Trainer Eoin Harty

Trainer Eoin Harty

Anne M. Eberhardt

Santa Anita Trainers Adjust to Stakes Changes

Rescheduled graded events forcing some to add workouts to preparations.

Despite heavy rain that forced cancellation of Santa Anita's stakes-heavy card Feb. 6, horsemen are making whatever adjustments are necessary and are moving forward.

Santa Anita has announced that the three major stakes, the $250,000 Las Virgenes (gr. I), the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis (gr. II) and $200,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II), have been rescheduled a week later on Feb. 13.           

Blind Luck will have an easy work Tuesday (Feb. 9),” said Jerry Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward of the Eclipse Award finalist for champion 2-year-old filly of 2009, a heavy favorite for the Las Virgenes. “She’s very smart. Two years ago, when Heatseeker ran second in the San Antonio (gr. II), they had pushed it back so that there were only three weeks until the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), and he won anyway, so there wasn’t much difference.”
Eoin Harty said Hollywood Prevue (gr. III) winner American Lion  would work Feb. 8 for the Lewis. “No major adjustments,” the trainer said. “We’ll just try again.”
Mike Machowsky expressed similar sentiment when asked about unbeaten Lewis contender Caracortado. “He’ll work five furlongs Monday, and there’s not much difference from his routine,” the trainer said. “We’ll just keep him in shape until the race.”

All three races will be redrawn and all horses that were nominated are eligible to be entered. The Santa Maria Handicap (gr. II) will also be part of the Feb. 13 card.
In addition to the three graded stakes that were canceled Saturday, the $65,000 Leroidesanimaux Handicap and the $60,000 Wishing Well Handicap will be redrawn and carded for either Feb. 11 or 12, track officials decided.
The remaining five overnight races that were lost will be offered again as extra races to horsemen in the coming week. Those races that are used will be redrawn and are open to all horses who meet eligibility requirements.