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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• MEZAS HOPE FAIRYTALE CONTINUES WITH A JEALOUS WOMAN
• BAFFERT ENTERS TRIO IN SUNDAY’S GRADE II SAN VICENTE
• HOLLENDORFER HAS THREE FOR THE MONEY IN SANTA MARIA
• BREEDERS’ CUP HOPES REMAIN FOR STALLION ACCLAMATION
• BLANC BRINGS FUN TO SANTA ANITA JOCKEYS’ CHARITY GAME
A JEALOUS WOMAN SHARP FOR MONDAY’S BUENA VISTA
The story of A Jealous Woman is one of faith, hope and charity: faith in the horse, hope
for the future, and charity to mankind.
Owned by two retired mailmen who race as the Three Cent Stable and trained by true believer Francis Meza and assisted by her husband, Eddie, A Jealous Woman seeks her second straight stakes win in Monday’s Presidents’ Day feature, the Grade II, $150,000 guaranteed Buena Vista Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile on turf.
A Jealous Woman has been trained by Francis for just over a year, since the 7-year-old California-bred mare recovered from a bowed tendon suffered in March of 2010.
The chestnut daughter of Muqtarib bred by Denise Kim Thorson and part owner Nick Tamborrino was second in the Goldikova on Breeders’ Cup day last Nov. 4, then made her 2013 debut with a courageous neck victory under regular rider Brice Blanc in the Megahertz Stakes at one mile on turf Jan. 19.
“Right now, she’s at her peak. She’s at her best,” Francis said. “Last Tuesday she worked five furlongs on the grass in a bullet 59 flat with Brice up. He always works her.”
A Jealous Woman is owned by Richard Reid of Arcadia and Tamborrino of Rancho Cucamonga, who were mailmen for 30 years before turning their focus to racing. “We’re just little guys enjoying the game,” Reid said.
Francis has been a pastor for the past 20 years, a time during which she learned the ropes walking horses for trainers Richard Mandella and Craig Lewis. She also worked eight years for the California Thoroughbred Trainers organization.
“We got involved when we were counseled by the racing chaplaincy about 21 years ago,” said Eddie, chaplain for the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, and brother of former jockey Rafael Meza. “We got counseled by the Race Track Chaplaincy and thanks to them and God, it changed our lives completely.
“Our marriage was broken, but we were not ready to give up on it or the race track industry, so we challenged ourselves, to leave the past and try to do better for everybody. When challenging situations come our way, we look for the best.
“A Jealous Woman was a challenge for us. Three Cent Stable gave us the opportunity to bring her back to health and she responded really well for us. I mention it to the owners all the time that she’s one in a million.
“Being involved with horses for the last 35 years, you don’t see them come back from these kind of tendon injuries. Now, A Jealous Woman is 100 percent. I’m not talking 90, 80 percent. You look at her, you don’t know what tendon was injured.
“Even when an injury like that heals, usually horses go down a level. They go lower. Before she would run (a mile in) 1:34 and change, 1:35. Now she’s running 1:33 (her time for winning the Megahertz) consistently. That’s out of this world.
“And the attitude that she has, she doesn’t look like a 7-year-old mare. She looks like a 3-year-old filly. She’s a joy to have in the barn. It’s opened up a lot of doors in different areas. Now we have a stable of over 20 horses.”
One might say A Jealous Woman has been their salvation.
BAFFERT TRIO WORKING WELL FOR SUNDAY’S SAN VICENTE
Bob Baffert entered three Triple Crown hopefuls in Sunday’s Grade II San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs: maiden winners Belvin, Shakin It Up and War Academy.
“Belvin and Shakin It Up broke their maidens here,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “The horses haven’t run in a while but they’re all doing well and they’ve worked well. There weren’t any allowance races, so I went here.”
The San Vicente field: Belvin, Rafael Bejarano; Shakin It Up, David Flores; War Academy, Martin Garcia; Caballo Del Cielo, Corey Nakatani; Mudflats, Edwin Maldonado; and Treasury Bill, Joe Talamo.
