Santa Anita Stable Notes Sunday, April 2, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN
SUNDAY, APRIL 2, 2023
Photo: Ernie Belmonte
- • SANTA ANITA DERBY CONTENDERS HAVE FINAL WORKS - • SANTA ANITA OAKS FIELD TAKING SHAPE __- • CLOSING REMARKS DELIVERS IN GII ROYAL HEROINE __ - • ‘PETROS & MONEY’ RADIO REMOTE SET FOR FRIDAY
- • MANDATORY RAINBOW 6 PAYOUT THIS SATURDAY
GRADE I RUNHAPPY SANTA ANITA DERBY CONTENDERS HAVE FINAL WORKS Multiple contenders pointed to this Saturday’s Grade I Runhappy Santa Anita Derby had their final works on Sunday including the top three finishers from last month’s GII San Felipe
Practical Move, winner of the Grade II San Felipe here March 4, drilled five furlongs in 1:01.20 for trainer Tim Yakteen. Geaux Rocket Ride, who was second beaten 2 ½ lengths in the San Felipe, worked five furlongs in company with a strong gallop-out for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. He was timed in 59.4 seconds by track clockers.
“We’re all set,” Mandella said following the work.
Geaux Rocket Ride’s effort in the San Felipe came in just his second start and first around two turns. Prior to the San Felipe, the son of Candy Ride broke his maiden by 5 ½ lengths going six furlongs here Jan. 29.
Skinner, who was third in the San Felipe, worked five furlongs in 59.20 seconds under Hall of Famer Victor Espinoza for John Shirreffs.
“He was just cruising,” Espinoza said. “He’s ready now.”
Skinner was last of nine after the opening quarter mile of the San Felipe. He then launched a big move on the second turn to draw into contention before flattening out in the stretch to be beaten by 3 ¾ lengths.
Also working Sunday was National Treasure, who was the morning-line favorite for the San Felipe but had to be scratched because of a bruised foot. He has not started since a third in the Grade III Sham here Jan. 8. The son of Quality Road worked six furlongs in 1:12.6.
Scheduled to work on Monday at around 8 a.m. is Japanese import Mandarin Hero with Kazushi Kimura in the irons. Mandarin Hero arrived at Santa Anita on Friday. After galloping one lap around the main track on Saturday, the Shanghai Bobby colt toured two circuits around the oval on Sunday. His traveling party indicated Mandarin Hero has taken well to his new surroundings.
The Santa Anita Derby is one of six stakes on tap for this Saturday. Also on the card are the Grade II Santa Anita Oaks, Grade II Charles Whittingham at 1 ¼-miles on turf, GIII Monrovia on the hillside turf course and a pair of statebred stakes going 6 ½ furlongs on the main track: the Echo Eddie for 3-year-olds and Evening Jewel for 3-year-old fillies.
Entries will be taken on Wednesday. NBC Sports will provide television coverage of the card.
GRADE II SANTA ANITA OAKS FIELD TAKING SHAPE
Saturday’s Grade II Santa Anita Oaks could have up to a field of eight including Faiza and And Tell Me Nolies, the top-two finishers in the Grade III Santa Ysabel here March 5.
Faiza, the expected favorite in the Oaks, completed her final major preparations on Saturday with a six-furlong work in 1:12.60 for trainer Bob Baffert. The Girvin filly is a perfect 4-for-4 which includes additional stakes wins in the Grade I Starlet and Grade III Las Virgenes.
And Tell Me Nolies, winner of last year’s Grade I Del Mar Debutante and Grade II Chandelier, returned from a four-month layoff in the Santa Ysabel and was beaten 2 ¼ lengths by Faiza. Trained by Peter Miler, she also had her final tune-up on Saturday with a five-furlong work in 1:01.80.
Two fillies coming off sharp maiden wins are also expected for the Oaks. Clearly Unhinged was a front-running 3 ¼-length winner in her how going 6 ½ furlongs here on Feb. 5. Trained by Michael McCarthy, the Bernardini filly worked a bullet on Saturday when going five furlongs in 59.60 seconds. It was the fastest of 53 moves at the distance.
Clearly Unhinged earned a 89 Beyer Speed Figure for her debut win, which is the highest recorded among the prospective group for the Oaks.
Princess Bettina, who won the China Doll on turf here March 18 for trainer Peter Eurton, is also targeting the Oaks. She returned to work tab on Saturday with an easy half mile move in 49.20 seconds.
Also listed as possible for the Oaks by the Santa Anita racing office are romping maiden winner Window Shopping and stablemate Venganza for trainer Richard Mandella; Justique, who was fourth in the Santa Ysabel for trainer John Shirreffs; and Gila, who won a $30,000 maiden-claimer here by 12 ½ lengths on March 12 for trainer Steve Knapp.
After training hours Sunday, Mandella confirmed he plans to enter both Window Shopping and Venganza. Window Shopping aired by 16 ½ lengths in maiden race taken off the turf here March 17. It was the American Pharoah filly’s only start this year and first since debuting on turf at Del Mar on Nov. 13. Venganza won here debut here March 1 in a six-furlong maiden race that was also taken off the turf.
CLOSING REMARKS DELIVERS IN GII ROYAL HEROINE FOR GAINES
After earning minor awards in five straight graded stakes, often with troubled trips, Closing Remarks finally got a breakthrough win here Saturday when prevailing by 1 ½ lengths in the Grade II Royal Heroine at a mile on turf.
With Joe Bravo in the irons, Closing Remarks settled in fourth before taking aim at the leaders on the second turn. She got the lead near the eighth pole and kicked clear to score as the 6-5 favorite.
“It’s been one thing after another with this horse, so it was nice to get a good clean trip,” Gaines said Sunday morning.
Closing Remark’s most recent trouble occurred in the Grade II Buena Vista here March 4. The chart notes Closing Remarks was “blocked early” and again near the seven-sixteenths pole. Gaines said she actually “hit the rail and Joe’s foot skimmed the rail.
“She finally got the right break on Saturday, the right trip, and she showed her stuff,” Gaines added.
A 5-year-old California-bred mare by Vronsky, Closing Remarks is owned by her breeder Harris Farms. Her only previous stakes win came in the 2021 California Cup Oaks. Prior to the Buena Vista, Closing Remarks at the current Classic Meet was third in the Grade III Megahertz and second in the Grade II Robert J. Frankel, both at the current Classic Meet; and fourth in the Grade III Santa Ana and third in last year’s Buena Vista.
Closing Remarks has now banked $554,820 with a record of 4-5-4 in 18 starts.
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
FINISH LINES: Santa Anita-based Reincarnate finished third in Saturday’s Grade I Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park for trainer Tim Yakteen. He now has 45 Kentucky Derby points, which ranks 13th on the leaderboard…Santa Anita-based sprinter Straight No Chaser romped by 7 ½ lengths in a six-furlong allowance Saturday at Oaklawn Park. He was previously third in the Grade III Palos Verdes here Feb. 5… Saturday at Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita-based Fort Bragg set the pace in the Grade I Florida Derby before fading to fifth for trainer Tim Yakteen…Also at Oaklawn Saturday, Santa Anita-based Hopper won the Grade III Oaklawn Mile for trainer Bob Baffert…There is a $332,497.27 Rainbow 6 carryover for Sunday’s card. The sequence starts with the fourth race at approximately 2:30 p.m…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.