Stable Notes By Ed Golden – Thursday, September 24, 2020



Maximum Security, the nation’s leading older horse, has run at six different tracks in his brilliant 12-race career and will add No. 7 when he debuts at Santa Anita in Saturday’s Grade I Awesome Again Stakes.

It is one of five Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Races presented Saturday, offering the winner a fees-paid berth to their respective Breeders’ Cup races at Keeneland Nov. 6 & 7.

Maximum Security is trained by Bob Baffert, who has horses entered in four of the 11 races, seven of them stakes. Four of Baffert’s runners also are in “Win and You’re In” events: Princess Noor, Varda and $4,000 supplemental nominee Illumination in the Grade I Chandelier Stakes for two-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles, and Spielberg in the Grade I American Pharoah Stakes for two-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.

Luis Saez is reunited with Maximum Security and also rides Spielberg and Illumination. Drayden Van Dyke is back aboard Improbable in the Awesome Again. They won the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 6.

As for strategy, Baffert tends to leave it up to the riders.

            “Saez knows the horse really well and Drayden knows Improbable really well, so they’ll just figure it out themselves,” he said. “They know what to do.

“Even in a small field the break is very important, but both horses are doing exceptionally well. Hopefully they’ll use this race as a steppingstone to the Big Show (Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on Nov. 7).

“I hate to really run them against each other, but it gives Improbable an extra two weeks to get ready for the Breeders’ Cup. He runs better when he’s a bit fresher, so that’s why we’re running them together.”

Improbable doesn’t have to carry his track around with him. Of his 13 career races, eight have come on different tracks: Santa Anita, Saratoga, Oaklawn Park, Parx, Del Mar, Pimlico, Churchill Downs and Los Alamitos.

A multiple Grade I-winning son of City Zip, the four-year-old chestnut has won six times with three seconds, earning $1,529,520.

Maximum Security is coming off two straight wins for Baffert at Del Mar, including the Grade I TVG Pacific Classic. The four-year-old son of New Year’s Day has won 10 of 12 career starts with an enormous bankroll of $12,191,900.

The bay colt looms an odds-on choice, one of two in that category Baffert has entered Saturday, the other being Princess Noor in the Chandelier Stakes.

Baffert also has the maiden Spielberg entered in the American Pharoah. The chestnut son of Union Rags out of the Smart Strike dam Miss Squeal was second to Dr. Schivel in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs on Sept. 7.

A $1,350,000 daughter of the prodigious young stallion Not This Time, Princess Noor drew the rail against four rivals, two of them also trained by Baffert. She will be going two turns for the first time, having won her debut race on the lead by 2 ½ lengths at 5 ½ furlongs before taking the Grade I Del Mar Debutante at seven furlongs on Sept. 6, coming from just off the pace to vanquish three others by 6 ½ lengths.

She was the 7-10 favorite in both starts, each time ridden by Victor Espinoza, who guided American Pharoah to a Triple Crown sweep for Baffert in 2015 and who retains the mount on Princess Noor Saturday.

“She’s fast; she’s shown brilliant speed,” Baffert said. “She’s coming back a little quick but she’s been handling everything we’ve thrown at her, so we’re looking forward to the race.

“I think Spielberg should like two turns. They went really fast early in the Futurity (45 flat for four furlongs and 1:10.60 for six furlongs) and he got beat by a really nice horse.

“I really think two turns will be better for him, just the way he moves and all. He’s bred for it.”

The Chandelier, race three: Princess Noor, (2-5) Victor Espinoza; Make Mischief,   (5-1) Abel Cedillo; Varda, (8-1) Drayden Van Dyke; Illumination, (6-1) Luis Saez; and Miss Costa Rica, (6-1) Flavien Prat.

The American Pharoah, race eight: Touchdown Brown, (5-1) Juan Hernandez; Rombauer,  Mike Smith; Dyn O Mite, (20-1) Victor Espinoza; Notable Exception, (7-2) Abel Cedillo; Spielberg, (3-1) Luis Saez; Get Her Number, (7-2) Flavien Prat; Weston, (6-1) Drayden Van Dyke; and Waspirant, (6-1) Umberto Rispoli.