HOLLENDORFER MONOPOLIZES SANTA MARIA STAKES
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has 50 percent of the field of six entered in Saturday’s Grade II Santa Maria Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles: Going for a Spin, Lady of Fifty and Snow Fall.
Running three horses in the same race is not a first for the Hall of Fame trainer, one of only six to saddle at least 6,000 career winners.
“We’ve had three horses in the same stakes many times before,” said Hollendorfer’s top gun, Dan Ward. “They’re all doing very well.
“As far as strategy, you don’t want two horses out there going head and head, of course, but the horses are racing for different owners and they’re trying to win.”
The field for the Santa Maria, which goes as the fourth of 10 races: Great Hot, Gary Stevens, 8-1; Book Review, Rafael Bejarano, 8-5; Private Affair, Hector Berrios, 8-1; Going for a Spin, Edwin Maldonado, 8-1; Lady of Fifty, Joe Talamo, 2-1; and Snow Fall, Tyler Baze, 9-5.
COMEBACK NOT RULED OUT FOR CAL-BRED CHAMP ACCLAMATION
Acclamation serviced his first mare as a stallion at Bud Johnston’s Old English Rancho in Sanger recently, but Johnston still holds hope that the 7-year-old Unusual Heat horse can make it back to the race track, where he earned an Eclipse Award as champion older male of 2011.
Acclamation was named California-bred Horse of the Year for the second straight year Monday night at the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association’s annual awards dinner.
“We’re concentrating on the breeding season now,” Johnston said a few days before the award was announced, “but I would love to try him in the Breeders’ Cup this year (at Santa Anita Nov. 1 and 2). There are a lot of things to consider and resolve before something like that could happen, but he loves to train, he looks good and he acts wonderful.”
Acclamation has not raced since winning the Grade I Eddie Read at Del Mar on July 21, 2012. An attempted comeback was aborted early last October when a sprain in the horse’s left leg reoccurred.
Trained by Don Warren and also owned by Johnston’s wife, Judy, and Mary and Peter Hilvers, Acclamation has an 11-2-6 record from 30 starts, with earnings of $1,958,048. He stands at Old English Rancho in Sanger for “an advertised stud fee” of $20,000.
BLANC SUPPORTS SANTA ANITA RIDERS IN FEB. 21 CHARITY HOOPS GAME
Native Frenchman Brice Blanc will be on hand for a good time and a good cause when
Santa Anita’s jockeys seek their third straight victory over Holy Angels School in their annual charity basketball game next Thursday, Feb. 21, at La Salle High School in Pasadena.
Proceeds will benefit the Holy Angels athletic program and the Kentucky-based Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). Game time is 7:15 p.m.; doors open at 6:15 p.m.
“I didn’t play in the game last year, but I did the year before,” Blanc said. “I just go to have fun, and it’s a worthy cause. In France, I didn’t play basketball. That was girls. I played soccer.”
WestsideRentals.com and Meticulous Talent Management will co-sponsor the event which will again enjoy the support of a wide spectrum of people from the horse racing industry, including Hall of Fame jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye, Laffit Pincay, Jr., Gary Stevens and Mike Smith. All will be available to autograph photos and other memorabilia beginning at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s great that we’re now able to help raise money for the PDJF and to bring awareness to the Eye on Jacob Foundation,” said Flores. “Racing is a very dangerous sport and we have a lot of guys around the country with serious injuries who need help in their everyday lives. The PDJF is there for them and we want to do all we can to help out.”
The Eye on Jacob Foundation is named for Jacob Desormeaux, the 14-year-old son of Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux. Jacob was diagnosed several years ago with Usher’s Syndrome, a rare disorder that causes loss of hearing, imbalance, and eventual loss of sight in approximately 14,000 children in the United States.
“We are honored to be part of this event,” said Sonia Desormeaux. “We’re hoping to be able to provide some nice prizes and to make people aware of Usher’s Syndrome, which is extremely rare. Jacob is looking forward to the game and he’s elated to be part of it.”
In addition to WestsideRentals.com and Meticulous Talent Management, sponsors for this year’s event also include Hollywood Sports Park, KHS Bicycle, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, and Temple City Bike Shop.
