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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• DERBY DREAMS START NEXT SUNDAY AT SANTA ANITA
• SON OF SEATTLE SLEW’S TRAINER DRAFTED BY RED SOX
• STAKES-WINNING BIG MACHER WORKS FOR HIS RETURN
O’NEILL HAS TWO SET FOR SANTA ANITA JUVENILE STAKES
It’s 11 months until the 2015 Kentucky Derby, but hopes and dreams of winning the 141st Run for the Roses start next Sunday at Santa Anita with the running of the $125,000 Santa Anita Juvenile for 2-year-olds at 5 ½ furlongs.
Doug O’Neill, who won the 2012 Kentucky Derby with I’ll Have Another, has two prospects for the Juvenile in Henry’s Holiday and Wake Up Nick, impressive winners of their debut races.
Henry’s Holiday, a Kentucky-bred son of Harlan’s Holiday, won at first asking going 4 ½ furlongs on May 9, winning by 3 ¼ lengths at 9-1. Wake Up Nick was less of a secret, winning by 9 ¼ lengths as the 1-2 favorite on May 1, also at 4 ½ furlongs. A California-bred son of Cindago owned by J. Paul Reddam, who also owned I’ll Have Another, Wake Up Nick likewise scored at 4 ½ furlongs.
“They’re both very talented,” said O’Neill, a three-time Santa Anita training king who held a 22-16 advantage over Peter Miller through 30 days of the Spring Meet. “To have won first time out shows they’ve got special quality.
“They’re still very much babies at this time of year, but we’re just excited about both of them.”
Henry’s Holiday and Wake Up Nick each worked five furlongs Sunday, the former going in 1:01.40 and the latter in 1:00.60.
LATE TRAINER’S SON DRAFTED BY BOSTON RED SOX
David Peterson, son of the late Doug Peterson, who trained 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew in his 4-year-old season in 1978, has been drafted in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Boston Red Sox.
A 6-6, 230-pound left-handed pitcher from Denver who attended Regis Jesuit High School and committed to the University of Oregon, Peterson was Baseball America’s 95th-rated prospect.
This scouting report excerpt from Big League Futures described Peterson as “. . . long and lean with good arm action. Fastball has a lot of life on it, 89-90 mph, with a bit more left in the tank.”
Mack’s Mets website labeled him as “probably the best lefty available in the high school ranks.”
Doug Peterson died in November 2004 at the age of 53.
BIG MACHER IN ‘BEAUTIFUL’ MOVE FOR HIS RETURN
Big Macher, who went on to capture the Grade II Potrero Grande Stakes after being claimed by Richard Baltas for $20,000, worked four furlongs Sunday in a snappy 46.80, just a tick off the fastest drill of 63 at that distance on Father’s Day morning.
The bullets were recorded by both Bold Decision and Spirit of Ten at 46.60.
“Beautiful” is how Baltas termed the move. “He was very eager and he wanted to work.” Big Macher went the first half-mile in 23 3/5 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00 3/5.
“I don’t think he’ll make the Triple Bend (a Grade I, $300,000 stakes at seven furlongs on June 28),” Baltas said, “but you never know. He went pretty easy. He definitely was ready to work.”
Big Macher, a 4-year-old California-bred son of Beau Genius, had been sidelined with an injury to his right front foot following a workout on May 10.
PEREIRA MAKING HIS MARK AT SANTA ANITA
Don’t look now, but Tiago Pereira has caught the eye of horsemen and handicappers alike since he began riding at Santa Anita three months ago.
The 37-year-old Brazilian could hardly be considered an overnight sensation, as he made a global impact in winning the $10 million Dubai World Cup in 2010 aboard Gloria de Campeao.
Pereira is part of a class of prominent Brazilian jockeys making their mark around the world: Joao Moreira in Hong Kong; Jorge Ricardo in Argentina; Manoel Nunes, Vagner Leal and Ivaldo Santana in Singapore; Silvestre de Souza in Dubai; and Eurico da Silva in Canada.
