Don’t dismiss Carla Gaines as “one of the best female trainers.”

“One of the best trainers” will do, thank you. The Alabama native has been a mainstay on the

highly competitive Southern California circuit since 1996 and among her present campaigners is a Triple Crown hopeful pointing to the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 7, San Pedro Stakes winner Midnight Transfer.

Owned by principal client Warren Williamson of Pasadena, Midnight Transfer was third at 14-1 behind Santa Anita Derby favorites Creative Cause and Bodemeister in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 10. The Hard Spun colt worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Saturday in 59.80.

“Anytime you have a good horse it’s satisfying, of course,” said Gaines, who attained national prominence in 2007 when Nashoba’s Key won her first seven starts before finishing fourth on a soggy turf course in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Monmouth Park.

“It doesn’t matter if the trainer is male or female,” Gaines continued. “I’ll be a longshot in the Santa Anita Derby, but it is what it is. Mr. Williamson (who is 83) is having some health issues and he wants to see his horse run here and he wants to try the Derby, so the pressure is off. We’re just going to do it and see what happens.”

Probable for the Santa Anita Derby: Creative Cause, Bodemeister, I’ll Have Another, Midnight Transfer, Liaison, Holy Candy and Longview Drive.

Also on Santa Anita Derby Day, there will be a $750,000 guaranteed Late Pick 4, and next Saturday, March 31, Santa Anita Oaks Day, there will be a $500,000 guaranteed Late Pick 4 presented by DRF Ticketmaster.


With Corey Nakatani riding in Dubai Saturday, Garrett Gomez has been given the call by trainer Peter Miller on Reneesgotzip in next Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks at 1 1/16 miles.

Nakatani had ridden the daughter of City Zip in each of her three starts, including a 7 ¾-length victory in the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes on Jan. 15.

Gomez, who won his first race Saturday after a three-month absence recovering from a broken left heel, worked Reneesgotzip five furlongs Friday at Hollywood Park in a bullet 58.60.

Despite all that down time, Gomez remains tied for second at Santa Anita in stakes wins this meet with six, one behind leader Mike Smith.

Probable for the Oaks: Eden’s Moon, Martin Garcia; Reneesgotzip, Gomez; and Willa B Awesome, Martin Pedroza.


Joe Talamo has been riding since he was 16. Now 22, the effervescent Louisiana native already has 995 victories, five shy of 1,000.

“If I ever thought I’d win 1,000, I never thought it would be this quick,” Talamo said after piloting Sarangani to a front-running, $22.20 victory for trainer Bruce Headley in Saturday’s third race. Talamo has been riding regularly in Southern California since April 2007, when he left the Southeast at the behest of the late Bobby Frankel.

“I think it’s harder out here because we only race four days a week and there are short fields and eight races a day,” said Talamo, who has been represented by agent Scott McClellan for the last four-plus years. “But I’ve been so fortunate from the time I started riding to the present day.

“All the owners and trainers have supported me. This April it’s been five years I’ve been riding out here. Time flies. It’s been a fun ride.”

Meanwhile, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, by his own admission is nearing his most significant milestone, one he says he’ll cherish more than any of the others: 5,000 career victories.

On Saturday, the 46-year-old New Mexico native registered No. 4,996 with a typically polished ride aboard Close to the Edge for trainer Bill Spawr in the sixth race, leaving him four shy of 5,000.


Registration for Santa Anita’s annual Santa Anita Derby Day 5K Walk and Run on Santa Anita Derby Day, April 7, is open to the public. The Derby Day 5K benefits several charities, including Pasadena-based AbilityFirst, the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), the Arcadia High School Athletic Boosters Club, the Arcadia Historical Museum and Arcadia Explorer Scouts.

Adults and children are welcome, as there will be divisions for kids up to 12 years of age, an Open Division and a Masters Division for adults 40 and over.

The 5K run begins at 8 a.m. and the 5K walk starts at 8:15 a.m. It is suggested that all participants arrive no later than 7:15 a.m.

