Santa Anita Stable Notes Saturday, April 1, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN
SATURDAY, APRIL 1, 2023
- • EARLS ROCK, DU JOUR MEET AGAIN IN GIII AMERICAN - • MANDARIN HERO TAKES FIRST SPIN AROUND SANTA ANITA - • ‘PETROS & MONEY’ RADIO REMOTE SET FOR FRIDAY - • MAIN TRACK, TRAINING TRACK BOTH REOPEN FOR WORKS - • COAST-TO-COAST PICK 5 RETURNS SUNDAY - • VAZQUEZ CLIMBS THE RANKINGS WITH 3-WIN SATURDAY
EARLS ROCK, DU JOUR MEET AGAIN IN SUNDAY’S GIII AMERICAN
Earls Rock and Du Jour, who were separated by just a nose in the GIII Thunder Road on Feb. 4, are set for round two in Sunday’s GIII American going a mile on turf.
Earls Rock is listed as the 8-5 morning-line favorite for the rematch with Du Jour tabbed as the slight second choice at 9-5. In the Thunder Road, Earls Rock and Du Jour each launched rallies from the rear of an 11-horse field to run down Air Force Red in the final strides. Earls Rock would prevail by the slimmest of margins with Air Force Red another neck back in third in a three-way photo.
Following the Thunder Road, Du Jour returned a month later in the GI Frank E. Kilroe Mile on March 4 for trainer Bob Baffert. Once again D Jour’s rally would come up just short. This time he was beaten a neck by Gold Phoenix, who like Earls Rock is also conditioned by Santa Anita’s leading trainer Phil D’Amato.
D’Amato said Earls Rock skipped the Kilroe largely because of what was a damp turf course, that day which was listed as “good.”
“He’s ready to go and has been for a while,” D’Amato said Saturday. “I almost ran him in the Kilroe, but we got a lot of rain that week and I didn’t think he’d like a softer turf course. It should be perfect for him this weekend.”
Santa Anita’s turf course on Friday was also listed as “good” following a rainstorm earlier in the week, but has now been upgraded to “firm.”
In the Thunder Road, both Earls Rock and Du Jour were aided by a lively pace. That may not be the case Sunday. Only one horse in the American, 15-1 longshot Bob and Jackie, has had an early lead in recent races. D’Amato said the potential race shape is not of particular concern for Earls Rock, who will be ridden by Umberto Rispoli for the first time.
“He’s really tactical and has won when sitting second or third,” D’Amato noted. “Going two turns he’s really handy. I think Rispoli should be able to get him into a good spot.”
Du Jour will be making his third start following an almost 14-month layoff in the American. He will again have Frankie Dettori in the irons, who was aboard in the Kilroe.
The American goes as the seventh race on Sunday’s nine-race card with a scheduled post time of 4:39 p.m. The field in post position order: Earls Rock, Umberto Rispoli (8-5); Bob and Jackie, Jose Valdivia Jr, (15-1); Du Jour, Frankie Dettori (9-5); Exaulted, Juan Hernandez (4-1); Vanzzy, Joe Bravo (10-1); Irideo, Hector Berrios (4-1).
JAPANESE MANDARIN HERO TAKES 1ST SPIN AROUND SANTA ANITA OVAL
After arriving at Santa Anita on Friday, Japanese import Mandarin Hero got his first feel of the main track Saturday morning with a light gallop. Mandarin Hero is slated to be the first horse from Japan to run in the Grade I Runhappy Santa Anita Derby next Saturday.
At around 8 a.m., Mandarin Hero was backtracked to the six-furlong marker where he then turned and galloped once around the oval. Following the low-impact tour, members of Mandarin Hero’s traveling party indicated all was well.
“Everything seems to be good,” said Sean Toriumi of U.S. Equine, who helped transport the colt from Japan and is also serving as an interpreter.
Mandarin Hero is trained by Terunobu Fujita, who is scheduled to arrive at Santa Anita on Thursday. The Japanese-bred colt by 2012 champion 2-year-old colt Shanghai Bobby won all four starts last year and in his lone outing this year was a fast-closing second by a neck on Feb. 23. All five of his starts have been at Oi Racecourse outside of Tokyo, which is part of Japan’s National Association of Racing.
Mandarin Hero is scheduled to work on Monday. Aboard for the drill will be Santa Anita-based jockey Kazushi Kimura, a native of Japan who also has the call in the Santa Anita Derby.
