It would behoove anyone who doubts that Mike Puype can get a horse ready to win off a long layoff to look at his success with Mizdirection.

The 46-year-old trainer registered his most noteworthy achievement when he sent out the now 5-year-old mare to defeat males after a five-month absence in last November’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at about 6 ½ furlongs on Santa Anita’s unique downhill course.

But getting a horse to win going short after such a lengthy sojourn might be a considerably lesser accomplishment, to wit: winning a race at a mile and a half after being away from the races for a period approaching five months.

Case in point: Calidoscopio in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup for four year olds and up at a mile and a half on the main track.

“You just hope he’s ready,” Puype said with a laugh when asked about his preparation for Calidoscopio in his first race since winning the mile and a half Breeders’ Cup Marathon at Santa Anita last Nov. 2. Initially, Puype had hoped to have Calidoscopio ready for the March 2 Santa Anita Handicap at a mile and a quarter, but a wrenched ankle put a kibosh on those plans.

“I pretty much have shown I can get horses ready off layoffs, so I’m not too worried about it,” Puype continued. “The key to the race, going that far after a layoff, is, Aaron (jockey Aaron Gryder) has to sit on him forever and run him late, just like he did in the Breeders’ Cup.”

That day, Gryder had the Argentine-bred son of Luhuk 13th and last early on, then rallied six wide to win going away by 4 1/4 lengths under 126 pounds. Now 10, Calidoscopio carries 123 in the Tokyo City Cup. In 10 career victories from 40 starts with earnings of $803,282, Calidoscopio has won carrying as much as 137 pounds, in a Group 2 race in Argentina in 2009.

“He’s one of the very few horses in the Breeders’ Cup that closed over a track that wasn’t favoring that kind of a horse at all,” noted Puype, who has had Calidoscopio since just after the Breeders’ Cup, when he was trained by Guillermo Frankel. “So that speaks well for us, I think, and sometimes going further (after a long absence) isn’t as much a concern as when they’ve got to go faster (in a sprint), because they loaf going a mile and a half. It is a long way, but they’re not exactly going as fast.”

Let the record show that the six furlong time in Calidoscopio’s Marathon win was 1:12, while the mile fraction was a pedestrian 1:38 1/5. More important, perhaps, was that the bay horse won the race in his first start in more than five months.

Puype or no, a precedent does exist.

The field for the Tokyo City Cup: Dreamcatcher, Joe Talamo; Sky Kingdom, Martin Garcia; Batti Man, Brice Blanc; Oilisblackgold, Edwin Maldonado; Richard’s Kid, Tyler Baze; Calidoscopio, Aaron Gryder; Jaycito, Alonso Quinonez; and Dhaamer, Rafael Bejarano. Saturday Santa Anita salutes Ohi Racecourse in Tokyo with the Tokyo City Cup.

There will be traditional Japanese drum ceremonies, great exhibitions, family fun activities and delicious Japanese cuisine.


Lady of Shamrock makes her first start in more than four months when she runs in Sunday’s Grade II Santa Ana Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

John Sadler hopes it leads to another start in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, a race in which Lady of Shamrock finished a rallying fifth last year at Santa Anita. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Scat Daddy owned by Hronis Racing LLC, Lady of Shamrock appears to be in an ideal scenario.

She has won six of 11 starts and is three for four on Santa Anita’s turf course, her lone loss coming in the Breeders’ Cup F&M Turf.

“Everything’s in good shape,” Sadler said. “She’s training well and she loves the course, so she’s ready to go. We gave her a little break after the Breeders’ Cup (Nov. 2). We’ve got a long year and we’ve got the Breeders’ Cup back here (Nov. 1 and 2), so we didn’t want to start her too early.”

Sadler added that Triple Crown hopeful Demonic, who had scheduled workouts last week put off due to a bruised foot, now is set to work Friday at Betfair Hollywood Park. “I was over there with him yesterday and he looked really good,” he said.

Sadler added that if all goes well, Demonic would be considered for the Arkansas Derby on April 13.

The field for the Santa Ana: Lady of Shamrock, Mike Smith; Long Face, Gary Stevens; Quiet Oasis, Mario Gutierrez; Smarty B, Tyler Baze; A Jealous Woman, Brice Blanc; and Tiz Flirtatious, Julien Leparoux.


