Santa Anita Stable Notes Friday, November 4, 2022
STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN FRIDAY, NOV. 4, 2022
• SHOW TIME LOOMS FOR FLIGHTLINE IN BC CLASSIC • THIRD TIME THE CHARM IN SPRINT FOR C Z ROCKET? • DETTORI A REGULAR AT SANTA ANITA THIS WINTER • RISPOLI NAMED JOCKEY OF THE WEEK FOR TRIPLE • GATES OPEN 7 A.M. SATURDAY FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
FANTASTIC FLIGHTLINE FACES TOUGHEST TEST The hands on the clock move ever forward to the most anticipated Thoroughbred horse race in recent memory, the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic Saturday at Keeneland Race Course.
It is then and there where undefeated and untested Flightline faces his most daunting challenge against eight rivals going a mile and a quarter, attempting to prove he belongs being mentioned in the same breath with legends of the sport.
The $1 million son of Tapit trained by native Californian John Sadler whose home track is Santa Anita has won his five starts by a combined margin of nearly 63 lengths, the most recent by a jaw-dropping 19 ¼ lengths in the Pacific Classic on Sept. 3.
The odds are in his favor, pari-mutuelly speaking. The four-year-old bay colt has been the odds-on choice in each of his races and will be again Saturday as he attempts to accomplish what every athlete, equine or human, does in the heat of competition: vanquish all challengers.
Peter Miller is but one in a countless assemblage of horsemen and fans pondering what the future holds for Flightline.
“He’s the second-best horse I’ve ever seen in person, Spectacular Bid being the best,” said Miller, a Los Angeles native who turned 56 on Oct. 2, and is tied for Santa Anita’s training lead as the meet nears its conclusion on Sunday.
“Flightline is an incredible horse and has a chance to be in the conversation with horses like Spectacular Bid and Secretariat.
“He’s amazing, I think it’s great for the game, and I’m happy for all the connections. He’s a once-in-a-generation, once-in-a-lifetime individual, but to talk about a horse in the same breath with Secretariat or Spectacular Bid would be a little bit difficult since he’s only run five times.
“I think he would have to have a more extensive record, because longevity should be considered, but he’s as brilliant as other great horses we’ve seen.
“If Flightline runs his race (in the Breeders’ Cup Classic), they’re all running for second money. I think he’s superior to all of them, and I hope he puts on a show, I really do.”
The Classic will be televised on NBC with a scheduled post time of 2:40 p.m. Pacific Time.
The field: Taiba, Mike Smith, 8-1; Life Is Good, Irad Ortiz Jr., 6-1; Happy Saver, John Velazquez, 30-1; Flightline, Flavien Prat, 3-5; Hot Rod Charlie, Tyler Gaffalione, 15-1; Epicenter, Joel Rosario, 5-1; Olympiad, Jose Alvarado, 10-1; and Rich Strike, Sonny Leon, 20-1.
MILLER’S ‘ROCKET’ IN 3RD BID FOR BC SPRINT WIN Peter Miller will attempt to win the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with C Z Rocket when the eight-year-old City Zip gelding makes his third start in the six-furlong race on Saturday.
Second by a thrilling nose in the Grade II Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 1, C Z Rocket was seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint last year at Del Mar and second in 2020 when it was run at Keeneland.
The durable bay has a 12-5-5 record from 34 starts with earnings of $1,612,641.
Miller, whose main training base is at San Luis Rey Downs, understandably gives full credit to his team for the continued success he has enjoyed throughout a career that began in 1987.
With three racing days remaining in the meet, Miller is tied with Phil D’Amato for the training lead, each with 14 wins.
“It’s been a great meet and everyone on the staff has worked hard pulling in the same direction,” Miller said. “It’s a team sport and we’ve got a great team.” The Sprint: Manny Wah, Wayne Catalano, 30-1; Kimari, Jose Ortiz, 4-1; Besos, Tyler Gaffalione, 20-1; American Theorem, Joe Bravo, 10-1; Aloha West, Wayne Catalano, 12-1; Elite Power, Irad Ortiz Jr., 6-1; Super Ocho, Hector Berrios, 30-1; C Z Rocket, Flavien Prat, 20-1; Jackie’s Warrior, Joel Rosario, 4-5; Willy Boi, Chantal Sutherland, 30-1; and Flash of Mischief, Christian Torres, 30-1.
DETTORI TO RIDE AT SANTA ANITA THIS WINTER World-famous international jockey Lanfranco (Frankie) Dettori will ride full time at Santa Anita this winter and be represented by top agent Ron Anderson, who will continue to handle business for John Velazquez and Joel Rosario.
“I’ll have Dettori and Johnny V. at Santa Anita,” said Anderson, “with Rosario riding in Florida this winter. Johnny’s going to go to Del Mar first and hang out there for a bit.
“I’ve known Frankie since he was 15 (he will be 52 Dec. 15) and feel lucky to have hooked up with him,” continued Anderson, an elite agent for 50 years who turns 68 in three weeks.
“He brings a lot of positive energy to the business, obviously is a world-class jockey and one of the best of our generation, so I think it will be good for everybody.”
Agents can represent more than two jockeys at different venues. “(Agent) Jose Santos Jr. has eight riders,” Anderson pointed out. “You can have two per jurisdiction (race track), so I can even have somebody else in Florida, if I chose to.”
The effervescent Dettori, whose flamboyant flying dismounts are his trademark, was born in Milan, Italy but based in the United Kingdom where he’s been flat racing champion three times.
FINISH LINES: Heading into Santa Anita’s final Autumn Meet weekend, races in the jockey and trainer standings are nip and tuck, with Ramon Vazquez holding a one length edge on Juan Hernandez, with Umberto Rispoli down three with 18 wins. In the trainer’s division, Phil D’Amato and Peter Miller are knotted at 14 wins each with three days remaining…Congratulations to Rispoli on being named Jockey of the Week by a panel of experts honoring riders who are members of The Jockeys’ Guild. Rispoli captured three stakes Saturday at Santa Anita, including the Grade II Goldikova on repeat winner Going Global for Phil D’Amato . . . Host Tom Quigley’s seminar guests will be Horseplayer Leo Vukmanovich today and professional horse player Duke Matties Saturday, both days at 11:20 a.m., and Santa Anita announcer Frank Mirahmadi Sunday at 10:50 a.m. . . . Santa Anita’s 18-day meet concludes Sunday when Daylight Saving Time ends. Set your clocks back one hour Saturday night. THERE WILL BE AN EARLY FIRST POST TIME SUNDAY OF 12 NOON…On Saturday, Santa Anita admission gates open at 7 a.m. to accommodate simulcast wagering on the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland.