miller.

“I’m very happy and grateful to the owners and our staff,” O’Neill said. “We’re enjoying our success and hope we can keep it going.”

In her last sprint and her lone start at seven furlongs, Mopotism was a creditable third to champion Unique Bella in the Grade I La Brea Stakes in December of 2017.

Seems as though a victory in the Santa Monica would be appropriate for O’Neill as well, since he resides in the Los Angeles-area community for which the race is named.

“I came here from Detroit and hope to stay here forever,” O’Neill said. “I love it.”

The field for the Santa Monica, race nine of 10 with a 12 noon first post time: Paradise Woods, Joel Rosario, 7-2; Selcourt, Joe Talamo, 3-1; Marley’s Freedom, Drayden Van Dyke, 2-1; Dream Tree, Mike Smith, 4-1; Mopotism, Mario Gutierrez, 12-1; Escape Clause, Tyler Baze, 6-1; and Amuse, Rafael Bejarano, 12-1. 

AUTOMATIC PREAKNESS BERTH FOR EL CAMINO REAL DERBY WINNER

For the first time ever, the El Camino Real Derby, Golden Gate Fields’ premier race for three-year-olds, which will be run this Saturday, will provide the winner with an automatic, all expenses paid berth in the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, the Grade I, $1.5 million Preakness Stakes on May 18 at Pimlico Race Course near Baltimore, MD. (In order to qualify for this paid berth, the El Camino Real Derby winner must be Triple Crown-nominated).

Run annually at Golden Gate Fields since 2005, the 37th El Camino Real Derby (originally run at Bay Meadows) will again be contested at a mile and one eighth on synthetic Tapeta and in addition to a fees-paid entry to the Preakness, will also provide the winner with 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points.

“We are ecstatic to offer this intriguing incentive to run in the El Camino Real Derby to our horsemen, owners, breeders and their horses,” said David Duggan, Vice President and General Manager of Golden Gate Fields. “We have seen horses in the past go on and do big things in Triple Crown races after running in the El Camino Real Derby and are hoping to see that trend re-emerge with this new bonus in 2019.

“We’ve had 27 horses run in the Kentucky Derby after competing in the El Camino Real Derby. Charismatic used the El Camino Real Derby as prep for the Kentucky Derby in 1999 and won the Preakness, too. Tabasco Cat won the El Camino Real Derby in 1994 and ended up winning both the Preakness and the Belmont, so we know it can be done.” 

The El Camino Real Derby is one of a dozen stakes races on the calendar for the upcoming 2018-19 Golden Gate Fields Winter/Spring Meet, which gets underway the day after Christmas, on Wednesday, Dec. 26 and runs through Sunday, June 9.

Golden Gate Fields and Pimlico Racecourse are both owned by The Stronach Group, North America’s largest owner of racetracks which also include Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita and Laurel Park.

LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:

Game Winner (Outside) & Dr.Dorr working 5 furlongs (Baffert)-2/13/2019

Flor de la Mar in company with Qahira working 5 furlongs (Baffert)-2/13/2019

Chasing Yesterday works 6 furlongs (Baffert)-2/13/2019

Brill  works 5 furlongs (Hollendorfer)-2/13/2019

Eoin Harty talks  Royal Insider in Saturday’s El Camino Real at GGF

Doug O’Neill Discusses  His Runners in Saturday’s El Camino Real at GGF

Bob Baffert Talks  Kingly in Saturday’s El Camino Real at GGF

Jeff Bonde Talks  King of Speed in Saturday’s El Camino Real at GGF

Royal Insider (Outside) & Union Station (Possible El Camino Real Derby)-Harty-2/10/2019

