John Sadler sends out two for the money Saturday in quest of his second consecutive victory in the San Pasqual Handicap when he saddles Mostacolli Mort and Noble Court in the Grade II event for older horses at 1 1/16 miles.
Sadler, who won 28 races at Santa Anita last season to finish second behind Mike Mitchell (33), won the 2008 San Pasqual with Gary and Cecil Barber’s Zappa.
Sadler claimed Mostacolli Mort for $80,000 last out on Nov. 13 for brothers Karnel and Mike Jawl of Victoria, British Columbia. “He’s run in a lot of big races,” Sadler said of the 5-year-old gelded son of Hold for Gold, who had started in the Grade I Goodwood Stakes and the Grade I Pacific Classic before being dropped in for a tag. “He’s been close and has a pretty good record, and I like him even better at longer distances. He’s training really well, so we’ll try this race and go from there.”
Mostacolli Mort, who worked five furlongs on Pro-Ride Monday in :59.60, has a 4-3-5 record from 22 starts. He has earned $251,560.
The field for the 72nd running of the San Pasqual: Mostacolli Mort, Garrett Gomez, 114; Marchfield, Patrick Husbands, 118; Informed, Michael Baze, 113; Cowboy Cal, John Velazquez, 117; Noble Court, Mike Smith, 114; Past the Point, Rafael Bejarano, 116; Well Armed, Aaron Gryder, 121; Magnum, Martin Pedroza, 113; Blue Exit, David Flores, 113; Ball Four, Christopher DeCarlo, 118; Racketeer, Chantal Sutherland, 113; and Slew’s Tizzy, Joel Rosario, 116.
O’NEILL DOUBLE TEAMS SANTA YSABEL WITH ACTING LADY, CRAZY TRICIA
Doug O’Neill is approaching Sunday’s Grade III Santa Ysabel Stakes from disparate angles. The three-time Santa Anita training champion will send out Acting Lady, third in the restricted Blue Norther Stakes last out, and Crazy Tricia, seven-length winner of a $32,000 maiden claiming race.
“They’re both doing well,” O’Neill said. “Obviously, Acting Lady is a bit more accomplished, but we know Crazy Tricia will get the ground, so we thought we’d give her a chance.”
The field for the 42nd Santa Ysabel for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles: Acting Lady, Michael Baze, 116; Haka, Garrett Gomez, 116; Jemmealey, Jose Valdivia Jr., 116; Dave’s Revenge, Victor Espinoza, 116; Century Park, Tyler Baze, 116; Lady Lumberjack, Rafael Bejarano, 114; Will O Way, Joel Rosario, 116; Crazy Tricia, Martin Garcia, 114; and Toro Bonito, David Flores, 114.
SADDENED FRANKEL HAS FOND MEMORIES OF CHAMPION TOUSSAUD
Bobby Frankel’s emotions were bittersweet when asked Thursday to recall memories of the champion filly he trained, Toussaud, who was euthanized at the age of 20 due to declining health issues on Jan. 5 at Juddmonte Farms in Lexington, Ky.
Toussaud, 2002 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year, was the dam of Grade I winners Chester House, Empire Maker, Chiselling and Honest Lady. Toussaud, a homebred daughter of El Gran Senor, was a multiple graded stakes winner in California in 1993. She won seven of 15 career starts and earned $551,536.
“She was a great filly, both as a broodmare and a race horse,” Frankel said. “She rates up there with the top, the very best fillies I ever had. She was very difficult to train. She had a mind of her own. She wanted to do it her way.
“She would only go the wrong way (on the track to train). Even then, she’d stop. When she worked, you’d have to work her out of the gate, because she wouldn’t do it otherwise. You could put her with five horses, and she would bolt and prop. She’d break off, but she was liable to make a right turn.
“It was very sad. It’s like losing a kid. She was one of the greats of all time.”
FREE FRIDAYS, DOLLAR MENU, CONTINUE AT SANTA ANITA TOMORROW
With the first of Santa Anita’s Free Friday promotions a rousing success—9,269 fans attended on track last Friday—the second will be offered tomorrow and continue each Friday for the remainder of the meet that ends April 19. In addition to free general admission, box seating will be available free of charge Fridays on a first-come, first-served basis. Fans also will be offered a $1 menu, which includes beer, soda, hot dogs and popcorn.
FINISH LINES: Lane’s End Futurity winner Square Eddie, prepping for his 3-year-old debut in the Grade III, $100,000 San Rafael Stakes at one mile on Jan. 17, worked six furlongs at Hollywood Park Thursday in a bullet 1:13.40, breezing under exercise rider Tony Romero. “Fantastic,” trainer Doug O’Neill said of the drill. “He was by himself and absolutely cruising. He galloped out really strong and we’re looking forward to the San Rafael.”
. . . Bob Baffert, who initially had planned to train champion Indian Blessing up to the
$2 million Golden Shaheen on March 28, now is considering the Grade II, $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap against males at Santa Anita on Jan. 25 as a prep for the Dubai race. “She’s back jogging and doing well,” Baffert said of Indian Blessing, winner of the Grade I La Brea Stakes against fillies on Dec. 27 . . . Return of the King, 5-2 morning line second choice in today’s second race, is the last horse in the stable of James Ortega, one of nine people killed on Christmas Eve in Covina by Bruce Pardo, the husband of Pardo’s sister, Sylvia. “Mr. Ortega left the horse to his son, James Edward, in a living trust,” explained David Bernstein, who trains Return of the King. “No members of the family will be here today,” Bernstein added. “They’re too upset to come. It would be much too emotional for them, but some friends of theirs are coming to represent them.” . . . Santa Anita icon Eddie Logan remained at Arcadia Methodist Hospital Thursday after suffering a seizure Saturday, but he was out of Intensive Care. The 98-year-old Logan, who operates a shoe shine stand outside the racing office, has been at Santa Anita on opening day every year since the track opened on Christmas Day, 1934 . . . Richard Mandella reports Crown of Thorns, winner of last year’s Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes, is about a month away from a race. “He cracked a shin last winter,” Mandella said, “and later I had him going good. He had a minor setback again, but he should be ready in three or four weeks.” . . . The racing world eagerly awaits the next start of Triple Crown hopeful Point Encounter, impressive maiden winner on opening day, but trainer Carla Gaines said she would “play it by ear” when asked about the Point Given colt’s next race . . . Millie Ball and Kurt Hoover of HRTV will be Jack Disney’s guests at Sunday’s Fans’ Forum, 11:15 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens.