Garrett Gomez reunites with Georgie Boy in Saturday’s Damascus Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs. It marks the first race for the California-bred son Tribal Rule since March 15, when he won the Grade II San Felipe Stakes, and the first ride for Gomez on Georgie Boy since they won the Grade I Del Mar Futurity together last year. Gomez, whose mounts have earned more than $17.7 million to date this year, is seeking his third straight national money-winning title. He leads runner-up Robby Albarado by more than $2.2 million.
“Georgie Boy has been doing everything great,” said Gomez, who has worked the gelding owned and bred by George Schwary and trained by Kathy Walsh several times en route to his comeback. “We’ve tried to get enough air in him to make sure he’s fit, without going too fast. He’s a classy individual and he’s doing good.”
The field for the seven-furlong Damascus: Dancing in Silks, Joel Rosario, 120; Hatta Fort, Julien Leparoux, 123; D. Double You, Rene Douglas, 116; Gayego, Mike Smith, 123; Blue Chagall, Brice Blanc, 118; Into Mischief, Espinoza, 118; Victor’s Cry, John Velazquez, 116; No Advantage, Rafael Bejarano, 116; Young Joe, Joe Talamo, 118; Signature Move, Michael Baze, 118; Kool Comic, Robby Albarado, 123; Georgie Boy, Garrett Gomez, 123; Leonides, Richard Migliore, 123; and Master Daniel, Frankie Dettori, 116.
CARAVA HOPES ‘COMPASS’ SHOWS THE WAY TO OAK TREE DERBY VICTORY
Jack Carava hopes the fourth time is the charm when Moral Compass runs in Saturday’s Grade II $150,000 Oak Tree Derby.
Moral Compass was second by a nose in a division of the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar in his first race for Carava. The son of Grand Slam previously was trained by Barclay Tagg before being obtained by Carava’s principal client, Ron Valenta of La Canada, who races as La Canada Stables.
Moral Compass had a troubled trip when sixth by less than four lengths in the Grade II La Jolla Handicap on Aug. 9, then closed well while wide to be fourth by 3 1/4 lengths in an optional claiming race at Oak Tree on Oct. 1.
“I would say he needed his last race,” Carava said. “He tries hard and has been very consistent. We just need a little luck this time.”
Moral Compass has a 2-3-4 record from 13 starts, with earnings of $143,410.
The field for the Oak Tree Derby: Dixie Chatter, Richard Migliore, 118; Muny, David Flores, 118; Tres Borrachos, Tyler Baze, 122; Gallon, Russell Baze, 120; Moral Compass, Eibar Coa, 122; Madeo, Mike Smith, 122; Trevor’s Clever, Joe Talamo, 118; Deal Making, Ramon Dominguez, 118; Woodland Flood, Victor Espinoza, 118; Nownownow, Julien Leparoux, 118; Blue Exit, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Rumba Along, Chantal Sutherland, 118; Ghetto, Kent Desormeaux, 118; and Pearl Fisher, Jose Valdivia Jr., 118.
QUISISANA EYES ANOTHER WIN WITH TALAMO IN SUNDAY’S CASCAPEDIA
Quisisana goes for her fourth victory from five starts and her second straight under Joe Talamo in Sunday’s closing-day feature, the $100,000 Cascapedia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.
“She can do anything,” said the 18-year-old rider, fourth in the Oak Tree standings with 12 victories through Wednesday. “You can do whatever you want with her. She can win on the lead, off the lead. I’m very grateful Mr. Mike (trainer Mike Puype) put me on her. She’s push-button.”
Talamo, who is represented by agent Scott McClellan, appreciates his position in the standings.
“With (Rafael) Bejarano and (Garrett) Gomez being so good and getting on pretty much the best horses all the time, for me to be fourth is incredible. I’m still young, so hopefully I’ll move up in time. I’m watching them ride and trying to learn more and more each day.”
The field for the Cascapedia: Accopela Choir, Alonso Quinonez, 118; Quisisana, Talamo, 118; Briecat, Jon Court, 123; Foxy Danseur, Mike Smith, 118; Highland Torree, Martin Garcia, 123; Dawn Before Dawn, Garrett Gomez, 123; P.S.U. Grad, Michael Baze, 118; Golden Doc A, Chantal Sutherland, 123; High Resolve, Russell Baze, 123; R Charlie’s Angel, Aaron Gryder, 123; and Wickednwackyingrid, Martin Pedroza, 118.
Trainer Barry Abrams said Thursday morning that flight connections from Kentucky for Golden Doc A could not be arranged in time and she will miss the race.
BLACK MAMBA HAS CLASS EDGE IN FRIDAY’S LAS PALMAS
John Sadler is confident Black Mamba can move him closer to his third consecutive Southern California training title by winning Friday’s Grade II $250,000 Las Palmas Handicap for fillies and mares at one mile on turf.
The 52-year-old Long Beach native already has the Hollywood Park and Del Mar crowns on his resume. Through Wednesday, he had an 11-10 lead over runners-up Doug O’Neill and Mike Mitchell.
