Santa Anita Stable Notes Thursday, June 8, 2023
STABLE NOTES BY VICTOR RYAN
__THURSDAY, JUNE 8, 2023 __
- SANTA ANITA HORSES INVADE THE BIG APPLE FOR BELMONT WEEK - DESERT DAWN LOOKS TO SPRING UPSET IN GII SANTA MARGARITA - INFIELD FAMILY FUN ZONE SET FOR WEEKENDS IN JUNE - FREE PARKING & ADMISSION, DRINK SPECIALS EVERY FRIDAY - HOLLYWOOD MEET SANTA ANITA CLOSES JUNE 18
SANTA ANITA HORSES INVADE THE BIG APPLE FOR BELMONT WEEK
Three weeks after a successful raid of Pimlico on Preakness Stakes Day, Santa Anita-based horses will look to do the same this weekend at Belmont Park.
Invading New York from Southern California are horses trained by Bob Baffert, Doug O’Neill, Mark Glatt, Phil D’Amato, Leonard Powell and Peter Miller. They will all take part in the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, which is highlighted by the 155th Belmont Stakes on Saturday. The festival was set to kick off Thursday, but racing was canceled at Belmont Park Thursday due to poor air quality stemming from wildfires in Canada. The races scheduled for Thursday, which includes the GII Wonder Again and Jersey Girl Stakes, will be moved to Sunday.
As of Thursday afternoon, Belmont Park officials were optimistic racing on Friday and Saturday would go as planned.
In the 1 ½-mile Belmont Stakes, the final jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, Baffert will send out National Treasure. On May 20 at Pimlico, National Treasure won the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico under Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who will again be in the irons on Saturday. The Quality Road colt was Baffert’s record-setting eighth Preakness winner. Seeking to become Baffert’s fourth Belmont winner, National Treasure is listed at 5-1 on the morning line.
Post time for the Belmont is scheduled for 4:02 p.m. PT.
Also on Saturday, Baffert will start both Arabian Lion and Fort Bragg in the GI Woody Stephens going seven furlongs. Arabian Lion most recently was a decisive winner of the 1 1/16-mile Sir Barton on the Preakness undercard. He is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line.
Fort Bragg most recently ran a winning race in the GII Pat Day Mile on the Kentucky Derby undercard May 6 but came up a neck short after dueling throughout. He was beaten by General Jim, who returns in the Woody Stephens and is the 7-2 morning-line favorite for trainer Shug McGaughey.
Also entered in the Woody Stephens Miller’s Arman, a 30-1 longshot on the morning line. The Bolt D’Oro colt was most recently third in the April 29 Bachelor Stakes at Oaklawn.
Post time for the Woody Stephens is scheduled for 12:42 p.m. PT.
O’Neill on Saturday will send out both Slow Down Andy in the GI Metropolitan Handicap at a mile and Anarchist in the GII True North going 6 ½ furlongs.
Two starts back on April 22, Anarchist was beaten just a half-length by Brickyard Ride in the GII Kona Gold at Santa Anita. Most recently, the 4-year-old Distorted Humor colt was sent to Woodbine where on May 14 where he won the GIII Jacques Cartier going six furlongs on synthetic.
Anarchist, 10-1 on the True North morning line, will be ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario. Post time is scheduled for 9:29 a.m. PT.
Slow Down Andy will be making his first start since a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland on Nov. 5. The 4-year-old Nyquist colt, who will be ridden by regular rider Mario Gutierrez, is 10-1 on the Met Mile morning line.
Also entered in the Met Mile is multiple Grade I winner Dr. Schivel for Glatt. Dr. Schivel most recently returned from a 13-month layoff to romp in a classified allowance here going six furlongs on May 13. The 5-year-old Violence horse is 10-1 on the morning-line and will have top rider Irad Ortiz Jr. in the irons.
Also on Saturday Powell will start Air Force Red in the GI Jaipur at six furlongs on turf. Air Force Red most recently beaten a head in the Siren Lure on the hillside turf course here April 23. He is 12-1 on the morning line for the Jaipur. Velazquez will ride.