Age discrimination may not be a factor in the Triple Crown this year. Consider that 77-year-old Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has at least two major players for the May 4 Kentucky Derby in Will Take Charge and Oxbow, one-two in last Saturday’s Rebel Stakes.

Factor in that 50-year-old Gary Stevens was set to ride Titletown Five for Lukas in the Sunland Park Derby Sunday until a late change in plans ticketed the colt for the Louisiana Derby on March 30, and there’s every chance Senior Citizens will be front and center as the Triple Crown race ensues. Stevens rides in Dubai on March 30.

Lukas sent out Will Take Charge and Oxbow to run first and second in a major Kentucky Derby steppingstone, the Rebel Stakes. Will Take Charge was ridden by 52-year-old Jon Court, and Oxbow was piloted by 47-year-old Mike Smith.

“Edgar Prado’s doing well on the East Coast,” Stevens said of the 45-year-old jockey, winner of more than 6,400 races, including the 2003 Kentucky Derby on Barbaro. “And I think that people forget that Eddie D. and Shoe and Laffit, they rode into their mid-50s, and they were as good as there was in the game when they walked away.

“Shoe didn’t ride as many, by choice, but when you put those zeroes behind the dollar sign, they were no different at the end of their career than were in their heyday.

“Lukas is no exception. He’s got a barnful of good 3-year-olds right now, and everybody knows he knows how to get them there. He’s proving it once again.”

Lukas, who called Santa Anita his home base for years before moving East several years ago, goes way back with Stevens, himself a fixture in the Southern California riding colony for a quarter century.

Among their countless stakes victories together were the 1988 Kentucky Derby with Winning Colors and the 1995 Run for the Roses with Thunder Gulch.

For added flavor, Bill Shoemaker (1951), Laffit Pincay Jr. (1970), Eddie Delahoussaye (1981), Gary Stevens (1996), Mike Smith (2000), Edgar Prado (2003) and Jon Court (2007) are all winners of Santa Anita’s George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, honoring riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual and Thoroughbred racing.

Proof that character counts and that you’re never too old.


The Southern California racing industry is rallying around jockey Joy Scott who was injured March 12 in a training accident at Santa Anita. A fund has been set up through the Winners Foundation to help Scott with her medical expenses.

Scott, 54, was on a horse trained by Eric Guillot when it reared and threw her. She suffered a compound fracture to her right femur, and a subsequent infection has delayed surgery at Huntington Memorial Hospital in nearby Pasadena. The horse was not injured.

Trainer Howard Zucker is spearheading the fundraising effort, with the help of Bob Fletcher of the Winners Foundation, Candace Coder-Chew, director of print and graphics at Santa Anita, Rosie Ybarra, and Chris Aplin. The Winners Foundation not only helps those in the industry with substance abuse problems, it also frequently aids backstretch workers in a variety of ways. “Joy is going to need help paying her medical bills, which is why this fund has been set up,” said Fletcher.

Coder-Chew created a giant card that was signed at Santa Anita’s Clockers’ Corner. John Shear, the 90-year-old paddock guard who threw himself in front of a young girl to save her when a horse got loose in the paddock a couple years ago, took the card to Scott.

“People have really stepped up,” said Zucker. “It has been absolutely great. Joy is such a hard worker—she’s been doing three jobs and is a single mother. She exercises horses in the morning, rides occasionally at Santa Anita, and then goes to Los Alamitos to ride at night.”

Ybarra, who runs Santa Anita’s concession stand at Clockers’ Corner, has been collecting there, while Aplin has gone through the barn area.

“People have been wonderful,” said Aplin, a good friend of Scott’s. “One groom told me yesterday to come back today because he had to go to the bank. He gave me $100.”

Fletcher said that anyone wanting to donate money to Scott’s medical expenses can make a check out to the Winners Foundation and specify that it go to help Scott. The Winners Foundation can be contacted at 285 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia, Calif. 91007, or through its phone number, 626-574-6498, or website,


Chantal Sutherland will join several Santa Anita-based jockeys in the Santa Anita Derby Day 5K run on April 6.

