Blind Luck, Eclipse Award finalist for top 2-year-old filly of 2009, is at the ready for her 3-year-old debut in Saturday’s Grade I $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes at one mile. Rival trainer John Sadler has the utmost respect for the impressive winner of the Grade I Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 20, but still plans to run the promising Crisp in the Las Virgenes.

“She worked at Hollywood this morning,” Sadler said of the daughter of El Corredor owned by Michael Talla of Los Angeles. (Joel) Rosario worked her and everything is thumbs up. Racing against Blind Luck is challenging in the sense that she’s the second-best 3-year-old on the West Coast. The first one is Lookin At Lucky. We’re up against it, but you’ve got to get them started.” Blind Luck worked six furlongs Saturday on Pro-Ride in 1:12 under regular rider Rafael Bejarano. “To me, he’s the best rider that I’ve ever had work horses,’ said Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward. “He goes off slow with a long hold, finishes strong and gallops out good. He’s just perfect to work a horse.”

Probable for the Las Virgenes: Blind Luck, Rafael Bejarano; Crisp, Joel Rosario; La Nez, Mike Smith; and Summer Games, Michael Baze.


Riding five winners Saturday to zoom past runner-up Joel Rosario in the Santa Anita jockeys’ race came as no surprise to Bejarano’s agent of five years, Joe Ferrer.

“He knows how to win,” Ferrer said of the 27-year-old Peruvian. “One thing about him, he knows how to find the winner’s circle. It doesn’t surprise me when he wins. Some riders have that knack; they’re winners. They don’t have to have the best horse, but they just win. Horses run for him.”


Popular 10-year-old California-bred gelding Shadow of Illinois and his trainer, Anthony Saavedra and his wife, Jennifer, who owns the horse, will be featured on HRTV’s “Inside Information” show tonight at 6 p.m.

Shadow of Illinois, unsuccessful in his bid to become the first 10-year-old to win a stakes at Santa Anita when he was unplaced in the Jan. 1 Sensational Star Handicap, is entered in Wednesday’s third race at Santa Anita, an allowance race at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf. Alex Solis rides.

FINISH LINES: Jerry Hauck of Studio City won Santa Anita’s on-line handicapping contest ShowVivor and $2,500 first prize yesterday by selecting Red Sun, winner of Saturday’s ninth race. Runner-up Edward Barengo of Albuquerque selected The Usual Q.T., who finished last in the Sunshine Millions Classic. There were 3,214 participants at the start of ShowVivor . . . John Sadler said Sidney’s Candy is scheduled to work Monday at Hollywood for the Grade II $150,000 San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 15, while Dave in Dixie is on course for Saturday’s Grade II $150,000 Robert B. Lewis stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Saturday. Sadler, Bob Baffert and Doug O’Neill were tied for the training lead through Saturday with 12 wins each, and coincidentally, each had 58 starters for a 21 percent winning average . . . Trainer Jim Cassidy said The Usual Q.T. was in good shape Sunday morning, but bled in the Classic . . . San Rafael Stakes winner Conveyance could make his next start in either the Grade III Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park Feb. 16 or the Grade III Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds on Feb. 7, trainer Baffert said. The undefeated son of 1998 Santa Anita Derby winner Indian Charlie worked five furlongs on Pro-Ride Thursday in a bullet :59.40 . . . Compari, 3-1 morning line second choice for yesterday’s $500,000 Sunshine Millions Classic, was scratched because he “got a little sick,” according to trainer Marty Jones . . . Tyler Baze reunites with multiple graded stakes winner Battle of Hastings for the inaugural Leroidesanimaux Handicap at one mile on turf Saturday. Baze had ridden the English-bred son of Royal Applause in each of his first nine races in the United States prior to Garrett Gomez taking over in the Hollywood Derby last Nov. 29 . . . Eclipse Award winner Julien Leparoux invades Santa Anita next weekend to ride Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Furthest Land in next Sunday’s Grade II $150,000 San Antonio Handicap; Eagle Poise in Saturday’s Grade II $200,000 Strub Stakes; and Cherokee Artist in the Leroidesanimoux. Probable for the Strub for 4-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles: Eagle Poise, Leparoux; Massone, Rosario; Misremembered, Victor Espinoza; Rendezvous, Rafael Bejarano; Smart Bid, Mike Smith; and Viscount, Garrett Gomez . . . Probable for next Sunday’s Grade II $150,000 San Antonio Handicap for older horses at 1 1/8 miles: Furthest Land, Leparoux; Marsh Side, Rosario; Mast Track, Smith; and Richard’s Kid, Gomez . . . A plethora of rank outsiders hit the board Friday, resulting in the following monster superfecta payoffs despite some short fields: first race, $18,358.60; second, $2,156.40; third, $611.70; fourth, $5,647.10; fifth, $367; sixth, $9,508.40; seventh, $818.60; and eighth, $2,233.60 . . . On Feb. 7, Super Bowl Sunday, special first post time will be 11 a.m., enabling patrons at Santa Anita to be home in time for the scheduled 3:30 p.m. kick off between NFC champion New Orleans and AFC champion Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV (44) . . . Weather conditions prevented racing at Laurel Park yesterday, forcing cancellation of the first Magna 5 of the season. It will be rescheduled next Saturday.