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February 25, 2009

ZAMBEZI SUN JOINS FULL LINEUP FOR MARCH 7 SANTA ANITA HANDICAP
Zambezi Sun, a disappointing seventh as the 9-10 favorite in his U.S. debut Sunday in the Grade II San Luis Obispo Handicap at 1 ½ miles on turf, will wheel back two weeks later in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 7, Bobby Frankel said Wednesday morning.
“There’s nothing wrong with him,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “He didn’t run hard; he’s OK. I just got him fit enough to run (in the Big ‘Cap).”

February 22, 2009

RAIL TRIP’S NEXT RACE UNDECIDED; VALDIVIA ON CHAMPS ELYSEES IN BIG ’CAP

Although Rail Trip has been nominated to the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 7, chances of the unbeaten gelding running in the mile and a quarter classic seemed extremely remote Sunday.

February 21, 2009

EXPENSIVE CLAIM BALFOUR PARK EYES NEXT SATURDAY’S SHAM STAKES

Balfour Park, claimed for the rarified price of $100,000 last out by trainer Craig Lewis, likely will make his next start in the Grade III Sham Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles next Saturday.

“More than likely (he’ll run),” Lewis said. Balfour Park, a Kentucky-bred son of the Seeking the Gold sire Mutakddim, has raced only three times, breaking his maiden in the $100,000 race at one mile on Jan.

February 20, 2009

ON FIRE LOOKS LIKE A NATURAL FOR ABRAMS IN SAN LUIS OBISPO

If ever a horse was a natural for Barry Abrams to train, it’s On Fire.

February 19, 2009

FRANKEL CALLS AUDIBLE, ENTERS ZAMBEZI SUN IN SUNDAY’S SAN LUIS OBISPO

Zambezi Sun, a highly regarded Group 1 winner in Europe who had been scheduled to make his United States debut in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on Pro-Ride on March 7, instead has been entered in Sunday’s San Luis Obispo Handicap scheduled for 1 ½ miles on turf by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who still plans to run the English-bred horse in the Big ’Cap.

“I might have missed a little training, so this way it will be like a workout for him,” Frankel said of the English-bred son of the Danehill stallio

February 16, 2009

MUTADDA INVADES FOR SATURDAY’S SAN CARLOS HANDICAP

Citing limited opportunities elsewhere and a penchant for seven furlongs, Tom Amoss is bringing Mutadda to Santa Anita for Saturday’s Grade II San Carlos Handicap.

“This looked like a good spot,” Amoss said by phone Monday morning from the Ocala Breeders’ Sales in Florida. “There wasn’t too much around and seven-eighths is his best distance.” Mutadda has two wins and a third in four starts at seven furlongs. He registered his first stakes victory in the restricted Gaudin Memorial at the Fair Grounds on Jan. 10.

February 15, 2009

GEORGIE BOY IN A ZONE FOR SATURDAY’S SAN CARLOS HANDICAP

Georgie Boy found his comfort zone when he won the Sunshine Millions Sprint at six furlongs on Jan. 24. At least that’s the opinion of Garrett Gomez, who rode the California-bred son of Tribal Rule to a rail-skimming, 2 ¼-length victory in the $300,000 race.

The 4-year-old gelding was fourth in the Grade I Malibu Stakes a month before the Sunshine Millions. In the Malibu, Bob Black Jack was able to dictate the pace en route to a 2 ¼-length victory.

February 14, 2009

UNBEATEN RAIL TRIP COULD RUN IN SAN CARLOS; JOHNNY EVES INJURED

Rail Trip, who has been mentioned as a candidate for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap at 1 ¼ miles on March 7, could make his next start in next Saturday’s Grade II San Carlos Handicap at seven furlongs.

“It’s a possibility,” trainer Ron Ellis said Saturday morning. “I looked at the race, and it’s not a very strong field other than Georgie Boy, so it’s a possibility.”

Rail Trip, a 4-year-old gelding by the A.P. Indy stallion Jump Start, is unbeaten in three starts by a combined margin of more than 12 lengths.

February 13, 2009

O’NEILL HOPES HIS ‘PLAN’ IS REAL DEAL ON SYNTHETIC IN SANTA MARIA

Mistical Plan figures to be part of the pace scenario in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Santa Maria Handicap, coming off a fourth-place finish after a troubled start in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint at six furlongs. The 5-year-old California-bred mare also figures to benefit from that race, her first in five months.

“She’s doing great,” trainer Doug O’Neill said of the daughter of Game Plan, who won the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks at 1 1/16 miles in March of 2007. “She’s proven at two turns.

February 12, 2009

DELGADILLO SEEKS FIRST GRADE I VICTORY IN SANTA MARIA

Agapito Delgadillo goes for the biggest win of his career Saturday. The 42-year-old jockey, who has dealt with weight problems for the past decade, rides Tizfiz for trainer Rafael DeLeon in the Grade I Santa Maria Handicap for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

Victory would give Delgadillo his first Grade I triumph in nearly 25 years as a jockey. He registered one of his greatest wins when he rode Tizfiz to a nose victory at 9-1 in the Grade II, $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap on Jan. 4.