GLATT FANCIES THE DISTANCE IN SALTY AMERICAN PHAROAH
SON OF AMERICAN PHAROAH RUNS IN AMERICAN PHAROAH!
EURTON SEEKS A BETTER TRIP FOR DRAFT PICK SATURDAY
ETHNICITIES APART BUT PEDROZA, DELAHOUSSAYE BONDED
CELEBRITY CHEF FLAY HOPES HE HAS RECIPE FOR A WINNER
STATE-OF-THE-ART VIDEO BOARD TO BE UNVEILED ON FRIDAY
GLATT FEELS COLT IS ON THE MARK FOR AMERICAN PHAROAH
Collusion Illusion is unbeaten in two impressive sprint wins, but the bay son of Twirling Candy shows every indication the mile and one-sixteenth of Friday’s Grade I “Win and You’re In” American Pharoah Stakes for two-year-olds is right in his wheelhouse.
The American Pharoah is one of three Grade I “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup races opening day of Santa Anita’s 23-day Autumn season, highlighted by the Breeders’ Cup championship event on Nov. 1 and 2 which Santa Anita will be hosting for a record 10th time.
Bred in Florida by Donald Dizney, Collusion Illusion showed maturity while rating kindly off the pace winning his debut race at five furlongs by a half-length July 31, followed by victory in the Grade II Best Pal at six furlongs Aug. 10 under Joe Talamo who rides back Friday.
“We’ll see if he can stretch out,” said trainer Mark Glatt, whose barn has been winning in bunches of late, and who also has turf sprint specialist Eddie Haskell entered in Friday’s Grade II Eddie D. Stakes at five furlongs on grass.
“Collusion Illusion is going into the race well and we’ll see if he’s good enough,” Glatt said. “His style does suggest that going a little further will help him, but until they run two turns and prove it, you’ve got to see it to believe it, but I feel pretty comfortable about him.
“These races are never easy. It’s a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In and they’re not going to give those kind of races away, so we’ll see who turns out to be best.”
As to his recent success, Glatt said, “You’ve got to enjoy it while it’s going good, because it’s a roller coaster. We’ll try to stay on an even keel and keep it going this meet.”
The American Pharoah is race eight on a nine-race opening day program that also features the Grade I, “Win and You’re In’ Chandelier Stakes for two-year-old fillies and the Grade II Eddie D. Stakes for three-year-olds and up at five furlongs on turf.
The American Pharoah field: American Theorum, Tiago Periera, 5-1; Fore Left, Mario Gutierrez, 15-1; Eight Rings, John Velazquez, 9-5; Express Train, Mike Smith, 4-1; Storm the Court, Flavien Prat, 15-1; Defense Wins, Rafael Bejarano, 15-1; Shoplifted, Joel Rosario, 6-1; Nucky, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 10-1; and Collusion Illusion, Joe Talamo, 5-1.
First post time on opening day is 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.
TRAINER HOPES AMERICAN THEORUM STEPS UP IN AMERICAN PHAROAH
American Theorum was no secret when he won his debut race Aug. 31 at Del Mar. The gray son of 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah rallied from seventh in a field of nine going 5 ½ furlongs as the 2-1 favorite.
He won’t be that price in Friday’s American Pharoah Stakes.
No worries for George Papaprodromou, who trains the promising Kentucky-bred for owner Rustin Kretz.
“He won impressively first time out,” Papaprodromou said of the ridgling. “He sat behind a wall of horses and made a nice move on the turn and went by them.”
EURTON EYES BETTER TRIP IN AWESOME AGAIN FOR DRAFT PICK
Draft Pick had less than an ideal trip when second at 13-1 in the Pacific Classic, so Peter Eurton is hoping for better luck in Saturday’s Awesome Again Stakes, a Grade I, $300,000 Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race offering the winner a fees-paid berth to the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.
“It was a big race, especially going five, six-wide the whole trip,” the trainer said of Del Mar’s marquee race.
Higher Power won the Pacific Classic in a 9-1 upset and trainer John Sadler reports the son of Medaglio d’Oro owned by Hronis Racing is “training super” for the Awesome Again.
“We’re looking forward to Saturday,” he said.
PEDROZA HAS FOND MEMORIES FOR EDDIE D. STAKES
Martin Pedroza and Eddie Delahoussaye were worlds apart in ethnic and cultural backgrounds, but racing created a bond that continues today, going on 20 years after Delahoussaye retired and Pedroza soldiers on at 54 in a career spanning some four decades.
