Stable Notes By Ed Golden – Wednesday, September 23, 2020



Although they came up nose short, 50-49 to Flavien Prat at the recently concluded Del Mar meeting, Umberto Rispoli and his world class agent Scotty McClellan have nonetheless become a force to be reckoned with in a relatively short period of time on the Southern California circuit and they will no doubt be in the thick of the battle for leading rider honors at Santa Anita’s 16-day Autumn Meet, which starts on Friday.

“When you’re in a competition like that every decision you make becomes more crucial,” said McClellan. “You could have done fairly well on a horse you’ve ridden before and feel an obligation to ride it back, but if you’re offered a better one from a good customer, you’re in a quandary because of possible long-term opportunities.

“We wanted to win the title because it was Umberto’s first time at Del Mar.  It would have meant a lot to Prat but much more to Umberto, so I was really pushing trying to accomplish it but we came up one short.”

McClellan, who enjoyed remarkable success with Hall of Famers Darrell McHargue, Chris McCarron and Alex Solis, in addition to Joe Talamo, before becoming Rispoli’s agent last April, is hopeful in Rispoli he has a rider with similar potential. Turns out he’s learning as he goes.

McClellan, who’s guided national leading money-won campaigns for both McCarron (1984 & 91) and McHargue (1978), admitted to being a tad rusty when he went to work for Rispoli this spring.

“I hadn’t worked since January (after Talamo departed to ride full time back east) and Umberto had already developed a little business at Santa Anita, so we talked things over and exchanged views to try and make the best decisions as to which horses to ride,” McClellan said.

“It was kind of a learning curve at first, and when we didn’t race for two months, we couldn’t work horses . . . It was very difficult. But eventually we started working a few, began racing at Santa Anita, and I became more aware of his business.

“When horses don’t run for two months that presents sort of a new starting point. You don’t know which horses are doing well, who is fit. If a horse ran well a week ago and you’re looking for a race down the line, that’s a consistent pattern, but when they don’t race for a couple months, trainers are in limbo trying to keep their horses fit enough without putting too much pressure on them. Some may need races; some may not.

“I’ve been an agent for a long time, but having not worked for a spell, coming back was still a learning curve.”

McClellan, 65, is the son of the late agent Chic McClellan. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

“The main thing is to represent a good rider that people want,” Scotty said in explaining his basic philosophy. “You treat customers right and be honest and fair . . . you don’t want to end a relationship.”

McClellan represented McCarron for 21 years, Solis for 17 (13 or 14 at the same time he had Chris) and Talamo for 10 years, so assuredly his ethics are bound in honor. In Rispoli, he has the other essential ingredient.

“He’s knowledgeable, intense, aggressive and wants to do well,” McClellan said of the 32-year-old, a two-time champion in his native Italy who is best friends with Frenchman Prat.

Astute stateside observers are aware of Rispoli’s penchant for winning turf races, and Scotty concurs.

“He had a phenomenal meet on the turf at Del Mar,” McClellan said. “I don’t know what the final tally was but I think he won 35 races from 115 mounts, so that was pretty amazing to win at such a high percentage (better than 30 percent).

“He likes to have his horses in a good, contending position, not so much on the lead . . .He likes to be where he can pounce on the leaders. If there’s a lot of speed, he’ll sit back, but if he can save ground the whole way behind the leaders and find a spot to get through or go around, however the race dictates, he’s versatile.”


With five Breeders’ Cup ” Win & You’re In” Challenge Race qualifying stakes on tap this Saturday and two more on Sunday at Santa Anita, the following is a detailed look at what the winning connections of all five of these races can look forward to-beyond regular purse money-won.

September 26- $100,000, Speakeasy Stakes, 2-year olds at 5 ½ furlongs on turf

What’s at Stake?

#WinandYoureIN Speakeasy Stakes

Automatic Entry into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint on November 6

$30,000 in Entry Fees paid by Breeders’ Cup

$10,000 Award to Nominator

$10,000 Travel allowance for horses stabled outside of KY.

September 26 – Grade I, $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes, 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles

What’s at Stake?

#WinandYoureIN American Pharoah Stakes

Automatic Entry into the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile presented by TAA on November 6

$60,000 in Entry Fees paid by Breeders’ Cup

$10,000 Award to Nominator

$10,000 Travel allowance for horses stabled outside of KY.

September 26 – Grade I, $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes, 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles

What’s at Stake?

#WinandYoureIN Awesome Again Stakes

Automatic Entry into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 7

$150,000 in Entry Fees paid by Breeders’ Cup

$10,000 Award to Nominator

$10,000 Travel allowance for horses stabled outside of KY.

September 26 – Garde II, $200,000 Chandelier Stakes, 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles

What’s at Stake?

#WinandYoureIN Chandelier Stakes

Automatic Entry into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 6

$60,000 in Entry Fees paid by Breeders’ Cup

$10,000 Award to Nominator

$10,000 Travel allowance for horses stabled outside of KY.

September 26 – Grade I, $300,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes, 3-year-olds and up, fillies and mares at 1 ¼ miles on turf

What’s at Stake?

#WinandYoureIN Rodeo Drive Stakes

Automatic Entry into the Marker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf on November 7

$60,000 in Entry Fees paid by Breeders’ Cup

$10,000 Award to Nominator

$10,000 Travel allowance for horses stabled outside of KY.

