Santa Anita Stable Notes Sunday, January 8, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN SUNDAY, JAN. 8, 2023
• FLIGHTLINE LEADS ECLIPSE FINALISTS WITH CALIFORNIA TIES • SPEED BOAT BEACH SCRATCHES FROM SHAM • FEMALE ROUTERS TAKE CENTER STAGE IN GIII LA CANADA • RAINBOW PICK 6 MANDATORY PAYOUT RETURNS $2,429.74 • ‘DOLLAR DAY’ RETURNS FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING HOLIDAY
FLIGHTLINE LEADS ECLIPSE FINALISTS WITH CALIFORNIA TIES After setting the racing world on fire in 2022, Flightline on Saturday was named an Eclipse Award finalist for champion older dirt male.
Flightline, who was a perfect 6-for-6 in two seasons of racing, would become the fourth champion trained by John Sadler and is potentially the sixth Horse of the Year based in California since 2014.
“We’ve been excited about the award season obviously,” Sadler said Sunday morning. “It was quite the run we had with him. It was just a great year and we’re really happy.”
In 2018, Sadler nearly had his first Horse of the Year with Accelerate. The son of Lookin At Lucky won five Grade I’s that season including the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but would ultimately finish second in Horse of the Year voting to undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify. Accelerate would earn champion older dirt male honors.
Other 2022 Eclipse Award finalists with California ties are Taiba, who is up for champion 3-year-old male; Cave Rock for champion 2-year-old male; and Flavien Prat, who for the second year in a row is a finalist for champion jockey.
With a perfect three-start campaign in Grade I’s culminating with the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Flightline figures to be a slam dunk to win both Horse of the Year and champion older dirt male. Grade I winner Cave Rock most likely had his championship chase fall short when finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile behind Forte, who figures to take home the Eclipse trophy as champion 2-year-old male.
Indications are the vote for champion 3-year-old male could be close between Taiba and Epicenter. Taiba had three Grade I wins in 2022, which includes the Malibu on Dec. 26 at Santa Anita. Meanwhile, Epicenter won four graded stakes including the Grade I Travers and was second in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
Prat, the regular rider of Flightline, booted home 236 winners in 2022 and boasted a 23% strike rate while riding much of the season in Southern California. He also finished second nationally in purse earnings behind only Irad Ortiz Jr. with $29,832,252. Ortiz is also a finalist for champion jockey along with Joel Rosario, who won the award in 2021.
The winners in all 17 categories will be announced Jan. 26 during the 52nd annual Eclipse Awards ceremony at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla.
SPEED BOAT BEACH SCRATCHES FROM SHAM, EYES NEW TARGET Speed Boat Beach, a two-time stakes winner on turf, was scratched from today’s Grade III Sham Stakes going a mile on dirt by trainer Bob Baffert. Speed Boat Beach was the 5-2 co-second choice on the morning line.
Baffert said Speed Boat Beach would likely be rerouted to the Grade III, $200,000 San Vicente going seven furlongs on Jan. 29.
“I’m going to wait for a different race, probably the San Vicente around one turn,” Baffert said. “I’ve been running him on turf and I kind of go by my gut. I don’t know if he was prepared.”
Baffert had previously said he was hoping to have one dirt start for Speed Boat Beach before a potential trip to the Middle East for races like the Saudi Derby and UAE Derby.
Speed Boat Beach has won three of four starts including the Speakeasy Stakes at Santa Anita in October and Grade III Cecil B. DeMille most recently at Del Mar on Dec. 4. Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, the son of Bayern was previously scratched from the one-mile Eddie Logan on grass on Dec. 30.
Following the scratch of Speed Boat Beach, this is the field for the Sham in post position order: Newgate, Frankie Dettori (6-1); National Treasure, John Velazquez (2-1); Reincarnate, Juan Hernandez (8-1); Packs a Wahlop, Ramon Vazquez (6-1); Spun Intended, Mike Smith (5-2).
FEMALE ROUTERS TAKE CENTER STAGE IN SATURDAY’S GIII LA CANADA After two blockbuster weekends of high-class action at Santa Anita, the lone stakes at The Great Race Place next week is the Grade III, $200,000 La Canada for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles.
There were 13 horses nominated to the La Canada including six who are exiting the Grade I La Brea going seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Dec. 26. In the La Brea, Bob Baffert’s Fun to Dream earned her third win in a row when edging Doug O’Neill’s Awake at Midnyte by three-quarters of a length. Kristenbosch was third for trainer John Sadler while Midnight Memories, the La Brea favorite for Baffert, checked in fourth. All are nominated to the La Canada.
Among the potential new shooters are Chancery Way, who is exiting a restricted stakes win at Golden Gate for trainer Jamey Thomas; and Anacapa, a sharp allowance winner going two turns at Del Mar two starts back for trainer Carla Gaines.Anacapa would be wheeling back on short rest as she was cut back to seven furlongs for the Grade III Las Flores on Dec. 31 and finished seventh.
The La Canada along with the rest of Saturday’s card will be drawn on Wednesday.
RAINBOW PICK 6 MANDATORY PAYOUT RETURNS $2,429.74 The meet’s first mandatory payout of the Rainbow Pick 6 on Saturday returned a healthy $2,311,782 for all those who successfully navigated the sequence.
With a carryover of $275,876 heading into Saturday, an additional $2,311,782 in new money was wagered for a total pool of $2,587,658. When the dust settled, there were 840 winning tickets that split the pot.
The winning horses in the Rainbow 6 with payouts were: Race 6, #1 Big Summer ($9.80); Race 7, #1 Thirsty John ($6.60); Race 8, #3 Grazed My Heart ($13.80); Race 9, #8 Leyas Candy ($5.60); Race 10, #4 Coalinga Road ($8.60). The Rainbow 6 is a 20-cent minimum wager.
Finish Lines: The “1/ST Coast to Coast Pick 5” with a player-friendly 15% takeout returns Sunday. The $1 minimum wager ties together races from Santa Anita and sister track Gulfstream Park. Sunday’s sequence starts with race 5 at Gulfstream Park and also incudes race 8 at Gulfstream, race 9 at Gulfstream and races 5 and 7 at Santa Anita. On Saturday, the inaugural Coast to Coast Pick 5 returned $1,017.70. The wager will be offered through April 9… Santa Anita will host a four-day race week starting Friday and ending with a special Martin Luther King Jr. holiday program on Monday Jan. 16, featuring $1 beer and soda and $2 hot dogs… Jon White’s revised morning line with the scratch of Justique in today’s Grade III Santa Ynez: 1) Satin Doll 10-1, 2) Fast and Shiny 4-1, 4) Parody 5-2, 5) Huntingcoco 3-1 and 6) Ice Dancing 6-5.