Santa Anita Stable Notes Thursday, April 6, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN
THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 2023
- SA DERBY: YAKTEEN PAIR GALLOP; MANDARIN HERO GATE SCHOOLS - KIRSTENBOSCH TESTS THE HILL IN GIII MONROVIA ON SUNDAY - CLASSY TOM’S REGRET RETURNS IN SATURDAY’S EVENING JEWEL - ‘PETROS & MONEY’ RADIO REMOTE SET FOR FRIDAY - MANDATORY RAINBOW 6 PAYOUT THIS SATURDAY __- EXAULTED EYES GI SHOEMAKER MILE AFTER GIII AMERICAN WIN __
YAKTEEN PAIR GALLOP FOR GI RUNHAPPY SANTA ANITA DERBY; MANDARIN HERO VISITS GATE In 85 previous runnings of the Grade I Runhappy Santa Anita Derby, which dates to 1935, only seven trainers have managed to win the race back-to-back years. On Saturday, Tim Yakteen will try and become the eighth trainer to accomplish the feat when he saddles top contenders Practical Move and National Treasure.
Practical Move, the 8-5 favorite on the morning line, and National Treasure each galloped one circuit around the Santa Anita main track Thursday morning. Practical Move will be seeking his third-straight win in the 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby following previous tallies in the Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 17 and the Grade II San Felipe here March. Jockey Ramon Vazquez, who was aboard for both victories, again has the call on Saturday.
National Treasure is the 3-1 co-second choice on the morning line along with Geaux Rocket Ride, who was second in the San Felipe behind Practical Move. National Treasure was the morning-line favorite in the San Felipe, but had to be scratched because of a bruised foot.
Since the setback, National Treasure has worked four times with three of those drills being stiff six-furlong moves. On Sunday, the Quality Road colt worked six furlongs in 1:12.60.
National Treasure has not started since finishing third in the Grade III Sham going a mile here on Jan. 8. That’s also his only start since running third in last November’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland behind champion Forte and Cave Rock. Both starts were for previous trainer Bob Baffert.
Yakteen is optimistic National Treasure is ready to fire on Saturday.
“We’ll find out, but I’m happy with the way he’s doing. He’s worked well and we’re ready to go. Hopefully no more surprises,” Yakteen said.
Last year, Yakteen won his first Santa Anita Derby with Baffert transfer Taiba.
“When you run horses, they are all your horses. It gives you the same feeling,” Yakteen noted of last year’s Santa Anita Derby win.
Baffert, who has a record nine Santa Anita Derby wins, is the most recent trainer to win consecutive editions. He is also the only person do it twice. Baffert won back-to-back Santa Anita Derby’s in 2018 with Justify and 2019 with Roadster. He also did it in 1998 and 1999 with Indian Charlie and General Challenge, respectively.
The only trainer to win three straight Santa Anita Derby’s is Jeff Mullins. His did so in 2003-2005 with Buddy Gil, Castledale and Buzzards Bay, respectively.
Other trainers to win back-to-back Santa Anita Derby’s are Doug O’Neill (2012, I’ll Have Another; 2013, Goldencents); D. Wayne Lukas (1982, Muttering; 1993, Marfa); Robert L. Wheeler (1959, Silver Spoon; 1960, Tompion); M.A. “Mesh” Tenney (1955, Swaps; 1956, Terrang); and Horace A. “Jimmy” Jones (1952, Hill Gail; 1953, Chanlea).
Also on Thursday, Japanese import Mandarin Hero galloped under jockey Kazushi Kimura and schooled in the gate located in Santa Anita’s quarter mile chute. The Shanghai Bobby colt toured one lap around the main track before visiting the schooling gate. As the connections noted, in Japan, horses are not joined by an assistant starter in the starting gate. As such, Mandarin Hero had an assistant starter join him in the stall to get a feel for the North American custom. He stood there quietly before popping the gate and running about a quarter mile.