The Santa Anita Derby is one of six stakes scheduled for next Saturday’s blockbuster card. Also to be run are the GII Santa Anita Oaks, GII Charles Whittingham, GII Monrovia and both the Echo Eddie and Evening Jewel for statebreds.
TOP RATED ‘PETROS & MONEY’ SET FOR FRIDAY RADIO REMOTE BROADCAST
“Petros & Money,” the top-rated sports talk radio show in LA, comes to Santa Anita via a live remote broadcast this Friday, April 7. Familiar to millions on AM 570 KLAC, Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., the wacky pair will operate from the Grandstand apron on Friday, adjacent to the Runhappy Winner’s Circle.
Hosted by former USC tailback and current Fox Sports college football analyst Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith, who is also the radio voice of the LA Chargers and a regular on NFL Network, Petros & Money have long supported horse racing in Southern California and will no doubt spend considerable time Friday talking about and interviewing principals in, the Grade I, $750,000 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, April 8.
Produced by Tim Cates, Petros & Money has been a staple on KLAC radio since January of 2007 and provides listeners with a completely irreverent but wholly credible take on the world of sports and much more.
Joined regularly by longtime LA broadcast personality Vic “The Brick” Jacobs, Petros & Money often embraces the spiritual poetry of the Orient, replete with Vic’s daily dose of sensual haiku.
Fans are reminded that in addition to Petros & Money, admission and parking are free on Friday, along with $3 beers and $5 margaritas.
Entries will be taken for Friday tomorrow with first post time at 1 p.m. --Mike Willman
MAIN TRACK, TRAINING TRACK BOTH REOPEN FOR WORKERS SATURDAY
It was a full training day Saturday at Santa Anita after a recent rainstorm precluded any timed workouts here since Tuesday.
Between the main track and training track, there were a combined 132 works on Saturday. Among those to drill were several horses pointed to next Saturday’s GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby program.
Working towards a possible start in the Santa Anita Derby was maiden winner I Don’t Get It for trainer Doug O’Neill. The Cloud Computing colt worked from the gate and completed five furlongs in 1:00.40. On Friday, O’Neill said a decision on whether to run in the Santa Anita Derby would be made following this drill. He was not immediately available for comment Saturday.
Faiza, the expected favorite in next Saturday’s GII Santa Anita Oaks, worked six furlongs in 1:12.60 for trainer Bob Baffert. The daughter of Girvin is a perfect 4-for-4 for with wins including the GI Starlet, GIII Las Virgenes and GIII Santa Ysabel .
Also drilling for the Oaks was Grade I winner And Tell Me Nolies, who went five furlongs in 1:01.80 for trainer Peter Miller. The Arrogate filly was second in the Santa Ysabel following a four-month layoff.
Working for an expected tilt in next Saturday’s 6 ½-furlng Echo Eddie for statebreds was the highly regarded Kangaroo Court for trainer Tim Yakteen. The 3-year-old Dads Caps gelding worked five furlongs in 1:01.0. Kangaroo Court is coming off a 95 Beyer Speed Figure earned in a sharp allowance win here March 4.
COAST-TO-COAST PICK 5 WITH LOW TAKEOUT RETURNS SUNDAY
The $1 Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 featuring a player-friendly 15 percent takeout returns Sunday with races from Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park. It kicks off at approximately 1:21 p.m. PT with the eighth race from Gulfstream, a five-furlong turf allowance, and ends with the GIII American Stakes at Santa Anita, which goes as the seventh race at approximately 4:07 p.m. PT.
The other races in the sequence are the Pasadena Stakes at Santa Anita, which goes the third, the 10th race from Gulfstream and the fifth from Santa Anita.
Sunday’s Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 averages 8.2 starters per race. Last Sunday’s Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 returned $10,697.20 for 11 winning tickets.
FINISH LINES: Jockey Ramon Vazquez won three races Friday to move into a tie for fourth in the jockey’s standings with 21 wins at the Classic meet…There is a $306,981.40 Rainbow 6 carryover for Saturday’s card. The sequence starts with the fourth race at approximately 2:30 p.m… Frank Scatoni will be Tom Quigley’s featured handicapping guest Sunday on the Santa Anita simulcast feed starting at 11:50…Tickets to this year’s Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita on Nov. 3-4 will go on sale May 4. You can view seating options and pricing at BreedersCup.com/Tickets… THERE WILL BE A MANDATORY PAYOUT IN THE 20 CENT RAINBOW PICK SIX ON RUNHAPPY SANTA ANITA DERBY DAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 8. IT IS EXPECTED THE DERBY DAY RAINBOW SIX POOL WILL EXCEED $3 MILLION.