KENT DESORMEAUX, BLUE TONE, WINNER: “He broke horribly today and I didn’t know if he had anything left at the half-mile pole. I absolutely nursed him to the quarter pole and he showed all the class that he has and held them at bay.
“Not for nothing but he must be a mudder. He won’t step in a puddle on the road out to the racetrack in the mornings, but I walked him out onto the track today and he was paddling in it, like a child in the mud. He was like a little kid. He was enjoying himself.”
BOB HESS, JR., TRAINER OF BLUE TONE, WINNER: “It was apparent there wasn’t any pace in the race. The other day when he stumbled (out of the gate when finishing fourth in the Grade III Native Diver Handicap Nov. 27), we couldn’t have beaten the winner, but I thought we could’ve been second. He’s a big lumbering horse and when he’s able to run like this, he’s a lot better. We’ve got some money now, so we’re going to run next at Gulfstream in the Poseidon on Jan. 28. It’s $400,000 and we’re going to take a shot.”
VICTOR ESPINOZA, GORMLEY, WINNER: “It was nice yes. I expected him to run the way he ran today. I know he’s still improving but I think he only gets better and better. Hopefully, he gets a lot better, but with this race and his next, he has a lot of potential to keep growing.
“It didn’t surprise me how well he broke out of there today. When he’s feeling good, he breaks quickly and already running. In the Breeders’ Cup he broke slow but today he came into the race in really good shape and got into it right away.”
MIKE SMITH, AMERICAN ANTHEM, SECOND: “For only his second time out, that was pretty impressive. If we’d been on the outside…I think that probably would’ve helped a little bit getting beat a half a nose.”
JOHN SHIRREFFS, GORMLEY, WINNER: “That was a great race. He’s still young. You never know what they’re going to do so it’s always interesting. We’re very proud of him.
“He’s quick. He starts quick, he gets away quickly. But then he checks himself as he gets into the race and he relaxes. It was great to see him pick it back up again and get it done.
“Chantal (jockey, Sutherland who has been working him in the mornings) has given me a lot of confidence in how he’s doing. She’s a rider who really understands what is going on underneath her and is very expressive about it, so she’s been a big help.”
JERRY MOSS, OWNER GORMLEY: “This type of thing never gets old. He’s got a lot of heart and I know he’ll go further than this. John’s doing all the right things as usual. This was a beautiful horse race and the fans got a thriller. No idea where we’ll run next.”
NOTES: The winning owners, Jerry and Ann Moss, reside in Beverly Hills, CA.
- BAFFERT HOPES TO WORK ARROGATE TOMORROW
- HOLLENDORFER: TWO FOR THE $$ IN SANTA YNEZ
- DOLLAR DAY ON MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. HOLIDAY
ARROGATE JOGS, COULD BREEZE TOMORROW FOR PEGASUS
Bob Baffert hopes to work Arrogate Sunday if the weatherman cooperates and track conditions are suitable.
The Hall of Fame trainer plans to run the Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and finalist for Horse of the Year honors in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 28, but needs to get a work into the four-year-old gray son of Unbridled’s Song and has no margin for error time wise.
Arrogate last worked on Dec. 27, going six furlongs in 1:12.20 but Baffert has been unable to maintain a regular training regimen since due to a spate of wet weather.
Arrogate jogged two miles the wrong way on Santa Anita’s main track at 9 a.m. Saturday with Dana Barnes aboard.
“If we can get a breeze in tomorrow, I don’t see why we can’t make it (the Pegasus),” Baffert said after the jog. “It’s very important.”
Arrogate has won five straight races including a dramatic half-length victory over 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome in the Classic at Santa Anita last Nov. 5 and a record-setting 13 ½-length romp in the Grade I Travers last August.
California Chrome, winner of 16 of 26 starts and earner of a record $14,502,650 for a North American-based Thoroughbred, left Friday for Florida and arrived safely to prepare for the inaugural running of the Pegasus, to be decided at 1 1/8 miles.
