LOCALS GEAR UP FOR SANTA ANITA STAKES
It’s time for your weekly roundup of local horses and horsemen in the news:
A pair of Emerald Downs’ stakes winners will be in action Friday on the Breeders’ Cup undercard at Santa Anita.
Mach One Rules runs in the $100,000 Damascus Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at 7 furlongs while Gold Rush Dancer is entered in the $200,000 Twilight Derby (G2) at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
The Damascus, which goes as race four at 1:10 p.m., features a 10-horse field with Mach One Rules listed 15-1 on the morning line. T.J. Pereira has the mount for trainer Frank Lucarelli and owner Roy Schaefer.
The Twilight Derby, Race 10 at 5:10 p.m., features a field of 12 with Gold Rush Dancer 8-1 on the morning line. Regular rider Flavien Prat has the mount for trainer Vann Belvoir and owner/breeder John Parker.
Mach One Rules tries Santa Anita following a hard-luck campaign at Emerald Downs, in which the 3-year-old Harbor the Gold gelding lost four stakes by margins of two necks and two heads. Mach One Rules faces a formidable field led by the Bob Baffert-trained speedster Jazzy Times at 6-5 and graded winner Prospect Park next at 5-2. Moreover, Mach One Rules adds pace fuel to a field top-heavy with speed, but 7 furlongs does look like a great distance for the gelding.
Gold Rush Dancer drew the No. 12 post and looks to rebound from a 12th in the Del Mar Derby (G2) two months ago. The Private Gold colt has enjoyed a strong year with three stakes wins and nearly $300,000 in earnings, and he did win his lone start over the Santa Anita turf course in the Snow Chief Stakes last May.
POINT PIPER 20-1 IN BREEDERS’ CUP DIRT MILE
According to the experts, Point Piper is going to need a pace meltdown to be competitive in Friday’s $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita.
The 2016 Longacres Mile winner is listed at 20-1 on Jon White’s morning line, tied with Accelerate and Texas Chrome for the biggest price in the Dirt Mile. Dortmund, coming off a second to California Chrome in the Awesome Again (G1), is the 6-5 choice while 2015 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Runhappy is second choice at 3-1.
Point Piper could use some fast early fractions to enhance his stretch kick, something like the splits he got at Emerald Downs—:22.66, :44.70, 1:08.76 , 1:20.97—when he rallied to victory in a track record 1:32.90.
Of the nine horses entered Friday, Runhappy appears to be the fastest early and could lead gate-to-wire, although Dortmund figures to keep things honest. Point Piper figures to be far back under Mario Gutierrez, and would need a remarkable stretch run just to hit the board.
On the other hand, all five of Point Piper’s career wins are at a mile, and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has managed this feat before. In 2010 at Churchill Downs, the Hollendorfer-trained Dakota Phone rallied from 12th for a 37-1 upset in the Dirt Mile.
The field for the BC Dirt Mile with jockey, weight and morning line (post time 3:05 p.m.): 1-Vyjack, Flavien Prat, 126, 10-1; 2-Tom’s Ready, Joel Rosario, 123, 12-1; 3-Dortmund, Martin Garcia, 126, 6-5; 4-Point Piper, Mario Gutierrez, 126, 20-1; 5-Accelerate, Tyler Baze, 123, 20-1; 6-Texas Chrome, C.J. McMahon, 123, 20-1; 7-Runhappy, Gary Stevens, 126, 3-1; 8-Tamarkuz, Mike Smith, 126, 8-1; 9-Gun Runner, Florent Giroux, 123, 9-2.
DINERMAN BUSY AT GOLDEN GATE FIELDS
Emerald Downs’ own Matt Dinerman called three races at Golden Gate Fields last week and will call the entire card this Thursday and Friday at the Bay Area track.
“Being able to call races in my home state of California was a wonderful experience and it was neat to call a couple of Emerald horses (Perhaps a Pie, Split Pairs),” Dinerman said. “I’m really looking forward to calling a few turf races.”
When he isn’t filling in for Frank Mirahmadi, Dinerman also will do paddock analysis at Golden Gate Fields. The 23-year-old Dinerman just completed his first full season at Emerald Downs and is the youngest full-time track announcer in North America.