Post time for the Jaipur is scheduled for 1:19 p.m. PT.
On Friday, D’Amato will start Amy C in the GIII Intercontinental going six furlongs on turf. Amy C in her last two starts won the Senator Ken Maddy here last October and returned Jan. 2 to win the GIII Las Cienegas on the hillside turf course. The 5-year-old English-bred is 5-1 on the morning line and will be ridden by Flavien Prat.
On Preakness day at Pimlico, Santa Anita-based horses won four of the nine stakes races on the card. In addition to the aforementioned National Treasure and Arabian Lion for Baffert, Santa Anita-based stakes winners that day were Straight No Chaser (GIII Maryland Sprint) for trainer Dan Blacker and Beer Can Man (Jim McKay Turf Sprint) for D’Amato.
DESERT DAWN LOOKS TO UPSET THE GII SANTA MARGARITA FOR D’AMATO While the Bob Baffert-trained Adare Manor figures to be an overwhelming favorite in Saturday’s GII Santa Margarita, trainer Phil D’Amato believes Arizona-bred Desert Dawn isn’t without a puncher’s chance in the 1 1/8-mile tilt.
“She always runs a solid race, never seems to throw in a clunker,” D’Amato said Thursday morning. “It’s a short field Saturday and we’re looking for some race shape to help her out.”
Desert Dawn, a 4-year-old Cupid filly, has been a consistent graded-stakes performer since her juvenile season for D’Amato and owner-breeder H and E Ranch. As a 2-year-old, she was third in the GII Chandelier here before finishing off the board in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar.
Last year, Desert Dawn won the GII Santa Anita Oaks before finishing third in the Kentucky Oaks at 50-1. She also finished third last year in the GII Summertime Oaks and second in both the GI Clement L. Hirsch and GIII Torrey Pines.
“A very honest filly,” D’Amato said of the Arizona bred, who has banked $672,525 with a record of 2-2-4 in 13 starts.
Desert Dawn kicked off her 4-year-old campaign with a fourth-place finish in the GI Beholder Mile here March 11. She was subsequently shipped to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby undercard where she was a non-threatening fifth in the GI La Troienne at 1 1/16 miles. D’Amato said her chances in the La Troienne were likely compromised by being too close to the pace.
“She ran very evenly there. We put her up closer and I think that took her late punch away,” D’Amato said. “I don’t think she ran bad, but it was very middle of the road. I’m hoping for a better effort here at Santa Anita.”
Desert Dawn drew the rail and is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line behind Adare Manor, who is installed at 2-5. Umberto Rispoli, who rode Desert Dawn in the La Troienne, will again be in the irons on Saturday.
The Santa Margarita goes as the fourth race on Saturday’s 10-race card. Post time is scheduled for 2:33 p.m. PT. The field in post position order: Desert Dawn, Umberto Rispoli (5-2); Adare Manor, Juan Hernandez (2-5); Smoothlikebuttah, Tiago Pereira (10-1); Tiz a Macho Girl, Kyle Frey (20-1); Kirstenbosch, Hector Berrios (6-1).
FINISH LINES: Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella swept both of last week’s stakes races with Window Shopping in Saturday’s GII Summertime Oaks and Geaux Rocket Ride in Sunday’s Affirmed Stakes… Jockeys Ramon Vazquez and Abel Cedillo each won two races on Sunday’s nine-race card…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…Dylan Donnelly, winner of the 2023 Monmouth Park ‘Pick Your Prize’ handicapping tournament, will be host Tom Quigley’s handicapping guest Friday on the Santa Anita simulcast feed starting at 11:50…Condolences are in order to friends and family of longtime California owner/breeder Nick Cafarchia, who passed away on Monday at age 84. Road to Slew, who earned more than $875,000 and won the Grade I Kilroe Mile in 2001 and Rare Charmer, a Grade II winner who banked more than $540,000, rank among Carfarchia’s top homebreds.