It will be the last race for the immensely popular six-year-old California-bred son of Lucky Pulpit, who will be retired to stud following the Pegasus, which could pair him against Arrogate in a widely anticipated rematch, if the fates allow.
HOLLENDORFER PAIR HAVE SIMILARITIES IN SANTA YNEZ
It Tiz Well and Unique Bella have more in common than each winning their last race by virtually the same margin–10 lengths.
Actually, It Tiz Well won a maiden allowance race at six furlongs by 10 lengths at Los Alamitos on Dec. 18; Unique Bella won a 6 ½ furlong maiden allowance at Del Mar Nov. 26 by 10 ¼ lengths. Both are entered in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for three-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.
“They’re both big, tall, nice-looking fillies that look like they want to go further, so we’ll see,” said Dan Ward, assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains the pair for Tommy Town Thoroughbreds LLC and Don Alberto Stable, respectively.
Unique Bella and It Tiz Well each worked four furlongs Wednesday at Santa Anita, the former going in 47.80 and the latter in 47.20.
The Santa Ynez: Resilient Humor, Kent Desormeaux, 30-1; Sandy’s Surprise, Mario Gutierrez, 15-1; Unique Bella, Mike Smith, 8-5; Carrie, Modesto Linares, 50-1; Princess Karen, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Noted and Quoted, Martin Garcia, 5-1; Go On Mary, Jamie Theriot, 20-1; Shane’s Girlfriend, Flavien Prat, 9-5; and It Tiz Well, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1.
FINISH LINES: Santa Anita offers holiday racing and Dollar Day on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 16. Beers, sodas and hot dogs will be a buck apiece all day long. The feature race is the Grade III, $100,000 Megahertz Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile on turf . . . There is a single ticket Pick Six Jackpot carryover into Saturday of $85,520.50 . . . Through seven racing days, Flavien Prat holds an 8-7 lead over Tyler Baze in the jockeys’ race, while among trainers, Doug O’Neill is one up on runners-up Peter Miller and John Sadler, 5-4 . . . Of the 98 Early Bird nominations to the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 8, Bob Baffert had 21, but three are owned by Kaleem Shah who recently transferred them to other trainers. Doug O’Neill has 12 nominated, followed by Jerry Hollendorfer with 11.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, Jan. 6)|
|Norberto Arroyo, Jr.||31||5||2||0||16%||23%||$237,180|
|Drayden Van Dyke||30||3||5||0||10%||27%||$164,844|
|January 7 – Turf Paradise|
|My Majesty||Race 3||Maiden Optional Claiming $30,000|
|January 9 – Turf Paradise|
|Metadago||Race 7||Claiming $3,500|
|January 7 – Turf Paradise|
|Riojana||Race 5||Claiming $5,000|
|January 9 – Turf Paradise|
|Deputy’s Command||Race 4||Claiming $4,000|
|Step On the Gas||Race 4||Claiming $4,000|
|Six S Street||Race 5||Claiming $3,000|
|January 7 – Santa Anita|
|Blabimir||Wgt-119||Race 7||Sham S. (Gr 3)|
|Calm the Sea||Wgt-122||Race 8||Allowance Optional Claiming $40,000|
|Point Piper||Wgt-122||Race 9||San Gabriel S. (Gr 2)|
|January 8 – Santa Anita|
|Patience Ofa Saint||Wgt-122||Race 4||Maiden Special Weight|
|Sandy’s Surprise||Wgt-120||Race 8||Santa Ynez S. (Gr 2)|
|Idiom||Wgt-123||Race 9||Maiden Special Weight|
|January 6 – Santa Anita|
|Sorry Erik finished 1st by 5 lengths||Race 1|
|Araceli B C M D finished 5th beaten 12 1/4 lengths||Race 4|
|Avanti Bello finished 3rd beaten 5 1/4 lengths||Race 7|
|Sizzlin Square finished 2nd beaten 1/2 length||Race 8|