Attendees will be eligible to win prizes including a paint ball package to Hollywood Sports Park, an Electra Townie 3-speed Adult Alumni bike (retails for $550), a kids BMX Free Agent Stiletto bike (retails for $350), and a Half Court Prize, to be determined, by Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, as well as basketballs which will be signed by all jockeys and student-players.
This year’s Santa Anita jockey team is likely to include: Captains Flores and Talamo, Rafael Bejarano, Alex Bisono, Brice Blanc, Victor Espinoza, Omar Figueroa, Eswan Flores, Martin Garcia, Garrett Gomez, Aaron Gryder, Mario Gutierrez, Kevin Krigger, Julien Leparoux, Modesto Linares, Edwin Maldonado, Orlando Mojica, Corey Nakatani, Alonso Quinonez, Kayla Stra, Mike Smith and perhaps others.
HRTV’s Kurt Hoover will again coach the jockeys’ squad, while Joe Mora, Kathy Rameriez and Austin Puertas will lead the Holy Angel’s crew.
La Salle High School is located at the southwest corner of Michillinda Ave. and Sierra Madre Blvd. in Pasadena, about four miles northwest of Santa Anita Park. Admission is $5.
TWO RETIREES SHARE TOP PRIZE OF $2,250 EACH IN SHOWVIVOR
For the first time, there were two ties in the final results of ShowVivor, Santa Anita’s online handicapping contest that concluded Sunday. Ties resulted when both players were eliminated on the same day, which never happened before.
The winners, both retirees, were eliminated on the same horse. Lawrence Zufall and Edward Finnegan, who each won $2,250, selected Roar Baby Roar to finish at least third in Sunday’s seventh race. The 2-1 favorite ran fourth. ShowVivor began Jan. 4 with 4,388 participants.
“I’ve been playing the horses for about six or seven years and the same with ShowVivor,” said Zufall, a retired auto salesman from Canton, Ohio.
“Oh, that’s so exciting,” said Mindy Finnegan, wife of the other winner, Edward Finnegan, who was out playing golf in Captain Cook on the Big Island of Hawaii when his wife received a call with the news.
“He’ll be thrilled when he comes home,” she said.
Assunta Calandro and Gary Kenney tied for second and won $250 each.
ShowVivor II begins this meet on Feb. 23.
FINISH LINES. Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Mizdirection blew out four furlongs on Santa Anita’s firm turf course for trainer Mike Puype Thursday in 47 flat for Monday’s Buena Vista Stakes . . . FrontRunner winner Power Broker had his first workout since disappointing in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last Nov. 3, working three furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Thursday morning in 37 flat, according to Bob Baffert. “I just freshened him up,” the Hall of Fame trainer said . . . Richard Mandella said Malibu Stakes winner Jimmy Creed is recovering from a cough that will force him to miss the Grade II San Carlos Stakes on Feb. 23, but that Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Beholder remains on course for the Grade I Las Virgenes Stakes at one mile on March 2 . . . Trainer Doug O’Neill worked Sham Stakes winner Goldencents six furlongs Wednesday in a bullet 1:13.40 for the March 9 San Felipe Stakes and a potential meeting with undefeated Flashback. “He worked really well,” O’Neill said. “He galloped out good, cooled out great and looked great this morning, so we’re one day closer.” O’Neill is hopeful that Malibu runner-up Private Zone receives an invitation to run in the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai on March 30 . . . Santa Anita Publicity Director Mike Willman spoke Wednesday with San Gabriel Valley Tribune and Pasadena Star News turf writer Art Wilson, recuperating from a lengthy bout with cancer. “He sounds great,” Willman said. “He is rehabbing well from a broken hip and is now awaiting word on a bone marrow transplant, which will take place at UCLA. His long-range goal is to cover the Autumn meet here and the Breeders' Cup. He's hoping to be able to cover the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.” . . . Tom Quigley’s guest 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the East Paddock Gardens is Marc Doche, who covers racing for the Website www.bleacherreport.com and posts his daily Southern California selections at www.pick4blog.com (as well as his best bet on the SA Website) . . . Legendary jockey Johnny Longden would have been 106 today.