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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• OUT OF BOUNDS DRILLS MONDAY FOR SATURDAY’S STRONG SAN FELIPE
• RACING RARITY AT SANTA ANITA: ‘NO CONTEST’ RACE CREATES REFUNDS
GOMEZ RETURNS TO RIDE OUT OF BOUNDS IN SATURDAY’S SAN FELIPE
Sham Stakes winner Out of Bounds, one of the West’s major Triple Crown contenders, is scheduled to work five furlongs on Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track Monday in his final major drill for next Saturday’s Grade II, $300,000 San Felipe Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.
“The horse is doing well,” trainer Eoin Harty said. “I’ve got to put one more work into him on Monday morning and if everything goes well, we should be over at Santa Anita at the end of the week.”
The San Felipe will mark the return of Eclipse Award-winning jockey Garrett Gomez, who piloted Out of Bounds to a half-length victory in the Grade III Sham on Jan. 7, but has been sidelined since Jan. 8 with a broken left heel suffered in a pre-post parade mishap prior to the Daytona Stakes.
The 40-year-old Gomez is one of four jockeys who are finalists on this year’s ballot for election to racing’s Hall of Fame, along with Calvin Borel, Alex Solis and John Velazquez.
The San Felipe is shaping up as the most contentious prep for the Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles on April 7 of any of the steppingstones to that Grade I race that offers $750,000 in purse money.
Out of Bounds, a chestnut homebred son of Discreet Cat owned by Darley Stable, will be making his first start in two months, but the 49-year Harty, a protégé of three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert, exercises patience by design when it comes to his precocious 3-year-olds.
Out of Bounds made his first start last Oct. 22, broke his maiden Dec. 10, then won the Sham on Jan. 7.
“I just want to get to the (Kentucky) Derby with him (on May 5),” Harty said when explaining his regimen, “and I want to make sure I get him there in the best shape possible. I figured this was the best way to do it.”
If all goes well in the San Felipe, Harty plans to run Out of Bounds in the Santa Anita Derby prior to the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs.
Despite a strong lineup looming for the San Felipe, Harty is content with Out of Bounds.
“I wouldn’t change places with anybody right now,” the native of Dublin said.
Probable for the San Felipe: Fed Biz, Out of Bounds, Empire Way, Rousing Sermon, Liaison, Midnight Transfer, Blingo, American Act and Hometown Hero.
In other San Felipe news:
Mike Harrington said Sunday morning that Robert Lewis runner-up Empire Way is definite for the San Felipe, while San Vicente third-place finisher Creative Cause is “50-50,” adding that “Joel Rosario will ride one of them.”
Empire Way worked five furlongs on Hollywood’s Cushion Track Saturday in 1:01, while Creative Cause is scheduled to have “a short work” Tuesday.
Rousing Sermon worked four furlongs at Hollywood Sunday in a bullet 46.60 for Jerry Hollendorfer.
Bob Baffert was non-committal on whether he would run Fed Biz, Liaison and/or Bodemeister, saying only he would “run two in the San Felipe.” Bodemeister worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday in company with Southwest division winner Secret Circle, who was ridden by Martin Garcia. Both were clocked in 1:00.40.
San Pedro winner Midnight Transfer worked four furlongs in 49 flat for Carla Gaines.
Delta Jackpot winner Sabercat worked six furlongs in 1:12.60, and while Scott Blasi, assistant to Steve Asmussen, said the drill was good, he added he thinks Asmussen is “leaning towards the Rebel” at Oaklawn Park on March 17.
Blingo worked six furlongs at Hollywood Saturday in a bullet 1:12 for John Shirreffs.
THIRD RACE SATURDAY DECLARED ‘NO CONTEST,’ ONE-RACE MONIES REFUNDED
Santa Anita stewards declared Saturday’s third race, run at 6 ½ furlongs down the track’s hillside turf course, a no-contest, with all single-race monies wagered on the seven runners refunded.
The trouble started when No. 3, Muny, broke through the gate prematurely. Just as he broke through, the rest of the gate doors opened, resulting in assistant starters holding on to their respective horses, No. 1, Lord’s Minister, No. 2, Circle Drive and No. 4, Crossing The Line.
In making their ruling, stewards Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer and Tom Ward cited California Horse Racing Board rule 1544 b., which stipulates that if “due to mechanical failure or interference, the majority of the field is effected, then the race may be declared a no-contest.”
In addition to refunds on wagers placed on runners in the third race, all third-race horses used in the 50-cent Pick Five, 50-cent Pick Four, $1 Pick Threes and rolling $2 doubles are considered as winners and those wagers are still “live.”
Santa Anita, in agreement with the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC), will distribute purse money as though the race had been run without incident.
Accordingly, the $35,000 purse was divided thusly: first-place finisher Mr. Bossy Pants will receive $21,000, second-place finisher Sky Cape will get $7,000 and third-place finisher Oak Kye Why will receive $4,200. The remaining monies will be divided amongst the other four horses, with each of them getting $875.
All jockeys, trainers and owners will be paid normal percentages and fees according to where their respective mounts finished.
‘LUCK’ HORSES GO THROUGH THEIR PACES TUESDAY FOR SECOND SEASON
Trainer Matt Chew said the 50 horses he supervises for the hit HBO series “Luck,” who go through their paces daily at Santa Anita, where much of the series was filmed, will have their game faces on Tuesday.
That’s when HBO will film its first racing scenes of the first episode of “Luck’s” second season.
FINISH LINES: Robert Lewis Stakes winner I’ll Have Another worked six furlongs after Saturday’s seventh race in 1:10.16 under jockey Mario Gutierrez. Fractional times for the 3-year-old son of Flower Alley trained by Doug O’Neill for J. Paul Reddam were 24.12, 47.23 and 58.21. Escorted to the work by two-time Santa Anita Handicap winner Lava Man, now 11 and retired as a stable pony, I’ll Have Another is pointing to the Santa Anita Derby on April 7 . . . Sunday morning, Martin Pedroza’s emotions had lessened from anger to disappointment over Ultimate Eagle’s 10th-place finish when compromised in what Pedroza deemed an unnecessary speed duel as the 2-1 favorite in Saturday’s Santa Anita Handicap. The 46-year-old rider plans to visit his mother, Luz, in his native Panama, leaving next Sunday, March 11, and returning a week later . . . With 564 players backing 2-5 favorite Holy Candy to finish at least third in Saturday’s second race, ShowVivor2’s contestants stood at 1,683 going into Sunday. Holy Candy finished second . . . With four winners Saturday, Martin Garcia moved to within two of apprentice Eswan Flores in Santa Anita’s jockey standings, 32-30 . . . Home Sweet Aspen, winner of the Grade I Santa Monica Stakes, worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday in 1:12.60 for next Sunday’s Grade III Las Flores Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs . . . Santa Anita Handicap defector Game On Dude, prepping for the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 31, worked five furlongs Sunday with Garcia up in 1:12.60 for Bob Baffert . . . Jockey Tyler Baze was “doing good” at Arcadia Methodist Hospital Sunday morning according to his former agent and long-time friend Ivan Puhich. The 29-year-old Seattle native, who has not ridden since he was given a suspension by Del Mar’s stewards early last September for failing to submit to a random Breathalyzer test, was hospitalized Thursday morning following a spill at his Monrovia residence. “When he’s discharged from the hospital, he’ll go right into rehab,” Puhich said.