Santa Anita News
STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• RACING MOURNS PASSING OF OWNER, PLAYER, ACTOR JACK KLUGMAN
• SADLER EYES SATURDAY’S EDDIE LOGAN WITH THREESOME
• AVILA HOPES GREAT HOT WARMS UP FOR KALOOKAN QUEEN
TRAINERS REMEMBER RACING FAN, ACTOR JACK KLUGMAN
Horse racing lost one of its greatest fans when Jack Klugman died at the age of 90 Monday in Woodland Hills.
The renowned actor, whose Jaklin Klugman finished third behind the filly Genuine Risk in the 1980 Kentucky Derby, was star of stage, screen and television, best known in the latter venue as slovenly sports writer Oscar Madison who played opposite fastidious roommate Felix Unger (Tony Randall) in Neil Simon’s classic comedy, “The Odd Couple.”
Klugman, a native of Philadelphia, also starred as a crime-fighting coroner in TV’s “Quincy, M.E.” and in the gripping 1957 Academy Award-nominated film, “12 Angry Men” with Henry Fonda.
“He was a great human being who loved horse racing,” said Barry Abrams, who trains two horses for Klugman, Very Unusual and Pretty Peggy, the latter named for Klugman’s wife.
“Every spare moment he had, he was always at the track to bet,” Abrams said. “I went to see him last Thursday and he was happy and in a good mood. He died of old age. He wasn’t really suffering. Old age just got to him.
“His wife called me and said he just never woke up on Monday.”
Trainer Bob Bean also had fond memories of Klugman.
“He was my best friend for 35 years,” Bean said. “He sat down next to me in a bookie joint in Las Vegas in 1977. I didn’t know who he was. He asked me if I wanted to split a dollar double at Aqueduct. That’s how we became friends.
“When Jaklin (Klugman) ran the first time he got me tickets and was going to fly me down for his maiden race at Hollywood Park. The horse won and Jack turned to me and said, ‘You have to be here every time; you’re good luck.’
“At that point in my life I had never touched a horse. Later I went to the Derby with the horse, became the hot walker, and that’s how I got in the business, because of Klugman.”
SADLER TRIO SET FOR EDDIE LOGAN, WEATHER PERMITTING
John Sadler entered three horses for Saturday’s $75,000 Eddie Logan Stakes for 2-year-olds scheduled for one mile on turf, but whether he runs all three depends on the weather.
“Rising Legend ran a very strong second in the (Grade III) Generous at Hollywood (Nov. 24) in his first U.S. start,” the trainer said.
“Ballard Ruler is a Cal-bred who ran well on Hollywood’s Cushion Track (second by a half-length as the 1-2 favorite) but we really want to try him on the grass. Under Review didn’t get a good trip in the Generous, but he’s training really well.”
Under Review, previously conditioned by Wayne Catalano, was “rank and steadied” in the Generous, in which he finished sixth.
The field for the Eddie Logan: Rising Legend, Julien Leparoux; Will True Up, Corey Nakatani; Ballard Ruler, Garrett Gomez; One Firm Cat, Martin Pedroza; Under Review, Martin Garcia; Dancin Upside Down, Edwin Maldonado; Avare, Rafael Bejarano; Gabriel Charles, Joe Talamo; Aerial Artist, Juan Hernandez; and Condiment, Tyler Baze.
HEALTHY GREAT HOT MEETS SOFTER IN KALOOKAN QUEEN
A.C. Avila hopes Great Hot ends an 11-race losing skein in Saturday’s $75,000 Kalookan Queen Handicap for fillies and mares, three and up, at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
“She bled in the Breeders’ Cup,” said A.C. (Antonio Carlos) of the Brazilian-bred daughter of 2002 sprint champion Orientate. “She has issues. Sometimes she’s normal and sometimes she bleeds like crazy.”
Great Hot’s last win came in the Grade II Raven Run at Keeneland last Oct. 22. Since then she has raced 11 times, all in stakes, four of them Grade I’s, including twice in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, so she's been facing heavyweights.
The field for the Kalookan Queen: Pink Lollipops, Joe Talamo; Sizzling Gold, Agapito Delgadillo; Great Hot, Alonso Quinonez; Going for a Spin, Rafael Bejarano; Teddy’s Promise, Victor Espinoza; Givine, Martin Garcia; Snow Fall, Tyler Baze; and Journaliste, Garrett Gomez.
At press time, Santa Anita morning line maker Jon White planned to make Teddy’s Promise the favorite, with Pink Lollipops the second choice.
BLACKER, HOOVER LEND EXPERTISE TO HRTV TEAM
HRTV will present something old and something at Santa Anita during its 71-day winter/spring meet. Newcomer Christina Olivares Blacker and veteran Kurt Hoover will be part of HRTV’s ace announcing team--with Olivares Blacker, due to contractual commitments with TVG, making her first appearance on Jan. 1.
Olivares-Blacker, who recently married trainer Dan Blacker, and is the daughter of retired top jockey Frank Olivares, started her career with HRTV before moving to TVG. Hoover, one of the sport’s most knowledgeable spokesmen whose smooth on-air presence puts viewers readily at ease, starts his 26th campaign at The Great Place but his first as a full-fledged member of the HRTV team.
HRTV’s Millie Ball points out that this will be 10th year HRTV has covered the Santa Anita winter-spring meet.
FINISH LINES: Jorge Gutierrez has gone public in his training operation, but still has more than 30 head for principal client Benjamin Warren. “I have 32 for Ben and a few more outside clients now,” Gutierrez said. “I have a total of 42 horses.” One is for owner John Toffan.