Santa Anita Stable Notes Thursday, April 20, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN
THURSDAY, APRIL 20, 2023
• PARNELLI IS READY TO FIRE IN SATURDAY’S GII CALIFORNIAN • JOCKEY TYLER BAZE IS RETURNING TO SANTA ANITA NEXT MONTH • KORINER HAS HIGH HOPES FOR BOSS SULLY ON THE STRETCHOUT • SLOW DOWN ANDY RETURNS TO WORK AFTER BREEDERS’ CUP RUN • INAUGURAL ‘HOLLYWOOD MEET’ KICKS OFF FRIDAY
PARNELLI IS READY TO FIRE IN SATURDAY’S GII CALIFORNIAN Older horses will get their turn in the spotlight Saturday when a field of six goes postward in the Grade II, $200,000 Californian Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.
The expected favorite, Defunded for trainer Bob Baffert, shortens up in distance and gets class relief following a gallant third in the 1 ¼-mile GI Santa Anita Handicap on March 4. He is the heavy 4-5 favorite Saturday on Jon White’s morning line. Among the new shooters Defunded will have to vanquish is Parnelli, who was entered for the Big Cap but ultimately scratched.
Trained by John Shirreffs, Parnelli has not started since a promising third in the GII San Pasqual here when going 1 1/8 miles on Jan. 28. Shirreffs pulled the plug on Parnelli running back in the Big Cap largely due to interruptions in the training schedule stemming from persistent wet weather this winter at Santa Anita.
“We had all that rain and it was too much for him to go into a race like that not being 100 percent ready,” Shirreffs said Thursday.
In the Big Cap, Defunded dueled on the lead throughout with stablemate Hopper. He finally put away that pace rival in the stretch and was a length clear at the eighth pole. But in the final furlong, a rallying Stilleto Boy would get up to win. Defunded would be beaten three-quarters of a length.
As for Parnelli, he has hit the board in 11 of 17 starts for owner C R K Racing but is still searching for his first graded-stakes win. The 5-year-old full horse by Quality Road made two starts in the graded ranks last year, finishing off the board in both the GII San Diego and GII Native Diver at Del Mar.
Parnelli has worked six times since March 6 for his return. He will have regular rider Victor Espinoza in the irons on Saturday. Shirreffs is hoping for a big effort from his charge.
“The San Pasqual was an encouraging race. He’s been training well and should be ready to go on Saturday,” Shirreffs said.
The Californian goes as the ninth race on Saturday’s 10-race card. Post time is approximately 5 p.m. The field in post position order: Defunded, Juan Hernandez (4-5); Kiss Today Goodbye, Hector Berrios (15-1); Mr. Impossible, Ramon Vazquez (8-1); Midnight Mammoth, Kyle Frey (8-1); Parnelli, Victor Espinoza (4-1); Royal Ship, Mike Smith (3-1).
JOCKEY TYLER BAZE IS RETURNING TO SANTA ANITA NEXT MONTH Jockey Tyler Baze will return to ride full-time at Santa Anita beginning May 12, agent Brandon O’Bryan reported this week.
Baze has spent this past winter and early spring riding at Oaklawn Park. The Oaklawn meet in Hot Springs, Ark. ends May 6.
O’Bryan will once again handle Baze’s book at Santa Anita. They previously worked together at Oaklawn Park in 2020, but the relationship was upended due to COVID when Baze moved his tack to Churchill Downs and agents were not allowed on the grounds, O’Bryan said.
When he returns to Santa Anita, Baze will look to get things back on track following what’s been a lean meet at Oaklawn Park. Entering Friday, Baze had just seven wins from 125 mounts (6 percent) at Oaklawn.
Baze, 40, was North America’s outstanding apprentice jockey in 2000. A longtime stalwart on the Southern California circuit, he has ridden 2,888 winners in his career and banked more than $132 million in purse earnings.
KORINER HAS HIGH HOPES FOR BOSS SULLY ON THE STRETCH-OUT FRIDAY The lone allowance race on Friday’s nine-race card is a first-level event for statebreds going one mile on turf. An intriguing contender in the six-horse field is Boss Sully, who stretches out in distance following a sharp maiden win sprinting on grass here March 18.
Trained by Brian Koriner, Boss Sully debuted in a turf sprint for open maidens here Feb. 11 and was an even fourth. Dropped in with statebred maidens for start No. 2 going 5 ½ furlongs, Boss Sully pressed the pace under Hector Berrios before kicking clear to win comfortably by 3 ½ lengths. He earned a 78 Beyer Speed Figure, which is the highest in the field Friday.
Boss Sully has returned to work three times since graduation day, which includes a stiff six-furlong move in 1:12.40 on April 9. Pedigree suggests Friday’s two-turn test should be to Boss Sully’s liking. He is a 3-year-old colt by Street Boss out of the Candy Ride mare Eternally.
“He’s a very talented horse,” Koriner said Thursday. “We’re really looking forward to stretching him out.”
Boss Sully is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line for Friday’s seventh race. He is owned by Edward Brown, Rusty J. Klein and Alan P. and Philip Lebherz.
The field in post position order: Tom and Jazzy, Geovanni Franco (3-1); Thirsty Pappy, Ramon Vazquez (10-1); Catalina Eddy, Joe Bravo (12-1); Boss Sully, Hector Berrios (5-2); Old Pal, Juan Hernandez (8-5); Star Prospect, Umberto Rispoli (12-1); Upward Mobility, Adrian Escobedo (6-1).
SLOW DOWN ANDY RETURNS TO WORK AFTER BREEDERS’ CUP RUN Slow Down Andy, sidelined since a third in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland Nov. 5, had his first work of the year on Sunday for trainer Doug O’Neill. The Grade II winner drilled three furlongs in 36.6 seconds on a track listed as “fast.”
Slow Down Andy was originally slated to return in the GI Malibu here on Dec 26, but that plan was scrapped when O’Neill was not satisfied with how he had been training. Slow Down Andy was sent to owner Paul and Zilla Reddam’s Ocean Breeze Ranch in early February where he was turned out.
Slow Down Andy has four wins in 10 starts with earnings of $909,100. Last year, he won the GIII Sunland Park Derby on dirt and GII Del Mar Derby on turf. In the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, Slow Down Andy was forwardly placed throughout before crossing the wire third, less than two lengths behind winner Cody’s Wish.
FINISH LINES: Friday marks the start of the inaugural Hollywood Meet at Santa Anita. First post is 1 p.m. The 28-day Hollywood Meet runs through Sunday, June 18…Every Friday on-track fans will receive free admission and parking plus $3 beers and $5 margaritas…There is a Rainbow 6 carryover of $41,977.58 entering Friday’s card…Favorites connected at 36.9 percent clip during the Classic Meet…The revamped Santa Anita website, SantaAnita.com, was nominated for a Webby as “best sports site.”