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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• SPELLBOUND SEEKS FIRST STAKES WIN IN LA CANADA
• PAPA TURF ‘DOING WELL’ FOR MONDAY’S SAN PEDRO
• TEDDY’S PROMISE WORKS FOR GRADE II SANTA MONICA
SPELLBOUND ON FAVORITE COURSE IN LA CANADA
If there are horses for courses, Spellbound certainly fits the category when it comes to running on Santa Anita’s main track.
The $260,000 Kentucky-bred daughter of Bernardini has raced three times on Santa Anita’s conventional dirt course, winning twice and finishing fourth in the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks behind stablemate Beholder, who in all likelihood will win an Eclipse Award tonight as outstanding 3-year-old filly of 2013.
Spellbound seeks her first stakes win Sunday in the Grade II, $200,000 La Canada Stakes for 4-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles. She was a distant sixth after an eventful trip last out in the Grade II Bayakoa Stakes on Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track.
“It seems she really doesn’t like synthetic (surfaces),” said Victor Espinoza, who has ridden the bay filly in all but her first start, the last six in a row. “Her race at Hollywood Park was not her thing.
“She’s run better on the dirt, and all three of those have been at Santa Anita. She’s doing well right now and hopefully she runs big this time.”
Trainer Jim Cassidy sees an advantage in running Oscar Party solely against 4-year-old fillies. “The 4-year-olds haven’t matured as much as the older horses,” he said. “They’ll do that later in the year. Oscar Party’s been very consistent outside of her Breeders’ Cup race.”
The field for the La Canada: Let Faith Arise, Corey Nakatani, 12-1; Ondine, Martin Garcia, 4-1; Oscar Party, Joe Talamo, 8-1; Fiftyshadesofhay, Mike Smith, 8-5; Broken Sword, Rafael Bejarano, 7-5; Spellbound, Victor Espinoza, 8-1; and Rathbaun, Tyler Baze, 15-1.
PAPA TURF SET FOR MONDAY’S SAN PEDRO STAKES
Papa Turf broke his maiden at Santa Anita last Sept. 28, winning by 1 ¼ lengths over Kristo, who would himself go on to an impressive maiden win before running second to Midnight Hawk in the Grade III Sham Stakes last Saturday.
Monday, when Santa Anita presents holiday racing on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Papa Turf tackles four foes in the $75,000 San Pedro Stakes for 3-year-olds at six furlongs.
The bay son of Yes It’s True was third in a Santa Anita allowance sprint on Dec. 27, after he was “squeezed at the start.”
“He was hit with a lot of dirt and I think he’ll benefit from that experience,” said trainer Jim Kasparoff, best known for conditioning stakes-winning sprinter Bob Black Jack, who carried his speed a mile and an eighth in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby in 2008 when he finished second to Colonel John, beaten only a half-length.
“We’re just looking for a little better trip and to try and get off the rail,” Kasparoff said. “The horse is doing very well and we’re looking forward to running on Monday.”
The field for the San Pedro, which goes as the second race: Rockin Home, Tyler Baze; Indianapolis, Martin Garcia; Papa Turf, Joe Talamo; Elmonte Cristo, Rafael Bejarano; and Beach Hut, Mike Smith.
Also on Monday, Santa Anita presents another of its popular Dollar Days. Beers, hot dogs and sodas will be just a buck.
Gates open at 10:30 a.m. First post time is 12:30 p.m.
FINISH LINES: Multiple stakes winner Teddy’s Promise, seeking the 12th victory of her long and successful career in her farewell race, next Saturday’s Grade II Santa Monica Stakes, worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Saturday in a bullet 1:12.60 for trainer Ron Ellis . . . Willard Memorial Stakes winner Kobe’s Back, a candidate for the Grade II San Vicente Stakes on Feb. 16, worked five furlongs for John Sadler in 1:00.40 . . . Citation Handicap winner Silentio, prepping for the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile on March 8, worked four furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track in 49 seconds for Gary Mandella . . . Last year’s Robert B. Lewis winner Flashback worked seven furlongs on the main track in 1:29.60 for Bob Baffert . . . Stretch-running downhill turf course specialist Lakerville moved nearer to his return to the races with a bullet five furlong move on turf in 59.60 for Barry Abrams, while another course specialist, stakes-winning Chips All In, went the same distance in 1:00.80 for Jeff Mullins.