|James R. Brown|
|February 17 – Turf Paradise|
|All Under Control||Race 7||Allowance Optional Claiming $10,000|
|A. F. Indy||Race 8||Claiming $3,500|
|February 18 – Turf Paradise|
|Donttellmyhusband||Race 1||Claiming $8,500|
|Marchtothemusic||Race 6||Claiming $3,000|
|Oopper Wallah||Race 8||Claiming $3,000|
|February 16 – Turf Paradise|
|February 17 – Turf Paradise|
|Appellant||Race 7||Allowance Optional Claiming $10,000|
|February 16 – Turf Paradise|
|February 16 – Santa Anita|
|February 16 – Turf Paradise|
|February 17 – Turf Paradise|
|Corky’s Luck||Race 6||Starter Optional Claiming $7,500|
|Royal Briar||Race 7||Allowance Optional Claiming $10,000|
|February 18 – Turf Paradise|
|Anstrum||Race 7||Allowance Optional Claiming $20,000|
|February 19 – Turf Paradise|
|Nudiamond||Race 8||Maiden Optional Claiming $30,000|
CLICK ABOVE FOR THE RACE RECAP BY THE BLOODHORSE
By Ryan Martin
Gary Barber’s War of Will had to work a bit harder than he did last couple of times, but nevertheless he once again proved that he was the best when garnering up another victory on the Road to the Kentucky Derby in Saturday evening’s Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes Presented by Lamarque Ford at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Breaking from the far outside thorough post 14, jockey Tyler Gaffalione used the 3-year-old son of War Front a bit coming out of the gate in order to get the right position, was four wide going into the first turn and sat right off of pacesetter Gun It who recorded opening fractions of 23.71 and 43.36. Just inside the three-eighths, War of Will established command and edged clear at the quarter pole. Gaffalione urged War of Will the whole way down to the wire but he was still able to get the job done and won by 2½ lengths in a time of 1:44.59. Country House was a green but a willing second while Roiland close late for third.
Hog Creek Hustle, Limonite, Manny Wah, Mr. Money, Owendale, Chase the Ghost, Henley’s Joy, Dunph, Gun It, Plus Que Parfait and Frolic More rounded out the field.
“The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”
The Risen Star was Gaffalione’s third time aboard War of Will. He piloted the colt for trainer Mark Casse in his five-length maiden special weight victory at Churchill Downs in November as well as the Grade III Lecomte Stakes, which he won by four lengths.
“Mark and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”
The Risen Star Stakes victory gave War of Will 50 qualifying points on Churchill Downs’ Road To The Kentucky Derby. He is now atop the Leaderboard with 60 total points. He earned 10 when he won the Lecomte last month.
“For a big horse, he has tremendous speed,” Casse said. “He had to hit the gas a little to get over so that got him a little riled up. It’s like hitting the gas and trying to hit stop. They’re not as easy to stop as a car. He got him rolling and probably made the lead a little earlier than we would have liked. He’s done this a few times early on. When he gets the lead, he starts wandering. If he keeps winning there will be some big targets for him to chase.”
Casse stated that the Grade II $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby on March 23 would likely be War of Will’s next target.
“As long as he’s happy and healthy that’s where we’ll go and then we’ll talk about it from there,” Casse said. “I think (Fair Grounds) is a wonderful place to get a horse ready for the classics. We have right now four or five Derby horses and our two major Derby horses are here right now. I think a lot of that. I have David Carroll who I have utmost respect for so that’s important for me. Last year we almost won the Kentucky Oaks with Wonder Gadot and she stabled here. It’s a great place, it’s nice and the weather isn’t bad. Horses stay happy and safe here for the most part.”
War of Will was the odds-on favorite at post time and paid $4.00, $3.00 and $2.60 while second-choice Country House returned $6.00 and $4.80. Longshot Roiland brought back $15.20.
Now unbeaten in three starts over the main track, War of Will has earned a total of $491,569 in lifetime earnings having collected $260,000 from winning the Risen Star.
