Dancing in Silks had two disadvantages when he made his 2010 debut in the Grade II Palos Verdes Handicap on Jan. 23: the Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner broke from the rail and carried top weight of 123 pounds, spotting winner Kinsale King and runner-up Ventana seven and 10 pounds, respectively.

With a race under his belt and a better draw, Carla Gaines expects better things from the California-bred gelding in Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Carlos Handicap at seven furlongs.

“I think my horse needed the race,” the trainer said, speaking of the Palos Verdes. “He missed an important work coming up to the race. We’ll get him back on track and I think it will help.”

Gaines hopes to use the San Carlos as a springboard to the $2 million Golden Shaheen at six furlongs down the straightaway in Dubai on March 27. Already a millionaire thanks in large part to his Breeders’ Cup triumph, Dancing in Silks has a 7-2-3 record from 14 starts, with earnings of $1,465,622 for owner Ken Kinakin of Langley, B.C.

The field for the San Carlos, which goes as the ninth race on a 10-race program: Supreme Summit, Rafael Bejarano, 113, 5-1; Bob Black Jack, Flores, 120, 3-1; Dancing in Silks, Joel Rosario, 121, 8-5; Bestdressed, Alonso Quinonez 115, 6-1; Ventana, Victor Espinoza, 114, 5-2; and Quietly Mine, Inoel Beato, 114, 20-1. Hunch, who drew the rail, was scratched.


Dynamic Range is one for one going a mile and a half on turf. Victor Espinoza says it’s the best distance for the 4-year-old son of Dynaformer, who won a second-condition allowance race under those conditions at Santa Anita last Nov. 8, and is scheduled to try that venue against tougher company in Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap.

“A mile and a half is a good distance for him,” said Espinoza, who has ridden the bay gelding in his last eight races, never finishing worse than fourth and with three victories. “This horse always tries,” Espinoza said. “He always runs big. Since I started riding him, he’s never been off the board.”

Dynamic Range has a 3-2-2 record from 11 starts, with earnings of $124,560 for the Mercedes Stables of Ernest Moody and Maria Mercedes Vila of Las Vegas.

The field for the San Luis Obispo: Dynamic Range, Victor Espinoza, 117; Sir Dave, David Flores, 114; Bourbon Bay, Rafael Bejarano, 114; Romp, Chantal Sutherland, 112; Unusual Suspect, Alonso Quinonez, 115; Obrigado, Joel Rosario, 116; Troubletimesthree, Martin Garcia, 111; Sudden War, Alex Solis, 114; and Porfido, Joe Talamo, 116.


Jose Valdivia Jr. has never played for the jockeys in their annual charity basketball game against Holy Angels, but the 35-year-old native of Peru isn’t lacking in vocal support for his peers, who are set to take on Holy Angels in the 43rd annual Charity Basketball Game next Thursday, Feb. 25, 7:15 p.m., at LaSalle High School in Pasadena.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played, but I’ve showed up a couple times, just for the hell of it,” Valdivia said. “It’s a lot of fun and I enjoy rooting our guys on. I know our stars are not here anymore, (Kent) Desormeaux and the two Coreys (Nakatani and Black), but we’re in good shape and we hustle. They do have a big height advantage over us, and that will be tough to overcome, but we’ll do our best.”

Legendary Hall of Fame jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye, Laffit Pincay Jr. and Gary Stevens will be on hand along with four-time national money-earnings champion Garrett Gomez to sign autographs beginning at 6:15 p.m. Delahoussaye, Gomez and Pincay will also serve as honorary co-captains

As he has for the past 10 years, HRTV anchor/analyst Kurt Hoover will coach the jockeys.

Game captain David Flores, Paul Atkinson, Rafael Bejarano, Joel Rosario, Mike Smith, Joe Talamo, Martin Garcia, Brice Blanc, Alonso Quinonez, Felipe Valdez, Mike Baze, Tyler Baze, Omar Berrio, Christian Santiago Reyes, Micheal James and others are expected to participate.

Mike Ciani, agent for Blanc, suggests an alternative to the traditional game between riders and Holy Angels. “We need a game between the jocks and the agents,” he said.

Proceeds will benefit the Holy Angels athletic department.

LaSalle High School is located at the southwest corner of Michillinda Ave. and Sierra Madre Blvd. in Pasadena, approximately four miles from Santa Anita. Admission is $5.


Undefeated Witty, who ran her winning streak to four with an impressive 1 1/4-length victory in Thursday’s sixth race, could make her next start in the Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Handicap at Santa Anita on April 4 or the Grade I, $300,000 Vinery Madison Stakes at seven furlongs at Keeneland on April 8.

