From the Santa Anita Media Team:
ROMAN CENTURIAN WORKS WELL FOR SAN FELIPE
Roman Centurian was beaten 12 ¼ lengths by Life Is Good in his debut race last Nov. 22, but after an impressive maiden win and a bang-up second by a neck to Medina Spirit in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Jan. 30, Simon Callaghan is gearing up the $550,000 son of Empire Maker for another go at Life Is Good in the G2I San Felipe Stakes on March 6.
“He’s a very talented horse and I think the San Felipe will be a very interesting race,” said Callaghan, who conditions Roman Centurian for breeders Don Alberto Corporation, which also owns the colt along with Qatar Racing Limited.
“I think the San Felipe will reveal a lot, but again, Roman Centurian is a very good horse. I’m happy with him and looking forward to the race.”
Juan Hernandez, who rode Roman Centurian in the Lewis, will be back aboard in the San Felipe, Callaghan said.
Hernandez was in the irons today for a five-furlong workout in 1:00.40. “I was very happy,” Callaghan said. “It was a typical breeze for him. He moved good and finished up really well.”
Roman Centurian had an eventful trip in the mile and one-sixteenth Lewis, trailing in the field of six after a half-mile, going five wide into the stretch, and bumping third-place finisher Hot Rod Charlie at the eighth pole.
According to the Equibase chart, Roman Centurian “could not get by the winner,” Medina Spirit, who, like Life Is Good, is trained by Bob Baffert.
“I think he’s always going to have that style of closing,” Callaghan said, “but he definitely covered more ground in the Lewis and was kind of bumped; that didn’t help him.
“It’s five weeks from the Lewis to the San Felipe so we’re going to see some progression in our horse. There’s lots of blue sky ahead of him.”
The San Felipe is a major steppingstone to the Grade I, $750,000 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby on April 3 and offers 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner, 20 to the runner-up, 10 to the third-place finisher and five to the fourth. The race was won last year by Authentic, who would go on to be named Horse of the Year.
Life Is Good is the 7-1 individual favorite in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wagering, while Roman Centurian is listed at 41-1. The mutuel field is favored at 3-1.
Roman Centurian calls Santa Anita home along with fellow Triple Crown hopefuls Life Is Good, Freedom Fighter, Medina Spirit and Concert Tour for Baffert; Dream Shake for Peter Eurton; and Hot Rod Charlie and The Great One for Doug O’Neill.
Also working this morning were Medina Spirit (six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.40); San Vicente winner Concert Tour (four furlongs in 47.20); and Louisiana Derby-bound Hot Rod Charlie and San Felipe contender The Great One (five furlongs in 1:02 and 1:01.20, breezing, respectively).
PRAT MAKES SHORT WORK OF 1,000; EN ROUTE TO 2,000
Flavien Prat wasted little time posting career victory 1,000 in North America yesterday, piloting 3-5 favorite Clockstrikestwelve to a 2 ¼-length win in Santa Anita’s second race.
The 28-year-old Frenchman went on to add three more victories Friday. He now leads Santa Anita’s jockeys with 34 wins, three ahead of runner-up Juan Hernandez, who has 31.
Clockstrikestwelve, trained by Jonathan Wong, rallied from last in a field of six going 6 ½ furlongs on the main track.
“It means a lot, it’s a big achievement,” Prat said following the milestone triumph. “I wasn’t dreaming of that when I came here (from France) . . . and I didn’t think it would happen so quickly. It felt like yesterday that I started riding . . .
“(Looking ahead) I hope to do as good as I have done. I don’t want to be satisfied with what I’ve done; I want to try to improve. I think there’s room for improvement.
“It’s nice, it’s been a lot of support from my family, the trainers and owners, all the connections. It’s something I share with everybody. I’ve been lucky to have been on a lot of good horses . . . They all have a place in my heart.”
FASHIONABLY FAST TO DEFEND TIZNOW TRIUMPH
Fashionably Fast, a durable and consistent son of Lucky Pulpit, returns next Sunday seeking his second straight victory in the $100,000 Tiznow Stakes at one mile.
One in the lucrative Golden State Series for California-bred or sired horses, the Tiznow is for four-year-olds and up.
Bred by John Harris and owned by Harris, Per Antonsen and John Nicoletti, Fashionably Fast returned to the races on Jan. 16 after an absence of more than five months, running third in the California Cup Sprint under regular rider Tiago Pereira, who has ridden the chestnut gelding in18 of his 19 career races, winning seven. Fashionably Fast has earned $508,245.
“He’s doing well,” trainer Dean Pederson said. “He’s had a couple good works the last couple of weeks and we’ll give him a little breeze Monday, but a horse like him, you just put the bridle on him and walk him over.
“Around the barn he’s a pet. He’s quiet and easy to train. He’s had some paddock issues in the past, but it wasn’t too bad when he ran last time, so maybe it’s just a case of him getting a little older and a little smarter.
“Earning a half-million dollars, he doesn’t owe anybody anything. You always want to do well with him, but the pressure’s not as strong as it might be with another horse, because you’re confident he’s going to try his best, and that’s all you can ask. He’s a survivor, and that’s 90 percent of the game, I guess.”
Pederson, who turns 59 on March 6, got his trainer’s license in 1985 at Turf Paradise before moving to the Bay Area in 1993.
“That period for me was kind of like spring training,” he said. “I got all the BS out of my system, so ’93 was when I really started. There’ve been ups and downs, but I love the game and I love the people.”
FINISH LINES: United, working for a possible start in the Grade I Kilroe Mile on March 6, went six furlongs Saturday in 1:12.80 for Richard Mandella, who also could enter Border Town and Royal Ship in the prestigious turf event. The Brazilian-bred Royal Ship worked with United this morning and received a seven-furlong clocking of 1:25.40 . . . Zenyatta Stakes winner Harvest Moon went five furlongs in 1:00.80 for Simon Callaghan. In all there were 158 recorded workouts this morning, 16 on the training track . . . Hurley, a five-year-old Mucho Macho Man mare entered in Sunday’s third race, has been claimed four times from her last five starts, twice by Eddie Truman, her current trainer. The five-year-old old Kentucky-bred bay has compiled a 3-3-1 record from 19 starts with earnings of $83,306…Sorry to report former LA Dodger fireballer and ardent horseplayer Stan Williams passed away this morning at home in Laughlin, NV at age 84 from the effects of cardio-pulmonary illness.