Kingly (Outside) & Green Fleet (Both Triple Crown Nominated)-Baffert-2/10/2019

Roadster works 5 furlongs(Triple Crown Nominated)-Baffert-2/10/2019

FINISH LINESFlavien Prat’s agent, Derek Lawson, reports that Prat will ride Jerry Hollendorfer’s two-time stakes winner Galilean in Monday’s Cal Cup Derby. “SteveHaskin said this horse can win the Kentucky Derby this morning on Steve Byk’s show (At the Races on Sirius XM Satellite Radio),” said Lawson . . . While Doug O’Neill has opened a 19-14 gap over runner-up Peter Miller in the trainers’ race, Joel Rosario has closed the margin to 29-28 on leader Prat, who rides in Maryland on Saturday . . . Four Santa Anita-based jockeys have engagements in the $100,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields Saturday: Heriberto Figueroa on King of Speed for Jeff BondeBrice Blanc on The Creep, for O’Neill; Alonso Quinonez on Weekly Call, also for O’Neill; and Evin Roman aboard Kingly for Bob Baffert . . . Trainer Mark Glattrecognizes that Hot On the Trail would be a longshot in Monday’s $200,000 California Oaks scheduled for a mile on turf, but would run anyway, only if the race remains on grass. The Oaks is one of two stakes offered this Monday, Presidents’ Day, the other being the $200,000 California Derby at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Monday will be Dollar Day, with beer and soda available for a buck apiece and hot dogs for $2 . . . This weekend, Santa Anita celebrates Lunar New Year, hosting a Santa Anita first, a Chinese cultural event featuring food and drink, on-site vendors, live lion dancers and musical acts, plus, one fan will win $500 on Santa Anita’s Money Tree. General admission is just $5 . . . Gary Stevens will make his Fox Sports debut here on Monday, as he and Greg Wolf will anchor their “At the Races” show . . . XBTV’s Millie Ball will be a part of Golden Gate Fields’ simulcast presentationFriday and Saturday . . . Champion Blind Luck, who was trained by Hollendorfer, is among five Thoroughbred finalists on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot. The others are Gio PontiHavre de GraceRags to Riches and Royal Delta. Results will be announced on April 22 . . . He’s No. One: Twirling Tiger, 6-1 morning line chance in today’s third race, had drawn the rail seven times in his last 12 races, the last three in a row, but is in the two hole today.

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS

(Current Through Sunday, Feb. 10)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Flavien Prat

132

29

28

19

22%

58%

$2,034,041

Joel Rosario

142

28

25

27

20%

56%

$1,665,498

Heriberto Figueroa

130

20

11

21

15%

40%

$747,545

Mike Smith

53

17

10

8

32%

66%

$1,132,294

Rafael Bejarano

103

16

17

17

16%

49%

$871,428

Geovanni Franco

126

16

16

18

13%

40%

$803,288

Tiago Pereira

95

16

13

9

17%

40%

$624,982

Tyler Baze

142

14

25

20

10%

42%

$997,203

Drayden Van Dyke

92

13

15

11

14%

42%

$751,699

Assael Espinoza

78

11

4

10

14%

32%

$359,424

Joseph Talamo

92

9

15

14

10%

41%

$726,680

Kent Desormeaux

64

9

7

11

14%

42%

$689,074

Trainer

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Doug O’Neill

110

19

20

15

17%

49%

$935,620

Peter Miller

73

14

12

9

19%

48%

$834,396

Richard Baltas

76

12

17

13

16%

55%

$833,819

John Sadler

53

12

12

9

23%

62%

$782,350

Jerry Hollendorfer

66

11

10

9

17%

45%

$797,087

J. Keith Desormeaux

41

10

7

5

24%

54%

$447,393

Bob Baffert

52

9

9

8

17%

50%

$876,435

Philip D’Amato

63

8

9

10

13%

43%

$588,400

William E. Morey

43

8

9

9

19%

60%

$402,519

Jeff Mullins

36

7

8

6

19%

58%

$495,164

Mark Glatt

43

7

8

5

16%

47%

$301,132

Richard Mandella

29

7

2

2

24%

38%

$251,358

Vladimir Cerin

32

6

4

4

19%

44%

$238,544

Simon Callaghan

24

6

3

5

25%

58%

$423,245

Steve Knapp

32

6

1

5

19%

38%

$134,578