STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – TUESDAY, JANUARY 1, 2019

  • HORSEMEN SEEK HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR
  • DAN BLACKER DEDICATED TO MAKING HIS MARK
  • SHIRREFFS EYES SANTA MONICA FOR ‘PARADISE’

Any post-New Year’s Eve reveling quickly became last year’s news for most horsemen early Tuesday, as it was business as usual on a brisk New Year’s Day morning at Santa Anita, lending to an opportunity for random resolutions in 2019.

Richard Baltas: “Stay healthy.”

Huey Barnes (85-year-old assistant starter who came to Santa Anita with Charlie Whittingham in 1954): “I hope 2019 is good to us, we stay healthy and keep going.”

Jeff Bonde: “I just hope we have a good year and strive to do better.”

Val Brinkerhoff: “Get a Grade I winner.”

Bronx native Jim Cassidy: “For the Yankees to win the World Series.”

Matt Chew: “Just enjoy each day.”

Phil D’Amato: “Not to talk to jockeys after the race.”

Peter Eurton: “To be patient.”

Mark Glatt: “Win more races, hopefully.”

Eoin Harty: “Check back with me in 30 days.”

Jerry Hollendorfer: “Try and do a better job.”

Dallas Keen: “Win some races, but the bottom line is you’ve got to have the horses.”

Brian Koriner (whose stable has been on a roll): “I’m not changing anything right now.”

Eric Kruljac: “Stay upright the whole year.”

Dan Landers (assistant to 86-year-old Hall of Fame member Ron McAnally): “Keep on going, have a better year.”

Bill Morey: “Win some races.”

George Papaprodromou: “Good health.”

Mike Puype: “Hope for a better year ahead.”

Mick Ruis: “For Richie Baltas to win some races.”

Tom Knust: “To finish the movie I’ve been working on for 20 years. It’s called ‘Ducks in a Tree.'”

John Shirreffs (who surfed the balmy waves in Hawaii in his youth): “Stay warm.”

Gary Stute: “I don’t make resolutions. That way I’m not disappointed when I break them. I have a few bad habits I want to keep.”

Kathy Walsh: “Keep everybody healthy and for racing to move forward.”

Dan Ward: “Always try to be positive.”

BLACKER HAS THE GOODS TO REACH RACING’S APEX

Dan Blacker is a welcome newcomer to Southern California.

The young lion is bent on leading his pride on a path through the ever-challenging jungle that is racing and reach the game’s apex. At 36, he already has a world-class foundation.

A native of England, slight of build with an accent a trace more noticeable, Blacker has been training on his own for six years.

“I was an assistant trainer in England and also a participant in Godolphin’s Flying Start Program, which eventually led me to America,” Blacker said. “It focuses on management training and is sponsored by Sheikh Mohammad of Dubai.

“He takes 12 graduates from around the world every two years to learn about racing and breeding. It’s a pretty incredible program. I was very lucky to get on.

“Over here, I did an internship with Richard Mandella, who kindly offered me a job. After that, I never left the U.S. That was in 2007. I worked with him for two years, went to the East Coast and worked with Tom Albertrani for three years, then came back and started on my own in 2012.”

Married to TVG host Christina Blacker, Dan has some 32 head now in training, “23 at Santa Anita, some with Michele Dollase at San Luis Rey and a couple at the farm. Everything is in rotation.”

Blacker also is excited about some promising two-year-olds, among them an unraced English Channel colt owned by Calumet Farm named Hackberry, and a California-bred filly named Scarlet Heat.

Mature beyond his years, Blacker realizes full well racing is an insatiable master, yet he is unyielding in his commitment.

“Working seven days a week is tough on my wife and family (the Blackers have three young girls: Margo, five, Violette, three, and Eliza, one),” Dan said. “I try as best I can to spend time with them, but the barn is almost all-consuming because if you miss the slightest detail, it can cost you a race, and every win counts, every race counts.

“There’s no worse feeling than getting beat and knowing you could have done something more to have won. You’ve got to be super-conscientious.”

When it comes to values and priorities, Dan Blacker’s are right on point.

FINISH LINES: It was a welcome surprise to John Shirreffs when he recently received multiple Grade I winner Paradise Woods from the barn of Richard Mandella. Shirreffs already has supervised three half-mile drills for the daughter of Union Rags, winner of the Grade I Zenyatta Stakes and the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks in 2017. “We’re hoping to make the Santa Monica with her,” Shirreffs said, referring to the Grade II test at seven furlongs on Feb. 16 . . .  Hall of Fame great and three-time Kentucky Derby winner Kent Desormeaux is six career wins shy of 6,000 in North America, standing at 5,994 . . . Owner/trainer Mick Ruis has 17 head at Santa Anita under the guidance of daughter Shelbe. Mick also has 19 head at Keeneland and has been in contact with former Santa Anita Stakes Coordinator Chris Merz, now Racing Secretary at Laurel, seeking to land a string at the Maryland oval . . . Minutia to the max: Vow to bet on jockeys whose last names end in a vowel. Riders with such monikers won all eight races at Santa Anita Monday: Joel Rosario (Offshore, $6) in the first; Edwin Maldonado(Trappiza, $10.60) in the second; Joe Talamo (Brandothebartender, $9.80 in the third); Talamo again in the fourth (on Route Sixty Six, $8); Geovanni Franco (Count Alexander, $15) in the fifth; Heriberto Figueroa (Tiz a Master, $31.80 in the sixth); Figueroa again in the seventh (Tell Me More, $9.20); and Tiago Pereira (Unleash the Tiger, $23.40) in the eighth . . . Santa Anita will be dark for live racing Wednesday and Thursday, and resume live action Friday, Jan. 4 at 12:30 p.m. Santa Anita will be open for simulcast wagering Thursday, Jan. 3 with free general admission and free parking. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. . . . Garrett Gomez would have been 47 today.

 

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS

(Current Through Monday, Dec. 31, 2018)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Joel Rosario

33

6

7

5

18%

55%

$565,042

Flavien Prat

28

6

4

3

21%

46%

$534,962

Heriberto Figueroa

24

6

1

2

25%

38%

$191,772

Rafael Bejarano

21

3

3

3

14%

43%

$176,099

Joseph Talamo

21

3

2

3

14%

38%

$200,408

Mike Smith

11

3

1

3

27%

64%

$311,089

Edwin Maldonado

13

3

1

0

23%

31%

$128,030

Geovanni Franco

22

2

3

0

9%

23%

$125,043

Drayden Van Dyke

22

2

1

4

9%

32%

$134,172

Brice Blanc

12

2

1

1

17%

33%

$81,560

Martin Pedroza

8

2

0

0

25%

25%

$24,920

Trainer

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

ITM%

Money Won

Richard Baltas

26

5

7

3

19%

58%

$303,588

Doug O’Neill

20

5

0

1

25%

30%

$154,937

Peter Miller

14

3

1

1

21%

36%

$97,132

William E. Morey

10

3

1

0

30%

40%

$62,395

Jeff Mullins

13

2

1

4

15%

54%

$281,233

J. Keith Desormeaux

10

2

1

2

20%

50%

$87,225

John Sadler

12

2

1

1

17%

33%

$220,835

Ryan Hanson

4

2

1

0

50%

75%

$36,645

Bob Baffert

12

2

0

2

17%

33%

$292,616

Brian Koriner

5

2

0

1

40%

60%

$223,605

Richard Mandella

6

2

0

1

33%

50%

$75,438

Vladimir Cerin

9

2

0

1

22%

33%

$129,525


For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

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