Santa Anita Notebook

Santa Anita Notebook


JANUARY 9, 2013

by John Mucciolo

There was a trio of graded races during the second week of the Santa Anita winter/spring meeting.

San Pasqual S. (G2): Watson, Weitman and Pegram's COIL (Point Given) capped off his career with a very game head victory for trainer Bob Baffert. The dual Grade 1 star went 1 1/16 miles in 1:42 2/5 beneath Martin Garcia.

Monrovia S. (G2): Jungle Racing LLC et al's MIZDIRECTION (Mizzen Mast) gradually wore down pacesetter Kindle (Indian Charlie) in proving best by a half-length in this spot under Mike Smith. The Mike Puype trainee, last seen defeating males in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint on the downhill course, finished off the about 6 1/2 furlongs in a rapid 1:11 4/5.

Sham S. (G3): Dave Kenny et al's GOLDENCENTS (Into Mischief) tracked in second to the top of the lane and inched away in the lane under a confident Kevin Krigger to post a 1 1/2-length score in this one. Trained by Doug O'Neill, the sophomore colt finished off one mile on the fast main oval in 1:36 2/5.

Track Stats

From a total of 26 races held at the Arcadia, California racetrack during the past week, favorites won at a 54 percent clip and the top two betting choices combined for 65 percent of the wins. From 17 frays contested on the dirt oval, two animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (12 percent), while none of the nine grassy tussles went all the way on the lead.

Speed was not as favorable as it usually is at this meeting, with only a pair of runners going all the way on the front on the main oval. We're not ready to say the track was biased, however, as a big number of favorites did come home first, but we're more accustomed to seeing speed dominate.

It was an all-or-nothing week of sorts, with 14 favorites but just a trio of second choices winning.

Meet Totals

RACES:   80
DIRT:   60
TURF:   20
FAVORITES:   32 (33 percent)
2ND CHOICES:   14 (20 percent)
TURF WIRE:   2 (18 percent)
DIRT WIRE:   12 (23 percent)


Friday (1/4)

1ST -- The Carla Gaines-trained REGIME (Empire Maker) put in a nice run throughout to be a clear second in what we thought was a very nice debut try for this filly. We'll tab the four-year-old to graduate next time.

2ND -- We were surprised KENICHI (First Samurai) didn't get claimed out of this dash, in which he rolled home a fine winner in a swift 1:09 3/5. The four-year-old gelding will be very tough next time for trainer Mark Glatt, even with a small rise in class.

Saturday (1/5)

2ND -- CABALLO DEL CIELO (Songandaprayer) led through to finally break through in this dash for conditioner Steve Asmussen. The fleet sophomore proved tons the best in this and could be ready to fulfill the promise that he flashed to start his career.

6TH -- MAKE US PROUD (Full Mandate) dueled on the lead through fast splits, dispatched of his pace foes turning for home and battled hard to the wire in a strong second-place showing in this spot. The gelded five-year-old will be a player next time if placed with similar.

7TH -- ULTIMATE EAGLE (Mizzen Mast) battled gamely once headed in late stretch and should be set for another big performance next time. The Mike Pender pupil has run well in both tries off the long break and appears to really favor this oval.

Sunday (1/6)

7TH -- The returning KATE'S EVENT (Event of the Year) was last after the opening half-mile, but got a fast pace to run into and flew home to win going away in this event, his first run since October. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee is a solid one-run sprint closer who is always a threat with this type.

A Look Ahead

Saturday will play host to the Grade 2, $150,000 San Fernando Stakes, while the Sunday headliner is the Grade 2, $150,000 San Gabriel Stakes.