Santa Anita Stable Notes Sunday, June 11, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN
SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 2023
- • DESORMEAUX DISPLAYS VINTAGE FORM WITH 3-WIN SATURDAY - • ZENYATTA FOALS WAR FRONT FILLY; RETIRED AS BROODMARE - • NOTABLE 2YO’S: BEHOLDER BABY, FULL TO BRICKYARD RIDE WORK - • 4 STAKES ON TAP NEXT WEEK AS CURTAIN FALLS ON SANTA ANITA - • HOLLYWOOD MEET AT SANTA ANITA CLOSES JUNE 18
HALL OF FAMER DESORMEAUX DISPLAYS VINTAGE FORM WITH 3-WIN SATURDAY
In 2004, after 18 years as a professional jockey, Kent Desormeaux was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He was 34.
Desormeaux’s induction into the Hall was earned after winning three Eclipse Awards, two Kentucky Derby’s, a Preakness and setting a North American record for wins in a season. In 1989, Desormeaux rode a whopping 598 winners. It ranks as one of most unbreakable records in the world of sports.
Now age 53, Desormeaux on Saturday displayed that Hall of Fame form with a master class in the saddle at Santa Anita. With an ideal ride stalking the pace in the opener, plus two exquisitely timed rallies from last on the back-half of the 10-race card, he finished with three wins on the 10-race card.
“It’s very invigorating, certainly a head picker-upper to have a day like that,” Desormeaux said Sunday morning from Clocker’s Corner. “On Friday, I had some indifferent rides and was a little upset. I went home Friday night banging my head.”
Earlier on Friday, Santa Anita stewards ruled Desormeaux, who has a history of alcohol-related problems, would be required to pass a daily breathalyzer test to ride in races or work horses. The ruling was in response to Desormeaux failing a breathalyzer test on March 31 prior to the first race.
“To have a day like Saturday, it energizes you,” Desormeaux said. “It’s the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”
Since his induction into the Hall of Fame, Desormeaux has added two more Kentucky Derby wins and three more Preakness victories. Entering Sunday’s card at Santa Anita, he ranks seventh all-time in career purse earnings with $292,806,090 and 16th in wins with 6,148.
Saturday’s wins came in the opener on turf with favorite Luminiferous ($5.00) for trainer George Papaprodromou, the eighth race on dirt by a nose with favorite Sunshine Babe ($5.80) for trainer Marcelo Polanco and the ninth race on the hillside turf course by a neck with Count Of Amazonia ($11.00) for trainer Bob Hess Jr.
Desormeaux said he heard from numerous well-wishers after Saturday’s hat trick.
“The text messages came in plenty,” he noted. “You just hope people notice that when you’re mounted, you’re still capable.”
Desormeaux now has 13 wins at the Hollywood Meet to rank sixth in the jockey standings. During the Classic Meet ended April 9, Desormeaux ranked 11th in the standings with 15 wins from 87 mounts, a 17 percent strike rate.
“I think it’s been a real good winter and spring here at Santa Anita,” Desormeaux said. “I’ve landed some new barns I’d never ridden for. I credit my agent Susan McBrayer for that. She’s done a wonderful job. The results have been solid.”
When the Santa Anita Hollywood Meet closes next Sunday, Southern California racing shifts to Los Alamitos for a three-week stand. Desormeaux plans to ride there only if the right opportunities arise.
“I would love to ride any important horse. It doesn’t have to be a stakes horse,” Desormeaux said. “But generally, the horses that run there don’t run at Del Mar. I like to freshen up ahead of Del Mar. It’s a very intense meet.
He added the first order of business when Santa Anita closes is to visit his mother in Louisiana. Last month on April 22, Desormeaux’s father, Harris Desormeaux, died at the age of 80.
“It’s a good time for me to go visit my mother,” Desormeaux said. “Last month I lost my father, so I’m going to go keep her company for a week and then come back to tune-up for Del Mar.”
Desormeaux is booked to ride four of 10 races Sunday at Santa Anita. He has the call on 5-2 morning-line favorite Doncic in the opener; maiden Shady Appeal (7-2) in the fifth; Escape Artist, the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the sixth; and fourth choice Phosphorescence (6-1) for trainer Michael McCarthy in the featured Cinema Stakes, which goes as the eighth.
ZENYATTA FOALS WAR FRONT FILLY; RETIRED FROM BROODMARE DUTIES
After foaling a War Front filly Friday evening, the broodmare career of legendary racehorse Zenyatta has come to an end.
Zenyatta,19, delivered the filly at Lane’s End Farm in central Kentucky at 9:18 p.m. ET. According to the web site Zenyatta.com, those in attendance for the foaling included Zenyatta’s co-owner, Ann Holbrook (Moss).
“The foaling was filled with ease and elegance and both mom and baby are in excellent health and exude happiness,” said a post on the site. “Zeny’s new filly has legs for days and sports a blaze to match her mother’s.”
