(Trainer Bob Baffert / Photo by Gene McLean)
From the Santa Anita Media Team:
Speed Pass, one of three Bob Baffert nominees of the 10 overall in Saturday’s G2 Palos Verdes Stakes, is the likeliest of the trio to enter.
An impressive winner of his only two races, both at Los Alamitos, the four-year-old gelded son of Bodemeister unleashed an inside rally to defeat five rivals by nearly two lengths in his debut race last Sept. 20, then returned Dec. 7 to draw off by seven against six foes, each time under apprentice J.C. Diaz Jr. and each time at six furlongs.
“This is a step up, but he’s a nice horse,” Baffert said. “If he runs well here, I might take him to the Middle East.”
The $2.8 million Golden Shaheen at six furlongs will be run in Dubai on March 28.
HONOR A.P., HARD NOT TO LOVE WORK FOR SHIRREFFS
Impressive maiden winner Honor A.P. had his first work this morning since missing the Jan. 4 Sham Stakes with a minor injury to his right front foot, going three furlongs in 39.20 for John Shirreffs.
“It was a very good work and he galloped out strong,” the trainer said of the Triple Crown hopeful, who had former jockey Carlos Lopez in the saddle. As to a race he might be considering, Shirreffs said, “We’ll wait and see.”
Shirreffs also sent Grade I American Oaks winner Hard Not to Love five furlongs in 1:01 with Mike Smith aboard. The one-eyed filly is slated to make her next start in the Grade II Santa Monica Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 15.
Midcourt, third in the San Antonio Stakes on Dec. 28, is ticketed for the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes on Feb. 1, Shirreffs said.
Also likely for the steppingstone to the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 7 are Roadster (Joel Rosario) for Bob Baffert and Restrainedvengence (Abel Cedillo) for trainer Val Brinkerhoff. Roadster worked five furlongs this morning in 1:01.40.
(Trainer Peter Eurton / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)
EURTON EYES ECLIPSE AWARD FOR STORM THE COURT
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Storm the Court, a finalist for an Eclipse Award as outstanding two-year-old male of 2019, worked five furlongs Sunday in 1:00.30 under regular rider Flavien Prat as he prepares for his three-year-old debut in the Grade II San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 9.
“A couple more works will tighten the screws up a little bit,” trainer Peter Eurton said this morning. “I’ve got pictures of Flavien pulling up with a smile on his face. He’s very pleased and that makes me happy.”
Eurton heads to Florida Wednesday morning to attend the 49th annual Eclipse Awards Dinner at Gulfstream Park in anticipation of Storm the Court being honored.
SIMULCAST WAGERING NOW OFFERED IN SANTA ANITA SPORTS BOOK
In addition to the Grandstand Paddock Room, Santa Anita is now offering free parking and admission on Wednesdays and Thursdays for fans attending its Sports Book, which adjoins the Turf Terrace on the Mezzanine level. State of the art in every respect, the Santa Anita Sports Book features wall-to-wall flat screen television monitors and plenty of betting windows. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com.
FINISH LINES: Trainer Peter Eurton said nine-year-old Ashleyluvssugar came out well from his fourth-place finish in the Unusual Heat Turf Classic and “there’s a good possibility he’ll run again.” . . . Venetian Harbor, a daughter of Munnings who broke her maiden by 10 ¾ lengths on Dec. 29, is being considered for the Grade II Las Virgenes Stakes at one mile on Feb. 8, trainer Richard Baltas said . . . Brian Koriner won three races Sunday, including the Grade III Astra Stakes with Ms Peintour, deftly ridden by Brice Blanc, but it’s old hat for the 56-year-old trainer. “I’ve won three up north and three at Del Mar, but I’ve never won four in one day,” Koriner said. Something to aim for . . . Santa Anita’s crack stats man Jason Hom has favorites winning at 38.89 percent through 12 days of the Winter Meet (42 of 108), increasing to 42.11 on dirt (24 of 57) and dipping to 35.29 on turf (18 of 51). Odds-on favorites are winning at 43.48 percent (10 of 23), while favorites are finishing in the money 77.78 percent of the time (84 of 108) . . . TGIF: Santa Anita offers $2 beer and $6 specialty cocktails each Friday at designated locations throughout the track. Specialty cocktails include a Baldwin Buck, Margarita and other selected cocktails. There is also free Club House (including Santa Anita’s Sports Book) and General Admission each Friday . . . Santa Anita will be dark for live racing Tuesday, Jan. 21, through Thursday, Jan. 23. Live action resumes at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24. There will be simulcast wagering Wednesday and Thursday starting at 10 a.m. in the Grandstand Paddock Room and the Sports Book on the Mezzanine level, with free General Admission and parking.