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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• GALLAGHER ROLLS THE ‘DICE’ IN STRUB STAKES
• LET FAITH ARISE STRETCHES OUT IN LA CANADA
• McANALLY HOPES MEGAHERTZ GRASS IS GREENER
DICE FLAVOR TRIES DIRT FOR FIRST TIME IN STRUB
Dice Flavor has won himself out nearly three times over since he was purchased for $100,000 at the Barretts 2-year-olds in training sale in May of 2012.
On Saturday, the chestnut son of Scat Daddy will try something new when he runs on conventional dirt for the first time in the Grade II, $200,000 Strub Stakes exclusively for 4-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.
“He’s coming back a little bit quick off his last race, but it’s one of our last chances to run him in a graded race that’s strictly for 4-year-olds,” trainer Paddy Gallagher said of the Kentucky-bred colt, who has earned $279,000, mainly through victories in the Grade III El Camino Real Derby almost a year ago at Golden Gate Fields, and the Grade II La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar last August.
“We thought about trying him on the dirt, so we decided to enter and take a look,” Gallagher said.
Dice Flavor, owned by Oda Racing Stable (Noba Oda) and US Equine (Takashi Toriumi), made up more than nine lengths to finish fifth, beaten less than a length, in the Grade II Sir Beaufort Stakes at one mile on turf Dec. 26, so he would be coming back in three weeks.
A stone closer in all but one of his 12 career starts, Dice Flavor has raced eight times on grass, winning twice, and four times on synthetic, winning once.
“It’s a bit of a longshot,” Gallagher said of running in the Strub, “but like I said, it’s his first time on dirt; we wanted to see how he handles it and if it gives us options down the road.”
The field for the Strub: Dice Flavor, Jose Valdivia Jr., 15-1; Rookie Sensation, Victor Espinoza, 6-1; Shakin It Up, Mike Smith, 7-2; Zeewat, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Govenor Charlie, Martin Garcia, 4-1; Hear the Ghost, Corey Nakatani, 5-2; Heir of Storm, Joe Talamo, 4-1; and Say Ow, Tyler Baze, 20-1.
HOLLENDORFER DUO EYE SUNDAY’S LA CANADA STAKES
Let Faith Arise stretches out for Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 La Canada Stakes exclusively for 4-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
The daughter of Kafwain has never raced beyond 6 ½ furlongs, and is coming off an eighth-place finish at “about” that distance on Santa Anita’s downhill turf course last Nov. 2.
“When they’re four and they can run against 4-year-olds and it’s their last chance to do it, you do it,” said Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward in explaining the change in venues.
“It was either that or run in the Megahertz (worth $75,000 for fillies and mares, four and up, at one mile on turf on Saturday).” Owned and bred by Tom and Debbie Stull’s Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, Let Faith Arise counts a minor stakes win at Pleasanton among her four victories. She has two bullet works at Santa Anita in preparation for her first graded stakes start.
Hollendorfer also entered Broken Sword in the La Canada.
“She worked Tuesday at Golden Gate (five furlongs in 1:05.60), then shipped here, just like she did before she won the Bayakoa at Hollywood,” Ward said. “She trains better up there. Let Faith Arise worked Sunday at Santa Anita (six furlongs in 1:14.20).”
CHARM THE MAKER BACK ON TURF IN MEGAHERTZ
Charm the Maker attempts to make amends for one of the most disappointing performances of her career when she runs in Saturday’s $75,000 Megahertz Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile on turf.
The 5-year-old Empire Maker mare trained by Ron McAnally for his wife wife, Debbie, who bred her along with her husband, finished eighth by 18 ¼ lengths in the Grade II Bayakoa at Hollywood on Dec. 7.
“Horses were all running one-two in that race and (Rafael) Bejarano rushed her a little bit too much and then she got a lot of crap in her face,” the Hall of Fame trainer recounted. “She’s back on the grass now and we’ll see how she runs.”
The field for the Megahertz, named for the diminutive stakes-winning distaff stretch runner trained by the late Bobby Frankel: Gulsary, Mike Smith; Moone’s My Name, Rafael Bejarano; Charlie Em, Corey Nakatani; Dancingtothestars, Mario Gutierrez; Lady Ten, Edwin Maldonado; Fanticola, Joe Talamo; and Charm the Maker, Patrick Valenzuela.
FINISH LINES: Dan Ward, assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer, said unbeaten Future Book Kentucky Derby favorite Shared Belief is recovering from a quarter crack on his right front foot that caused him to miss a scheduled workout Sunday and remains on course for his 3-year-old debut in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 8 . . . Bob Baffert still had no announcement Thursday morning on Midnight Hawk’s next race, saying only that the Sham Stakes winner is doing well . . . Multiple graded stakes winner Teddy’s Promise is on course as she prepares for her final race, the Grade II Santa Monica Stakes Jan. 25. “That’s her swan song,” trainer Ron Ellis said. “She’ll be bred to Smart Strike (who stands at Lane’s End for $100,000). If she can win the Santa Monica, it will put her over a million dollars (in earnings), so that would be pretty neat.” . . . Congratulations to Paddock Supervisor John Shear, who celebrates his 93rd birthday Friday, and to Press Box Concierge Coco Talamantes, who celebrates No. 63 the same day. Shear has been a popular fixture at Santa Anita for five decades, while Coco has been dishing out chow in the press box since 1972. Santa Anita would not be the same with either of them . . . On the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of a 12-year cycle, 2014 is the “Year of the Horse.” Those born under that sign are said to be “Popular and attractive to the opposite sex. You are ostentatious and impatient. You need people. Marry a Tiger or a Dog, but never a Rat.”