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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• FOURTEEN OF 15 NOMS ENTER GRADE II OAK TREE DERBY SATURDAY
• McANALLY HOPES TO SMELL RAMSER ROSES WITH WIFE’S FILLY
• ACCLAMATION RECOVERING, EYES 2012 BREEDERS’ CUP AT SANTA ANITA
• SO CAL GOLF ASSOCIATION TO STAGE DAY AT THE RACES SATURDAY
• FANS CAN MEET ‘VIC THE BRICK’ AT SANTA ANITA ON SUNDAYS
RIVALS SHOW NO FEAR OF MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE IN OAK TREE DERBY
There were 15 horses nominated to Saturday’s Grade II Oak Tree Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Fourteen were entered, including leading contender Midnight Interlude by Bob Baffert for owner/breeder Arnold Zetcher.
“You know what? I’m just glad I scared everybody off,” Hall of Fame trainer Baffert said on a hot Thursday morning at Clockers’ Corner, tongue planted firmly in cheek. “That’s what I’m mad about. It makes me feel really confident that I scared everybody off; he’s a horse to reckon with.”
Midnight Interlude won the Grade I Santa Anita Derby in a 13-1 upset last April, but has made his last three starts on the grass. The son of War Chant lost by a nose in his most recent outing, the Grade II Del Mar Derby on Sept. 4.
Meanwhile, Leonard Powell hopes to win a stakes race with an English-bred colt named Venomous “right off the plane,” as the expression goes. The 35-year-old trainer has had his hands on the bay colt less than two weeks since the son of Red Ransom arrived from trainer Tony Clout (pronounced Cloot) in France.
Venomous makes his U.S. debut in the Oak Tree Derby. After the race, Venomous will remain with Powell in California.
“He came out of quarantine (at Hollywood Park) on Monday, went to the track there on Tuesday and will ship to Santa Anita the day of the race,” Powell said. “He looks great. He shipped very well and has a good appetite. His last work was at Chantilly in France last Wednesday (Oct. 5).”
The field for the Oak Tree Derby, the ninth of 10 races. Great Warrior, Omar Berrio; Northern Causeway, William Antongeorgi III; Venomous, Joel Rosario; Arraignment, Daniel Vergara; Dreamy Kid, Martin Garcia; Thirtyfirststreet, Patrick Valenzuela; Lil Bit o’ Fun, David Flores; Ultimate Eagle, Martin Pedroza; Akkadian, Brice Blanc; Theresmyeverything, Aaron Gryder; Cozy Kitten, Alonso Quinonez; Cloud Man, Mike Smith; Midnight Interlude, Rafael Bejarano; and Surrey Star, Chantal Sutherland.
WORLD TRAVELER McANALLY HAS ROSEHILL DEW SET FOR SUNDAY’S RAMSER
Ron McAnally’s back and Santa Anita has him. The Hall of Fame trainer was at his familiar perch at Clockers’ Corner Monday morning, as much a fixture as the San Gabriel Mountains, after a trip overseas in search of another champion.
“I was gone a few weeks,” McAnally said of his journey with long-time associate Murray Friedlander. “We went to the Arc sale and bought one horse. We’ve got a yearling coming out, maybe two.”
Whether the 79-year-old McAnally comes up with another John Henry, Paseana, Bayakoa, Northern Spur or Tight Spot—champions all—remains to be seen.
His immediate focus is on a filly named Rosehill Dew, scheduled to run in Sunday’s Grade III Harold C. Ramser Sr. Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on turf. Rosehill Dew is owned by McAnally’s wife, Debbie.
The bay was sixth in an overnight race at Del Mar on Aug. 21, beaten less than four lengths after a slow start, but was fourth in the Grade II San Clemente Handicap in her previous race, on July 24. “We ran her back a little soon after the San Clemente and she’s not a real big filly,” McAnally said. “But she’s had plenty of time now, so hopefully she’ll run good.”