September 27 – -Grade II, $200,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championships, 3-year-olds and up, six furlongs

What’s at Stake?

#WinandYoureIN Santa Anita Sprint Championships

Automatic Entry into the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on November 7

$60,000 in Entry Fees paid by Breeders’ Cup

$10,000 Award to Nominator

$10,000 Travel allowance for horses stabled outside of KY.

September 27 – Grade II, $200,000 Zenyatta Stakes, 3-year-olds and up, fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles

What’s at Stake?

#WinandYoureIN Zenyatta Stakes

Automatic Entry into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff on November 7

$60,000 in Entry Fees paid by Breeders’ Cup

$10,000 Award to Nominator

$10,000 Travel allowance for horses stabled outside of KY.


Popular trainer Jack Carava, who notched an upset win with his penultimate starter on Sept. 7 at Del Mar, has announced he’ll hang up his morning stopwatch and embrace Santa Anita’s Autumn Meet Condition Book One as he’ll now serve as agent for jockey Tyler Baze, who is returning to ride full time at The Great Race Place after an eight month absence.

“The time is right,” said Carava, 54, who has operated both a public and private stable in Southern California for the past 33 years.  “I’ve had a lot of success with Tyler over the years and he’s probably the hardest working jock I’ve ever known.  I love training, but my stable has contracted over the past couple years and when Tyler called me, I realized this is a great opportunity.

“He rode at Oaklawn this winter and he’s been in Kentucky all summer.  He’s excited to be back home with his family and he’s got a lot customers here that are anxious to get him back on their horses.  It’ll take a little time to let everyone know that we’re working together, but with Tyler’s work ethic, I know we’re gonna be in good shape.  The book is out, so I’ve already taken some calls and we’ll just approach everything day by day.”

The son of a trainer, Carava worked under trainers Jerry Fanning and Joe Griffin prior to setting out on his own in 1987.  With his win in Monday’s fifth race at Del Mar with Harper’s Gallop ($15.80), Carava, who was Hollywood Park’s Spring Summer leader in 2001 and was leading trainer at Santa Anita’s 2002 Oak Tree Meet, leaves his shed row with 1,107 career wins, which contributed to stable earnings of $32.4 million and also included five graded stakes victories.

Baze, 37, who was America’s Eclipse Award winning apprentice jockey in 2000, won the $500,000 More Than Ready Stakes with longshot Barrister Tom ($90.00) for trainer Michael Ewing at Kentucky Downs on Labor Day, giving him 2,718 career wins.  He and his wife Christina reside in nearby Monrovia with their two daughters, Emilia, six, and Isla, four, along with one son, Luca, three.


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 Friday, 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.

For more information 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


The California Horse Racing Board will conduct a teleconference meeting 9:30 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 24. Consistent with Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-29-20, the meeting will be teleconference only and no physical location will be provided.

The public may participate in either of two ways. The webcast audio link on the CHRB website will continue to provide a way for the public to listen to this meeting. Those wishing to speak during the meeting may dial 888-392-4564 and enter 6896291# to join the teleconference. To speak on any item, press *1 to enter the speakers’ queue.            Those providing unsolicited public comment on individual agenda items will be limited to two minutes. Comments must relate specifically to agenda items. Note that for agenda item #16, Public Comment, no further comments will be permitted after 30 minutes. The agenda and package of materials are available on the CHRB website.


Sincere apologies are in order to owner/breeders Gary and Mary West, whose Maximum Security has been entered to run in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes, a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race qualifier that will provide the winner a fees-paid berth into the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 7 at Keeneland.

Contrary to what was stated in this space on Monday, Maximum Security was not disqualified from his victory in the $20 million Saudi Cup on Feb. 29.  Trained at that time by Jason Servis, Maximum Security’s winner’s share of the Saudi purse continues to be withheld while officials complete an investigation regarding issues related to former trainer Servis.

Currently conditioned by Bob Baffert, Maximum Security, who won both the Grade II San Diego Handicap and Grade I Pacific Classic this past summer at Del Mar, will be reunited with Luis Saez for the first time since his victory in the Saudi Cup while he makes his third start for Baffert.

Disqualified from victory in the 2019 Kentucky Derby for a riding infraction at the top of the stretch, Maximum Security, a 4-year-old colt by New Year’s Day, out of the Anasheed mare Lil Indy, officially has 10 wins (five in Grade I stakes) from 12 starts and earnings of $12.1 million.

As such, he is regarded by many as the best horse in training today.

FINISH LINES:  Beginning on Friday, Track Announcer Frank Mirahmadi and host Tom Quigley will provide a free-wheeling handicapping seminar beginning at 11:05 a.m. on Santa Anita’s simulcast signal.  With Quigley stirring the conversational stick, Mirahmadi, who also reigns supreme as racing’s most entertaining emcee, relishes his unscripted simulcast role as handicapper, food critic and veteran racing observer.  Santa Anita’s livestream video is available free of charge each racing day at…Harvest Moon, dominant daylight winner of her last three races each at one mile on dirt including the Grade III Torrey Pines on Aug. 22, will be entered in Sunday’s Zenyatta Stakes but may not run. “We could run here or wait for the Black-Eyed Susan a week later (Oct. 3 at Pimlico),” said trainer Simon Callaghan. 



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