The indefatigable Jerry Hollendorfer hopes to add to his Oak Tree bankroll in the meet’s final five days. One of only four trainers with more than 5,000 career victories, Hollendorfer has Rendezvous entered in Saturday’s Grade II $150,000 Oak Tree Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf, and Kaweah Princess in Sunday’s closing-day feature, the $58,000 Cascapedia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.
“We want to give her a chance to run seven furlongs,” Hollendorfer said of Kaweah Princess, who won the 1 1/16-mile Palomares Stakes at Fairplex Park on Sept. 25. “She’s coming off a route, so we think she’ll be formidable.”
The field for the Oak Tree Derby, which goes as the 10th and final race on Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup card: Acclamation, Joe Talamo; Augustusthestrong, John Velazquez; Meteore, Rafael Bejarano; No Inflation, Julien Leparoux; Oil Man, Rajiv Maragh; Rendezvous, Joel Rosario; The Usual Q.T., Victor Espinoza; Battle of Hastings, Tyler Baze; Quindici Man, Edgar Prado; Gretsky, Kieren Fallon; and Tamborim, Richard Migliore.
YANKEE FAN CASSIDY SENDS OUT PAIR IN FRIDAY’S LAS PALMAS
Meydan Princess has one win from eight starts in the U.S. since arriving from overseas, and that was in the restricted Osunitas Handicap at Del Mar on July 26. Trainer Jim Cassidy hopes for bigger things when the Irish-bred filly runs in Friday’s Grade II $200,000 Las Palmas Handicap for fillies and mares at one mile on turf.
“We’re looking for some black type, and if we get lucky, we’ll get some,” said Cassidy, a Bronx native who will be firmly entrenched in front of a TV tonight to watch his beloved Yankees in quest of yet another World Series championship when they host the National League champion Phillies.
Meydan Princess has a 4-4-1 record from 17 starts with earnings of $173,982 for owner James Peyton of Lexington, Ky., who races as Forging Oaks Farm. Cassidy and Peyton also have Bahama Mama entered in the Las Palmas.
The field for the Las Palmas, which goes as the ninth and final race Friday: Bahama Mama, David Flores; Captain’s Lover, Julien Leperoux; Closeout, Jose Lezcano; Cat by the Tale, Kieren Fallon; Zardana, Victor Espinoza; Teamgeist, Robby Albarado; Bel Air Sizzle, Joe Talamo; Meydan Princess, Mike Smith; Quiet Meadow, Javier Castellano; Tuscan Evening, Rafael Bejarano; Internallyflawless, Garrett Gomez; Royal Taat, Rajiv Maragh; Tizaqueena, Jaime Theriot; and Exquisite, Alex Solis.
SMITH EXPECTS M ONE RIFLE TO FIRE IN DAMASCUS STAKES
Mike Smith has bigger fish to fry on Breeders’ Cup Saturday, but the Hall of Fame rider did not diminish the chances of M One Rifle, his mount in Saturday’s $100,000 Damascus Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.
“He’s a nice horse,” Smith said of the gelding he has ridden in each of his five starts, three of them victories. The son of One Man Army trained by Bruce Headley was beaten a nose as the 7-10 favorite last out in the California Cup Sprint Handicap at six furlongs on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride.
“He’s very talented,” Smith continued. “He’s extremely talented. I’ve never worked him, always just ridden him. In his last race, it was at the begining of the meet (Oct. 3). The track was a lot looser than it is now, and he was kind of struggling with it. I’m hoping now that they’ve tightened it up a little bit that he’ll handle it a lot better.”
The field for the Damascus, Saturday’s first race: Coronet of a Baron, Julien Leparoux; Smart Bid, Jeremy Rose; M One Rifle, Smith; All Saint, Felipe Valdez; Supreme Summit, Rafael Bejarano; Major Rock Star, Tyler Baze; Viscount, Garrett Gomez; and Dave’s Pacemaker, Omar Berrio.
OAK TREE ‘GRAND SLAM’ GIVES BAFFERT CAREER FIRST
Bob Baffert registered a career first Sunday by saddling four consecutive winners in the first through the fourth races. Each horse was ridden by a different jockey.
Baffert sent out George Krikorian’s Freedom Star ($6.40) to win the first under Garrett Gomez, Patti and Hal Earnhardt’s Total Bull ($4.60) to take the second with Rafael Bejarano aboard, Mike Pegram’s Crisis of Spirit ($2.80) to win the third—the $58,000 Anoakia Stakes— under Mike Smith, and the fourth with the Earnhardt’s You Can Dream ($3.40) under Martin Garcia.