The Awesome Again, race 10: Take the One O One, (20) Jose Valdivia Jr.; Improbable, (8-5) Drayden Van Dyke; Sleepy Eyed Todd, (12-1) Umberto Rispoli; Midcourt, (6-1) Victor Espinoza; and Maximum Security, (3-5) Luis Saez.

First post time for Saturday’s stakes studded card is 12:30 p.m.


Mucho Unusual could outrun her odds in Saturday’s Grade I Rodeo Drive Stakes, a Breeders’ Cup “Win ad You’re In” Challenge Race for fillies and mares, three and up, at 1 ¼ miles on turf.

A four-year-old daughter of Mucho Macho Man owned and bred by George Krikorian, the four-year-old bay filly was third by a half-length as the 1-2 favorite in the Solana Beach for state-breds on Aug. 15, but missed by a half-length in the Grade I American Oaks last Dec. 28 and was a willing third in the Grade I Gamely at Santa Anita on May 25.

“We’re coming into the race in good shape,” said trainer Tim Yakteen. “She ran well at a mile and a quarter before in the American Oaks, so we’re hoping to get a Grade I win. It would be a nice way to close out the year.

“It’s a competitive field but I think she fits in well. She’s run competitively against them before so we’ll see if we can get lucky.”

The Rodeo Drive, race seven: Tonahutu, (5-1) Abel Cedillo; Maxim Rate, (4-1) Luis Saez; Bodhicitta, (5-2) Flavien Prat; Mucho Unusual, (5-1) Juan Hernandez; Pretty Point, (12-1) Mike Smith; Lady Prancealot, (2-1) Umberto Rispoli; and Catch the Eye, (12-1) Victor Espinoza.


Royal Ship, a win machine in his native Brazil where he captured five of seven starts, all on grass, will remain on turf for his second United States start, passing Saturday’s Awesome Again Stakes for which he had been nominated.

“He’ll go in the City of Hope Mile,” Richard Mandella said of Royal Ship, a four-year-old Midshipman colt who rallied late to be third in his U.S. debut in the Grade II Del Mar Mile Handicap on Aug. 23.

“He ran a nice third first time out here,” Mandella said. “We’re hoping to improve off that.”


Santa Anita’s much anticipated Autumn meet, which opens this Friday, will offer a comprehensive betting menu including the new $1 Golden Hour Late Pick 4.  The wager, which features a low 15% takeout popular with players, links the last two races from Santa Anita and the last two races from Golden Gate Fields each racing day.   It complements the popular $5 Golden Hour Double, which premiered earlier this year during Santa Anita’s winter-spring season.

While Santa Anita remains closed to the public due to Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 restrictions, fans can watch the live races streaming in HD free of charge on  There are several on-line wagering options available, including, Santa Anita’s official wagering platform, which can be downloaded for free at the App Store.  All of Santa Anita’s races also will be shown live on TVG.

The heart of Santa Anita’s player friendly program belongs to the early Pick 5, linking the first five races offered each day.  At 14%, the popular wager features one of the lowest takeout rates in the country on a multi-race wager.  Bookending the card is a late Pick 5, featuring the last five races each day.

Santa Anita’s 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot returns, consisting of the final six races on each day’s program.  The 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six has developed a following as it has the propensity to grow into a massive jackpot pool of millions of dollars, paid out only to a single ticket with all six winners.

All bets, including the Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot, have mandatory payouts on closing day, Oct. 25.

Friday’s opener, which was delayed a week due to the impact of the Bobcat Fire on the surrounding community, features the return of Santa Anita’s inclusion in The Stronach Five, offering a weekly guaranteed pool of $100,000.  Contested each Friday, The Stronach Five consists of a series of races from Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park and Golden Gate Fields, all running in quick succession.  The $1 minimum, The Stronach Five is highlighted by an industry low 12% takeout.

