Santa Anita Race Report (Cont.)
Updated: Thursday, January 2, 2003 1:22 PM
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2002 8:53 PM
Photo: Benoit photos
Grammarian shows his affinity for Santa Anita turf with San Gabriel win.
Grammarian could not be caught in the $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) on Dec. 29, entrenching himself as one of the circuit's best grass runners. Bred and owned by Lindsey Williams' Pacific Heritage Farm, the then 4-year-old Definite Article gelding went nine furlongs on grass in 1:48.12, beating David Copperfield by a length. Jockey Jose Valdivia was up for Grammarian's new trainer, Beau Greely...Echo Eddie wrapped up Hollywood's winter meeting with a brave win in the 5 1/2-furlong Dayjur Handicap. A former claimer--owners David and Rita Milch picked up the Restless Con gelding for $20,000--Echo Eddie took the Dayjur by two lengths, an effort trainer Darrell Vienna hopes will lead to another crack at the $2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I)...It came down to the final race, but Alex Solis and Victor Espinoza could not be separated atop the Hollywood jockeys' standings. They each won 34 races...Doug O'Neill saddled 16 winners to win his first Hollywood training title, then capped his career year on Santa Anita's opening day when Excessivepleasure spread-eagled the field in the seven-furlong California Breeders' Champion Stakes. The then 2-year-old son of In Excess galloped home by five lengths to stay unbeaten for owners Lee and Ty Leatherman...A day later, another In Excess juvenile, Pocketfullofpesos, was just as commanding, scoring by three lengths in the fillies' division. A $40,000 claim seven weeks earlier, now 3-year-old filly has won her last three for the partnership of Sean Gerson, Phil Belmonte, Hank Cohen, Dave Gould, and Barry Shapiro. Mike Mitchell is her trainer...You's disappointment in the La Brea didn't help the cause much, but Bobby Frankel continued to chisel away at D. Wayne Lukas' 1988 national earnings record for trainers. Naturally, it was Frankel's turf runners who came through in the clutch. On Dec. 26, Inesperado got back on the beam, edging Music's Storm by a head in the one-mile Sir Beaufort Stakes. The French-bred Zayyani colt is owned by Charles Kenis' 3 Plus U Stable. Frankel also got another solid run from Edmund Gann's Peace Rules. The son of Jules remained hot on Dec. 28, holding off newcomer Singletary for a three-quarter-length triumph in the Hill Rise Stakes at a mile. Between the two wins, Heat Haze won her stateside debut down the hillside turf course. The then 3-year-old Green Desert filly, a Juddmonte Farms homebred, is a half-sister to champion Banks Hill...The dawn of Santa Anita's season always provides an early glimpse of youngsters with classic potential, and the 2-year-olds were out in droves during opening week. Lukas came out swinging on Dec. 26 with Scrimshaw. The undefeated son of Gulch fought a determined stretch battle to win a six-furlong allowance heat and bears watching, as does the colt Southern Image, a Halo's Image first-timer who flattened maidens going 6 1/2 furlongs the same afternoon. Mike Machowsky trains. Trainer Vladimir Cerin has high hopes, too, for Robledo. After breaking his maiden sprinting a month earlier, the son of Robannier came back for a convincing win in a 1 1/16-mile allowance. Keep your eyes open, as well, for Point Clear, an Elusive Quality filly who looked exquisite taking a six-furlong maiden race on Dec. 28. She comes from the Richard Matlow stable...Complications following surgery for a fractured pastern forced the euthanization Dec. 22 of sprinter Unlimited Value. Trained by Carla Gaines, the 6-year-old gelding won nearly $400,000 for owner/breeder John Harris, reaching his zenith in the California Cup Sprint in early November.
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