A victory by Charm the Maker in Sunday’s Paseana Handicap would be beneficial on
several fronts for Ron McAnally, in addition to providing a good story line.
Not only did McAnally condition the champion race
mare for which the race is named, he trains Paseana contender Charm the
Maker for his wife, Debbie, and a win in the $75,000 race would start
the New Year off on the right foot on the domestic front.
Perhaps even more important, it would provide a dose
of good medicine for the 80-year-old Hall of Fame trainer, who has been
AWOL from his customary gathering spot at Clockers’ Corner for the past
three weeks since undergoing partial replacement surgery on the inside
portion of his left knee at Glendale Hospital on Dec. 17.
“The procedure was something of a new method,”
McAnally said by phone Friday morning. “I’m coming along and hope to be
back at the track soon.”
Charm the Maker, a 4-year-old daughter of 2003
Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker owned and bred by Ron and his wife,
has earned her keep to date, finishing worse than fourth only once in 11
career starts, her last 10 in stakes since winning a maiden allowance
race in her debut on Aug. 31, 2011, at Del Mar.
Dan Landers, who has been with McAnally since 1995, was with Paseana for “a cup of coffee.”
“Her last race came the first week I worked for him,”
said Landers, whose father, Dale, had a brief career as a jockey,
winning the second race ever run at Santa Anita when it opened on
Christmas Day, 1934. “My dad was 16 at the time,” Landers recalled. “I
watched Paseana run a whole bunch before I joined up with McAnally. She
was a champion many times over.”
Paseana, one of five national champions trained by
McAnally, was champion older filly or mare in 1992-93. Charm the Maker
also is nominated to the Grade II La Canada Stakes on Jan. 20.
The field for the Paseana, which goes as race three:
Distracting, Rafael Bejarano; Curvy Cat, Corey Nakatani; Charm the
Maker, Garrett Gomez; Snow Fall, Tyler Baze; Sweetly Peppered, Juan
Hernandez; Great Hot, Alonso Quinonez; and Candrea, Martin Garcia.