Santa Anita Stable Notes Sunday, June 4, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN
__SUNDAY, JUNE 4, 2023 __
- • WINDOW SHOPPING EYES THE TURF AFTER GII SUMMERTIME WIN - • TAIBA WILL BYPASS SATURDAY’S GI MET MILE - • JOCKEY JOSE VALDIVIA JR. ‘ON CLOUD NINE’ AFTER WIN NO. 2,000 - • ARABIAN LION, SLOW DOWN ANDY WORK FOR BELMONT PARK GI’S - • MUCHO DEL ORO LOWERS TURF COURSE RECORD FOR 6 ½ FURLONGS - • GII SANTA MARGARITA AMONG 3 STAKES NEXT WEEK AT SANTA ANITA
WINDOW SHOPPING EYES THE TURF AFTER GII SUMMERTIME WIN
Window Shopping was enjoying a relaxing Sunday morning for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella after earning her first stakes win in Saturday’s GII Summertime Oaks.
Owned by Perry and Ramona Bass, Window Shopping was a decisive 1 ¾-length winner of the Summertime under a patient ride from jockey Hector Berrios. She returned $9.00 as the 7-2 third choice in a seven-horse field. The winning time was 1:45.01 for 1 1/16 miles.
At about 8 a.m. this morning, Mandella reported Window Shopping “isn’t out of bed yet” but that all appeared well.
By Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Window Shopping has now won two of four starts and earned $208,700. She debuted on turf last November at Del Mar and was sixth. Given the remainder of the year off, Window Shopping resurfaced in a one-mile maiden race here March 17 that was taken off the turf and moved to the main track. She romped by 16 ½ lengths.
Last out in the GII Santa Anita Oaks April 8, Window Shopping had a troubled trip under Berrios and finished third.
Mandella exuded confidence in Window Shopping ahead of the Summertime and she did not disappoint.
“He rode her really well and she ran really well,” Mandella said.
Next up will likely be a return to the turf for Window Shopping. With limited opportunities at Del Mar for 3-year-old fillies on dirt, Mandella said she would likely be pointed to the GI Del Mar Oaks going 1 1/8 miles on grass Aug. 19.
TAIBA WILL BYPASS SATURDAY’S GI METROPOLITAN HANDICAP AT BELMONT PARK
Trainer Bob Baffert told Belmont Park publicity Sunday that multiple Grade I winner Taiba would not run in Saturday’s Grade I Metropolitan Handicap as had been planned. On Saturday, Taiba had his second consecutive seven-furlong work at Santa Anita, which was completed in 1:27.40.
“I’m going to wait and run him at Del Mar,” Baffert said. “He’s doing well, but not well enough for the Met Mile. To run in the Met Mile, you have to bring your ‘A’ game. I don’t think he’s quite there yet.
Taiba has not started since an eighth-place finish as the favorite in the GI Saudi Cup Feb. 25 in Riyadh. The 4-year-old Gun Runner colt has worked six times since April 22.
Owned by Zedan Racing, Taiba has a record of 4-1-1 in eight starts with $2,356,200 in earnings. Last year, his wins included the GI Santa Anita Derby, GI Pennsylvania Derby and GI Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita.
JOCKEY JOSE VALDIVIA JR. ‘ON CLOUD NINE’ AFTER WIN NO. 2,000
Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. reached a career milestone on Saturday when winning his 2,000th race aboard Mitico for trainer Paula Capestro.
Valdivia and Mitico were dispatched as the 2-1 second choice in Saturday’s sixth race, a six-furlong dirt sprint for $20,000 claimers who have not won three races. Valdivia and Mitico pressed the pace in third before surging to the front at the top of the stretch and kicking clear to win by 2 ¼ lengths.
Valdivia, a 49-year-old native of Peru, was beaming in the winner’s circle after the race.
“I’m on cloud nine,” Valdivia said before thanking his wife and family. He also noted his long relationship with Capestro, who he has ridden for since an apprentice.
“She has been riding me since I had the bug. I’m so happy she made it out here and I’m wearing her colors,” Valdivia said.
Valdivia won his first race at Belmont Park on July 10, 1994. In the second half of the last decade, Valdivia was the dominant force at Arlington Park near Chicago. He won four straight riding titles there from 2016-19.
The most notable of Valdivia’s 2,000 wins were the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Mile aboard Santa Anita-based Val Royal for trainer Julio Canani and the 2011 Belmont Stakes with Ruler On Ice for trainer Kelly Breen.
Following his run of success at Arlington Park, Valdivia began riding regularly again at Santa Anita during the 2019-2020 winter-spring season. His win Saturday was his third from 23 mounts at the Hollywood Meet.
“Belmont Park is where I started riding and I had some of my bigger wins, but I have always considered Santa Anita home,” said Valdivia, who is the nephew of recently inducted Hall of Fame jockey Fernando Toro. “I don’t think there’s a more majestic racetrack in the world than this. It is extra special.”
ARABIAN LION, SLOW DOWN ANDY WORK FOR BELMONT PARK GI’S
Arabian Lion and Slow Down Andy, both slated to start in Grade Is at Belmont Stakes undercard this Saturday, were among 226 workers at Santa Anita Sunday morning.
Arabian Lion, who is ticketed for the GI Woody Stephens going seven furlongs, drilled four furlongs in 49.40 seconds for trainer Bob Baffert. The 3-year-old Justify colt is exiting a front-running, four-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico May 20.
Slow Down Andy is slated to run in the GI, $1 million Metropolitan Handicap for trainer Doug O’Neill. The 4-year-old Nyquist colt worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.80. Slow Down Andy hasn’t started since running third in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland on Nov. 5.
Also working for Baffert Sunday was the unbeaten 3-year-old Arabian Knight, Fort Bragg and multiple graded stakes winner Adare Manor.
Arabian Knight, off since winning the GIII Southwest at Oaklawn Park Jan. 28, worked four furlongs in 52.80 seconds. It was the Uncle Mo colt’s second work since being freshened.
Adare Manor, winner of the GII Santa Maria here April 29, worked five furlongs in a bullet 59.40 seconds. The 4-year-old Uncle Mo filly is expected to run in this Saturday’s GII Santa Margarita going 1 1/8 miles.
Fort Bragg, most recently second in the GII Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs May 6, drilled four furlongs in 48.20 seconds.
Other notable workers Sunday included Grade I winner American Theorem (5f, 1:01.60) for trainer George Papaprodromou and graded stakes winners Offlee Naughty (5f, 1:04.40) and Duvet Day (5f, 1:02.20) for trainer Michael McCarthy.
FINISH LINES: Mucho Del Oro set a course record for 6 ½ furlongs on turf when winning Saturday’s third race in 1:13.70 for trainer Vladimir Cerin. In for a $50,000 tag, Mucho Del Oro was claimed out of the race by trainer Doug O’Neill…Cerin and trainer George Papaprodromou each had a pair of wins on Saturday’s nine-race card…Jockeys Ramon Vazquez and Hector Berrios also bagged a pair of winners Saturday…Next week Santa Anita will host the GII Santa Margarita and GIII Honeymoon on Saturday and the Cinema Stakes for 3-year-old on turf Sunday…Closing day of the Santa Anita Hollywood Meet is June 18…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 ride, carnival games and more…FanDuel TV’s Andie Biancone will be host Tom Quigley’s handicapping guest Sunday on the Santa Anita simulcast feed starting at 11:50.