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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• LUCAYAN RETURNS TO TURF MARATHON IN SAN LUIS REY
• CALIFORNIA CHROME POSSIBLE FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY
DRYSDALE SEEKS FIFTH SAN LUIS REY WIN SATURDAY
Neil Drysdale is no stranger when it comes to winning marathon races. The Hall of Fame trainer has won the mile-and-a-half San Luis Rey Stakes four times, three times in its last seven runnings, twice with Bourbon Bay, in 2010 and again in 2012.
Next Saturday, Drysdale goes for No. 5 when he sends out the French-bred Lucayan in the Grade II test for four-year-olds and up at 10 furlongs on the grass.
“He’s already won at a mile and a half,” Drysdale said, referring to the Grade II Hollywood Turf Cup last Dec. 14. “He had a wide trip last out (when third in the Grade II San Marcos Stakes at 1 ¼ miles on Feb. 8). Hopefully, he’ll get a better run on Saturday.”
Probable for the San Luis Rey: Free With Fire, Tyler Baze; Lucayan, Mike Smith; Temeraine, Gary Stevens; and Vagabond Shoes, Victor Espinoza.
Trainer Richard Mandella said San Luis Rey nominee Segway likely would pass the race and be pointed to the Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup at a mile and a half on the main track March 29.
CALIFORNIA CHROME: WHITHER THOU GOEST?
Art Sherman said there was “a chance” that California Chrome could run in the Santa Derby on April 5, but any firm plans for the California-bred colt’s next race were still undetermined as of Sunday morning.
“We’re playing it by ear with him,” the trainer said of the streaking stakes winner, who has captured his last three added-money events by a combined margin of 19 lengths, most recently the Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 8, which earned the son of Lucky Pulpit 50 qualifying points to the Kentucky Derby on May 3.
“The horse is doing well,” Sherman said. “He galloped this morning (at his Los Alamitos headquarters). Let’s say he’s on the Derby trail and there’s a chance he could run in the Santa Anita Derby.”
Without a race between the San Felipe and the Run for the Roses, California Chrome would have gone nearly two months without running prior to the Churchill Downs classic.
“We’ll wait and see how the horse is doing,” Sherman said.
In other Triple Crown news:
Meanwhile, trainer John Sadler was back on the beat on a warm-and-getting-warmer Sunday morning at Santa Anita after a disappointing trip to Arkansas yesterday where San Vicente Stakes winner Kobe’s Back finished seventh of eight, beaten 28 lengths, in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
“He wasn’t really ready for the start, he ducked out on the first turn, and after that it got worse,” Sadler said in succinct candor, explaining the debacle.
Sadler said Kobe’s Back was due to return to California today, but had “no plans at this point. We’ll have to see how he comes back.”
The Grade II Rebel was won by the Bob Baffert-trained Hopportunity under Mike Smith, who at the moment appears to be in an enviable position when it comes to potential Kentucky Derby mounts.
The Hall of Fame jockey rode Intense Holiday to victory in the Risen Star on Feb. 22 and next Sunday pilots Midnight Hawk for Baffert in the Grade III Sunland Derby, where Martin Garcia rides Chitu for Baffert in the race that offers $800,000 in purse money.
Tonito M., champion colt at age two and three in Puerto Rico, arrived at Santa Anita Friday for a 3-year-old campaign under the direction of Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
Owned by Mickey Gonzales’ M Racing Stable, the son of Rock Hard Ten has won six of seven starts in Puerto Rico and hopes to follow in the footsteps of Mister Frisky and Bold Forbes, who invaded from the Island Nation to make their marks in the 3-year-old classics.
FINISH LINES: Ann’s Gold was none the worse for wear Sunday morning after a harrowing experience following her seventh-place finish at nearly 24-1 in Saturday’s sixth race. The 3-year-old Harlan’s Holiday filly collapsed at the outside fence near the 16th pole and cast herself halfway underneath the outer rail. “It was just heat exhaustion, but she’s fine this morning,” trainer Jack Carava said. “I talked to everyone who helped and thanked them. They all did a great job.” . . . Jay Robbins, trainer of two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow, was a visitor to Clockers’ Corner Saturday. Retired since last winter, Robbins faces a more daunting task than saddling 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow to back-to-back Classic wins, which he did in 2000 and 2001: moving. He and his wife, Sandra, are in the process of relocating from Mt. Washington, less than 13 miles from Santa Anita, to the Carlsbad area near Del Mar . . . Leading rider Rafael Bejarano has been suspended three days (March 22, 23 and 27) for causing interference on Brave Act in Saturday’s fifth race, resulting in a disqualification from first to second . . . Congrats to 20-year-old journeyman Irving (Danny) Orozco, who registered his first stakes win Saturday when he piloted Tribal Spy to a front-running victory in the Irish O’Brien Stakes for trainer Adam Kitchingman . . . Harlington’s Rose, 7 ¼-length winner of Friday’s second race under Tyler Baze, is being pointed to the $200,000 Evening Jewel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs on April 5, trainer Steve Knapp said . . . Jorge Periban Jr., son of trainer Jorge Periban, won all three rounds in his Southern California Golden Gloves novice division boxing match last night at Lincoln Park in East Los Angeles to advance to the title round next Saturday at the same venue. Fighting for Ten Goose Boxing in the 114-pound featherweight class, Periban is unbeaten in three bouts.