Purchased by Casse’s brother Justin from the Arqana Two-Year-Olds In Training Breeze Up Sale in France last May for $298,550, War of Will is out of the Sadler’s Wells broodmare Visions of Clarity (Ire.) who is a half-sister to 1997 Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Spinning World. Visions of Clarity also produced Pathfork – the winner of the Group 1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at The Curragh in 2010. Other members of his family include Grade I turf winners Good Journey and Denon as well as Aldebaran – a three-time Grade I winner on dirt.
|February 17 – Santa Anita|
|Owning||Wgt-124||Race 4||Starter Optional Claiming $50,000|
|February 18 – Santa Anita|
|Hollywood Square||Wgt-124||Race 2||Claiming $12,500|
|Curlin’s Journey||Wgt-124||Race 3||Maiden Special Weight|
|Whooping Jay||Wgt-120||Race 4||California Cup Derby|
|Lippy||Wgt-124||Race 5||California Cup Oaks|
|Gliding By||Wgt-124||Race 7||Allowance Optional Claiming $62,500|
|February 16 – Santa Anita|
|Miss Boom Boom finished 5th beaten 6 1/2 lengths||Race 2|
|Parsimony finished 2nd beaten 1 1/2 lengths||Race 4|
|Prodigal Son finished 1st by 2 1/2 lengths||Race 5|
|Posit finished 5th beaten 5 1/4 lengths||Race 6|
|Mopotism finished 3rd beaten 2 3/4 lengths||Race 9|
GALILEAN TO FOLLOW IN CHROME’S FOOTSTEPS?
ONE-HORSE TRAINER WINS WITH A MARE HE BRED
PICK 6 JACKPOT CARRYOVER TODAY OF $148,819.50
TOMORROW IS PRESIDENTS’ DAY AND DOLLAR DAY
GALILEAN ON PATH THAT LED TO GLORY FOR ‘CHROME’
California Chrome won the California Cup Derby in 2014 prior to capturing the
Kentucky Derby and Preakness before coming up short in his bid to sweep the Triple Crown.
Galilean takes a similar first step Monday when the California-bred son of Uncle Mo runs in the $200,000 California Cup Derby at a mile and one-sixteenth.
The bay colt trained by Jerry Hollendorfer is coming off a nine-length victory in the King Glorious Stakes at one mile against state-breds on Dec. 16, a race California Chrome also won in 2014 by 6 ¼ lengths. Chrome’s win in the Cal Cup Derby was by 5 ½ lengths.
“Going a mile first time, he went very well,” said Hollendorfer, rarely one to head to the Winner’s Circle before the race is official.
The California Cup Derby will be run as the fourth of nine races Monday with a 12:30 p.m. first post time.
Monday, Presidents’ Day, is Dollar Day. Fans can imbibe on beer and soda for a
buck apiece and feast on hot dogs for $2.
The field for the Cal Cup Derby: Loud Mouth, Joel Rosario, 8-1; Whooping Jay, Mario Gutierrez, 8-1; Irish Heatwave, Kent Desormeaux, 3-1; Galilean, Flavien Prat, 2-5; and Feeling Strong, Tiago Pereira, 12-1.
‘DAVID’ PROVES A GOLIATH WITH ONE-HORSE STABLE
David Randall accomplished a racing rarity Friday. He ran every horse in his barn and won with all of them.
Catch is, the 66-year-old trainer has only one horse, a five-year-old mare he also bred named Kaydetre, who broke her maiden in Friday’s first race, leading throughout the one mile test taken off the turf and run on the main track.
A massive overlay at 6-1 on the morning line, Kaydetre won by three-parts of a length under Brice Blanc and paid $50.40 to win, earning a handsome $33,000 for Randall, who also owns the old gray mare, bred in Kentucky by David and his wife, Vida.
Randall’s nom de course is Ranch Runners Ltd. Inc., named for the horse transportation company he formerly operated. The horse is named for Golden State Warriors’ superstar Kevin Durant (kay-de-tre), formerly of the Oklahoma Thunder.
“We’re big fans,” said Randall, a native of Billings, Montana. “My grandson, Mino Solomon, was in charge of ticket sales for the Oklahoma Thunder and now holds a similar position with the Los Angeles Rams.”
Randall, popular with his peers on the backstretch, got his trainer’s license in 1980 after running his horse transportation business for several years. Congratulations were the order of the day Saturday morning after Kaydetre’s victory.
“I had one horse before Kaydetre, and that was her sister,” Randall pointed out. “I had one horse before that, and it was her mom. I like having one horse to mess with and enjoy. I don’t want all those headaches.
“I had to lay up Kaydetre a couple times because she had some problems, but time is a great friend when you’ve got problems. She gets really game on the front end. That’s where she wants to be and they weren’t going to catch her yesterday.”
Though he’s in his comfort zone with numbers now, Randall’s stable could double at any time. “I have a two-year-old out of Kaydetre’s sister, an Arch mare, and she’s back in foal,” Randall said, “but I’m just taking it one at a time with something I can afford.
