(White Abarrio / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
From the Santa Anita Media Team:
THURSDAY MAKEUP CARD BEGINS 5-DAY WEEK AT SANTA ANITA
Santa Anita will host five straight days of live racing beginning Thursday and concluding with a special Presidents’ Day card on Monday.
Thursday’s card was added as a makeup for recent cancellations due to inclement weather. There are nine races scheduled with first post at 12:30 p.m. PT.
Next week’s stakes slate starts with Saturday’s Baffle Stakes for 3-year-olds on the hillside turf course. Nominees include stakes winners Stay Hot for trainer Peter Eurton and Lord Bullingdon for Michael McCarthy.
The features on Sunday and Monday are both for California-breds. On Sunday, older filly and mare statebreds will be in the spotlight in the Spring Fever Stakes at six furlongs on dirt. Nominees include Daddysruby for Peter Miller and Big Pond for Tim Yakteen. In their most recent starts, Daddysruby edged Big Pond by a nose in the GI La Brea going seven furlongs here Dec. 26.
The Presidents’ Day feature is the Tiznow Stakes for older statebreds at a mile on dirt. Looming a standout in the Tiznow is star Cal-bred The Chosen Vron for trainer Eric Kruljac. The Chosen Vron, whose career record is 15-for-20 with $1,239,678 in earnings, exits a dominant win in the California Cup Sprint going six furlongs here Jan. 13. On Presidents’ Day, on-track fans will receive $1 beers and sodas and $2 hot dogs.
WHITE ABARRIO, NATIONAL TREASURE LEAVE FOR SAUDI CUP TUESDAY
Set to depart Santa Anita for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Tuesday are White Abarrio and National Treasure, who are each slated to run in the $20 million Saudi Cup on Feb. 24.
According to Santa Anita Stable Superintendent Jeff Metz, Forbidden Kingdom for trainer Richard Mandella is also expected to make the trip for a race on the Saudi Cup undercard. Mandella-trained Planetario is also possible to go following his runner-up finish in Saturday’s GIII San Marcos, Metz said.
The Saudi-bound contingent is scheduled to report to a “holding barn” at Santa Anita at 4:30 p.m. PT Monday and leave for Los Angeles International Airport at 4 a.m. the following morning. The group will first fly to Miami via Mersant International. There they will be joined by a group of Eastern-based horses for the13-hour trip to Riyadh.
White Abarrio will be making his first start since winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic here Nov. 4 for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. National Treasure will be making a relatively quick turnaround in the Saudi Cup for Bob Baffert. Last year’s Preakness winner won the GI Pegasus World Cup Jan. 27 at Gulfstream Park. The Quality Road colt had his first work since the Pegasus on Saturday at Santa Anita, going five furlongs in 1:01.60.
PRAT, HERNANDEZ EACH WIN TWO SATURDAY; REMAIN TIED IN JOCKEY’S RACE
There remained no separation in the race for the Classic Meet’s top rider after Flavien Prat and Juan Hernandez each won a pair of races Saturday.
Following their two-win days, Prat and Hernandez enter Sunday’s card tied atop the jockey’s standings with 25 wins each. Prat’s wins Saturday came in the GIII Palos Verdes by a nose aboard Big City Lights ($2.80) for trainer Richard Mandella and the seventh race on Enjoy It Strait ($10) by a head for trainer Mark Glatt.
Prat’s victory aboard Big City Lights was his ninth stakes tally at the Classic Meet to lead all riders.
Hernandez won Saturday’s opener on Thirty Carats ($20.40) for trainer David Hofmans and the GII Las Virgenes with Kinza ($4) for Bob Baffert.
On Sunday’s nine-race card, Prat has five mounts booked including Julias Dream (4-1) in the featured Sweet Life Stakes for trainer Michael McCarthy. Hernandez is set to ride six races including the Sweet Life aboard Elegant (6-1) for Bob Baffert.
SLOW DOWN ANDY, COACH PRIME AMONG SUNDAY WORKERS
Grade I winner Slow Down Andy and Coach Prime, who was scratched from last weekend’s GIII Robert B. Lewis, topped a heavy work tab Sunday at Santa Anita.
Slow Down Andy, sidelined since winning the GI Awesome Again here Sept. 30, had his fifth work on the comeback trail for trainer Doug O’Neill. The 5-year-old Nyquist full horse went five furlongs in 1:00.20, which was the second-fastest of 64 moves at the distance.
Coach Prime worked four furlongs in 48.60 seconds for trainer Bob Baffert. The 3-year-old maiden winner by Quality Road was last seen finishing third as the odds-on favorite in GII Los Alamitos Futurity Dec. 16.
Working towards a potential start in next Sunday’s six-furlong Spring Fever Stakes for California-breds was Big Pond for trainer Tim Yakteen. Most recently second by a nose in the GI La Brea here Dec. 26, the 4-year-old Mr. Big filly earned the bullet for five furlongs when completing her move in 59.60 seconds.
Saturday’s $1 Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 paid $9,438 to 16 winning tickets…Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella won his sixth stakes of the Classic Meet Saturday with Big City Lights in the GIII Palos Verdes, which moves him into a tie with Phil D’Amato for most stakes wins at the stand…Saturday’s $1 Pick Six at Santa Anita paid $1,291.60…Nominations close Thursday for the GIII Santa Ana Stakes to be run on Feb. 24 and Wishing Well Stakes scheduled for Feb. 25…Every Friday during the Classic Meet on-track fans will receive free parking and admission plus $3 beers and $ margaritas.