first_imgRichard Baltas621112918%52%$598,163 Doug O’Neill698151112%49%$650,258 Mark Glatt3165419%48%$225,650 Jerry Hollendorfer591081117%49%$891,304 Gary Sherlock2353222%43%$135,110 Stewart Elliott70871311%40%$347,490 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS (Current Through Thursday, Feb. 2) UNIQUE BELLA MEETS CHAMP IN GRADE II LAS VIRGENESThere are those who have mentioned Unique Bella in the same breath with herstablemate,  two-time Eclipse Award champion filly Songbird, although Jerry Hollendorfer likely would say that’s putting the cart before the horse, although he allows that Unique Bella is “a special filly.”The daughter of Tapit tries two turns for the first time in Sunday’s Grade II Las Virgenes Stakes for three-year-old fillies at one mile, and is the 3-5 morning line favorite to succeed.Unique Bella won the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes at seven furlongs by 7 ½ lengths while geared down in her three-year-old debut, beating stablemate It Tiz Well. Competition is likely to be stiffer Sunday in the form of Eclipse Award champion two-year-old filly Champagne Room, who has been firing morning bullets for her three-year-old debut.Trained by Peter Eurton, Champagne Room has not raced since winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.The Las Virgenes, race six of eight: Mopotism, Flavien Prat 6-1; Champagne Room, Mario Gutierrez, 5-2; Mistressofthenight, Corey Nakatani, 15-1; Unique Bella, Mike Smith, 3-5; and Miss Southern Miss, Kent Desormeaux, 6-1. FINISH LINES: Happy Birthday wishes are in order for the Voice of Santa Anita, Michael Wrona.  A native of Brisbane, Australia, Wrona was foaled 51 years ago today . . .  Midnight Storm, a multiple graded stakes winner on both turf and dirt, remains ticketed for the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 11. “Absolutely,” trainer Phil D’Amato said. “That’s what we’re planning. We’re going to breeze this weekend and keep him on that schedule all the way into the race.” Marathoner Big John B. worked five furlongs Thursday in 1:02. “He’s doing great,” D’Amato said. “I missed the San Marcos with him, but we’ll probably hit the next one (San Luis Rey at 1 ½ miles on turf March 25) or the Tokyo City Cup (at 1 ½ miles on dirt April 2), which he won last year.” Also scheduled to work Saturday is three-year-old filly champion of 2015 Stellar Wind for John Sadler . . . Suspension City: Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, third in the standings with 14 wins, has been suspended three days (Feb. 12, 16 and 17) for careless riding aboard Aotearoa in Sunday’s ninth race; Martin Garcia has been banished the same three days for careless riding on Senator Robert in Sunday’s fifth race, resulting in a disqualification from second to fifth; Flavien Prat is banned Feb. 9, 10 and 11 for careless riding on Run Macho Run in the second race Feb. 2; and the CHRB has denied Norberto Arroyo Jr.’s appeal from last October, suspending him six days (Feb. 9, 10, 11, 12, 16 and 17) . . . There was one winning Pick Six ticket Thursday worth $319,148, bought through TwinSpires.com for $648 . . . On Sunday, the day of The Big Game, live racing at Santa Anita begins at 11 a.m., allowing fans to watch three-point favorite New England against Atlanta at Sirona’s Sports Bar after the races or to be home in time to see it. Sirona’s will offer $5 drink specials all day. General admission to the track that day is only one dollar. Flavien Prat9522101623%51%$1,283,793 Martin Pedroza5377913%43%$269,443 Mike Smith2161429%52%$607,500 HOLLENDORFER TARGETS THREE STAKES THIS WEEKENDJerry Hollendorfer has horses entered in six races this weekend, three of them stakes, so the Hall of Fame trainer and his assistant Dan Ward will be busy, as is their wont.The 70-year-old Hollendorfer adheres to the U.S. Postal Service credo. Be it rain, sleet or snow, the mail must get through.Hollendorfer has Ike Walker entered in the Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes for four-year-olds and up at six furlongs and Sheer Flattery in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, both on Saturday. Sunday, Unique Bella tries two turns for the first time in the Grade II Las Virgenes Stakes for three-year-old fillies at one mile.Ike Walker sticks out like a sore thumb in the Palos Verdes, because on form, he doesn’t seem to fit. The five-year-old Bellamy Road gelding was claimed for $50,000 last out when he finished third on a wet/fast track at a mile Jan. 1. Prior to that, his previous 12 starts were all a mile or longer.