Love Theway Youare and Include Me out, the first two finishers in Saturday’s Grade I Vanity Handicap, each came out of the race in fine shape, according to their trainers.
Myung Kwon Cho, who couldn’t be on hand for Love Theway Youare’s $38 upset because he was attending the high school graduation of his son, Raxon, received news of the victory via email from his assistant, Maria Ayala. “She’s good this morning,” said Cho, “but I’d like to wait another day to see how she’s doing before making any decisions on where she’ll run next.”\\
Jeff Bonde remarked Sunday that Amarish, who is 2-for-2 after an easy win in the Willard L. Proctor Memorial, is doing well. “He looks real good,” said the trainer. “We’re pretty happy this morning. So far he’s shown us no signs of weakeningr. He seems to be able to separate himself from his company pretty easily.” Bonde added that Amarish will return in the (Grade III, $150,000) Hollywood Juvenile Championship (July 14th) if everything goes as planned.
As pleased as he was with the 2-year-old gelding’s performance, Bonde was equally disappointed with Unusual Way’s seventh place effort in the Cinderella Stakes four races later. “When she broke her maiden, she beat the horse (Miss Empire) that won the race,’’ he said. “She’s kind of a hot-tempered filly. She hurt a couple of grooms when we first got her. She was perfect in the paddock, but when they went to load her, she spun around a couple of times and they shanked her, which they have to do. She tried to duck away from horses out of the gate. I might have to add blinkers.”
Miss Empire, who broke her maiden in winning the Cinderella, returned in good shape, according to trainer Peter Miller, The half-sister to multiple stakes winner Bordonaro will be pointed to the ($150,000) Landaluce Stakes (July 14th). Asked about his three-week old son, Jacob, who spent the day at the races with his father, Miller replied, “Jacob was pretty knocked out. He slept well last night.”
Trainer Walther Solis was happy with second-place finisher Awesome Annie’s race and declared her in perfect shape Sunday morning.
BEJARANO RIDES STREAK; BAFFERT LEADS; SCRAMBLE ON IN EQUINE STANDINGS
With a double on Saturday, Rafael Bejarano padded his lead in the Spring/Summer standings. The native of Peru is now 16 winners ahead of his nearest rival, Joe Talamo, 45-29. Bejarano has won at least one race on 13 consecutive racing days, dating to May 26th.
There was little change in the trainer standings last week with Bob Baffert remaining entrenched at the top. The Hall of Famer leads John Sadler 21-14. Eight of Baffert’s victories have come in stakes.
While the jockey and trainer standings have runaway leaders, the race for the winningest horse of the meet is a real scramble. Through Saturday, 17 are tied for the lead with two victories. Three horses have tried and failed to turn the hat trick. The latest was Folk Dancer, who finished second in Saturday’s second race.
Two runners will try to win for a third time Sunday and each is favored to do so. Valkyrie Missile is the 6-5 morning line choice in the first while Peacenik is 5-2 in the fifth race.
MIKE SMITH, CHANTAL SUTHERLAND ARE GUESTS ON TUESDAY LIVE CHAT
Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith and Chantal Sutherland will be the featured guests Tuesday, June 20th in “Night School,” a free online chat open to all racing fans.
A joint venture of the racing industry, Night School is a national online fan education program, which can be accessed by going to http://www.betfairhollywoodpark.com. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. PDT, the public will be able to ask questions directly to the two riders.
Night School continues every Tuesday – through Nov. 13 – and features a different topic each week.
STAR-STUDDED CHARITY EVENT SCHEDULED FOR JULY 18
The inaugural “Jockey for a Cause” charity event will take place Wednesday, July 18th at the DeHaven Estate in Rancho Santa Fe. The benefit begins at 6:00 , following the final race of Del Mar’s opening day.
The fundraiser will provide support for two charities; the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund (PDJF) and the Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation. The PDJF, established in 2006, provides long-term assistance to jockeys who have suffered on-track catastrophic injuries. The Jockey Club Safety Net helps not only jockeys, but trainers, grooms, exercise riders, hot walkers and front office personnel.
The event will be hosted by California horse owner Jeff Dehaven, who promises that jockeys, trainers, celebrities and professional athletes from all sports will be in attendance to help the cause.
Tickets are available at http://www.pdjf.org. Further event and sponsorship information may be found at http://www.pdjf.org or http://www.tjcfoundation.org.
CLOSING STRIDES—Simon Callaghan, who was planning to send out Grade I Gamely Stakes winner Belle Royale in the Grade III, $100,000 Beverly Hills Handicap June 24, will instead wait and run the Irish bred filly in the Grade II, $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile July 7. Callaghan indicated he just wanted to give the 4-year-old daughter of Val Royal a couple of extra weeks. The trainer will instead start Imperialistic Diva, who will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano. Others confirmed for the Beverly Hills are Cambina (Garrett Gomez), dead heat winner of the Grade I American Oaks at this distance last July 16, Capital Plan (Joel Rosario), a close third to Belle Royale in the Gamely, and Antares World (Kevin Krigger), who finished in a dead heat for second in the Grade III Wilshire Handicap April 29…….Saturday’s hunch play of the afternoon came through when Bejarano guided U S Citizen ($4.20) to a debut victory for trainer Marty Jones in the sixth race. The rider was sworn in as a United States citizen April 27th. The significance of the name was not lost on Bejarano, according to Jones. “He came back pumped up,’’ Jones said. “The first thing he said when he came back was, ‘Yeah! U.S. Citizen.’”………A week after his triumphant return in the Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial, Acclamation was “doing real good,” declared trainer Don Warren. Warren said that no problems have re-occurred and last year’s champion older male will be looking at the (Grade I, $300,000) Eddie Read (Stakes July 21 at Del Mar) for his next start……Congratulations to Giovanni Oldano of Weston, Florida, who outlasted 1,737 other players to win the $3,000 Show Me the Money –Presented by Golden Nugget Las Vegas - contest. Both Oldano and runner-up Mark Niemerow of Thousand Oaks selected I Sense Your Luck, who finished fourth in Friday’s third race. Oldano won by virtue of the first tiebreaker (most victories).