Santa Anita News
STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• SAN FELIPE LIKELY NEXT STOP FOR SHAM WINNER OUT OF BOUNDS
• TAPIZAR RETURNS FOR SAN FERNANDO STAKES ON SATURDAY
• TRAINER ASCANIO, FORMER FRANKEL AIDE, RECOVERING FROM STROKE
OUT OF BOUNDS EYES GRADE II, $300,000 SAN FELIPE ON MARCH 10
Out of Bounds, a 10-1 longshot that upset 1-2 favorite Secret Circle in Saturday’s Sham Stakes, likely will make his next start on the Triple Crown trail in the Grade II, $300,000 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on March 10.
“He’ll probably come back in the San Felipe,” trainer Eoin Harty said Sunday morning. “He came out of the race well and everything looks good right now.”
Out of Bounds, an over-sized colt by Discreet Cat who is out of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Unbridled Elaine and is owned by Darley Stable, rallied from fourth at the half-mile marker in the Sham field of five to wear down previously unbeaten Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Secret Circle by a half-length under Garrett Gomez, who was winning his sixth stakes race of the meet, the last four in a row.
Bob Baffert said Secret Circle “looks good” Sunday morning but mentioned no race for the colt’s next start. “They ran pretty fast,” said the Hall of Fame trainer who turns 59 on Jan. 13. “He didn’t accomplish a lot but he ran good. He just got beat.
“He did all the dirty work (prompting the pace in second place and then leading until deep stretch in the one mile Sham). I’m not ruling out two turns for his next race, but we’ll see how much this takes out of him.”
NAKATANI, TAPIZAR SET FOR GRADE II SAN FERNANDO STAKES
Corey Nakatani is looking forward to reuniting with Tapizar in next Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Fernando Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. Nakatani rode last year’s Sham Stakes winner to victory at Belmont Park on Oct. 8 in their lone union together.
“He’s very fast,” Nakatani said of the 4-year-old Tapit colt trained by Steve Asmussen. “They’re going to have to pick their feet up to beat him. I worked him twice going six furlongs and he went well.”
Tapizar was fifth in his last start, the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on Nov. 5. Owned and bred by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Tapizar has three wins from eight starts with earnings of $173,032.
Probable for the San Fernando: Balladry, Garrett Gomez; Irish Art, no rider; Prayer for Relief, Rafael Bejarano; and Tapizar, Nakatani.
Doug O’Neill said San Fernando nominee Thirtyfirststreet would pass the race in favor of the $100,000 Crystal Water Stakes for Cal-breds on Jan. 28.
WELL-WISHERS VISIT POPULAR FORMER FRANKEL AIDE ASCANIO
It’s been standing room only in Humberto Ascanio’s room at Arcadia Methodist Hospital since the 64-year-old trainer suffered a stroke last Tuesday.
That’s a tribute to the popularity of the long-time assistant to the late Bobby Frankel. Visitors are coming in droves. Take it from Jimmy Allard, a Runyonesque race tracker who describes himself as “a professional horse player” and who carries a nickname right out of Guys and Dolls: “The Hat.”
“He’s in good spirits and he’s one of the sweetest, nicest guys that ever walked on to a race track,” said Allard, who visited Ascanio at the hospital’s rehab facility Friday evening. “When I walked in to visit him, the nurse said, ‘My God, this guy’s popular. I can’t believe how many visitors he has.’ And when I walked in his room it was full of people. I had to joke with him. I said, ‘Geez, Umberto, after 37 years with Bobby Frankel, you dealt with him and all that pressure, and now he’s gone for two years and now this?
“If you can deal with him for 37 years, you can deal with this. It won’t be a big deal. I got a little bit of a chuckle out of him, so I was glad I went over and saw him. I love the man, I respect him and he’s one of the great horsemen in our country. He has incredible compassion for the horses.”
Allard has battled medical issues himself, overcoming facial and scalp cancers, which is the main reason he wears a hat. The Rochester, N.Y., native came to California on Sept. 1, 1974 when he was 20 years old.
“My first full time year at the race track was 1986, so this is my 27th year,” said Allard who touted Sham Stakes winner Out of Bounds as “the best-looking horse I’ve ever seen” when he caught a glimpse of him before his maiden win at Hollywood Park on Dec. 10.
“Obviously it’s going to be a long road in terms of any kind of full recovery, but his mental faculties are fine,” Allard said of Ascanio. “I spoke with him; he’s alert, sharp, can speak, but there’s definitely some paralysis and unfortunately he’s going to have a long road ahead of him in terms of rehabilitation.
“I just pray to God that he can come back good enough so that he can be out around the horses, which has been his entire life. That’s probably the best rehab he can get. Everybody’s praying for him, so he’ll be all right. He’ll come back.” ‘
LUCK’Y ACTOR DONATES SANTA ANITA WINNINGS TO CARMA
Ritchie Coster got lucky at Santa Anita Saturday and retired Thoroughbreds were the beneficiaries.
An actor who is cast as a high-strung degenerate gambler in the HBO series LUCK, filmed in large part at Santa Anita, Coster was on hand yesterday for some promotional filming.
Matt Chew, the official trainer of the 50 horses participating in the series that debuts on Jan. 29, explained: “Yesterday, HBO was doing a little behind the scenes promotion. They brought their actors out for a day at the races and gave each of them $100 to wager with. They bet on the second and third races, and Ritchie Coster hit both races.”
One bet was made on the Steve Knapp-trained Unusual Jazz, $8.20 winner of the second race. The other payoff came on the $21.20 exacta combination of Out of Bounds and Secret Circle in the third race, the Sham Stakes.
“Coster made over $1,000, and later, when they were doing interviews back at the barn, he said he didn’t feel right about taking the money, ‘because after all, HBO gave us the money to start with,’ and he asked if there was a worthy cause he could donate his winnings to, and he donated it to CARMA,” Chew continued.
CARMA (California Retirement Management Account) is a charitable organization created to raise money for retired California race horses.
“I put Ritchie in touch with Lucinda Mandella (Executive Director of CARMA, and wife of trainer Gary Mandella) and he made the contribution,” Chew said. “He felt it was the right thing to do.”
FINISH LINES: Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner and finalist for an Eclipse Award as outstanding sprinter Amazombie worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Sunday in 59.80. Bill Spawr has ticketed the Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes on Jan. 21 as a starting point for Amazombie’s 2012 campaign. Bob Baffert has Bing Crosby winner Euroears also set for the Palos Verdes. “He’ll be retired as a stallion after that race,” said Baffert, who also sent Santa Anita Handicap winner and Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up Game on Dude a half mile in 48.40, breezing. Game on Dude is expected to make his 2012 debut in the Grade II San Antonio Stakes on Feb. 5. . . Probable for next Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs: Candrea, Martin Garcia; Made to Love Her, Rafael Bejarano; Painted Woman, no rider; Reneesgotzip, Corey Nakatani; and Rowdy Gal, no rider . . . GoDaddyGirl Anna Rawson, a member of the LPGA, tweets that she enjoyed visiting Sky Kingdom at Baffert’s Santa Anita barn Saturday. “He’s so cute!,” Rawson said, speaking of the horse, not the trainer . . . Thanks mainly to 1-2 favorite Secret Circle finishing second in yesterday’s Sham Stakes, 556 players remained alive today in Santa Anita’s on line handicapping contest, ShowVivor. There were 438 participants who selected Secret Circle to finish no worse than third . . . Veteran trainer David Bernstein, asked Sunday morning how his first-time starter Four Forty Second fared in Saturday’s first race, in which she was beaten some 20 lengths at 24-1, responded glibly, “She’ll be finishing shortly.”