Mandarin Hero is the first horse from Japan to compete in the Santa Anita Derby. On Monday, he worked four furlongs under Kimura in 53.60 seconds.
Additionally on Thursday, Geaux Rocket Ride schooled in the paddock for trainer Richard Mandella.
Post time for the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. The race will be broadcast live by NBC Sports on NBC and its Peacock streaming service starting at 1 p.m. PT. Also on the broadcast will be the GI Blue Grass from Keeneland.
The field in post position order: I Don’t Get It, Mario Gutierrez (20-1); Dazzlemesilver, Kent Desormeaux (50-1); Geaux Rocket Ride, Flavien Prat (3-1); One in Vermillion, Hector Berrios (50-1); Practical Move, Ramon Vazquez (8-5); National Treasure, John Velazquez (3-1); Skinner, Victor Espinoza (4-1); Mandarin Hero, Kazushi Kimura (8-1); Low Expectations, Umberto Rispoli (30-1).
GIII LA CANADA WINNER KIRSTENBOSCH TESTS THE HILL IN GIII MONROVIA In what trainer John Sadler acknowledged is an “unconventional” move, Kirstenbosch – a graded stakes winner on dirt – will test Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in Saturday’s Grade III Monrovia for older fillies and mares.
Kirstenbosch broke her maiden here last April going 1 1/8 miles on turf and made two other starts on the sod in 2022. But since then, the 4-year-old Midnight Lute filly has raced exclusively in dirt stakes. Her most recent outings include a third in the Zia Park Oaks last November, a third in the Grade I La Brea going seven furlongs here Dec. 26, a win in the Grade III La Canada at 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 15 and a fifth in the Grade I Beholder Mile March 1.
Sadler noted entering Kirstenbosch in the Monrovia is largely a pedigree play. Her dam, Llandudno, won and was stakes-placed on Santa Anita’s hillside turf course. Llandudno’s two other foals have also done their best work in turf sprints.
“It looks a little unconventional shortening up coming off the Beholder Mile and running turf, but I trained the whole family and they loved it. This horse has shown she’s versatile, but mostly it’s about the family.”
Sadler added the Monrovia will also serve as a bridge to the Grade II Santa Maria at 1 1/16-miles on the main track on April 29.
“It’s long spacing between the Beholder Mile and Santa Maria, so we thought the hill might be worth trying here. She should be a good price,” Sadler noted. “We’ll see how it goes and then she’ll come back in the Santa Maria.”
Kirstenbosch, who is 15-1 on the morning line, is a homebred for Keith Abrahams. She has a record of 3-3-1 in 11 starts with earnings of $344,480.
The Monrovia goes as the 10th race on Saturday with an approximate post time of 4:53 p.m. The field in post position order: Elm Drive, Ramon Vazquez (15-1); Awake At Midnyte, Mario Gutierrez (15-1); Canoodling, Juan Hernandez (5-1); Tom’s Beauty, Hector Berrios (12-1); Stella Noir, Kent Desormeaux (15-1); Kirstenbosch, Kazushi Kimura (15-1); One Silk Stocking, John Velazquez (10-1); Amy C, Umberto Rispoli (7-2); Big Summer, Joe Bravo (5-1); Leggs Galore, Ricardo Gonzalez (4-1); Freedom Flyer, Frankie Dettori (6-1).
TOM’S REGRET RETUNS TO STAKES ACTION IN SATURDAY’S EVENING JEWEL Tom’s Regret made national headlines last year when she shipped to Churchill Downs from Santa Anita and promptly took down the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes on the Kentucky Derby undercard May 5 for trainer Jorge Periban.
Following a lengthy layoff and an allowance prep on March 12 at Golden Gate, Tom’s Regret makes her long-awaited return to the stakes ranks for new trainer Steve Miyadi in Saturday’s $150,000 Evening Jewel Stakes for statebreds going 6 ½ furlongs.
Tom’s Regret followed her win in last year’s Kentucky Juvenile with a runner-up in the June 18 Fasig-Tipton Debutante at Santa Anita. It was her final start of the year.