LONGACRES MILE PRODUCES ANOTHER WINNER
Indian Brut became the fourth next-out winner to emerge from the 2016 Longacres Mile (G3). Ridden by Frank Alvarado for trainer Tim McCanna and owner Charles Fipke, Indian Brut ($7.60) led gate-to-wire for a 1¾-length victory in a $29,000 allowance/optional claimer Friday at Golden Gate Fields. The 5-year-old Indian Charlie horse ran 5 furlongs on turf in :56.75 and earned an 81 Beyer. In two starts this year at Emerald Downs, Indian Brut finished fourth in a 6-furlong allowance race and 10th in the Longacres Mile.
Indian Brut joined Cyrus Alexander, Star Student and Stryker Phd as horses to win their next out after running in the 2016 Mile.
MISCELLANEOUS . . .
Awesome Indian, whose previous 13 starts were at Emeralds Downs, scored a $23.80 upset in a $47,000 allowance/optional claimer Sunday at Laurel Park in Maryland. Ridden by Brian Pedroza for trainer Keith Nations, the 4-year-old Indian Charlie colt ran 5½ furlongs on turf in 1:01.41 and earned a career-high 86 Beyer. . .Aithon Stable’s Gloria’s Angelo scored by 1¼ lengths in a $12,500 claimer Saturday at Golden Gate. The 4-year-old City Zip gelding campaigned at Emerald Downs in 2015, finishing runner-up to Fooled Again in the Auburn Handicap. . .Also at Golden Gate, 4-year-old Washington-bred Percy’s Bluff won his third straight with a 1¼-length triumph vs. $4,000 starter allowance foes at 5 furlongs. In his last three starts for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, Percy’s Bluff has earned Beyers of 91, 90 and 92, and is 5-4-3 in 14 starts this year with earnings of $63,485. . .Yo Y Me, runner-up to The Chilli Man in the ill-fated colt’s sensational debut last June, is having a fine 2-year-old season for trainer Kevin Eikleberry. Coming off a 7½-length victory last month, Yo Y Me is the 6-5 favorite in Saturday’s $35,000 ATBA Fall Sales Stakes at Turf Paradise. . .2014 WTBOA Sales topper My Palmilla (6-2-1-0-$94,180) continues her nice development with trainer Mark Glatt, and is 6-1 in a $75,000 allowance race on the Breeders’ Cup undercard Friday at Santa Anita. Bred by Mr. & Mrs. William T. Griffin, My Palmilla is a 3-year-old filly by Tribal Rule–Bella Campana. . .Another WTBOA Sales graduate, California Diamond, is the 6-5 morning line favorite in Saturday’s $200,000 Golden State Juvenile for California-bred or sired 2-year-olds at Santa Anita. By Harbor the Gold-Carrie’s a Jewel, California Diamond sold for $35,000 at the 2015 WTBOA Sale and was resold for $125,000 at the 2016 Del Mar Paddock Sale. Owned by Rockingham Ranch and trained by Peter Miller, California Diamond is 4-2-0 in six starts with earnings of $267,780. . .Lookin At Lee, 30-1 in Saturday’s $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, also has Northwest connections. The Lookin At Lucky colt is out of Langara Lass, who won three stakes at Hastings Racecourse and finished third in the 2006 Irish Day Handicap at Emerald Downs. . .Sammy Mandeville, second and sixth in the last two Longacres Miles, is 20-1 in Friday’s $200,000 Marathon (G2) at 1¾ miles at Santa Anita. . .In Quarter Norse news, Idaho-bred Bh Lisas Boy finished second as the 3-5 favorite in Saturday’s $353,500 AQHA Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos. As a 3-year-old in 2015, Bh Lisas Boy set the 440-yard track record while winning the Bank of America Emerald Downs Championship Challenge. . .At Portland Meadows, Eyes Movin ($6.60) captured the $9,500 Halloween Handicap in :46.06 for 870 yards. A 9-year-old Washington-bred, Eyes Movin is 14-for-36 at Portland Meadows and 0-for-15 at Emerald Downs.