“You get horse-poor and it’s not fun then. You get too many bills. I’ve retired from the vanning business so this is enough.
“It’s exciting to win, especially when you’ve bred the horse and bred their mom; it’s a family thing. That’s my joy, breed them and develop them to reach their potential.
“I’ve been doing this a lot of years, just enjoying the life at the race track. We’ll give Kaydetre some time, get her feet back under her and let her keep doing what she does.”
SINGLE TICKET RAINBOW PICK SIX JACKPOT CARRYOVER OF $148,819.50
There is a 20 cent Single Ticket Pick Six Jackpot carryover of $148,819.50 going into Saturday at Santa Anita.
A total of 57 horses were entered on the 10-race card and are eligible to run in Saturday’s Rainbow Six sequence, making for average field size of more than nine runners per race. There were a total of 41 consolation tickets with six winners Friday, each worth $970.75.
TRIPLE CROWN WINNING HALL OF FAMER VICTOR ESPINOZA RETURNS TO THE SADDLE ON MONDAY AT SANTA ANITA FOLLOWING SEVEN MONTH ABSENCE DUE TO BROKEN NECK
SELF PROCLAIMED ‘LUCKIEST MEXICAN ON EARTH’ TO RIDE MAIDEN FILLY FOR SADLER IN FIRST RACE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2019)–After a near seven-month absence, popular Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza, a winner of the 2015 Triple Crown with American Pharoah, will return to the saddle on Monday at Santa Anita, as he’s been named to ride Irish-bred Gallantlystreaming in the first race for Hronis Racing, LLC and trainer John Sadler.
Sidelined due to a fractured vertebra in his neck which was sustained in a morning workout at Del Mar July 22, the road to recovery and return to the saddle has been a long and arduous journey for the 46-year-old Espinoza.
“At first, I thought I was done, I really did,” said Espinoza, who initially lacked feeling in his left arm and required 24-hour assistance with life’s basics, such as shaving, walking and getting in and out of bed. “At that point I was thinking this is it, that my health has to come first and I was thinking about ‘What am I going to do with my life?’ But about three months ago, it kind of happened overnight. I started feeling better and I felt like I could make it back. I’m ready. It’s good for me to know that I’m 100 percent and I can come back now and do my job.
“I don’t really know anything about this filly I’m riding, but she’s dropping in class and hopefully, we can win. I’m excited to get back to my routine and to feel like I have a real job again.”
A winner of three Kentucky Derbies, in 2002 with War Emblem, in 2014 with California Chrome and 2015 with American Pharoah, Espinoza, who declared himself “The luckiest Mexican on earth!” following his 2015 Belmont Stakes win, said that he and his agent, Brian Beach, are making themselves available to horsemen in the mornings here at Santa Anita.
“We want to work as many horses as we can and build our business up,” Espinoza said. “It’s always tough here and you have to work hard and show people you are 100 percent to get their confidence. I feel good and it’s great to be back.”
For his part, Beach is looking forward to sunny skies as he continues to plot Espinoza’s comeback.
“We’ve been wanting to work a lot of horses for different people, but we’ve been a victim of the inclement weather,” he said. “The track has been closed a lot in the morning so it’s really limited us. At this point, I thought it would be better to get him named on a horse.
“John (Sadler) and the Hronis brothers were kind enough to put us on a ‘live’ horse for Monday and we’ll just try to build off of that.”
A 4-year-old filly that’s sprinted on turf in three maiden special weight races, Gallantlystreaming drew the far outside in a field of 10 fillies and mares entered for a maiden $50,000 claiming tag at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf here on Monday.
From milking cows on his family’s farm, to driving a bus in his native Mexico City at age 17, to coming to America in 1990 with little money and no “Ingles,” Victor Espinoza has already overcome steep odds to succeed at racing’s top levels.
Here’s hoping he’ll be flashing his million dollar smile in the Santa Anita Winner’s Circle soon.
MARLEY’S FREEDOM MUCH BEST AS 3-5 FAVORITE IN GRADE II, $200,000 SANTA MONICA STAKES; RIDDEN BY VAN DYKE & TRAINED BY BAFFERT, SHE WINS BY 1 ¼ LENGTHS WHILE GETTING SEVEN FURLONGS OVER A ‘GOOD’ TRACK IN 1:22.34
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2019)–Reserved while an attentive second early to defending champ Selcourt, heavily favored Marley’s Freedom pounced on the leader turning for home and gained the advantage a sixteenth of a mile from home en route to winning Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths under Drayden Van Dyke. Owned by Cicero Farms, LLC and trained by Bob Baffert, Marley’s Freedom, who was geared down late, got seven furlongs over a “good” main track in 1:22.34.