The Irish-bred daughter of Danehill Dancer broke her maiden at first asking in Deauville in August of last year but is winless in five starts in the U.S. Brice Blanc, who has ridden the bay in each of her U.S. races, retains the mount.
There were 12 nominees to the Ramser and 11 entered.
The field for the Ramser, the eighth of nine races: Bauble Queen, Joe Talamo; Sarah’s Secret, Mike Smith; Imperialistic Diva, Kerwin John; Celestial Kitten, Patrick Valenzuela; Going for a Spin, Daniel Vergara; Glowing Spirit, Omar Berrio; Entrustment, David Flores; Tales in Excess, Victor Espinoza; Rosehill Dew, Brice Blanc; Up In Time, Martin Garcia; and Cathy’s Crunches, Chantal Sutherland.
RECOVERING ACCLAMATION EYES 2012 BREEDERS’ CUP AT SANTA ANITA
Acclamation was resting comfortably in his stall at Barn 66 Thursday after heat was discovered in his right foreleg some time after the 5-year-old California-bred son of Unusual Heat captured his fifth straight graded stakes, the Grade II Clement L Hirsch Turf Championship at Santa Anita on Oct. 2
Prior to that he won the Jim Murray, the Charlie Whittingham and the Eddie Read before taking the Grade I Pacific Classic on Del Mar’s Polytrack.
“We’re trying to cool it out,” trainer Don Warren said of the leg Thursday morning. “It’s a little bit better and there’s no obvious heat. We could probably get over it soon and run again, but it was time for a rest anyway. This way we can save him for next year.”
Acclamation, winner of nine of 28 starts with earnings of more than $1.6 million, was being considered for the Breeders’ Cup Turf or possibly the Classic at Churchill Downs Nov. 5.
“He’ll go up to our farm near Fresno in a few days and be turned out in a grass paddock just like we did last year,” part-owner Bud Johnston told Daily Racing Form. “Then we’ll set out a program to see if we can get him to the Breeders’ Cup next year at Santa Anita.”
SOUTHERN CAL GOLFERS, SANTA ANITA TEAM UP ON SATURDAY
The Southern California Golf Association (SCGA) and Santa Anita have announced the first-ever SCGA Day at the Races to be held this Saturday.
“The SCGA is excited to partner with Santa Anita for this special event,” said SCGA Executive Director Kevin Heaney. “As a membership organization, we remain committed to creating additional opportunities for our membership on and off the golf course.”
The event, which will be held in Santa Anita’s infield, will be open to all SCGA members and on a selected basis, will include Winner’s Circle presentations, paddock tours, visits with announcer Trevor Denman and tips from veteran handicappers.
“We too are excited to be able to host such a great group of people,” said Santa Anita President George Haines.
“There’s no better combination of sports than golf and horse racing and many of our greatest jockeys, trainers and owners over the years have spent a great deal of their spare time on the golf course.
“I think you could say their people are our people and vice versa. We think this is a great way for us to be able to reach out to a very successful demographic and welcome them to Santa Anita. We hope they’re able to pick some winners and we hope to see them all again in the near future.”
Younger SCGA members are also welcome, as family fun activities will be available. Pony rides, face painters, an inflatable bounce house and other games and contests will be available.
A discounted ticket price of $20 for SCGA members will include parking, racing program and access to a designated area that will include food and beverage service.
The SCGA is one of the nation’s oldest and largest regional golf associations and is a trusted resource for Southland golfers.
SCGA members may purchase tickets to the SCGA Day at the Races online at www.scga.org/races. For more information on the SCGA, please call (818) 980-3630.
First post time Saturday is 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.
ZANY ‘VIC THE BRICK’ TO VISIT SANTA ANITA EACH SUNDAY THIS MEET
Vic Jacobs, popularly known as “Vic the Brick” to his legion of fans, will bring his unique persona to Santa Anita each Sunday throughout the remainder of the meet which ends Nov. 6. He is known for his eccentric behavior, such as wearing fur caps and robes, and writing Lakers haiku poems to read on-air. At Santa Anita, fans can interact with Jacobs and have their picture taken with him.
