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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• CAPTAIN OBVIOUS TRIES DIRT, CREATIVE CAUSE IN SUNDAY’S SAN VICENTE
• ELLIS HOPES VISION IN GOLD DEFENDS SANTA MARIA CROWN
• WHAT’S IN A NAME? TALAMO THINKS IT’S A WINNER
TEAM REDDAM SEEKS ANOTHER UPSET IN GRADE II SAN VICENTE
Trainer Ben Cecil is hoping the success jockey Mario Gutierrez had with owner J. Paul Reddam in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes rubs off in Sunday’s San Vicente Stakes.
Gutierrez rode I’ll Have Another to a 43-1 upset for Reddam in the Grade II Lewis on Feb. 4. The 25-year-old jockey rides Captain Obvious for Reddam in Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.
Fourth after a slow start under Joel Rosario in the Real Quiet Stakes at Hollywood Park on Nov. 12, the Irish-bred Captain Obvious must prove he can handle traditional dirt for the first time and conquer favored Creative Cause in the San Vicente, which marks the 3-year-old debut of the latter colt, a leading Triple Crown contender.
“He broke very slow first time out in the Real Quiet,” Cecil said of Captain Obvious. “The question mark is how he handles the dirt. He doesn’t really have a dirt pedigree, but you don’t know until you run him.
“He worked out of the gate and worked well enough, but it’s when they go a little bit quicker is when we’ll find out.”
The field for the San Vicente, race seven of nine: Let’s Get Crackin, Victor Espinoza; Creative Cause, Joel Rosario; Drill, Martin Garcia; Smoking G, Corey Nakatani; American Act, Martin Pedroza; and Captain Obvious, Mario Gutierrez.
VISION IN GOLD DRAWS OUTSIDE AGAINST ELLAFITZ IN SANTA MARIA
Vision in Gold is training “awesome” for Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles. But she, like five other runners, will have to overtake Ellafitz to win the race.
On paper, Ellafitz appears to be the controlling speed in the Santa Maria, which Vision in Gold won last year but must improve from a sixth-place finish as the 9-10 favorite in the Paseana Handicap at Santa Anita on Jan. 15. It was the first start since last March for the 5-year-old mare trained by Ron Ellis for the Jay Em Ess Stable.
“It was a lot to expect, going two turns after a 10-month layoff,” Ellis said in addressing the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro’s disappointing Paseana performance. “She got tired. There’s not much speed in Saturday’s race, but we’ve drawn the outside, so we’ll see what happens.”
The field for the Santa Maria, which goes as the eighth of 10 races: Spirit Seeker, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Ellafitz, Martin Garcia, 8-5; Miss Mittagong, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1; Love Theway Youare, Alonso Quinonez, 15-1; Kayce Ace, Joe Talamo, 8-1; Great Hot, Chantal Sutherland, 3-1; and Vision in Gold, Joel Rosario, 5-2.
VAMO A GALUPIAR SOUNDS GOOD BY ANY NAME, TALAMO SAYSJoe Talamo finds it easier to ride Vamo a Galupiar than he does to pronounce her name. He’s got a lot of company. Freely translated, it means “Let’s go gallop.”
But be that as it may, the 22-year-old rider expects another solid effort from the Chilean-bred mare when he rides her in the Grade II, $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap for older fillies and mares at one mile turf on Presidents’ Day, Monday, Feb. 20.
Talamo guided the 5-year-old chestnut to a last-to-first victory in the ungraded Megahertz Stakes on Jan. 21, winning the one-mile grass race by 3 ¼ lengths at 11-1 for Neil Drysdale, who trains the daughter of Proud Citizen for owner Robert Evans of Stamford, Conn.
“What I love about her, she has a turn of foot that’s out of this world,” Talamo said. “I was supposed to ride her in the Wilshire (Handicap at Hollywood Park last April; she finished seventh under David Flores), but I had a previous call on another horse that we couldn’t get off of—I forget who it was—but I worked her before the Wilshire and she always did have that real nice turn of foot.
“She actually outworked Bourbon Bay the work before she won the Megahertz (six furlongs on Santa Anita’s turf course in 1:17 on Jan. 14). It was slow time but she came home in like 22 and three. She’s got a tremendous turn of foot, which helps her out a lot.
“She’ll be tough in the Buena Vista. Neil’s done a great job with her, slowly bringing her along so that she’s developed into a real nice mare.”
Probable for the Buena Vista: Andina, no rider; Cambina, no rider; City to City, Corey Nakatani; So Belle, no rider; Strawberrydaiquiri, Joel Rosario; Up In Time, no rider; Vamo a Galupiar, Talamo; and Wild Mia, no rider
Santa Anita offers $2 beers, hot dogs and soft drinks on Presidents’ Day. First post time is 12:30 p.m. Gates open at 10:30 a.m.
FIRST LAW ENFORCEMENT FAMILY FUN DAY SATURDAY AT SANTA ANITA
Santa Anita hosts its first Law Enforcement Family Fun Day Saturday in its spacious infield. Tickets for the fundraiser that benefits the 999 Organization for children are $15 each, but kids 17 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
There will be face painting, a moon bounce and raffles and door prizes between races. Gates open at 10:30 a.m. Food, beverage and BBQ stands open at 11 a.m. There will a live band and DJ from 12 noon to 4 p.m. For more information, contact Sgt. Kraft at 562-631 4203 or go to santaanita.com/calendar_track.
TRAINER ERIC GUILLOT ON HAND SUNDAY FOR FIRST-EVER MARDI GRAS KICK-OFF
Fittingly, Louisiana native Eric Guillot will participate Sunday in Santa Anita’s first-ever Mardi Gras Kick-Off, featuring a celebration of Cajun two-steppin music and Cajun cooking from the Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.”
As the 49-year-old trainer might say, “Laissez les bons temps rouler,” Translation: Let the good times roll.
CHANTAL SUTHERLAND FEATURED ON PLAYBOY MAGAZINE WEBSITE
Chantal Sutherland, the Face of Santa Anita, this week is the first-ever jockey featured on Playboy Magazine’s website segment, “Femme on Fire, Women to Watch For” on playboy.com.
Authored by Michael J. Lockhart and photographed by Bo Derek, the story features an interview with Sutherland, describing how she got her start in racing and noting that to date, the native of Winnipeg, Canada, who celebrates her 36th birthday next Thursday, has “never read a Playboy.”
Fortunately for Playboy, she doesn’t have a lot of company.
FINISH LINES: Rafael Bejarano did not ride at Santa Anita today. The meet’s second-leading jockey was in Kentucky going through a scheduled citizenship process according to his agent, Joe Ferrer . . . Trainer Mike Mitchell and his wife, Denise, are looking forward to a December wedding of their daughter, Shey, to world-class jockey Julien Leparoux. “They met a while ago,” Mitchell said. “Julien was in a spill at Keeneland and Shey inquired about his condition on facebook. He’s a real classy kid. He flew up from Florida in person to ask our permission to marry Shey. I couldn’t be more proud to have him as a son-in-law.” . . . Today’s fourth race, “A Celebration of Dal Jones,” marks the two-year anniversary of the death of the former Director of Sales and Marketing at Hollywood Park, whose mother, Eleanor, works in Santa Anita’s Operations Department . . . Anthony Gex, an avid horse player and longtime popular teacher at Arcadia High School, passed away Tuesday at his home in Temple City following a lengthy illness. Mr. Gex was 86. Services are pending . . . Trainer Jorge Gutierrez will be the guest of host Steve Andersen at Saturday’s Daily Racing Form’s seminar, 11:30 a.m. in the East Paddock Gardens.