“Bob told me to be sure to warm her up real good and to get her running away from there,” said Van Dyke. “She did and we had a good tactical spot. I was just sitting on her, but I had to get after Selcourt a little early because it looked like she was running pretty easy on the lead.”
(Dating back to a second place finish in last year’s Santa Monica, Van Dyke has now won with four out of his five mounts aboard Marley’s Freedom).
Idle since winning the one turn mile Grade III Go For Wand Handicap with Mike Smith aboard at Aqueduct Dec. 1, Marley’s Freedom was off as the 3-5 favorite in a field of five older fillies and mares and paid $3.40, $2.40 and $2.10.
A winner of four straight races, including three graded stakes, prior to running a close fourth as the 4-5 favorite in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint two starts back on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs, Marley’s Freedom, a 5-year-old mare by Blame, out of the Formal Gold mare Relaxing Green, notched her fifth graded stakes win and has now won six out of her last seven starts. With the winner’s share of $120,000, she now has earnings of $935,935. Originally trained by Bob Hess, Jr., she’s made her last six starts for Baffert and her overall mark now stands at 15-8-2-0.
“I’m proud of her and she always shows up,” said Baffert.
In a gallant effort, Selcourt, a lightly raced 5-year-old mare trained by John Sadler, kept to her task late and was clearly second best on the day, finishing 1 ½ lengths in front of longshot Mopotism. Off at 5-1 with Joe Talamo, Selcourt paid $4.20 and $3.20.
With 3-1 second choice Escape Clause unable to mount a serious rally, Mopotism finished third by 2 ¾ lengths over her Manitoba Canadian-bred rival. Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Mopotism was off at 20-1 and paid $3.80 to show.
Two-time Grade I winner Paradise Woods, idle since July 20, was never a factor and checked in last at 5-1 under Joel Rosario.
Fractions on the race were 22.48, 45.07 and 1:09.77.
HEAVILY FAVORED BELVOIR BAY DELIVERS IN SATURDAY’S $70,000 WISHING WELL STAKES AS SHE ROMPS BY 4 ¾ LENGTHS UNDER ROSARIO; TRAINED BY MILLER, SHE GETS FIVE FURLONGS ON A ‘GOOD’ TURF IN 56.39
DUE TO RECENT RAINS, RACE IS SHIFTED FROM 6 ½ FURLONGS ON HILLSIDE TURF TO TURF OVAL
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2019)–Conditions were to order for heavily favored Belvoir Bay on Saturday at Santa Anita, as she dominated eight rivals in powering to a 4 ¾ length win in the $70,000 Wishing Well Stakes under Joel Rosario. Originally scheduled for 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course, the Wishing Well was transferred to five furlongs on the turf oval due to heavy recent rains. Owned by Gary Barber and trained by Peter Miller, the 6-year-old English-bred mare got the distance over a turf listed as “good” in 56.39.
“I felt very confident,” said Rosario. “She broke out of there very nice. Gary (Barber) said ‘Let her do her thing, let her be happy,’ and she came with a tremendous run, it was easy. She broke nice and was in-hand the whole time, she’s just the best.”
A sharp 1 ¼ length winner of the Las Cienegas Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs on a wet-fast main track on Jan. 12, Belvoir Bay was off at 3-5 and paid $3.40, $2.60 and $2.40.
With the Wishing Well victory, the amazing Belvoir Bay collected her 10thcareer stakes win and her sixth win from nine starts over the Santa Anita turf. With the winner’s share of $43,260, she increased her earnings to $685,787. With 10 of her 11 wins coming on turf, Belvoir Bay now has an overall mark of 24-11-4-2.
Although never a threat to the winner, longshot Lady Suebee kept to her task and finished second by 1 ¼ lengths over A Little Bit Me. Ridden by Agapito Delgadillo, Lady Suebee was off at 14-1 and paid $7.80 and $7.40.
Ridden by Geovanni Franco, A Little Bit Me was off at 9-1 and paid $4.20 to show.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who was unseated shortly after the break aboard number one, Poster Girl, checked out 100 percent physically following the race, according to his agent, Brad Pegram.
Fractions on the race were 22.02 and 44.82.
Today’s Wishing Well Stakes was named in honor of the dam of 1989 Horse of the Year Sunday Silence, who won that year’s Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic.