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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• ALL STAR HEART ALL HEART FOR GRADE II LAS PALMAS
• PACE MAKES THE RACE FOR ‘LEROY’ IN LURE STAKES
• GOMEZ HAS RICH OPPORTUNITES IN BREEDERS’ CUP
• TOP BOXERS MARQUEZ, BRADLEY SPAR AT SANTA ANITA SATURDAY
• TOP COP DICK HONAKER RETIRES AFTER 23 YEARS AT SANTA ANITA
GRADE II LAS PALMAS TEST FOR ALL STAR HEART SUNDAY
Brice Blanc has ridden All Star Heart in each of her six starts in the United States, winning four, a .667 average. He hopes to enhance that percentage when he rides the 4-year-old daughter of Arch for Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally in Sunday’s closing day feature, the Grade II, $150,000 Las Palmas Stakes for fillies and mares at one mile on turf.
“She’s a very nice filly and she’s coming into her own,” Blanc said. “It’s going to be a nice race. The other filly I have ridden, Malibu Pier (who will be ridden by Joel Rosario in the Las Palmas), is a nice horse, too. She’s coming out of the (Grade I) Yellow Ribbon, as are three others.
“This is a test in class for All Star Heart and she’ll have to step up, but she’s done nothing wrong so far. We’ll see how good she is.”
The field for the Las Palmas, the ninth of 10 races: City to City, Garrett Gomez; All Star Heart, Blanc; Ash Zee, Joe Talamo; Turning Top, Mike Smith; Malibu Pier, Rosario; Private Affair, Hector Berrios; Anniversary Girl, Martin Pedroza; and Sarah’s Secret, Rafael Bejarano.
GLATT SEEKS FAST PACE FOR LEROY’S DYNAMEAUX ON SATURDAY
Leroy’s Dynameaux might have won the Grade III Morvich Stakes on Oct. 10 had he not steadied sharply at the 16th marker in the downhill turf race at about 6 ½ furlongs. Better racing luck and a quick pace could help the gelded son of Leroidesanimaux make amends in Saturday’s $65,000 Lure Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at one mile on turf.
“I hope there’s a strong pace and we have a little more racing luck,” trainer Mark Glatt said of the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred. “If he gets those, I think we’ve got a pretty good shot. Distance isn’t as important for him as it is for him to have a strong pace.
“If he gets a strong pace that he can close in to, whether it’s 6 ½ down the hill or a flat mile, he’s very effective. We want to see a :22, :46 (quarter mile and half-mile), if we can get it. When he gets that kind of pace scenario, he usually gets there.”
The field for the Lure, the ninth of 10 races: Fantastic Pick, Agapito Delgadillo; War Element, Brice Blanc; Monterey Jazz, David Flores; Assessment, Daniel Vergara; Make Music For Me, Jose Valdivia Jr.; John Johny Jak, Victor Espinoza; Posse Power, Leslie Mawing; Blue Chagall, Martin Pedroza; and Leroy’s Dynameaux, Alonso Quinonez.
GOMEZ HOPES TO AVOID ‘BOX CARS’ IN BREEDERS’ CUP
Garrett Gomez was the national leader in purse earnings four straight years from 2006-2009.
This year, he ranks eighth with more than $9.9 million, but with 12 mounts scheduled Friday and Saturday in the multi-million dollar Breeders’ Cup races at Churchill Downs, the native of Tucson, who turns 40 on New Year’s Day, stands a reasonable chance to add to his bankroll.
But he and his agent, Tony Matos, are keeping the Breeders’ Cup in perspective.
“I don’t think it makes or breaks the season but it can help the season a whole lot,” Gomez said at his home base of Santa Anita before leaving for Kentucky.
“You’re always excited about all the good horses, all the big races and all the money they offer.
“You want to shine on the big days. Hopefully, we can get it together and land a couple in the winner’s circle.”
On the other hand, Gomez is happy to spend time with his family in Duarte, just four miles from Santa Anita.
“It’s nice to be home,” he said. “I’ve had a lot more travel on airplanes back and forth since the last month after Del Mar, but we were trying to ready for Breeders’ Cup and trying to find all the best horses we can and try to get them all lined up for the big days. It’s something we have to do.”
In other Breeders’ Cup news:
Jon White, who is responsible for Santa Anita’s morning line and makes selections for the track program, has made the following Breeders’ Cup picks: Juvenile Sprint (1. Secret Circle, 2. Seeker, 3. Blacky the Bull, with Holdin’ Bullets a good price play); Juvenile Fillies Turf (1. Stopshoppingmaria, 2. Elusive Kate, 3. Somali Lemonade, with Dayatthespa a good price play); Filly & Mare Sprint (1. Turbulent Descent, 2. Switch, 3. Pomeroys Pistol, with Tanda a good price play); Juvenile Fillies (1. Weemissfrankie, 2. My Miss Aurelia, 3. Grace Hall, with Miss Netta a good price play); Filly & Mare Turf (1. Dubawi Heights, 2. Stacelita, 3. Announce, with Harmonious a good price play); Ladies’ Classic (1. Plum Pretty, 2. Royal Delta, 3. It’s Tricky, with Ultra Blend a good price play)
Also, Marathon (1. A. U. Miner, 2. Birdrun, 3. Cease, with Eldaafer a good price play); Juvenile Turf (1. Finale, 2. Casper Netscher, 3. Majestic City, with Lucky Chappy a good price play); Sprint (1. Euroears, 2. Big Drama, 3. Jackson Bend, with Giant Ryan a good price play); Turf Sprint (1. Regally Ready, 2. Caracortado, 3. Chamberlain Bridge, with Hoofit a good price play); Dirt Mile (1. Trappe Shot, 2. Wilburn, 3. The Factor, with Tapizar a good price play); Turf (1. Sarafina, 2. Await the Dawn, 3. Sea Moon, with Dean’s Kitten a good price play); Juvenile (1. Hansen, 2. Union Rags, 3. Creative Cause, with Drill a good price play); Mile (1. Goldikova, 2. Courageous Cat, 3. Gio Ponti; with Byword a good price play); Classic (1. Flat Out, 2. Havre de Grace, 3. Uncle Mo, with Drosselmeyer a good price play).