Fast forward to June 15, 2014, where Pereira is tied for seventh in Santa Anita’s Spring Meet jockey standings with 12 victories.
Success hasn’t gone to his head, as witnessed by this philosophy rendered by Pereira’s agent, Michael Burns. “I know who I am, I know what I’m about, but also I’m only 10 percent of each horse that I ride.”
A victory both Pereira and Burns are most proud of occurred for trainer Peter Miller aboard Two Is To Many in the fifth race on June 7. The comment line read in part that the horse “came back under urging” to win.
Pereira has been well-received by his peers, who have provided both support and advice. “Since arriving here, everyone has been good to me,” Pereira said. “I spend a lot of time in the room with Victor Espinoza, Elvis Trujillo and Edwin Maldonado, but I talk with everyone and we watch the races together.”
Pereira’s goal, understandably, is not only to win races, but to elevate his career by winning stakes races. “I believe that will come with greater opportunities,” he said.
SANTA ANITA’S MAIN TRACK TO UNDERGO MAJOR RENOVATION
Santa Anita has announced that its one mile main track will undergo a major renovation beginning July 11 that will result in the track transitioning to a single-source material consisting of highly coveted El Segundo Sand, a natural soil that will ensure balanced drainage during periods of wet weather and uniform, safe cushion year ’round.
“Beginning July 11, we’re going to take out the existing surface and go down to the base of the track,” said Santa Anita Track Superintendent Dennis Moore. “At that point, we’ll survey the existing base and ensure we’re meeting all specifications relative to slope and grade.
“We’re going to be moving 20,000-plus yards of material and we anticipate this process is going to take about four or five weeks. We’re very fortunate to have been able to locate this soil which is currently being excavated due to construction projects at LAX.
“El Segundo Sand is naturally occurring and we won’t have to mix it with any other material, which is best-case.
“The best surfaces around the country are all made of naturally occurring soils that are indigenous and not made by man.”
Moore, one of America’s most highly respected track superintendents, was hired by Santa Anita following a highly successful run at Hollywood Park, which closed Dec. 22, 2013. He also currently oversees a newly converted one mile oval at Los Alamitos and has built and maintained track surfaces the world over for the past 40 years.
The material, which is currently being trucked from LAX and staged in Santa Anita’s Infield parking lot adjacent to its hillside turf course, is in the process of being screened and will be ready for installation upon the removal of the existing main track.
Santa Anita’s current Spring Meet will conclude June 29 and the track will be closed to training from July 10 through the conclusion of the Del Mar’s final weekend, Aug. 30 and 31.
Santa Anita’s 2014 Fall Meet will start on Sept. 26 and be highlighted for an unprecedented third consecutive year by the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Closing day is Sunday, Nov. 2.
FINISH LINES: With four wins yesterday including back-to-back Grade Is in the Shoemaker Mile and the Vanity Stakes, Joe Talamo opened a Bejarano-esque lead in Santa Anita’s Spring Meet jockey standings, 34-24, over runner-up Tyler Baze. Talamo won the last three races with horses breaking from the No. 1 post position: Obviously ($5.40) in the Shoemaker; Iotapa (11.20) in the Vanity; and first-time starter Warrenscrystalized ($32.20) for trainer Jorge Gutierrez in the ninth. The 1-1-1 Talamo Late Pick 3 paid $169.20 for a buck . . . Rafael Bejarano, meanwhile, is recovering from multiple injuries suffered in a riding mishap on May 10 and could resume riding next month. “He’s seeing his doctor on June 24 and he should start rehabbing the next day,” his agent, Joe Ferrer, said Sunday morning. “I would say he’ll definitely be riding before Del Mar (opens on July 17), but I don’t know how long before Del Mar.” . . . Trainer Mike Pender, who gave Kent Desormeaux a leg up on Corinthian Melody in Saturday’s first race, didn’t win it but did come up with a rhyming catch phrase for the Hall of Fame jockey, who was second by a length and a half: “Pay the rent with Kent,” which had old- timers harkening back to the late 1940’s and “Pay the rent with Hubert Trent.”