Santa Anita Stable Notes Sunday, May 28, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN
SUNDAY, MAY 28, 2023
- __• D’AMATO SHOOTS FOR MULTIPLE GRADE I’S ON MEMORIAL DAY __
- • 2-YEAR-OLD BECKY’S DREAM SERVES NOTICE FOR PALMA
- • PEREIRA RIDES 4 WINNERS ON SATURDAY’S 9-RACE CARD
- • BAFFERT UNVEILS HIGH-PRICED BLOODSTOCK MONDAY
- • PRAT, SAEZ, KIMURA IN TOWN MONDAY TO RIDE MEMORIAL DAY GRADE I’S
- • RAINBOW 6 MANDATORY PAYOUT SET FOR MEMORIAL DAY
D’AMATO SHOOTS FOR MULTIPLE GRADE I’S ON MEMORIAL DAY
Trainer Phil D’Amato is the dominant force in California turf racing and as such, he will have multiple live shots in Sunday’s two Grade I grass races.
In the GI Shoemaker Mile, D’Amato has three of the 11 starters including Hong Kong Harry, 7-2 morning-line favorite. D’Amato’s other Shoemaker starters are Gold Phoenix (4-1) and Balnikhov (5-1), both multiple graded-stakes winners.
Two races earlier in the GI Gamely at 1 1/8 miles on turf, D’Amato will saddle recent GIII Wilshire winner Macadamia.
“Hopefully we can have a nice day,” said D’Amato, who leads all trainers at the current Hollywood Meet in both total wins and stakes wins.
Hong Kong Harry will be wheeling back 23 days after a trip to Churchill Downs where he ran second in the GI Turf Classic on the Kentucky Derby undercard May 6. The 6-year-old Irish-bred gelding by Es Que Love will break from post two under top rider Flavien Prat.
Hong Kong Harry has worked once since the Turf Classic, a four-furlong move in 48.60 seconds here this past Monday.
“Ideally you’d like to have an extra week or two,” D’Amato said of the relatively quick turnaround. “But he came out of the race in good shape and he had a nice little drill for us. This is a distance he seems to excel at.”
Prior to the Turf Classic, Hong Kong Harry was fourth in the GI Frank E. Kilroe Mile here behind winner Gold Phoenix, Du Jour and Cabo Spirit, all of whom return in the Shoemaker.
Gold Phoenix followed his win in the Kilroe with a fourth-place finish as the favorite in the GII Charles S. Whittingham here on April 8. The 5-year-old Irish-bred gelding by Belardo will have Kazushi Kimura in the irons, who was also aboard in both the Kilroe and Whittingham.
As for Gold Phoenix disappointing as the favorite in the Whittingham, D’Amato noted his horse was compromised when a rival slipped and fell at the top of the stretch. The chart notes he was “floated, bumped into the stretch.
“That day the turf was a little funky,” D’Amato said. “Everyone was slipping and sliding. I give him the benefit of the doubt. He got bumped at the top of the lane when that horse slipped and it took a while to get back into gear.
“But he’s come back to train well and I’m expecting a big effort.”
Balnikhov never threatened when seventh in the Kilroe, but came back in the GIII San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate April 29 and finished with a flourish to win by a nose. Umberto Rispoli, who was aboard for both the Kilroe and San Francisco Mile, again has the call on Monday.
“In the Kilroe we had him up close to the pace and he doesn’t like that,” D’Amato said. “He likes to just come up with his big late run. In the San Francisco Mile we just anchored him and he came with his run. We’re going to do the same thing this time. Whether it’s a slow pace or fast pace, he’s going to be sitting back and come with his run.”
In the Gamely for fillies and mare, Macadamia will try and continue her ascent in the California female turf division. Macadamia cleared her second-level allowance condition here Feb. 3 and came back to be beaten just a half-length in the GII Buena Vista before winning the Wilshire, both of which were at a mile.
Macadamia is a 5-year-old Brazilian-bred mare by Hat Trick. The hot-riding Tiago Pereira will be aboard for the fourth time on Monday.
