beat goes on for Doug O’Neill, Breeders’ Cup or no. Thrust suddenly but
firmly onto racing’s global landscape with I’ll Have Another’s victory
in the 2012 Kentucky Derby, the 45-year-old trainer of one of the
largest operations on the West Coast not only has seven horses entered
in Breeders’ Cup races, he has several on Friday and Saturday’s
them are Cal Gal and Smoove It in Friday’s $200,000 Golden State
Juvenile Fillies at a mile on dirt, and Avare in Friday’s Grade II,
$150,000 Twilight Derby at 1 1/8 miles.
Gal has always trained like a stakes filly, although she kind of laid a
couple eggs until we got her on the grass,” O’Neill said, referring to
her two disappointing efforts on Del Mar’s Polytrack before breaking her
maiden going about 6 ½ furlongs on Santa Anita’s downhill turf course
really came to life on the grass, so we’re hoping the light bulb went
on and it wasn’t strictly the surface. If it was just the surface, then
we’re in trouble. She’s always trained like a good filly. She’s trained
on this dirt track just fine, so I think she’s got a chance.”
It, a daughter of promising young sire Square Eddie owned and bred by
J. Paul Reddam, who owned I’ll Have Another, drew the rail for the third
straight time, but going a mile as opposed to sprinting the last two
times, it should be advantageous.
doing well,” O’Neill said. “These Square Eddies are all runners.
They’ve got their father’s speed and heart. Both are nice fillies. I
think we’ll see Smoove It be more involved early in the race and
hopefully both them really involved late in the race.”
upset winner of the Pomona Derby at odds of nearly 10-1 last out on
Sept. 21, is owned by Rick Pitino, coach of the NCAA champion Louisville
Cardinals, and former Santa Anita head honcho Mark Verge. Pitino runs
as RAP Racing, while Verge campaigns under the nom de course of Westside Rentals.com.
Avare listed at 20-1 on the morning for the Twilight Derby, O’Neill
figures the 3-year-old gelded son of Johannesburg is an overlay.
outrun those odds,” O’Neill said of the front-running Kentucky-bred,
who won the Eddie Logan Stakes in 2012. “He’s training great. He was
gelded a few starts ago and that’s really helped him.
always had talent but he would sometimes get himself a little too
worked up in the paddock and in the post parade. He’s really calmed down
a lot and now focuses on running. If he can be on or near the lead
without crazy fractions, I give him a big chance.”
GANGNAM GUY OFF THE FENCE FOR GOLDEN STATE JUVENILE
this as breaking news: Gangnam Guy is off the rail. The 2-year-old Roi
Charmant colt owned by Richard Barton and trained by Mike Machowsky has
had nothing but inside posts during his brief career, breaking from No. 1
four times and No. 2 twice in six starts.
Friday’s $200,000 Golden State Juvenile at one mile, the bay drew post
position four in a field of nine, causing Machowsky to exhale in relief.
Breaking from the one hole last out in the 6 ½ furlong Barretts
Juvenile at Fairplex Park on Sept. 15, Gangnam Guy finished fourth by
nearly nine lengths.
didn’t handle the turns at all,” Machowsky said. “He was never
comfortable on that track, and he draws the rail every damn time he
runs. But he’s a pretty solid horse. Going a mile on dirt, I don’t know,
but he worked real well going seven furlongs here on Sept. 29 (a bullet
think he’d love going two turns on the grass, but we’ll have to see
about a mile on dirt. This race is for a lot of money, and I think he’s
going to run big.
can be on the lead or sit off it. When he worked seven-eighths, he
broke off about eight lengths behind a team of horses I had, just to get
some dirt in his face, and he finished up real nice.”
said Barton owns a company called California Packaging in the Inland
Empire and “has been in racing for a while and now has his sights set on
bought Champ Pegasus (multiple graded stakes winner on grass and 2010
Breeders’ Cup Turf runner-up) from (Richard) Mandella and I think he’s
going to stand the horse at Legacy (Ranch in the Northern California
town of Clements).
“Barton’s putting together quite a big breeding program in California. His entire family loves racing.”
The field for the Golden State Juvenile: California
Chrome, Alberto Delgado, 3-1; Life Is a Joy, Joel Rosario, 9-2;
Electric Eddie, Mario Gutierrez, 12-1; Gangnam Guy, Edwin Maldonado,
9-2; Tribal Mystic, Corey Nakatani, 20-1; Sir Barclay, Chantal
Sutherland Kruse, 15-1; Tamarando, Julien Leparoux, 8-5; Cinmars Dance,
Alex Bisono, 8-1; and Better Bet, Martin Pedroza, 12-1.
FILLIES SET FOR MADDY, TURF SPRINT, SIMON SAYS
Callaghan has two fillies running on Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf
course at about 6 ½ furlongs Saturday, Love In The Desert in the
$100,000 Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes and Judy In Disguise in the Grade
III, $100,000 Ken Maddy Stakes.
do not end there, although Love In The Desert is a 2-year-old making
her U.S. debut and facing males, while Judy In Disguise is a 3-year-old
making her ninth start in America. Each was bred in England and each has
shown a fondness for turf sprints.
In The Desert’s four career starts across the pond have all been in
grass sprints. The daughter of Lemon Drop Kid broke her maiden going
five furlongs on turf in England last June. Judy In Disguise, a daughter
of Elusive City, already has a stakes win going 6 ½ down the hill at
Santa Anita, having captured the Sweet Life last Feb. 16.
In The Desert has not raced since July 27, when she finished fourth in
the Group 3 Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes at Ascot.
“She’s training well,” Callaghan said. “It’s a competitive race but we’re hoping for a good run, being her first in America.”
In Disguise has won four of her 12 starts and never failed to earn a
check in the U.S. She was fourth in the Unzip Me Stakes at about 6 ½
furlongs on grass on Sept. 28. It was her first race in more than two
a pretty consistent filly,” Callaghan said. “She’s won going down the
hill, but this is against older (fillies) so it’s kind of a tough race.
But she’s training well and we think we’ve got her in good shape.
“We’re hopeful; we think she’s got a good chance.”
ZEEWAT TACKLES 2-5 FLASHBACK IN DAMASCUS STAKES
moves from East to her his old stomping grounds back West when he runs
in Saturday’s $100,000 Damascus Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven
“He’s a really nice horse,” said Hall of Fame trainer Jerry
Hollendorfer, who also owns a piece of the Harlan’s Holiday colt with
George Todaro. “We’ve got (Rafael) Bejarano on him and we’ve had a lot
of success with him.”
Zeewat’s last race came at Parx outside of Philadelphia, where he
finished fourth in the Grade III Gallant Bob Stakes, beaten two lengths
despite a wide trip. Previously, the bay raced mainly in Northern
California, where Hollendorfer has ruled the training ranks for decades.
Told he had a 2-5 morning line favorite to beat in Flashback, Hollendorfer said, “If we can do it, it would be fun.”The Damascus field: Flashback, Martin Garcia, 2-5; Tour Guide, Luis Saez, 8-1; Zeewat, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Show Some Magic, E.P. Gomez, 5-1; and Anillo, Edwin Maldonado, 8-1.