Santa Anita’s betting menu is rounded out by numerous wagering opportunities that players have come to expect from The Great Race Place, including $2 Win, Place and Show wagering featuring the lowest takeout of any major racetrack in North America, plus $1 Exactas, $2 rolling Daily Doubles, 50 cent rolling Pick 3s, early and late 50 cent Pick 4s, early and late 50 cent Pick 5s, the $1 Super High 5 and 10 cent Superfectas on all races with a minimum of six runners.


With $5,000 in total prize money at stake, Santa Anita’s popular “Showvivor” free online betting contest is set to return for the track’s 16-day Autumn Meet, which opens on Saturday, Sept. 25.

Showvivor requires players to select one horse in one race each day they play, and that horse must finish no worse than third in order for the player to remain “alive.”  A top prize of $2,500 will be awarded to the longest “show streak” achieved throughout the course of the meet, which will conclude on Sunday, Oct. 25.

Showvivor participants will not be eliminated if their selection finishes off the board.  Instead, they will be able to begin a new streak the next racing day–with the eventual top prize going to the player with the longest streak.

For additional information on Santa Anita’s Showvivor, please visit or call (626) 574-RACE.


If you love horses and jockeys, Santa Anita’s new Virtual Runhappy Winner’s Circle Fan Cut Out is a great way to show your appreciation and benefit retired racehorses and injured riders.

Beginning Friday, opening day of Santa Anita’s 16-day Autumn Meeting, fans can have their cut out images appear in Santa Anita’s Runhappy Winner’s Circle with the San Gabriel Mountains serving as a backdrop.

For a donation of $200, one hundred percent of which will go to support the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA) and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF), a personalized fan cut out will be displayed throughout the Autumn Meet, which concludes on Oct. 25.

Once a donation is received, Santa Anita will assist in submitting individual pictures within 48 hours.

Headquartered at Santa Anita, CARMA, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that is dedicated to providing funding for rehabilitation, re-training, and/or retirement of California-raced Thoroughbreds.

Based in Lexington, KY, the PDJF is also a 501(c)(3) public charity that provides financial assistance to jockeys that have suffered catastrophic injuries on the track.tion on Santa Anita’s upcoming Autumn Meet and on how to participate in Santa Anita’s Virtual Winner’s Circle Fan Cut Out, please visit

FINISH LINES:  Start time for Santa Anita’s Daily Simulcast Handicapping Seminar, featuring Frank Mirahmadi and Tom Quigley, is at 11:20 a.m. PT, each racing day.  Hosted by Quigley, the seminar is a fresh, unscripted look at the day’s card as well as entertaining recollections offered up by the multi-talented Mirahmadi.  An outstanding handicapper, Mirahmadi is also a keen observer of the American racing scene and his real life experiences at tracks across North America help to make these seminars compelling viewing.  The seminars and all of Santa Anita’s simulcast content are offered free of charge via the track’s livestream video at…A Celebration of Life for longtime Southern California Jockeys’ Room valet David Rushlow has been scheduled for Oct. 16 at Glen Abbey Memorial Park, Chapel of Roses, at 10 a.m.  Glen Abbey is located at 3838 Bonita Rd., Bonita, CA 91902.



Stronach 5 All-Star Ticket for September 25th, 2020


Ward ‘N Jerry (Outside) and Dreamer’s Reality  (Puype) 9-24-20

Unbroken Star (Outside) and Big Scott Daddy (Puype) 9-24-20

Neptune’s Storm (Baltas) 9-24-20

United (Mandella) 9-23-20

Out Of Balance (Outside) and Catch The Eye 9-22-20

Kanderel (Mandella) 9-22-20

Gregorian Chant (D’Amato) 9-22-20

Heels Up (Outside) and Maximum Security (Baffert) 9-21-20

Improbable (Baffert) 9-21-20

Princess Noor (Baffert) 9-21-20

Collusion Illusion (Glatt) 9-20-20

Flagstaff  (Outside) & Duplicity (Sadler) 9-20-20

Midcourt (Shirreffs) 9-20-20