Sutherland retired from riding last October but has been on horses in the mornings at Santa Anita recently. She plans to run in the 5K with her husband, Dan Kruse.

Asked about the possibility of coming out of retirement, Sutherland said, “I miss it very much.”

A.C. Avila was more definite about a possible comeback by the Manitoba native. “She comes back on April 13,” the trainer said. Whether he was funning or not remains to be seen, but he plans to run Santa Maria Stakes winner Great Hot that day at Keeneland.

Sutherland rode Great Hot 10 times, winning the Grade II Raven Run at Keeneland in October of 2011.


HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, recently reached a significant milestone in the social media realm when its Facebook page welcomed its 100,000th fan.

With a goal of expanding awareness about HRTV and its website,, HRTV's all-inclusive Facebook page offers a unique blend of information that caters to all horse enthusiasts, encompassing horseracing, as well as English and Western equestrian disciplines.

HRTV's continual daily updates and postings are designed to reflect the most up-to-date programming on HRTV and to educate fans about all horse sports, while also keeping them current with all facets of the horse world.

"The rapid growth of the Facebook site to 100,000 is very gratifying," said HRTV's Dotty Ewing. "Especially noteworthy is that many fans of Western and English horse sports are learning and sharing posts about racing, and vice-versa. We believe this reflects the magnitude of worldwide love of the horse, no matter what tack is used."

Notable posts that have prompted the greatest response rate are about legendary horseracing stars, such as Horses of the Year, Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra, with many HRTV fans sharing these updates with their friends on Facebook.

Additionally, HRTV's 2012 Breeders' Cup promotion, "Horse Tales," elicited more than 35,000 entering a trivia contest that was designed to increase the horse sports world's knowledge about the equine stars competing in last year's two-day Breeders' Cup extravaganza from Santa Anita Park.

Most recently, HRTV launched a "Facebook only" campaign to educate its fans about the "Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Racing Classic" from Bryan, TX that ran daily on Facebook fans responded with over 9,000 and video views in its first week online.

To commemorate the milestone achievement, HRTV is unveiling a new discount offer for's subscription service. For a limited time, HRTV Facebook Fans will have the opportunity to receive two free months of (a $19.98 value) when they sign up for a subscription by utilizing a special code: FB13.


Santa Anita will present its sixth annual “Santa Anita Uncorked” wine and culinary festival on Sunday. The event will be staged in the track’s Club Court area, on the east end of the Grandstand beginning at 12 noon and will feature a wide array of boutique and hand-picked wine selections, cuisine sampling from 25 popular local restaurants, an art exhibit and a full day of exciting Thoroughbred racing.

“Santa Anita Uncorked” is available to everyone, “food only” ticket is available for those under 21. All attendees will receive the following: Parking & Admission; Daily Race Program; Wine Tasting; Cuisine Sampling; Art Exhibit; A Souvenir Wine Glass; and Grandstand Seating at The Great Race Place for the Entire Day

Tickets are $60 each and can be purchased on line at, or at the track, either in the Grandstand ticket office or at Champions! gift shop, in the East Paddock Gardens.

Sponsored by the Wine of the Month Club, “Santa Anita Uncorked” will offer attendees a great cross section of outstanding cuisine from 25 high-end restaurants and will be supported by 25 wineries.

Proceeds from “Santa Anita Uncorked” will go to benefit the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), Arcadia High School and the Pasadena Humane Society.

FINISH LINES: Larry Jones, one of the game’s goodwill ambassadors, heaped praise on Santa Anita after saddling Joyful Victory to win the Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes last Saturday. The Fair Grounds-based trainer is looking forward to returning to The Great Race Place with the gray daughter of Tapit for the Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 1 and 2. “She loves this track,” Jones told Daily Racing Form National Correspondent Jay Privman. “It’s a great track in the mornings when you’re on it. I used to stay away from here because I had heard bad things about the track. It’s nice to know it’s a good, safe track. We might bring some more horses with us next time.” . . . Trainer Adam Kitchingman has won with six of his nine starters this meet, 67 percent . . . Trainer Mike Puype will be Steve Andersen’s guest at Saturday’s Daily Racing Form seminar, 11:30 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens.