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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• STORY TO TELL EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS FOR HENDRICKS
• HARTY HAS TWO FOR THE MONEY IN SUMMERTIME OAKS
• ELVIS IS IN THE BUILDING AND WINNING AT SANTA ANITA
• GAME ON DUDE DRILLS FOR GOLD CUP AT SANTA ANITA
HENDRICKS TWO-YEAR-OLD HAS A ‘STORY TO TELL’
The tale of Story to Tell was clearly evident when he made his debut on May 23. The two-year-old son of Bluegrass Cat trained by Dan Hendricks for owner Cecil Peacock went off as the 7-5 favorite and won by a length and a quarter, “handily,” in the 4 ½ furlong dash.
“He more than fulfilled my expectations,” said Hendricks, who sends the Kentucky-bred colt out for his stakes debut Sunday in the $125,000 Santa Anita Juvenile at 5 ½ furlongs.
“I was surprised he won as easily as he did, in hand, with three different moves in a 4 ½ furlong race. That’s pretty impressive.”
Be that as it may, Story to Tell has a long way to go to match the accomplishments of another precocious youngster owned by Peacock and trained by Hendricks. That would be Brother Derek, a Triple Crown campaigner who won the Santa Anita Derby in 2006.
“I’ve been with Mr. Peacock a long time,” said Hendricks, 55, who spent nine years learning the ropes under Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella and who has been training on his own since 1987. “Mr. Peacock is retired but still invests in oil in Canada.
“Hopefully, this race is the first step towards bigger things for Story to Tell. I know one thing: we turned down a lot of money for him, so we know he can run.”
HARTY DOUBLES HIS PLEASURE IN SUMMERTIME OAKS
Trainer Eoin Harty has two for the money in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Summertime Oaks: Arethusa and Live for Now.
Arethusa, a chestnut daughter of 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy owned by Godolphin Racing, is more seasoned than her stablemate, with eight starts, the last five in stakes, including a sixth-place finish in the Grade II Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico on May 16.
Live for Now, a Kentucky-bred daughter of 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow owned by Bill Casner, is still a maiden, although Harty is inclined to give her a pass in that category.
“Arethusa got in a lot of trouble in the Black-Eyed Susan,” Harty said. “She was like a ball in the pinball machine, just kept getting bounced around. As for Live for Now, she should have broken her maiden already.
“She ran a couple good races since we put her on the dirt. She should have won the other day (second by three-quarters of a length at one mile on May 25). She’s been training well.”
The field for the Summertime Oaks: Jojo Warrior, Martin Garcia, 3-1; Live for Now, Tyler Baze, 12-1; Arethusa, Mike Smith, 7-2; Delta Flower, Corey Nakatani, 5-2; La Mejor Fiesta, Kent Desormeaux, 6-1; Front Range, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Fleet of Gold, Alex Solis, 10-1; and Stop Smiling, Gary Stevens, 5-1.
ELVIS IS IN THE BUILDING, WINNING AT SANTA ANITA
Elvis Trujillo has made an impact at Santa Anita since arriving from Gulfstream Park a month ago. Through 31 racing days, the 30-year-old native of Panama City was tied for eighth in Santa Anita’s standings with 12 wins from 62 rides.
“Thank God, things are going well here,” said Trujillo, who is represented by agent Tom Knust. “It’s been a very good experience for me.
“I’m doing the best I can. Doug O’Neill has given me a great opportunity, riding for him. When you have a big stable behind you, it helps tremendously. He asked me if I wanted to ride for him here and I said, ‘OK.’”
To no one’s surprise, Trujillo is named for Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll who died in 1977 at the age of 42.
“My mother (Maritsa) was a fan, so yes, I was named for Elvis Presley,” Trujillo said. With one major difference. Trujillo has not left the building.
FINISH LINES: Three-time Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude, earner of more than $6.4 million, worked six furlongs Wednesday under Martin Garcia in 1:13.20 for the $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 28, the penultimate Saturday of Santa Anita’s Spring Meet. Regular rider Mike Smith has the mount on the 7-year-old gelding trained by Bob Baffert, who called the workout “very good.” . . . Los Angeles Stakes winner Cyclometer, prepping for the Grade I Triple Bend Stakes on June 28, worked six furlongs Thursday for Bruce Headley in 1:11.20 . . . Agent Richie Silverstein reports Martin Pedroza has worked nine horses since Tuesday and is available to resume riding next Thursday. Pedroza suffered a fractured shin in a gate mishap on Feb. 7 . . . Richard Mandella has two-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder taking “long walks” as she recovers from a cut on her left hind pastern . . . Downhill turf course specialist Lakerville is enjoying some R&R before gearing up for his major goal, the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 1. Trainer Barry Abrams has the California-bred son of Unusual Heat scheduled to make his return to the races in the Eddie D. Stakes at Santa Anita on opening day Sept. 26, followed by a possible start in a Cal-bred stakes down the hill prior to the Breeders’ Cup . . . Longshots live: HRTV’s astute observer Kurt Hoover pointed out that the second through the fourth races at Santa Anita Sunday were won by the longest-priced horses in each race: Guinevere’s Finale ($33.40) in the second; Sagebrush Queen ($34.40) in the third; and Got Even ($20.20) in the fourth. The 1-3-6 Pick Three paid $4,314.10 for a buck . . . A single winning Pick Six ticket worth $106,135.60 Sunday was purchased in Las Vegas . . . Santa Anita offers twilight racing Friday, with $2 beers, hot dogs and sodas. First post time is 3 p.m. . . .Today is opening day for the inaugural Oak Tree at Pleasanton meeting, which will run 12 days.