“The reason we nominated and are running is because we’ve been entering him in other races and they didn’t go,” Hollendorfer said. “I don’t just want to just keep sitting on him. I didn’t have a race picked out for him at Golden Gate, and we couldn’t get in here.“We heard the Palos Verdes was going to come up short so we nominated and decided to run.“It’s probably a bad spot, but if you just keep training them, they can get hurt.”As to Sheer Flattery, who won a maiden allowance race by a nose on a sloppy track Dec. 31, Hollendorfer said, “We think he’s been training well and if he can transfer the race he ran last time to this one, he should have a fairly good chance.”The Palos Verdes, race three: Ike Walker, Flavien Prat, 8-1; Distinctive B, Tyler Baze, 7-2; St. Joe Bay, Kent Desormeaux, 8-5; Ocho Ocho Ocho, Santiago Gonzalez, 7-2; and Moe Candy, Victor Espinoza, 2-1. JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Tyler Baze972119822%49%$903,417 Norberto Arroyo, Jr.6495414%28%$458,830 Santiago Gonzalez5168612%39%$264,716 Kent Desormeaux651410722%48%$913,683 Bob Baffert2953517%45%$411,316 TrainerMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won O’NEILL HAS THREE FOR THE MONEY IN ROBERT B. LEWISWith three horses entered, Doug O’Neill has 60 percent in a field of five for Saturday’s Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes for three-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, but it’s not a personal record for the trainer, who won the Kentucky Derby twice in the last four years, with I’ll Have Another in 2012 and last year with champion two-year-old male of 2015 Nyquist.“I remember having three in the Malibu in 2004 when Lava Man ran second (to Rock Hard Ten),” O’Neill said between intermittent rain drops that were not enough to cancel training Friday morning.O’Neill also sent out Harvard Avenue to finish second and Perfect Moon to run third behind Rock Hard Ten, but accounted for only 30 percent of the field as there were 10 starters.O’Neill has Oak Tree Juvenile winner Dangerfield, the maiden Irap, and Cecil B. DeMille winner Term of Art going in the Lewis, which offers 17 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, 10 to the winner.“The pressure’s on,” O’Neill said with a chuckle, alluding to his Lewis majority. “Seriously, all three are doing well. They have the pedigree, they have the class, they’ve got the stride. They’ve all showed glimpses of being that kind of horse, so we’re optimistic.’The field for the Lewis, which goes as the second event on a nine-race card that starts at 12:30 p.m.: Royal Mo, Victor Espinoza, 5-2; Irap, Mario Gutierrez, 3-1; Dangerfield, Kent Desormeaux, 7-2; Term of Art, Tyler Baze, 9-2; and Sheer Flattery, Mike Smith, 2-1. Rafael Bejarano7912101615%48%$740,768 Peter Eurton2373030%43%$324,340 Joseph Talamo60651110%37%$247,090 Philip D’Amato3584623%51%$563,575 William Spawr1360246%62%$172,461 J. Keith Desormeaux1972437%68%$406,275 Luis Contreras58681710%53%$316,054 DISTANCE NO PROBLEM FOR TEXAS RYANOTexas Ryano has a win and a second at a mile and a quarter on turf at Santa Anita.Jockey Joe Talamo hopes the horse’s fancy for those conditions is in tact for Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Marcos Stakes for four-year-olds and up at 1 ¼ miles on turf.“He kind of got backed up in his training with all the rain, like everyone else, but he’s been working very good and the distance is good for him, although to me, he’s a true mile and a half horse,” said Talamo, who has ridden the six-year-old Curlin horse eight times, winning twice, including the Grade II Hollywood Turf Cup last out on Nov. 25.