- BARGAIN CLAIM MEETS VALE DORI SUNDAY
- D’AMATO GOES THREE FOR THREE FRIDAY
- PROMISING QUEEN LAILA IN STAKES DEBUT
ODDS ARE AGAINST SPAWR TO KEEP STREAK GOING
Bill Spawr knows where the Winner’s Circle is.
Any trainer who wins at a 38 percent clip, like Spawr did during the Winter portion of Santa Anita’s current meet, doesn’t need a navigation system to find his way there.
That said, the widely respected 77-year-old horseman, who is content flying under the publicity radar, knows he’ll have a tough time getting into the Winner’s Circle Sunday when he sends out streaking bargain claim Skye Diamonds against streaking graded stakes winner Vale Dori in the Grade III Adoration Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at 1 1/16 miles.
Spawr took Skye Diamonds for $40,000 at Del Mar last Aug. 27, ran her back for $50,000, won by a length and a quarter, came back in an optional claimer to run second, then captured three straight races, including the restricted Dream of Summer Stakes for California-breds on March 26.
Meanwhile, Vale Dori, a five-year-old Argentine-bred mare, has won five in a row for Bob Baffert, three Grade II’s and her last, the Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes March 18.
“I like that she likes to win,” Spawr said in explaining his claim of Skye Diamonds, a four-year-old Cal-bred daughter of First Dude. “My horse is doing fine, but Vale Dori will be 1-5 in the race. We both have speed, but she’s faster than we are.
“There’s a lot of speed in the race. There are sprinters in there, so we have to see who runs and how it shakes out.”
The $100,000 Adoration, race five of nine: Skye Diamonds, Tiago Pereira, 4-1; Sensitively, Tyler Baze, 5-1; Bellamentary, Stewart Elliott, 5-1; Faithfully, Martin Garcia, 15-1; Autumn Flower, Martin Pedroza, 20-1; Vale Dori, Rafael Bejarano, 3-5; and Lady Tapit, Mario Gutierrez, 20-1.
D’AMATO BATS 1.000 WITH TRIPLE SWEEP FRIDAY
Phil D’Amato hit the trifecta Friday, sending out three horses and winning with all three, moving him to within one of Richard Baltas for the training lead at the Spring portion of the current meet, 9-8. Baltas won two races Friday.
It wasn’t a first for D’Amato.
“I’ve won four in one day,” said D’Amato, who had eight horses entered at Santa Anita on Saturday, including three in the Singletary Stakes.
“It’s been a while, though, like back to the first year I trained, in April of 2014.”
D’Amato’s winners Friday were Sidepocket Run ($3.80 in the second race), Spin Me a Kiss ($3 in the sixth) and Table for Three ($6.40 in the seventh).
DISTANCE SUITS QUEEN LAILA IN ANGELS FLIGHT
Simon Callaghan has engaged Flavien Prat to ride impressive maiden winner Queen Laila in next Sunday’s $75,000 Angels Flight Stakes for three-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.
The daughter of The Factor won her debut race April 8, drawing clear by a length and a quarter at six furlongs as the 3-2 favorite in a field of 10.
“We’ve always really liked her,” said the trainer, who owns a part of the bay filly in a partnership. “It was nice to see her do well in her debut. I think the extra distance will be right up her alley; we’re really happy with her.”
Probables for the Angels Flight include Demigoddess, Go On Mary, Kenda, McKenzie Honey, Princess Karen, Queen Laila and Selcourt. Selcourt worked five furlongs Saturday in 1:00.80 for John Sadler.
FINISH LINES: With Paul Atkinson in the saddle, Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint runner-up Om worked four furlongs Saturday morning in 50.20 for Dan Hendricks. “It was a real, steady work,” said the trainer, who still is mulling a comeback race . . . Probable for next Saturday’s Grade III Lazaro Barrera Stakes for three-year-olds at seven furlongs include Aristocratic, Interrogator, Kimbear and Midnight Pleasure, while Big League, City Storm, Rebel War and Taxman’s Quest are likely for the $75,000 Desert Code Stakes for three-year-olds at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf the same day. Kimbear worked five furlongs Saturday for Eric Kruljac in 59.80 . . . Leading jockey Rafael Bejarano has withdrawn his appeal of a suspension meted out April 1 and will serve three days, May 12, 13 and 14 . . . Avicii, 7-2 in the morning line for today’s eighth race, has been a nomadic Thoroughbred of late. The six-year-old City Zip mare currently trained by Peter Miller has been claimed five times in her last six starts.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, May 5)|
|Norberto Arroyo, Jr.||34||5||4||7||15%||47%||$270,513|