Honor A. P. at Santa Anita Park

Honor A. P. at Santa Anita Park

GARY TASICH

Honor A. P., Anneau d'Or Work for Santa Anita Derby

West Coast-based 3-year-olds completed major breezes May 30.

C R K Stable's Honor A. P.  turned in his final major breeze May 30 for the June 6 Santa Anita Derby (G1), working five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 on a fast main track at Santa Anita Park.

The work was the fifth fastest of 48 at the distance. Mike Smith, who has ridden the Honor Code  ridgling in all three of his races, was aboard.

"He looked really good," said trainer John Shirreffs. "Mike was happy with him."

The Santa Anita Derby will be Honor A. P.'s first start since finishing second to Authentic in the March 7 San Felipe Stakes (G2), which followed a five-month layoff from when Honor A. P. broke his maiden. The two horses are expected to be rematched in the Santa Anita Derby.

Also working at Santa Anita Saturday for a possible start in the Santa Anita Derby was Jim and Donna Daniell's Rushie, who went five furlongs for trainer Michael McCarthy in :59 4/5 under Flavien Prat. The work was the second-fastest of 48 half-mile moves.

The Liam's Map  colt last raced May 2 at Oaklawn Park where he stalked the pace before scoring by 1 1/4 lengths in a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claimer, his second win in four starts.

Anneau d&#39;Or - Gallop - Oaklawn Park - 050120<br>
Photo: Coady Photography
Anneau d'Or at Oaklawn Park

At Golden Gate Fields Saturday, Peter Redekop's Anneau d'Or, runner-up in the Nov. 1 TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita in only his second start, completed major preparations for the Santa Anita Derby.

The Medaglia d'Oro  colt worked five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 from the gate on the Tapeta surface there, the third quickest of 42 at the distance.

Trainer Blaine Wright said Anneau d'Or will head to Santa Anita from Golden Gate June 1. Victor Espinoza will ride.

Anneau d'Or wrapped up 2019 with a second in the Los Alamitos Derby (G2). He's been off the board in two starts this year, finishing ninth in the second division of the Feb. 15 Risen Star Stakes Presented by Lamarque Ford (G2) after he was bumped early, and running fifth in the first division of the May 2 Arkansas Derby (G1) after chasing in third.

"We had to use him a little more than we wanted the first part in the Arkansas Derby," Wright said. "He broke bad, but that's no excuse. The winner (Charlatan) ran off the charts. Nobody was outrunning him that day. Maybe we would have placed a bit better, but on the other hand, it had been nine weeks since he ran in the Risen Star and it was another nine weeks from the Los Al Futurity to the Risen Star.

"We had been at Santa Anita and breezed over the track for the Santa Anita Derby when it was originally to be run on April 4, but was ultimately postponed, so we came home to Golden Gate."

Santa Anita resumed spectatorless racing May 15 after racing was halted March 27 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Now we're looking forward to running him back in 30 days, but make no mistake; all of what transpired is no excuse as to why he got beat," Wright continued. "He's got to step up his game, obviously.

"He really likes the track at Santa Anita. He breezed super over it (six furlongs in 1:13 March 28) when we had him there earlier and we were really looking forward to the Derby before racing was shut down."

The Santa Anita Derby offers qualifying points to the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) on a 100-40-20-10 scale to the top four finishers. Honor A. P. is 23rd on the leaderboard with 20 points, and Anneau d'Or is 32nd with 12. Authentic, the probable Santa Anita Derby favorite, is ninth with 60 points.

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