• ABSENCE MAKES MITCHELL GROW FONDER OF DHAAMER FOR TOKYO CITY
• ADDED DISTANCE NO CONCERN FOR A JEALOUS WOMAN, MEZAS SAY
• JOCKEYS DELGADO, MOJICA SET FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY 5K RUN
Karen Headley has more reasons than prestige and money to win the Santa Anita Derby
on April 6 with Storm Fighter. Owner Golden Eagle Farm and her father, trainer Bruce Headley, come foremost to mind.
Storm Fighter, bred in California by the recently deceased Larry Mabee of Golden Eagle Farm, one of the most prominent and successful operations of its kind ever in the Golden State, is ticketed for the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles two weeks from Saturday.
The bay son of Stormin Fever is coming off a 5 ¾-length maiden victory at 1 1/16 miles on March 2 under Gary Stevens, who has won the Santa Anita Derby a record nine times.
“We always knew Storm Fighter was going to be a two-turn horse,” said Karen, Bruce’s daughter and assistant trainer. “His first two races were sprints and in his second race he pulled two shoes off. We trained him up to the mile and a sixteenth and he ran against older horses in that race. I think he was the only 3-year-old to run against 4-year-olds and he won that impressively.
“Golden Eagle felt that it was a good idea, as well as we did, to try him in the Santa Anita Derby. For me, I want to have the horse do well for my dad’s sake and for Golden Eagle. They’ve both accomplished so much.”
In other Santa Anita Derby news:
Goldencents, who usually fires bullets, worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Thursday in 1:16 flat, on the surface an alarmingly slow time, but it was by design, Doug O’Neill said.
“We’ve been trying to work on getting him to slow down a little in the morning,” said the trainer who won two races Thursday to give him 20 for the meet, good for fourth place in the standings, behind Bob Baffert (29), Jerry Hollendorfer (24) and John Sadler (22).
“Jonny (Garcia), his normal exercise rider, got on him and did a great job. He went in 38 and three (fifths) the first three-eighths and 37 and two (fifths) the last three-eighths. He galloped out good. I’m very, very happy with him.”
Trainer Paul Aguirre said he is “leaning towards” the Santa Anita Derby with San Felipe third-place finisher Tiz a Minister, but also is considering the Blue Grass Stakes on Keeneland’s Polytrack April 13. Joe Talamo would ride in the Santa Anita Derby.
DHAAMER SET FOR MARATHON TOKYO CITY CUP AFTER FRESHENING
Despite not having raced since last Aug. 25, Mike Mitchell expects Dhaamer to run his
race in Saturday’s Grade III Tokyo City Cup at a mile and a half on dirt.
“He wasn’t out for any leg problem,” Mitchell said of the 6-year-old Irish-bred gelding owned by Edward Brown Jr. and Jay Manoogian, both of Irvine. “We wanted to let him down and were able to do that at Bobby Mitchell’s farm (in Hemet). We kept him moving there and he was outside. It’s a good way of freshening a horse.
“He didn’t lose a lot of conditioning out there, so it was very easy to get him ready to train for this race. I’ve got no excuses as far as him needing a race. He’s worked very well, he’s galloped out very strong, so he’s ready.”
In a marathon void of apparent speed, Dhaamer, if not on the lead, shouldn’t be far off, although the son of Dubai Destination has never been in front until he’s hit the homestretch in five U.S. starts. He was second by a neck in last year’s Tokyo City Cup in his first U.S. race.
Prior to coming here, he was trained by international horseman John Gosden. In 15 career starts, Dhaamer has a 5-3-1 record with earnings of $214,722.
In other Tokyo City Cup news:
Dreamcatcher makes his stakes and conventional dirt debut, but Joe Talamo is optimistic about the son of Tapit’s chances. “They will be some firsts for him, but it looks like there should be a good pace,” the jockey said. “He won at a mile and a quarter, so I think he’s going to love a mile and a half. If he handles the dirt, he should be good.”
The Tokyo City Cup field: Dreamcatcher, Joe Talamo, 8-1; Sky Kingdom, Martin Garcia, 9-2; Batti Man, Victor Espinoza, 15-1; Oilisblackgold, Edwin Maldonado, 7-2; Richard’s Kid, Tyler Baze, 9-2; Calidoscopio, Aaron Gryder, 7-2; Jaycito, Alonso Quinonez, 15-1; and Dhaamer, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2.
Santa Anita salutes Ohi Racecourse in Tokyo with the Tokyo City Cup. There will be traditional Japanese drum ceremonies, great exhibitions, family fun activities and amazing Japanese cuisine.
MEZAS CONFIDENT A JEALOUS WOMAN CAN GO NINE FURLONGS
Even though A Jealous Woman is one for one going the mile and one eighth distance
of Sunday’s grassy Santa Ana Stakes, she has found her niche going a flat mile on the turf.
A 7-year-old California-bred mare by Muqtarib, A Jealous Woman has run 10 races at one mile on grass, her last five in a row, winning four at that distance overall, including the Megahertz Stakes on Jan. 19.
A throat problem hampered her chances last out in the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes on Feb. 18, in which she finished an uncharacteristic seventh by 15 ¼ lengths after attending the early pace.