“We’re very proud of the way this event has grown over the years,” said Santa Anita’s Director of Community Services and Special Projects Pete Siberell. “We’ll have over 1,000 participants from AbilityFirst and we expect to have more than 6,000 people overall either walking or running.

“This has become synonymous with the Santa Anita Derby and it generates a tremendous amount of goodwill. We’re looking forward to having a great morning and to seeing a lot of new faces.”

Top jockeys Chantal Sutherland and David Flores, avid year-round runners, will again participate in the Derby Day 5K.

“As jockeys, we need to maintain a high level of fitness and we also need to stay light,” said Flores. “I look forward to this event every year. It’s a lot of fun and we raise money for some very good causes. I feel like I’m in great shape and I’m looking forward to competing and doing well.”

The Derby Day 5K provides a varied route for runners and walkers that includes the world-renowned Los Angeles County Arboretum and a glimpse of the Santa Anita stable area. Participants will finish up their final quarter mile on Santa Anita’s training track and depending upon their age and taste, will have access to an expo with booths, a live band, food and a beer garden.

Prospects can enter On line at and via walk-up now through April 5 at Walk With Us, 235 S. Lake Ave. in Pasadena.

Pre-registration and Derby Day T-shirts will be available for pick-up April 6, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Westfield Santa Anita Mall.

Race day registration will take place at 6:30 a.m. in Santa Anita’s Southwest Parking Lot, which is accessible by taking Huntington Drive to Holly Ave. and entering at Gate 3, or by taking Baldwin Ave. and entering at Gate 8.

First race post time on Santa Anita Derby Day is 12 noon. For additional racing and event information, visit or call (626) 574-RACE.


Spots for foursomes are still available for the Garret Gomez/Winners Foundation Golf Tournament on April 9 at Angeles National Golf Club. Various prizes will be awarded to the top three foursomes, for Hole-in-One opportunities, in addition to golfer goodie bags, lunch, dinner, silent auction and live auction hosted by former Angel and Dodger Jay Johnstone.

There will also be playing appearances by former Dodgers Rudy Law and Bobby Castillo

and former Oakland A’s two-time World Series winner John ‘Blue Moon’ Odom.

Jockey participants include Raphael Bejarano, Joe Talamo, David Flores, Joel Rosario and Alonso Quinonez. Long drive Champion Frank Miller will be in attendance to hit a drive at hole 13.

Each participant will also receive an autographed copy of the upcoming Garrett Gomez autobiography. For additional info log onto , email or call 626-574-6498.

FINISH LINES: Switch, winner of the Grade I Santa Monica Stakes last year, worked four furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday in 47.40, breezing, for trainer John Sadler. The 5-year-old daughter of Quiet American had been enjoying R&R since finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint last Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs after a seven-race campaign in 2011. . . Rafael Bejarano, Chantal Sutherland and Corey Nakatani ride in Dubai next Saturday. Bejarano rides The Factor for Bob Baffert in the $2 million Golden Shaheen at six furlongs down the straightaway, Sutherland rides Game On Dude for Baffert in the $10 million Classic at 1 ¼ miles and Nakatani rides Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Regally Ready for Steve Asmussen in the $1 million Al Quaz at about five furlongs on turf . . . Probable for next Saturday’s first running of the $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes for 3-year-old California-breds at 6 ½ furlongs: Coach Bob, Eswan Flores; Exotic Slew, Alonso Quinonez; G’night, Mike Smith; Pulpit’s Express, Joel Rosario; Real Conundrum, Martin Pedroza; The Black, Garrett Gomez; and Three Vases, Victor Espinoza . . . Probable for next Saturday’s inaugural Evening Jewel Stakes, a 6 ½-furlong test for 3-year-old Cal-bred fillies with $200,000 guaranteed: Belloma, Quinonez; Briteness, Rosario; Starry Skies, Gomez; and Vicki Victoria, Joe Talamo . . . With 96 players selecting 7-10 favorite Jack O Lyn in Saturday’s first race (he finished second), there were 129 still alive in ShowVivor2 going into Sunday’s races.