“They were great friends,” said 60-year-old Richie Silverstein, who has represented Panamanian Pedroza for 32 of his 37 years as an agent. “Eddie taught Martin a lot about patience, finishing on horses, not tipping your hand in a race, things like that.
“Riders can be friendly without putting their business on the street. Keep to yourself, be patient, your time will come.”
Delahoussaye, a native of Louisiana, retired in January of 2003. A member of the Hall of Fame since 1993, Eddie D., for whom Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 stakes race is named, won the Kentucky Derby back-to-back in 1982 and 1983 with Gato Del Sol and Sunny’s Halo.
He was one of the most popular riders on the Southern California circuit, and remains so today at age 68.
“I don’t want to say Eddie was Martin’s idol,” Silverstein continued, “because Martin’s brother, Marcelino probably was, but in California, Eddie was pretty much the first guy Martin would go to.”
The bond took time to develop.
“When Latin riders come to the states, they don’t speak a lot of English–Martin didn’t speak any–and they migrate, naturally, to fellow Latins like Laffit (Pincay Jr.), even though he wasn’t a good talker, and Alex Solis (both from Panama).
“Shoemaker and McCarron helped Marty, too, but if you ask Marty, he’ll tell you he got more input from Delahoussaye. Martin rode with the best–Shoemaker, Pierce, Pincay, Cordero, P. Val, Stevens, Solis, McCarron, McHargue, but Eddie D. was his man.
“If you ask Martin about Eddie D., his eyes will light up.”
The Eddie D., race six: Eddie Haskell, Joel Rosario, 3-1; Pee Wee Reese, Flavien Prat, 3-1; Lombo, Geovanni Franco, 30-1; Boa Nova, Edwin Maldonado, 20-1; Stormy Liberal, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 4-1; Mr Vargas, Joe Talamo, 5-2; Double Touch, John Velazquez, 12-1; and Tribalist, Victor Espinoza, 5-1.
FILLY FOR CELEBRITY CHEF FLAY RUNS HERE FRIDAY
Michael McCarthy hopes he has something cooking in Friday’s second race on opening day Friday, and it’s not because the horse’s owner is celebrity chef Bobby Flay.
The horse is Convincingly, a two-year-old bay filly that was sixth in her debut race on Sept. 2 at Del Mar going a mile on turf. Friday’s race also is one mile on turf.
She is the first horse McCarthy trains for Flay, 54, who, in addition to being a celebrity chef and restaurateur, is a reality television personality, has hosted several Food Network TV programs, appeared as a guest and hosted a number of specials on the network. Flay is also featured on the Great Chefs television series.
“While I was working for Todd Pletcher (McCarthy’s long-time mentor) Bobby had some nice horses with him (including 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner More Than Real),” McCarthy said. “He’s a huge supporter of horse racing and we’ve always kept the lines of communication open.
“He always intended to have a horse in California and we were lucky enough to be the recipients. The filly is bred top and bottom for grass (sired by the War Front stallion Declaration of War out of the Irish-bred dam Kaloura). It was a sneaky good start first time out and we hope to do a little better Friday. Bobby is great for racing.”
NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART VIDEO BOARD AT SANTA ANITA
Santa Anita has installed a new state-of-the-art LED Infield video board, which will offer viewers dramatically improved brightness and visual clarity beginning on opening day.
Manufactured and installed by Daktronics, America’s leading manufacturer of outdoor LED (light-emitting diode) boards, this new 30′ x 54′ display contains 648,000 total 15 mm pixels, the optimum size for a board of this scope, ensuring an improved view of the races and all video content throughout the race day.
Daktronics is the preferred vendor for 21 of 31 NFL stadiums and 22 of 30 Major League baseball parks in the U.S.
Santa Anita will also be offering fans other major new amenities, such as its Stretch Run Suites and Trackside Terrace Dining and Seating, at a cost of more than $5 million.
FINISH LINES: Omaha Beach will have his final breeze “Friday or Saturday” for the Oct. 5 Santa Anita Sprint Championship, trainer Richard Mandella said . . . Phil D’Amato has six horses nominated for Sunday’s Grade II John Henry Turf Championship but plans to run three: Acclimate, Cleopatra’s Strike and Ya Gotta Wanna.
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