Gates open at Santa Anita tomorrow, the first Breeders’ Cup day, at 10 a.m., with post time for the first live race at Santa Anita at 12:50 p.m. The final live race is set for 4:44 p.m.
On Saturday, gates open at 8 a.m. with the first live race at 10:40 a.m. The last race is scheduled for 4:55 p.m.
Closing day, Sunday, gates open at 10 a.m. First race post time is 12 noon. Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday. Turn your clocks BACK one hour Saturday night.
MARQUEZ, BRADLEY IN SPARRING EXHIBITION AT SANTA ANITA
Juan Manuel Marquez, who is readying for a title fight with world welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, will stage a sparring exhibition at Santa Anita on Breeders’ Cup Classic Day, this Saturday. Marquez will be facing Pacquiao for the third time and he’ll be joined at Santa Anita by undefeated WBO Junior Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley, who will stage a separate sparring session and will be defending his title Nov. 12 versus Cuban native Joel Casamayor.
Top Rank will provide 10,000 Pacquiao-Marquez III posters, free of charge at Santa Anita on a first come, first served basis and Santa Anita will conduct a drawing for two tickets to Pacquiao-Marquez III in Las Vegas.
“This is great news for Santa Anita and boxing fans throughout Southern California,” said Greg Avioli, Stronach Group CEO. “We want to sincerely thank Bob Arum and his team at Top Rank for helping to make this happen.
“Bob is going to charter a plane to fly Marquez in from Mexico City on the morning of this event and he’s been very supportive of the whole promotion. The fight has been completely sold out at the MGM for some time now, so to be able to raffle off two tickets is fantastic.
“We will continue to be forward-thinking with regard to our marketing strategy and we’re going to continue to aggressively pursue new markets and customers.
“Marquez is very well known in this area and we think there’s going to be a lot of interest in seeing both him and Bradley working out, inside the ropes, on the grandstand apron.
“I know our jockeys are excited about meeting both of these guys and they’re going to be able to use the Jockeys’ Room as their own dressing room. A lot of fight fans are horseracing fans and vice versa and it should be a lot of fun,” Avioli added.
Marquez brings a 53-5-1 record, with 39 knockouts, to his showdown with Pacquiao.
“My fight with Manny Pacquiao is going to be a war,” said Marquez in July.
Bradley, the current WBO Junior Welterweight Champion, will fight Casamayor on Nov. 12. Bradley, from Palm Springs, has a perfect 27-0 record, with 11 knockouts.
Top Rank Boxing has erected a regulation-size boxing ring on Santa Anita’s grandstand apron, with ample seating available. Admission to the boxing exhibition will be free, with paid admission.
HONAKER RETIRES AS SANTA ANITA’S SECURITY DIRECTOR
After a career at Santa Anita that went well beyond his expectations, Dick Honaker is retiring as Santa Anita’s Director of Operations and Security.
“My law enforcement career was 34 years, including a tour with the Arcadia Police Department,” said Honaker, who turns 80 next July. “I retired from that with the thought of coming to Santa Anita for five years and I’ve been here 23, so the math says that I’ve been in this business, whether private or with the government, for 57 years.
“I was with the Arcadia Police Department and I kind of grew up with the traffic when there was a lot of traffic and I got to know a lot of people at the track. The administration at that time sort of romanced me into coming over here for a few years working in security, so I did.
“I tried to retire a couple of times but it just didn’t work out . . . It’s been a very good period of my life. I wouldn’t trade my Santa Anita experience for anything. I’m not a gambler, but I love to watch the races and I love to be around the excitement of horse racing. It’s kind of grown on me.”
“Honk” as he’s affectionately known to co workers, resides in Glendora with his wife, Nancy. Their two grand children are both in college and their daughter, Lori, is an elementary school teacher in Glendora.
“I’ve got a lot of hobbies,” Honaker said when asked what he’d do when he calls it a day. “I’m starting on golf and I do a lot of fishing. My No. 1 hobby right now is woodworking. I have a lot of things to keep me busy.
“Will I miss working here? You bet I will. That’s the hardest decision I ever made.”
FINISH LINES: With four racing days remaining, Rafael Bejarano and Joel Rosario were in a flat-footed tie for Santa Anita riding honors at 31 wins each, 14 ahead of Martin Garcia . . . On Saturday, Santa Anita presents the last of its popular Food Truck Festivals this meet. Gourmet food from 70 of Southern California’s finest mobile vendors will be available in the infield. Admission to the Festival is included with general admission purchase of $5 . . . Viewers tuning in to NBC’s Prime Suspect tonight at 10 p.m. will see some familiar locations in Santa Anita’s Round Barn and stable area. Director of Community Services and Special Projects Pete Siberell said the show was shot at the track in late September. “The Great Race Place pretends to be a harness track in Westchester, N.Y.,” Siberell said . . . ShowVivor begins Thursday with four players, two less than it started with Sunday . . . Steve Andersen of Daily Racing Form and HRTV’s Jon White will be Jack Disney’s guests on the final Fans’ Forum of the meet Sunday. With 12 noon first post, Fans’ Forum will begin at 10:45 a.m. in the East Paddock Gardens.