The “Grand Slam” moved Baffert eight in front of runner-up John Sadler, 22-16, in the Oak Tree trainers’ standings with five racing days remaining. Sadler won the Oak Tree crown last year with 12 wins.
“I’ve never win four in a row before, anywhere, and we did it with four different riders,” Baffert said. “I was talking to Jill (his wife) Saturday night and we were looking at the overnight, and I said, ‘You know what? I can hit the Pick Four tomorrow.’ I knew they were all training good and they were all live.
“Jill had the Pick Four a bunch of times and I had it, too. It’s exciting . . . going back to Saturday, we’ve won six races.”
You Can Dream’s victory capped a $26.40 Pick 4 payoff and gave Baffert his 22nd win this meet, surpassing his previous Oak Tree high of 21, set in 1998 and again in 1999 when he was the runaway training king. Baffert also won Oak Tree’s crown in 1997 with 19 victories.
BREEDERS’ CUP LISTS POST TIMES AND WAGERING MENU
Gates at Santa Anita open to the public at 9 a.m. Friday, and 8 a.m. Saturday, for the 26th Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Following are the scheduled post times and wagering menu for the upcoming Breeders’ Cup races:
Friday, Nov. 6: race 1, allowance, 11:15 a.m.; 2, allowance, 11:49 a.m.; 3, Marathon, 12:35 p.m.; 4, Juvenile Fillies Turf, 1:08 p.m.; 5, Juvenile Fillies, 1:45 p.m.; 6, Filly & Mare Turf, 2:23 p.m.; 7, Filly & Mare Sprint, 3:02 p.m.; 8, Ladies’ Classic, 3:45 p.m.; and 9, Las Palmas Stakes, 4:25 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 7: 1, Damascus Stakes, 10:05 a.m.; 2, Juvenile Turf, 10:45 a.m.; 3, Turf Sprint, 11:23 a.m.; 4, Sprint, 12:10 p.m.; 5, Juvenile, 12:49 p.m.; 6, Mile, 1:28 p.m.; 7, Dirt Mile, 2:12 p.m.; 8, Turf, 2:57 p.m.; 9, Classic, 3:45 p.m.; and 10, Oak Tree Derby, 4:25 p.m.
There will be win, place, show, exacta, trifecta and superfecta wagering on each race, and a super high five on the Ladies’ Classic and the Classic. In addition, daily double wagering will be offered on the Ladies’ Classic to the next day’s Classic.
Also, there will be Pick 3 betting on races one through seven on Friday, and one through eight on Saturday. There will be Pick 4 betting on races one, five and six on Friday, and two, six and seven on Saturday. Pick Six betting will start with race three on Friday and race four on Saturday, so that only Breeders’ Cup races are included.
Head-to-head wagering on which rider will win the most Breeders’ Cup races starts on Friday’s third race, the Marathon.
BREEDERS’ CUP SHUTTLE BUSES AVAILABLE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
The Oak Tree Racing Association and Breeders’ Cup Ltd. will run continuous shuttles between Santa Anita and the Sierra Madre Villa Train Station in East Pasadena between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, and between 7:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7.
It is estimated that buses will arrive at the station every 45 minutes. Shuttle buses will be marked with a purple “Gold Line Shuttle” sign and will be parked in berth 4 on the ground level of the Sierra Madre Villa Station. Friday and Saturday’s weather forecast for Arcadia calls for partly cloudy skies with temperatures ranging from the mid 50s to the mid 70s.
FINISH LINES: With five racing days remaining, Rafael Bejarano and Joel Rosario were in a flat-footed tie for the riding lead. Not only did each have 26 victories, their total mounts and minor awards were virtually identical, to wit: Bejarano, 128, 26-23-16; Rosario, 131, 26-24-14 . . . Retired trainer Leonard Dorfman was a visitor this morning at Clockers’ Corner . . . HRTV’s Kurt Hoover will be a member of the Breeders’ Cup simulcast team on air Friday and Saturday . . . There will be a silent auction to benefit CANTER at the Derby Restaurant Thursday evening. Top prize is the official halter of the undefeated mare Zenyatta who is the 5-2 morning line favorite to capture her 14th straight race in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic. In addition to the halter, the winner will receive a picture of Zenyatta wearing her official CANTER halter, and a certificate of authenticity. The highest bidder will be announced 8 p.m. Friday at the Derby Restaurant. All proceeds benefit CANTER Southern California, a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation, helping Thoroughbred racehorses find new careers . . . Millie Ball of HRTV and Aaron Hesz of Handicappers’ Report will be Jack Disney’s guests at Sunday’s final Fans’ Forum, 11:15 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens . . . There were 17 participants still alive in Oak Tree’s online handicapping contest ShowVivor prior to Wednesday’s races.