“She just needed time to grow up,” Miyadi said.
Tom’s Regret returned to the work tab at Santa Anita in mid-January. She was then sent to Golden Gate on March 12 for a 5 ½-furlong classified allowance against older on the Tapeta track. In her comeback, she dueled on the lead before tiring to finish third, beaten 2 ½ lengths. The winner of that race, Always Seeking, has since come back to win.
“That was a tough gang, believe me,” Miyadi said.
Tom’s Regret has worked twice since her comeback outing. Miyadi noted she seems to have moved forward off that effort.
“I have her in a stakes, so that should be pretty self-explanatory,” Miyadi added.
Tom’s Regret will be ridden by Abel Cedillo for the first time. She is the 8-5 second choice on the morning line behind 6-5 favorite Ceiling Crusher for trainer Doug O’Neill.
The Evening Jewel goes as Saturday’s second races with a scheduled post time of 12:31. The field in post position order: Absolutely Zero, Mario Gutierrez (3-1); Cholly, Frankie Dettori (6-1); Lov U Mean it, Kyle Frey (20-1); Tom’s Regret, Abel Cedillo (8-5); Ceiling Crusher, Juan Hernandez (6-5).
MANDATORY RAINBOW 6 PAYOUT ON SATURDAY There will be a mandatory payout in Saturday’s Santa Anita’s 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot, with the likelihood of a $3 million-plus pool on Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Day. The sequence starts with the seventh race, the Echo Eddie Stakes, at approximately 3:20 p.m. PT.
Saturday’s Rainbow Six begins with race seven and has an average field size of 10 starters per race before scratches. Entering Friday’s card there is a $362,840.63 carryover in the jackpot pool.
First post for Saturday’s 12-race card is at 12 noon. Admission gates at 10 a.m.
TOP RATED ‘PETROS & MONEY’ SET FOR FRIDAY RADIO REMOTE BROADCAST “Petros & Money,” the top-rated sports talk radio show in LA, comes to Santa Anita via a live remote broadcast this Friday, April 7. Familiar to millions on AM 570 KLAC, Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., the wacky pair will operate from the Grandstand apron on Friday, adjacent to the Runhappy Winner’s Circle.
Hosted by former USC tailback and current Fox Sports college football analyst Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith, who is also the radio voice of the LA Chargers and a regular on NFL Network, Petros & Money have long supported horse racing in Southern California and will no doubt spend considerable time Friday talking about and interviewing principals in, the Grade I, $750,000 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, April 8.
Produced by Tim Cates, Petros & Money has been a staple on KLAC radio since January of 2007 and provides listeners with a completely irreverent but wholly credible take on the world of sports and much more.
Joined regularly by longtime LA broadcast personality Vic “The Brick” Jacobs, Petros & Money often embraces the spiritual poetry of the Orient, replete with Vic’s daily dose of sensual haiku.
Fans are reminded that in addition to Petros & Money, admission and parking are free on Friday, along with $3 beers and $5 margaritas.
Entries will be taken for Friday tomorrow with first post time at 1 p.m. --Mike Willman
FINISH LINES: Exaulted will target the Grade I Shoemaker Mile on May 21 after earning his third straight win in last Sunday’s Grade III American Stakes, trainer Peter Eurton said Thursday…On Friday, on-track patrons will receive free admission and parking, $3 beers and $5 margaritas…Santa Anita Simulcast host Michelle Yu has been confirmed as one several guests on the Petros & Money Show, live from Santa Anita on Friday…The Santa Anita Classic Meet ends on Sunday. Racing will resume with the Hollywood Meet beginning on April 21 …Early arriving fans on Saturday are advised Baldwin Ave. will be closed between the 210 Freeway and Huntington Drive from approximately 7:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. to accommodate the Santa Anita Derby Day 5K...On Sunday, the Santa Anita Infield will play host the largest Easter Egg hunt in the San Gabriel Valley as part of the holiday celebration.