“She was out (since last May) with an ankle chip, but she was ready for yesterday’s race,” Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said. “I’ll probably have to decide between one of those two races for her next start.”

Mandella also has Triple Crown hopeful Setsuko on course for the Grade III, $150,000 Sham Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 27. The 3-year-old son of 2003 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Pleasantly Perfect owned and bred by Wertheimer and Frere broke his maiden by three lengths going a mile and a sixteenth at Hollywood Park last Dec. 17, and was a fast-closing second to Eddie Logan Stakes runner-up Alfarabi in a 1 1/8-mile allowance race on turf at Santa Anita on Jan. 27.


The 2010 Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award winner will be announced by Gary Stevens from the Fair Grounds Saturday on HRTV. The announcement will be a part of HRTV’s “Saddle Battle,” which begins at 3 p.m. The five finalists are Calvin Borel, Garrett Gomez, Randall Meier, Gallyn Mitchell and Deshawn Parker.

“Santa Anita has presented the Woolf Award since 1950 and it is an integral part of our historical fabric,” said Santa Anita’s Vice President, Business Coordination and Director of Broadcast, Amy J. Zimmerman.

“The Woolf Award is one of the most highly coveted honors any rider can attain and some of the greatest jockeys in the history of the sport have this trophy on display. This is an award of national significance and we are proud to be able to make this very important announcement Saturday on HRTV.”

FINISH LINES: The funeral for former trainer Dal Jones Jr. will be Tuesday, Feb. 23, 11 a.m., in the Sky Rose Chapel at Rose Hills Cemetery, 3888 Workman Mill Rd. in Whittier (562-699-0921). A reception will follow at 1 p.m. in Santa Anita’s Chandelier Room of the Turf Club. Jones died Tuesday following surgery at the age of 38. A Dal Jones IV Memorial Fund at Wells Fargo Bank in San Gabriel has been established. For inquiries, contact Branch Manager Johanes at 626 237-3900 . . . Track superintendent Richard Tedesco said the local weather forecast calls for three-quarters of an inch of rain starting around 6 p.m. tonight and into Saturday, but with temperatures beginning to drop early Friday, trainer Julio Canani, sporting his customary Siberian fur chapeau, ear flaps and all, quipped, “It’s going to snow, not rain.” . . . Rafael Bejarano has turned the race for leading rider into a runaway, opening a 47-32 lead over runner-up Victor Espinoza through 36 days, but the trainers’ race was virtually dead-even. Not only were Bob Baffert and John Sadler tied at 18 wins each, Baffert had 88 starters, 15 seconds and 15 thirds, while Sadler had 89 starters with 14 wins and 14 thirds . . . Garrett Gomez leaves tonight for Florida where he rides City Trooper for trainer George Weaver in the Grade II Hutcheson Stakes and Courageous Cat for Bill Mott in the Grade III Canadian Turf. Gomez returns to ride at Santa Anita on Sunday . . . Now that the Super Bowl is over, expect quarterback Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton of the victorious New Orleans Saints to focus on their recently purchased Thoroughbred, Daddy Forty Nine. Other partners are singer Jimmy Buffett and NFL announcers Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski. Despite losing his last two races, the contingent is hopeful Daddy Forty Nine can win the Grade II, $600,000 Louisiana Derby on March 14 . . . Arcadia Mayor John Wuo has announced that HRTV’s Carolyn Conley, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith and accomplished television producer and horse owner David Milch will be among the guest speakers at the 2010 Mayor’s Community Breakfast at the FrontRunner Restaurant on Thursday, April 8, at 7:30 a.m. Tickets are $15 and must be purchased in advance. The price includes free parking and admission to Santa Anita. For further information, contact Linda Garcia at 626 574-5433 . . . Ben Cecil has designs on an allowance race for Hyades, impressive winner of his U.S. debut last Friday. “Hopefully, we’ll look for stakes down the road,” the trainer said . . . Agent Tommy Ball said Paul Atkinson will be at Turf Paradise Saturday to ride Majestic Afleet for trainer Bob Troeger in the $100,000 Turf Paradise Derby at 1 1/16 miles . . .Trainer Brian Koriner expects Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner California Flag to leave California “probably 10 days before” the $1 million Al Quoz Stakes at six furlongs on turf in Dubai on March 27 . . . Syndicated handicapper Jerry Antonucci and Santa Anita morning line maker and HRTV inter track host Jon White will be Jack Disney’s guests at Sunday’s Fans’ Forum, 11:15 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens . . . ShowVivor II was reduced to 785 contestants going into Friday’s races.