“If you look at his races at a mile and an eighth and a mile and a quarter, he kind of comes running, but the farther the better with him,” Talamo said. “He’s doing well enough where he can try and run ’em down.”Trained by Carla Gaines for owner/breeder Warren Williamson, Texas Ryano boasts a 5-3-3 record from 18 starts with earnings of $438,355.The San Marcos, the last of nine races: A Red Tie Day, Corey Nakatani, 15-1; Flamboyant, Brice Blanc, 4-1; Itsinthepost, Tyler Baze, 12-1; Blue Tone, Martin Garcia, 12-1; Texas Ryano, Joe Talamo, 3-1; Power Ped, Stewart Elliott, 20-1; Perfectly Majestic, Kent Desormeaux, 10-1; Isotherm, Flavien Prat, 6-1; Hi Happy, Altair Dominguez, 10-1; Twentytwentyvision, Mike Smith, 6-1; and Frank Conversation, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1.Gustnado, Conquest Daddyo and Some in Tieme were scratched. UNIQUE BELLA ODDS-ON FOR SUNDAY’S LAS VIRGENESO’NEILL HOPES TO ‘PASS GO’ WITH LEWIS MONOPOLYBUSY WEEKEND AS USUAL FOR TEAM HOLLENDORFERTEXAS RYANO SHOULD COME RUNNING IN SAN MARCOS Peter Miller451113624%67%$666,510 John Sadler2355622%70%$273,824last_img read more

first_imgKent Desormeaux831711920%45%$1,126,318 Bob Baffert3274522%50%$683,716 Joseph Talamo7675149%34%$282,988 John Sadler3267819%66%$406,574 DREFONG BREEZES ON A ‘BEAUTIFUL’ MAIN TRACK Philip D’Amato42115726%55%$670,520 (Current Through Thursday, Feb. 9) Rafael Bejarano9316151717%52%$922,923 WHAT A VIEW BACK IN TWO WEEKS FOR ARCADIAWhat a View will be running uncharacteristically sooner than normal when he starts in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Arcadia Stakes for four-year-olds and up at a mile on turf.The speedy California-bred son of Vronsky was a game second in the California Cup Turf Championship on Jan. 28, but will be returning in two weeks Saturday.“It’s quicker than usual, because we like to give him 30 days or more, but I’ve only tried it once or twice,” said trainer Kenny Black. “This time it’s a different situation. Before the Cal Cup he hadn’t run for 60 days since the Seabiscuit (Nov. 26), so it was either run Saturday or work him five or six times before the Kilroe, which is our next major target.“I’d rather run him on the grass for $200,000 than work him on the dirt for free.”The Grade I, $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile on turf will be run March 11.The Arcadia, race five of nine: Bolo, Mike Smith, 5-1; Ring Weekend, Rafael Bejarano, 6-5; What a View, Tyler Baze, 4-1; Ohio, T.J. Pereira, 15-1; and Conquest Enforcer, Flavien Prat, 8-5. FAMILY MAN GUTIERREZ ACHIEVES 1,000TH VICTORY Richard Baltas7014131020%53%$712,020 ILIAD DEBUTS FOR O’NEILL SUNDAY IN SAN VICENTE Victor Espinoza3167519%58%$458,462 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Santiago Gonzalez6679611%33%$340,271 Tyler Baze12021251018%47%$1,049,212 ILIAD DEBUTS FOR O’NEILL IN SAN VICENTEIliad makes his first start under the direction of trainer Doug O’Neill in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes for three-year-olds at seven furlongs. The bay ridgling owned by Kaleem Shah formerly was trained by Bob Baffert.“He’s training really well and we’re looking forward to getting him started,” O’Neill said. Iliad will be making his first start since last Dec. 18, when he broke his maiden going six furlongs at Los Alamitos, winning by 3 ½ lengths.The San Vicente: Law Abiding Citizen, Jamie Theriot, 6-1; Aquamarine, Stewart Elliott, 3-1; Blabimir, Mario Gutierrez, 8-1; Battle of Midway, Mike Smith, 7-5; and Iliad, Rafael Bejarano, 9-5. TrainerMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Flavien Prat11429132025%54%$1,857,613 FINISH LINES: Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner and Eclipse champion Drefong worked five furlongs in a bullet 58.60 under Mike Smith on Santa Anita’s fast main track Friday for the Golden Shaheen on March 25. Drefong went in company with Pretty N Cool who was timed in 59 flat. “He worked nice,” trainer Bob Baffert said of Drefong. “The track is just beautiful today.” Another Eclipse champion, 2015 three-year-old filly winner Stellar Wind, worked four furlongs in 48.60 under exercise rider Jose Contreras. Trainer John Sadler moved the breeze up a day in advance of impending rain. Sham Stakes winner Gormley, with designs on the San Felipe Stakes March 11, worked five furlongs for John Shirreffs in 1:02.40 under regular rider Victor Espinoza. Workmate Shazara was timed in 1:03 . . . In all, there were 289 recorded workouts Friday, including 24 on the training track . . . Baffert reports Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arrogate doing well but offered no race for his next start. “We call him Big Blue,” Baffert said. “He’s been tough. He looks pretty good.” Baffert was thrilled when he received a call this morning from Madeline Auerbach advising him that a full brother to Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh was born early this morning at Summer Wind Farm in Georgetown, Ky. “He’s got the same head as American Pharoah,” Baffert said. “He’s gorgeous.” . . . With two victories Thursday (Wealthy Shipman, $10 in the second race) and Salsita ($5 in the fifth), Richard Baltas gained a tie for the training lead with Peter Miller. Each has 14 wins, one more than Jerry Hollendorfer in a heated battle that has Phil D ‘Amato on their heels with 11 . . . Belated congratulations to Barry Abrams on the birth of twin daughters, Rose and Stella, to his daughter, Anna Marie, who is married to trainer Tim Yakteen‘s assistant, John Applegate. Luis Contreras67881812%51%$388,639center_img LADY TAPIT EYES FIRST STAKES WIN IN SANTA MARIA            Lady Tapit closed four wide to finish half a length behind front-running winner Perfect Pic on a muddy track Jan. 13, her first start in seven months.Trainer Peter Eurton is hopeful the five-year-old Tapit mare owned by C R K Stable can progress enough to capture her first added money race Saturday in the Grade II Santa Maria Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.“It’s hard to say whether she’ll move forward or not,” Eurton said. “Because of how the weather affected her training, I didn’t think she was fit enough to run second last time. I just want to see her run as well on Saturday as she did last out. She’s got to improve though, to be competitive.“Perfect Pic had a great trip. She walked the dog. You would think we would move forward, but it doesn’t always happen that way.”The Santa Maria, race four: Midnight Toast, Jamie Theriot, 12-1; Lady Tapit, Mario Gutierrez, 30-1; Autumn Flower, Flavien Prat, 20-1; Sheer Pleasure, Martin Garcia, 5-1; Show Stealer, Tyler Baze, 6-1; and Vale Dori, Mike Smith, 1-5. Jerry Hollendorfer691391519%54%$1,124,785 Mark Glatt4186520%46%$296,750 Mike Smith2883629%61%$856,165 Mario Gutierrez61612910%44%$587,856 Stewart Elliott801091413%41%$430,728 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won J. Keith Desormeaux2772526%52%$430,400 GUTIERREZ ACHIEVES CAREER MILESTONE It was only an event for cellar-dwelling maidens, but for Mario Gutierrez, winning Thursday’s eighth race aboard Hot Paris Night was almost like winning the Kentucky Derby, which he has done twice.The 30-year-old Gutierrez piloted Hot Paris Night to a neck triumph, giving the native of Mexico his 1,000th career victory. A mainstay with the Doug O’Neill barn after winning the 2012 Run for the Roses on I’ll Have Another and again last year aboard Nyquist, Gutierrez was given a leg up on Hot Paris Night by Jerry Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward.“It can weigh on you until you finally achieve that milestone,” said Mario’s agent, Tom Knust. “Not only is he a very good rider, but I think getting married to Rebecca and then her having a baby helped him.“He’s very grounded and motivated to provide for his family. He’s out working every day as hard as he can. Combined with his talent and work ethic, you can’t ask for anything more.” Peter Miller551413625%60%$859,497 Norberto Arroyo, Jr.6495414%28%$458,830 Tiago Pereira5585515%33%$210,330 Doug O’Neill798191210%49%$762,708 William Spawr1670244%56%$181,551 Martin Pedroza617101111%46%$298,693 Corey Nakatani3963315%31%$331,836 QUICK TURNAROUND FOR WHAT A VIEW IN ARCADIA LADY TAPIT COULD RUN BETTER, FOR PETE’S SAKE Peter Eurton2973224%41%$363,754last_img read more