Santa Anita Stable Notes Friday, April 21, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN
FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2023
Photo: Ernie Belmonte
- PRACTICAL MOVE WORKS IN COMPANY FOR KENTUCKY DERBY - BRICKYARD RIDE LOOKS TO REGAIN TOP FORM IN GIII KONA GOLD - MCCARTHY UNVEILS SMOOTH LIKE STRAITS FULL BROTHER SATURDAY - SA DERBY RUNNER-UP MANDARIN HERO TO WORK NEXT WEDNESDAY - INAUGURAL ‘HOLLYWOOD MEET’ KICKS OFF FRIDAY
PRACTICAL MOVE WORKS IN COMPANY FOR KENTUCKY DERBY Practical Move returned to the work tab Friday following his win in the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby April 8.
Pointed to the May 6 Kentucky Derby, Practical Move worked a half mile in company with rising star Kangaroo Court shortly after the 6:30 a.m. renovation break for trainer Tim Yakteen. Both 3-year-olds were officially timed in 47.0 seconds. Yakteen clocked the drill in the same time with a strong gallop-out in “59 seconds and change,” the trainer said.
“They both worked well, very happy,” Yakteen added.
Practical Move is slated to be joined in the Kentucky Derby starting gate by stablemate Reincarnate. Yakteen said Reincarnate, who most recently was third in both the GII Rebel Stakes and GI Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park, is scheduled to work on Saturday.
Both Practical Move and Reincarnate will also have one additional work at Santa Anita next Friday before heading to Churchill Downs the following morning.
Practical Move figures to be among the top betting choices in the 1 ¼-mile Kentucky Derby. He is riding a three-race winning streak and has never been off the board for owners Leslie A. Amestoy, Jean Pierre Amestoy and Roger K. Beasley. Prior to his gutsy nose win over Mandarin Hero in the Santa Anita Derby, the son of Practical Move won the GII San Felipe here March 4 and the GII Los Alamitos Futurity in December.
Practical Move and Reincarnate aren’t the only two horses heading to Churchill Downs next week for Yakteen. Kangaroo Court and the ascending turf star Johannes will also make the trip to run on the Kentucky Derby undercard. Kangaroo Court is ticketed for the GII Pat Day Mile while Johannes will contest the GII American Turf at 1 1/16 miles.
“We have our fingers crossed,” Yakteen said.
Johannes has won all three starts since being switched to turf for his maiden win here on Dec. 31. The Nyquist colt followed up graduation day with a win in the March 5 Baffle Stakes here over the hillside turf course and a scintillating 3 ½-length score in the Pasadena Stakes when stretched to a mile. He is a homebred for Cuyathy LLC.
Kangaroo Court will be stepping out of the statebred ranks for the first time in the Pat Day Mile, which is open to all 3-year-olds. The gelding by Dads Caps was a 14 ¼-length maiden winner last August at Del Mar before heading to the sidelines. He returned March 4 to take down a statebred allowance here in a swift 1:08.75 for six furlongs. He then won the Echo Eddie for statebreds going 6 ½ furlongs on April 8.
Kangaroo Court was purchased for a mere $7,500 at the 2021 Arizona Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Fall Mixed Sale by owner George Sharp. He has banked $197,200 in four starts.
BRICKYARD RIDE LOOKS TO REGAIN TOP FORM IN GIII KONA GOLD Trainer Craig Lewis acknowledged Thursday that his “big horse” over the past four-plus seasons, multiple graded-stakes winner Brickyard Ride, could be feeling the rigors of his prolific career as a 6-year-old.
Lewis will find out more on Saturday when Brickyard Ride tries to defend his title in the GIII Kona Gold going 6 ½ furlongs on the main track. He is tabbed as the 6-5 morning-line favorite in a field of six.
“The goal is to get him back to where he’s productive and we’re hoping that starts on Saturday,” Lewis said.
Following his win in last year’s Kona Gold, Brickyard Ride would make just one more start during the 2022 season – a fifth in Santa Anita’s GII Triple Bend in May after setting the pace. He was discovered to have a bone chip following the race and went to the sidelines.
Brickyard Ride returned to serious training this winter at Santa Anita. He finally resurfaced March 5 in the GIII San Simeon on Santa Anita’s hillside turf course. He led through the opening half mile under Santa Anita leading rider Juan Hernandez, but flattened out in the stretch to finish third by 2 ½ lengths.
“I think he ran fairly well,” Lewis said of the comeback effort. “I don’t think we had him as tight as we would like because we had to keep dodging the weather. Then he drew the one hole and didn’t break very sharp, so Juan had to use him to get position. He went fast and got tired.”
Brickyard Ride has returned with four five-furlong works since his comeback, which includes on April 13 when completing the distance in 1:00.0. It was the second-fastest of 15 moves at the distance that day.
A homebred son of Clubhouse Ride for Alfred A. Pais, Brickyard Ride has a record of 12-1-3 in 24 starts with earnings of $756,977. Of his 12 wins, seven have been against stakes company.
The chief rival for Brickyard Ride in the Kona Gold appears to be Anarchist, who is one of two entered for trainer Doug O’Neill. The 5-2 second choice on the morning line, Anarchist finished a half-length in front of Brickyard Ride when second in the San Simeon.
A 4-year-old Distorted Humor colt, Anarchist has made three starts for O’Neill since arriving in Southern California. He started his career in Kentucky with trainer Christopher Davis where he made four starts last year for owner Ilium Stables.
“He’s a lightly raced 4-year-old with a nice pedigree and is a big strong colt as well,” O’Neill said Friday morning. “Credit to the connections for being patient with him as a 3-year-old. It’s paying benefits now as an older horse.”
Also entered for O’Neill is Positivity, who has not started since March 2022 in Dubai. The now 5-year-old gelding made three starts in the Middle East before getting the rest of the year off.
“He needed time. We had a Dubai run with him and it beat him up a little bit,” O’Neill said. “He’s returned and been training well, but this is a pretty tough spot for a comeback.”
Positivity is listed at 6-1 on the morning line.
The Kona Gold goes as the fifth race on a 10-race card Saturday. Post time is scheduled for 3:02 p.m. The field in post position order: Anarchist, Ramon Vazquez (5-2); Sunrise Journey, Edwin Maldonado (4-1); Armagnac, Abel Cedillo (6-1); Brickyard Ride, Juan Hernandez (6-5); Positivity, Tiago Pereira (6-1); Trumped, Victor Espinoza (15-1).
MCCARTHY UNVEILS SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT’S FULL BROTHER SATURDAY In the finale of Saturday’s 10-race card at Santa Anita, trainer Michael McCarthy is set to unveil the 3-year-old colt Smooth Salute, a full brother to $1.8-million earner Smooth Like Strait.
A homebred for Cannon Thoroughbreds, Smooth Salute is by Midnight Lute out of the Flower Alley mare Smooth As Usual. He is entered in a 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight on turf, where he drew the far outside in post 12.
“He’s drawn way outside, which is not a very good position for a first-time starter,” McCarthy said Thursday. “But he has a brother who was pretty good. If he does half of what Smooth Like Strait did we’ll be in pretty good shape.”
Smooth Like Strait was a Grade I winner who, somewhat remarkably, also finished second or third in no fewer than seven other Grade I’s. Among those Grade I board hits was the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar where he set the pace at 10-1 before getting nailed late to lose by a half-length to Space Blues.
Cannon Thoroughbreds also owns and bred Smooth Like Strait. The full horse made one start this year as a 6-year-old, a disappointing fifth-place finish as the odds-on favorite in the Cotton Fitzsimmons Handicap at Turf Paradise on March 11. He was retired less than two weeks later.
Post time for Smooth Salute’s debut in Saturday’s 10th race is scheduled for 5:38 p.m.
FINISH LINES: With 40 qualifying points in-hand, GI Santa Anita Derby runner-up Mandarin Hero has been galloping daily at Santa Anita. With six horses in front of him, he currently ranks 26th in his quest to be a Derby starter. Mandarin Hero is scheduled to work here Wednesday and fly to Churchill Downs the following day for a potential start in the Run for the Roses…Friday marks the start of the inaugural Hollywood Meet at Santa Anita. First post is 1 p.m. The 28-day Hollywood Meet runs through Sunday, June 18…Every Friday on-track fans will receive free admission and parking plus $3 beers and $5 margaritas…There is a Rainbow 6 carryover of $41,977.58 entering Friday’s card… Favorites connected at 36.9 percent clip during the Classic Meet…