If riding Unzip Me is like riding a bicycle, Joe Talamo should have no trouble when the 22-year- old jockey reunites with the 6-year-old California-bred daughter of City Zip in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf. Talamo has ridden Unzip Me in eight of her 25 career races, winning five, but hasn’t ridden the Marty Jones-trained mare in a year and a half.
Overall, Unzip Me has 14 wins and is seven for 11 on Santa Anita’s downhill course.
“That was a fun trip. Look at her form. She’s so consistent it’s unbelievable. The horse to beat is Mizdirection. I know she’s a real nice horse, especially sprinting. Broken Dreams is nice, too. It’s a short field but there’s a lot of class.
“But if Unzip Me runs her race, she’ll be tough. I’m not concerned about drawing the rail. When it’s a short field and you have speed and can sit second or third, it doesn’t matter. Especially for her. She can do anything. I’ve won on her on the lead, off the lead, so she can pretty much do it all.”
The field for the Las Cienegas: Unzip Me, Joe Talamo, 6-5; Teroda, Martin Garcia, 9-2;
Saanneen, Eswan Flores, 20-1; Broken Dreams, Alonso Quinonez, 6-1; Mizdirection, David Flores, 1-1; and La Nez, Martin Pedroza, 20-1.
At Hollywood Park Thursday, Broken Dreams worked three furlongs on Cushion Track in 35.40 for trainer Tom Proctor.
On Saturday, all THOROUGHBREDS members in attendance at Santa Anita will be able to avail themselves of a free, 34-ounce Santa Anita beer mug with paid admission, while supplies last.
‘WALK TO BEAT CANCER’ AT SANTA ANITA ON CLOSING DAY, APRIL 22
Santa Anita will present a second annual “On Track To Beat Cancer” event on closing day, April 22. With statistics showing that one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer this year, the public is encouraged to join jockeys, horsemen and celebrities in a walk down Santa Anita’s historic homestretch to raise money to support City of Hope find cures for women’s cancers.
“This was a very successful fundraiser last year and all facets of the racing industry came together to help fund cures for women’s cancers,” said Santa Anita Vice President of Sales and Marketing Chris Quinn. “We expect to have a couple thousand people participating and we hope when they finish on the track, they’ll join us for some live music and our Party in the Paddock, which should be a lot of fun.”
All participants are encouraged to wear purple.
“We’ll have purple-colored “On Track To Beat Cancer” T shirts available for everyone,” said Quinn. “We’re hoping to create a sea of purple and for those who would like to show their support for City of Hope’s women’s cancer research, treatment and education programs, they’ll get the T shirt, a wrist band and be able to walk down the stretch for just $10 dollars.”
“We’re very excited to once again be partnering with Santa Anita for this year’s ‘On Track To Beat Cancer’ event,” said Steven Martin, Vice President of Marketing at City of Hope. “Last year was such a great success and this year is again a fantastic way to celebrate closing day at Santa Anita while supporting City of Hope’s work to end women’s cancers.”
Anyone making a $10 donation to City of Hope on closing day will be eligible to walk on the track. Fans are encouraged to bring signs and banners, create teams, take photos and dedicate their walk to cancer survivors or to the memory of loved ones who have succumbed to or who are battling cancer. City of Hope will bring their mobile blood donation truck for fans who wish to donate blood while at the track.
For more information about the “On Track To Beat Cancer” event, visit http://www.santaanita.com. To learn more about City of Hope’s Women’s Cancers Program, visit http://womenscancers.cityofhope.org.
LIKE THE CHAMPION CAL-BRED, ‘BEST PAL’ BOOK A WINNER
“Best Pal, A True Story,” is an informative and educational children’s book dedicated to the champion California-bred’s owner and breeder, the late John Mabee and his wife, Betty.
Beautifully and accurately illustrated by Raul R. Rodriguez and written by award-winning motion picture and television producer, director, actor and educator James Val, autographed copies of this “true story of a champion Thoroughbred race horse” are available at $18 each by writing to Val Productions, P.O. Box 661984, Arcadia, CA 91007.
An easy read (fewer than 20 pages) for young and old alike, “Best Pal” contains a glossary of assorted racing terms and is filled with authentic color Thoroughbred renderings that present a refreshingly welcome look at the Sport of Kings.
FINISH LINES: Doug O’Neill plans to ship J. Paul Reddam’s Santa Anita Derby winner I’ll Have Another from his Hollywood Park headquarters on April 28 for the May 5 Run for the Roses, the same day Santa Anita Derby runner-up Creative Cause is scheduled to leave from his Inglewood base for trainer Mike Harrington . . . On Santa Anita Derby Day last Saturday, The Great Race Place had three entities trending on Twitter nationwide: Santa Anita Derby and the two favorites who ran one-two, I’ll Have Another and Creative Cause. Twitter’s Trending Topics are the most discussed happenings currently on twitter and provide a great means for folks to tap into the buzz in the Twitterverse . . . Mr Gruff, a six-time winner on Santa Anita’s downhill turf course whose long-range goal is the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at The Great Race Place on Nov. 3, will miss the San Simeon Handicap here on April 21 due to a bruised left foot, trainer Ron Ellis said. A lightly-raced 8-year-old son of Mr. Greeley, Mr Gruff won the Joe Hernandez Handicap in his most recent start at Santa Anita on March 4 . . . Simon Callaghan is considering the Grade I, $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Churchill Downs on May 5 for San Marcos Stakes winner Slim Shadey . . . Five morning line favorites and four betting favorites—each of them odds-on—captured the first five legs of Thursday’s Pick 6 races, with Run for Miles at $10.80 in the eighth and final accounting for the day’s lone double-digit win payoff, producing a chalk-laden Pick 6 return of $241.40 to 273 winning tickets. The consolation payoff for five of six was worth $9.20. Overall, favorites are winning at a 36.19 clip this meet . . . Through 65 racing days, there were 238 claims this meet generating $5,295,000, compared to 2011’s final figures of 217 and $5,434,000, when there were eight more racing days . . . Eswan Flores was named to ride in all eight races Friday . . . Joel Rosario and Rafael Bejarano, one-two in Santa Anita’s standings, are out of town today, Bejarano riding 4-5 morning line favorite Plum Pretty for Bob Baffert in the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park and Rosario on 20-1 chance Pressday for John Sadler in the Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland. Both are Grade I races . . . Steve Andersen of Daily Racing Form and private clocker Toby Turrell of Winners Card will be Jack Disney’s guests in a semifinal round of the Fans’ Forum handicapping seminar Sunday, 11:15 a.m. in the East Paddock Gardens . . . With seven racing days remaining, players alive in ShowVivor2 were down to 20 entering Friday’s races . . . This “10” could be a winner, according to the following from Blood-Horse writer Jack Shinar: “A 2-year-old at Keeneland named Bo Derek had her first published workout April 13, going two furlongs in 24 3/5. She’s by Rock Hard Ten out of Perfect Pleasure, by 2000 Kentucky Derby runner-up Aptitude.”