“I feel good about the Santa Ana distance for her,” trainer Francis Meza said. “I think the longer she goes, the faster she goes. I like a mile and an eighth better than a mile.”
Added husband Eddie Meza, a chaplain with the American Race Track Chaplaincy: “She’s a 7-year-old mare now. When she runs her race she’s able to relax, set her own pace and take her time making the lead, so I think they’re going to let her pace herself and she’ll have a really nice kick at the end.
“According to the doctor, her throat is clear now, so she should be close early and still be closing at the end.”
Owned by the Three Cent Stable and Niles Dickey, A Jealous Woman has eight wins from 20 starts with earnings of $444,106.
The field for the Santa Ana: Lady of Shamrock, Mike Smith, 8-5; Long Face, Gary Stevens, 20-1; Quiet Oasis, Mario Gutierrez, 5-2; Smarty B, Tyler Baze, 12-1; A Jealous Woman, Brice Blanc, 9-2; and Tiz Flirtatious, Julien Leparoux, 9-5.
JOCKEY DELGADO STRETCHES OUT FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY 5K RUN
Alberto Delgado and Orlando Mojica are but two of many jockeys from the local colony set to try their luck in the Santa Anita Derby Day 5K run on April 6. Each has shown his athletic prowess out of the saddle in the past, but not at the trying distance on Derby Day.
“I’ve raced before, but not this distance,” Delgado said. “I’m a sprinter, but I’m going long this time. I’m stretching out. I think the tough guys in the race will be David Flores and Alex Bisono. I’ll be a close third or fourth, hopefully. Either way, it should be fun.”
Added Mojica: “I’ve run before Puerto Rico, but this will be something new. It will be fun and I hope I don’t need any oxygen.
“I’ll do my best and you never know. Sometimes 30-1 shots win.”
FINISH LINES: Breeders’ Cup champion Beholder, prepping for the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks on April 6, worked six furlongs in company with stablemate Smart Ellis Friday on Santa Anita’s fast main track. Beholder, under regular rider Garrett Gomez, was clocked in 1:14.40, while Smart Ellis went in 1:14.60. “She just went a nice, easy three-quarters,” trainer Richard Mandella said of the daughter of Henny Hughes. “She couldn’t look better.” Added Tony Matos, agent for Gomez: “Garrett was all smiles after the work.” . . . Gomez and Julien Leparoux ride at Turfway Park Saturday, while Mike Smith is at Gulfstream Park . . . With most participants backing victorious 1-2 favorite Bikini Bottom in yesterday’s first race, 59 remain afloat in ShowVivor II going into Friday’s races . . . TV celebrity psychologist and life strategist Dr. Phil and one of his former guests, Josie Goldberg, part owner of Spoiledandentitled entered in today’s fourth race, will be in the paddock to root the filly on for trainer Julio Canani . . . This is not only 2013 A.D., but yesterday’s sixth race also was A.D. Red Man Run won the event under Agapito Delgadillo at a $34 payoff, cementing a Pick 6 carryover into Friday of $43,178.58. The runner-up was 8-1 shot Mambo Man ridden by Alberto Delgado. The “A.D. exacta” paid $162 for a buck.
Santa Anita Statistics
(Current through Thursday, March 21)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Rafael Bejarano 254 63 47 24 25% $3,187,902
Edwin Maldonado 283 43 34 40 15% $1,724,044
Garrett Gomez 167 41 25 17 25% $2,348,488
Joe Talamo 280 34 46 47 12% $2,263,835
Tyler Baze 286 33 32 28 12% $1,308,530
Martin Garcia 197 29 30 23 15% $1,589,105
Julien Leparoux 182 26 27 14 14% $1,530,398
Victor Espinoza 126 25 11 20 20% $1,141,310
Kevin Krigger 121 17 17 10 14% $622,664
Martin Pedroza 134 16 13 20 12% $657,110
Agapito Delgadillo 108 16 13 17 15% $455,215
Mike Smith 75 13 11 14 17% $1,449,376
Gary Stevens 82 12 19 13 15% $965,044
Mario Gutierrez 129 10 17 20 8% $571,008
Orlando Mojica 144 10 12 22 7% $457,688
Aaron Gryder 101 10 9 8 10% $378,868
Corey Nakatani 97 8 9 16 8% $790,531
David Flores 80 8 5 7 10% $437,678
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Bob Baffert 139 29 26 12 21% $2,793,800
Jerry Hollendorfer 92 24 19 13 26% $1,473,786
John Sadler 154 22 27 21 14% $1,198,317
Doug O'Neill 188 20 33 25 11% $1,280,632
Peter Miller 81 13 17 11 16% $747,652
Mike Puype 82 13 6 13 16% $643,023
Richard Mandella 41 12 10 3 29% $853,792
Mike Mitchell 59 12 9 6 20% $461,374
Jorge Gutierrez 52 10 5 12 19% $338,384
Julio Canani 44 10 3 5 23% $336,900
William Spawr 40 9 11 5 23% $263,336
Mark Glatt 66 9 7 7 14% $286,830
Peter Eurton 45 8 8 5 18% $342,890
Jeff Bonde 27 8 4 4 30% $343,020
Art Sherman 33 8 3 6 24% $217,070
Ronald Ellis 42 8 3 5 19% $459,770