Black Mamba, a New Zealand-bred mare, is highweight under 120 pounds in the Las Palmas and drew the rail. She registered her first Grade I victory in Del Mar’s John C. Mabee Handicap on Aug. 3, and followed that with a third to Wait a While in the Grade I Yellow Ribbon Stakes at Oak Tree on Sept. 27.
Owner Richard Templar of Chicago, who races as Doubledown Stables, Inc., opted not to supplement Black Mamba to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, in light of the prohibitive $300,000 fee.
“She’s a very good horse, and on class, she should have a big edge,” Sadler said of the consistent stretch-running bay, who has never been out of the money in 11 starts in the United States. Overall, she has a 4-6-3 record from 21 starts, with earnings of $647,171.
The field for the Las Palmas, which goes as race No. 8 on a 10-race program: Black Mamba, Garrett Gomez, 120, 5-2; Lightmyfirebaby, Victor Espinoza, 115, 15-1; Zardana, Aaron Gryder, 115, 15-1; Trick’s Pic, Joel Rosario, 115, 15-1; Lemon Chiffon, David Flores, 114, 10-1; Valbenny, Alex Solis, 117, 6-1; Kris’ Sis, Michael Baze, 115, 8-1; Passified, Mike Smith, 116, 8-1; Moujane, Jose Valdivia Jr., 115, 15-1; Bahama Mama, Kent Desormeaux, 116, 30-1; Roshani, John Velazquez, 118, 10-1; Rosinka, Jeremy Rose, 118, 5-1; Gotta Have Her, Tyler Baze, 115, 15-1; and America’s Friend, Sutherland, 114, 20-1.
GENERAL, CLUB HOUSE ADMISSIONS AVAILABLE FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
Admission to Santa Anita on Friday and Saturday, Breeders’ Cup days, will be available at the entrance gates. General admission is $20 per day and provides access to the Grandstand main floor, trackside apron, Paddock Gardens and Infield. Club House admission is $50 per day and gives access to the Club House main floor and the general admission areas.
A limited number of reserved seats are available. Seats in sections L-V of the Grandstand are $200 and $400 each for the two days. Club House apron reserved seats are $500 for two days.
First race post time Friday is 11:05 a.m. Parking lots open at 7:30 a.m. and admission gates at 8 a.m. First race post time Saturday is 10:10 a.m. Parking lots open at 6:30 a.m. and admission gates at 7 a.m.
Overflow parking will be available on Saturday at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, across Baldwin Avenue just north of Santa Anita, and the Arcadia County Park east of Santa Anita at Huntington Drive and Santa Anita Avenue.
Free shuttle buses will run from the Metro Gold Line’s Sierra Madre Villa station in east Pasadena on Friday starting at 8 a.m. and on Saturday at 7:30 a.m., leaving from berth #4. Shuttles returning from Santa Anita to the Gold Line station begin both days at 1:30 p.m.
Complete train and bus service schedules to and near Santa Anita are on the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) website, http://www.metro.net.
WAGERS ON 2008 BREEDERS’ CUP DAYS
Friday, Oct. 24
All 10 races will offer Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta, and Superfecta.
Races 1 through 8 offer Pick 3.
Races 1 through 9 offer Daily Double.
Races 5 and 7 offer Pick 4.
Race 7 offers Super High 5.
The Pick Six is on races 3 through 8.
Saturday, Oct. 25
All 11 races will offer Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta.
Races 1 through 9 offer Pick 3.
Races 1 through 10 offer Daily Double.
Races 2, 6 and 8 offer Pick 4.
Race 9 offers Super High 5.
The guaranteed $3-million Pick Six is on races 4 through 9. There is a mandatory Pick Six payout.
FINISH LINES: This Sunday, closing day, is Fan Appreciation Day at Oak Tree. All fans will receive a gift coupon redeemable for a variety of items, including backpacks, picnic jugs, long sleeve T-shirts and polo shirts, one per person while supplies last. First post time Sunday is 12:30 p.m. Gates open at 10:30 a.m. . . . Friday’s local Weather.com
forecast calls for sunny skies with temperatures from 56 to 93 degrees, while Saturday’s is sunny, from 56 to 87 . . . Kent Desormeaux, winner of three consecutive Oak Tree riding titles (1990-92), arrived Monday night for his Breeders’ Cup engagements and has taken calls prior to Friday and Saturday’s commitments. “It’s good to be back with family and kids,” the 38-year-old Hall of Fame rider said . . . Rafael Bejarano held a 25-22 lead over Garrett Gomez through Wednesday in the race for the Oak Tree riding crown . . . Shea Mitchell, daughter of trainer Mike Mitchell and his wife, Denise, will sing the National Anthem prior to Friday’s Breeders’ Cup program at Oak Tree . . . Former jockey Joe Steiner dislocated his left elbow in a freak accident about a week ago. “I was on a horse for (Richard) Mandella,” explained the 44-year-old Steiner, who retired three years ago, “prepping to work her, and she ducked at the 16th pole. She stopped, planted and sent me flying. I’ll probably miss about a month.”