“She’s a Southern Hemisphere horse and I think it took her a little bit longer to acclimate, to mature and be able to compete in her division. I think that’s where the progression has come,” D’Amato said. “But I also give a lot of credit to Tiago Pereira. I think he’s helped in developing her. He breezes her every week and has really gotten the most out of her.”
The Shoemaker Mile goes as the seventh race on Monday’s 10-race card. Post time is scheduled for 4:13 p.m. The Gamely goes as the fifth race at approximately 3:12 p.m.
2-YEAR-OLD BECKY’S DREAM SERVES NOTICE FOR PALMA
Word was out on the 2-year-old filly Becky’s Dream ahead of her unveiling Saturday. The daughter of City of Light did not disappoint.
Bet down to the 7-5 favorite, Becky’s Dream pressed the early pace under Tiago Pereira before taking over at the quarter pole and drawing off to win by 3 ½ lengths. The final time of 52.32 second for 4 ½ furlongs was the second-fastest clocking of eight 2-year-old races held at the distance this meet.
Trainer Hector Palma reported Becky’s Dream appeared no worse for wear Sunday morning.
Becky’s Dream is out of Corporate Queen, a stakes-placed daughter of Colonel John. She was bred in France by Yeguada Centurion SLU, then sold at last year’s Keeneland September yearling sale for $15,000. Palma, who races under the banner Royalty Stable, purchased Becky’s Dream privately following the sale. Palma did not disclose what he paid for the filly but said the seller made a profit.
“I like the stallion, but don’t have the money to spend big on his horses. I got lucky with this filly,” Palma added.
Becky’s Dream is Palma’s second 2-year-old winner of the meet. Palma has been receiving offers for the filly but said “she’s never going to be sold.” For one reason, Becky’s Dream is named after Palma’s wife of 42 years who he said died two years ago from COVID. Rebecca Palma was 70.
“She was a great woman and loved the horses,” he added.
Next up for Becky’s Dream is a likely start in the Fasig-Tipton Debutante at five furlongs here June 17.
“This is a filly that just does everything right,” Palma said. “You have to be lucky in this game and we have been with her.”
PEREIRA RIDES 4 WINNERS ON SATURDAY’S 9-RACE CARD
Jockey Tiago Pereira had himself a day to remember at Santa Anita Saturday. For just the second time since he began riding in the U.S. in 2014, the 46-year-old native of Brazil rode four winners on Saturday’s nine-race card.
“I’m so happy. It was a great day,” Pereira said Sunday morning after working multiple horses. “I rode five winners in a day a couple times in Brazil and once had four wins in a day here a few years ago. I just try and work hard and let my agent pick the horses. I was on some good ones yesterday.”
Pereira is represented by agent Derek Lawson.
Pereira won the second race with Becky’s Dream ($4.80) for Hector Palma, third race with Classymademoiselle ($4.00) for trainer Jorge Periban, fourth with Took Charge ($6.40) for Periban and the sixth with Katonah ($7.60) for Doug O’Neill.
Periera now has 13 wins at the Hollywood Meet, which is tied for third in the jockey’s standings behind Juan Hernandez (20 wins) and Ramon Vazquez (13).
“I’ve never finished in the top two at a meet in the U.S. That’s what I’m hoping to do,” Pereira said.
On Sunday, Pereira has three mounts. He rides Chismosa (6-1) for Rafael DeLeon in the Melair Stakes, Mi Jitana (15-1) in the sixth race for trainer Ricky Agarie and Stay in the Game (15-1) in the 10th and final for Steve Knapp.
BAFFERT UNVEILS HIGH-PRICED 3-YEAR-OLDS MONDAY
In addition to a trio of Grade Is, Monday’s blockbuster Memorial Day card also includes an intriguing maiden race that includes two high-priced auction buys for trainer Bob Baffert.
In the sixth race, Baffert will saddle Extortion, a $1 million purchase at last year’s Keeneland November Sale, and Truehood, who cost $700,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
Extortion is a colt by top stallion Into Mischief out of the unraced Distorted Humor mare Gaudete. Owned by Gandharvi LLC, Extortion has worked seven times for his debut. He is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line and will have Kazushi Kimura in the irons.