Jacobs grew up on the streets of Queens, N.Y. He is a graduate of Cornell University and got his start in broadcasting in Guam in 1979. He worked at KTVV (now KXAN-TV) in Austin, Texas; KMPH-TV in Fresno and radio and TV outlets in Phoenix.
In 1988, Jacobs arrived in Los Angeles and at KCOP-TV, where he was the sports anchor and his eccentric personality came to light. He was most remembered for throwing a foam brick at the camera for anything he disagreed with.
However, the “Brick” was used on his Austin sportscasts as far back as the mid-1980s. Vic the Brick’s “Loose Canons” radio show with Steve Hartman and Pat O’Brien is broadcast weekday afternoons nationally on Fox Sports Radio from 12 noon to 3 p.m. on KLAC AM 570.
Santa Anita Vice President, Racing and Racing Secretary Rick Hammerle guests on the Loose Canons show at 2 p.m. on Thursdays.
POPULAR BURBANK ROAD KINGS CAR SHOW AT SANTA ANITA SUNDAY
Santa Anita Park’s picturesque infield area will be site of the annual Burbank Road Kings Classic Car Show on Sunday. Hot rods, modifieds, street rods, sports cars, restored classics and muscle cars will all be on display and be complimented by live rock and roll provided by Captain Cardiac and The Coronaries.
“The Burbank Road Kings always put on a good show,” said Santa Anita President George Haines. “It’s great to see such a wide variety of cars and it’s a lot of fun every year. Throughout the world, classic cars and horseracing go hand in hand and our infield area is a perfect place to stage this event. We see a lot of families at this show every year and with the live music and other activities we’ll be offering, there’s something for everybody.”
Awards will be presented to the owner of cars in all categories, with celebrity and professional judges determining winners.
The Burbank Road Kings Car Show is free to all with paid General Admission. Show hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kids 17 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Pony rides, face painting and other family activities will be available throughout the day.
Admission gates will open at 11 a.m. and first race post time is 1 p.m. For more information on the Burbank Road Kings Classic Car Show, fans are encouraged to visit their website, www.burbankroadkings.com, or to call (818) 842-KING.
FINISH LINES: The claim box has been super-active through the first eight racing days. There have been 29 claims valued at $679,000 through Monday, according to Paymaster of Purses Cece Connor . . . Caracortado, a mild favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Thursday in a minute flat, breezing, under Zoe Cadman. “Muy, muy bueno” is how trainer Mike Machowsky described the move. “I got him in :59 and four; he went great. He galloped out in :12 and four. It was perfect. Right now we’re looking at the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. He’s won sprinting on the grass before, and he’s fresh.” . . . Norfolk runner-up Drill worked four furlongs under Martin Garcia at Santa Anita in :46.40 as he prepares for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. “He went nice,” trainer Bob Baffert said . . . Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint favorite Turbulent Descent worked seven furlongs at Hollywood Park Thursday in 1:23.20 for trainer Mike Puype . . . It doesn’t rival The Legend’s Last Ride, but Octavio Vergara gets a leg up for the final time in a competitive race Friday when he pilots Powerofvoodoo for trainer Barry Abrams in the fourth race, a $10,000 claiming event at 1 1/16 miles. “I’ll be riding for my ‘Big Daddy,” Vergara said of Abrams, for whom he’ll continue to work after he hangs up his tack. Vergara, a native of Chile, has been riding since he was 15. He turns 55 on Dec. 3 . . . There were 88 ShowVivor contestants remaining for Thursday’s races, down from 175 on Sunday . . . Mike Pender, trainer of Oak Tree Mile winner Jeranimo, will be Steve Andersen’s guest on Saturday’s Daily Racing Form seminar, 11:45 a.m. in the East Paddock Gardens. -30-