The post added, “This will be Zenyatta’s last foal as she is being retired as a broodmare.”
Zenyatta won 19 of 20 starts from 2007-2010 while based at Santa Anita with trainer John Shirreffs. Campaigned by Holbrook and her former husband Jerry Moss, Zenyatta’s career-defining moment came in 2009 when beating males in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita. She retired after being beaten just a head by Blame in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs with more than $7.3 million in earnings.
In the breeding shed, things didn’t go nearly as well for Zenyatta. She has just four registered foals. Her first two foals, Cozmic One (2012, Bernardini) and Ziconic (2013, Tapit) both started for Shirreffs but never won. Her other two registered foals, a filly, Zellda (2017, Medaglia d’Oro) and another filly, Zikha (2020, Candy Ride), never raced.
Zenyatta also lost two offspring foaled in 2014 and 2016 by War Front and in 2018 aborted a filly by Into Mischief. She was not bred in 2015 or 2022.
The 2014 War Front filly suffered a paddock accident as a weanling and had to be euthanized. The 2016 colt by War Front was alive for just seven days before dying from meconium aspiration syndrome. The syndrome, which also effects humans, results in respiratory distress in a newborn.
Zenyatta was three-time champion female and the 2010 Horse of the Year.
NOTABLE 2-YEAR-OLDS: BEHOLDER BABY, FULL TO BRICKYARD RIDE WORK
Among the 213 horses to have timed workouts on another damp morning at Santa Anita Sunday were a pair of notable 2-year-olds.
Working three furlongs for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella was an unnamed filly by Bolt d’Oro out of the Hall of Fame racemare Beholder. She went three furlongs for the first time, completing the move in 36.00 seconds. She previously had a trio of two-furlong works starting May 13.
Also working was Brickhouse Ride, a 2-year-old full brother to top California-bred Brickhouse Ride. He was timed going one furlong in 12.60 seconds. Brickhouse Ride, like Brickyard Ride, is owned and bred by Alfred A. Pais and trained by Craig Lewis.
Trainer Michael McCarthy worked multiple graded-stakes winner Offlee Naughty and stakes winner Duvet Day, who are both nominated to next Sunday’s GIII San Juan Capistrano.
Offlee Naughty, who has won three straight including the GII Charles Whittingham and GIII San Luis Rey, drilled four furlongs in 49.20 seconds. Duvet Day, winner of the Astra Stakes here Jan. 21 and most recently second in the April 30 Santa Barbara, worked four furlongs in 53.00 seconds.
A pair of notable 3-year-old also worked. Reincarnate, most recently 13th in the Kentucky Derby, drilled four furlongs in 48.20 seconds for Bob Baffert. Also working for Doug O’Neill was Henry Q, most recently third in the GIII Peter Pan May 13 at Belmont Park. The Blame colt worked six furlongs in 1:13.00.
4 STAKES ON TAP NEXT WEEK AS CURTAIN FALLS ON SANTA ANITA
The Santa Anita Hollywood Meet comes to an end next Sunday, but not before four more stakes are run, including the first 2-year-old stakes of the year.
Next Saturday, Santa Anita will host the Fasig-Tipton Futurity and Fasig-Tipton Debutante, both contested at five furlongs on the main track. Among the notable nominees for the Futurity are debut winner Refocus for trainer Doug O’Neill and Going Mobile for trainer Steve Knapp.
Notable nominees for the Debutante include Becky’s Dream, who earned an 80 Beyer Speed Figure in a debut win for trainer Hector Palma May 27; Crazy Hot, a 10-length debut winner for trainer Jeff Bonde who is also nominated to the Futurity; and debut graduate Recalcitrant for O’Neill.
On Sunday, Santa Anita will host the 84th running of the GIII San Juan Capistrano at about 1 ¾ miles down the hillside turf and the Possibly Perfect for fillies and mares going 1 ¼ miles on turf. Notable nominees for the San Juan Capistrano include the streaking graded-stakes winner Offlee Naughty and Duvet Day, both trained by Michael McCarthy; Planetario for trainer Richard Mandella and Midwest-based Grade III winner Foreign Relations for trainer Conor Murphy.
Nominees for the Possibly Perfect include Duvet Day and graded stakes winner Neige Blanche for trainer Leonard Powell and Midwest-based stakes winner Viburnum for trainer Kelsey Danner.
FINISH LINES: With four racing days left in the Hollywood Meet, Phil D’Amato holds a slim one-win lead in the trainer’s standings. Entering Sunday, D’Amato has 14 wins and Doug O’Neill has 13…Santa Anita leading rider Juan Hernandez had two more wins Saturday…There is a Rainbow 6 Jackpot carryover of $152,511 for Sunday’s card…Closing day of the Santa Anita Hollywood Meet is next Sunday…The Santa Anita Infield will host a Family Fun Zone on Saturdays and Sundays through the remainder of the meet. Attractions include inflatable jumpers, arts and crafts, face painting, pony rides, carnival games and more.