Truehood lured Santa Anita leading rider Juan Hernandez and is the 8-5 favorite on the morning line. He is a colt by Nyquist out of the unraced Bernardini mare Nellavetrina. Truehood is campaigned by Los Alamitos owner Ed Allred and Jack Liebau, a longtime owner-breeder and racing executive.
Truehood has worked nine times since March 5 and has three bullets on the tab, which includes a five-furlong move in 59.00 seconds May 11.
Post time for Monday’s sixth race is scheduled for 3:42 p.m.
RAINBOW 6 MANDATORY PAYOUT IS SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY
As part of a blockbuster Memorial Day program, Santa Anita will have a mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 Jackpot on Monday. Additionally, Santa Anita is guaranteeing a $1 million payout on both Saturday and *Sunday if there is a single-ticket winner.
*In the event there is a $1 million payout to a single ticket winner on Saturday, there is no such guarantee in place for Sunday. The Rainbow 6 is a 20-cent minimum wager. If there are no single-ticket winners on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, track officials estimate Monday’s pool will approach $3 million.
Monday’s Rainbow 6 begins with the fifth race at 3:12 p.m. PT. The sequence averages 9.0 starters per race and includes the GI Shoemaker Mile on turf, GI Hollywood Gold Cup at 1 1/4 miles on the main track and GI Gamely for fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Entering Sunday’s card, the Rainbow 6 carryover stands at $276,345.42.
PRAT, SAEZ, KIMURA IN TOWN MONDAY TO RIDE MEMORIAL DAY GRADE I'S
Three of the top jockeys in North America will be on hand Monday to ride Santa Anita’s blockbuster Memorial Day card highlighted by a trio of Grade I's.
Making their way to Santa Anita will be Luis Saez, who this year ranks second in North America in both wins (119) and purse earnings ($10,092,489); and Flavien Prat, who relocated to Kentucky following the Santa Anita Derby in April and is now based in New York after spending the winter at Santa Anita.
Despite Prat having only about half the mounts as Saez this year, he ranks third in North America in purse earnings with $10,033,162. Prat’s mounts have earned an average of $32,365 per start, which is easily the most among North American jockeys that ride regularly.
Also returning to Santa Anita Monday is Kazushi Kimura. North America’s Eclipse Champion Apprentice Jockey in 2019, Kimura spent the winter here before returning last month to his home base at Woodbine, where he is once again atop the rider standings.
Saez has six mounts at Santa Anita Monday. In the Grade Is, he’ll ride morning-line favorite Queen Goddess (9-5) in the Gamely for trainer Michael McCarthy; Du Jour (6-1) in the Shoemaker Mile for Bob Baffert; and Senor Buscador (5-1) in the Hollywood Gold Cup for Todd Fincher.
Prat has five mounts Monday. His Grade I mounts are School Dance (6-1) in the Gamely for Phil D’Amato; morning-line favorite Hong Kong Harry (7-2) in the Shoemaker Mile for D’Amato; and Country Grammer (8-5) in the Hollywood Gold Cup for Baffert.
Kimura has six mounts Monday. His two Grade I mounts are Gold Phoenix (4-1) in the Shoemaker Mile for D’Amato and longshot Yes This Time (15-1) in the Hollywood Gold Cup for Mark Glatt.
Santa Anita’s Memorial Day card kicks off at 1 p.m. Monday.
FINISH LINES: Trainer Jorge Periban had his first two Hollywood Meet winners on Saturday, with Classymademoiselle ($4.00) in the third race and Took Charge ($6.40) in the fourth race…Skinner, who was scratched from the Kentucky Derby, worked five furlongs in 1:02.20 for trainer John Shirreffs. He is targeting the GIII Affirmed here June 4… Ed Golden, who retired in December after 30 years as Santa Anita’s Stables Notes writer, will be honored after Sunday’s second race in the Runhappy Winner’s Circle… Horseplayer Brett Weiner will be host Tom Quigley’s handicapping guest Monday on the Santa Anita simulcast feed starting at 11:50 a.m …As part of Santa Anita’s special Memorial Day card Monday, on-track fans will receive $1 beers and sodas and $2 hot dogs.