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Hello, my name is John Cherwa, and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter s racing takes a break until Friday’s card at Santa Anita.
The California Horse Racing Board will have its first meeting on Wednesday in its new winter-spring home of Sacramento. Prior to now, the meetings this time of year were being held at Santa Anita, but the track said it no longer wanted to serve as host.
As is always the case, the really interesting items are hidden with the shortest language. For example, take this one:
“9. Discussion and action by the Board regarding the proposed amendments to CHRB Rule 1843.5, Equipment Requirement, to modify riding crop specifications and require racetracks to supply and control riding crops.”
The riding crop, better known as the whip, has been one of the bigger areas of contention as horse racing has tried to reform itself. There have been a lot of proposals and we’ll get to the latest in a minute.
The actual size and scope of the crop will be the subject of item 9. It was set up by this declaration by Dr. Greg Ferraro, the CHRB chair, at the last meeting.
“The Board intends to make certain specifications about what type of riding crop can be used. Unfortunately, that has to be taken up as a separate item. It can’t be considered in this agenda item. And since it’s not on the agenda, we can’t really discuss it until the next meeting.”
So, here we are, the next meeting. And therein lies one of the biggest obstacles of the CHRB. It is duty, and legally, bound to make all its rules, regulations and goings on open to public review, which is a very slow process. It makes the DMV look like a rabbit. Much as we all hate it, it’s in our best interest and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
But, nonetheless on Wednesday the CHRB will look at the Ramon Dominguez riding crop that is supposed to be the most “equine friendly” of anything on the market. It should have been looked at a while ago. One of the interesting provisos is that the crops would have to be checked in and out like library books. This would be done to make sure there is no funny business with the crops.
As for the actual whip rule, let me quote from Rick Baedeker, executive director of the CHRB at the December meeting.
“Correct uses of the riding crop are: 1) in an underhanded position with the crop always at or below the shoulder level of the jockey. 2) showing or waiving the crop without touching the horse. 3) tapping the horse on the shoulder with the crop in the down position while having both hands: a) holding onto the reins and, b) touching the neck of the horse.”
This was followed by a lengthy discussion of the penalty if the rule were broken.
So, where does it stand? It’s in the hands of a 45-day public comment period and, perhaps, could come back with more revision—which is smart—and then go back for 45 more days of comment. And again, and again.
So, it could be decided by the time I want to hang this up at 67. (I just had my 40th birthday in December and if you believe that my Pinocchio nose would have gone coast-to-coast. Actually, my birthday is in December. That’s true.)
There is a reasonable solution which would be to try things on a provisional basis. In other words, let’s try it and see how it works. The CHRB legal staff, the same one that didn’t find a conflict of interest when former CHRB vice-chairman Madeline Auerbach and Stronach big-shot Tim Ritvo had a business arrangement over the ownership of a horse, was asked about that possibility. They didn’t know. Let’s hope they know when asked this time.
Because the newsletter won’t be back until Friday, I wanted to get this out of the way. For what happened on Wednesday, check back with the print edition of the Los Angeles Times or latimes.com/sports.
I know I normally use the “Who goofed” intro when a mistake is made, but it doesn’t feel right to use it on such a serious topic. In the item about Tikku Olam being the fifth fatality at Santa Anita while training on Sunday, I had incorrect information. It was on the training track, not the main dirt surface. The main dirt track has not had a fatality this meeting.
Monday’s holiday feature was the Grade 3 $100,000 Megahertz Stakes for fillies and mares going a mile on the turf. Carressa’s win was a credit to Victor Espinoza, who took a difficult horse into the first turn, steadied her and made the right move at the right to win by a three-quarters of a length.
Carressa ran in the middle for most of the race before making her move on the far turn and taking a one-length at the top of the stretch. She paid $10.20, $5.00 and $4.00. Super Patriot was second followed by La Sardane, Streak of Luck, Take These Chains, Keeper ofthe Stars and Brill, a $1 million purchase.
Here’s what the winning connections had to say.
John Shirreffs (winning trainer): “I’m really thrilled with her, the way she’s progressed and the way she ran today. I thought the most important thing was when Victor was able to control her there going into the first turn. After that, she settled and really ran well.”
Victor Espinoza (winning jockey): “We didn’t know if she’d handle the turf, so I had two plans. If she broke sharp, I’d go to the lead, but she kind of missed the break, so we sat behind. I wanted to keep her covered up going into the first turn because she was pulling pretty hard. When we turned up the backstretch, I moved her out and dropped my hands and she relaxed. At that point I knew she was handling the turf and I really wasn’t worried about anyone else.”
“We took a shot at the turf. There was really no other place for her to race in, instead of just training her we might as well run her and John [Shirreffs] did the right thing. Now she can run in the dirt or the turf so they have many races to run, she’s been impressive and she is on her game. When a horse is getting good and starts winning it’s hard to get beat, they don’t come very often like Carressa that can run on both surfaces.”
Now, the star of the show, Monday’s results.
Santa Anita Charts Results for Monday, January 20.
Copyright 2020 by Equibase Company. Reproduction prohibited. Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 13th day of a 60-day meet. Cloudy & Fast
6½ Furlongs. Purse: $55,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies. 3 year olds. Time 21.70 45.17 1:11.63 1:18.79
Winner–Gidgetta B.f.3 by Fast Anna out of Gidget Girl, by Sky Mesa. Bred by Jungle Racing, LLC (KY). Trainer: Richard Baltas. Owner: Jungle Racing LLC. Mutuel Pool $173,781 Exacta Pool $70,315 Trifecta Pool $47,978. Scratched–none.
GIDGETTA had speed outside the runner-up then stalked off the rail, bid between horses under left handed urging a sixteenth out, gained the advantage in deep stretch and inched away at the wire. MERNEITH a half step slow into stride, sped to the early lead, edged away and set the pace a bit off the rail then inside, fought back in deep stretch but could not quite match the winner late. REEM close up stalking the pace outside then three deep to the stretch, bid three wide a sixteenth out and was outfinished late. PRINCESS MO stalked between horses then outside a rival on the turn and in the stretch and did not rally. DRAMA FOR MAMA sent along early, saved ground stalking the pace to the stretch, continued inside and weakened.
1 Mile. Purse: $22,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $16,000. Time 24.99 49.46 1:14.89 1:28.17 1:42.14
Winner–Ruby Bradley Grr.f.4 by Grazen out of Sudden Sunday, by Bertrando. Bred by Nick Alexander (CA). Trainer: Steven Miyadi. Owner: Nicholas B. Alexander. Mutuel Pool $160,437 Daily Double Pool $27,405 Exacta Pool $83,764 Superfecta Pool $36,141 Trifecta Pool $50,561. Claimed–Whoa Nessie by Gardner, Richard, Owens, Darin and Hanson, Ryan. Trainer: Ryan Hanson. Scratched–none.
RUBY BRADLEY stalked the pace off the rail, bid three deep leaving the second turn and into the stretch to gain the lead, drifted in from the whip while inching away briefly in midstretch, battled outside the runner-up in the final sixteenth and gamely prevailed. TIZ WONDERFULLY pulled along the inside and steadied off heels into the first turn, stalked a bit off the rail then bid outside a rival to duel for the lead on the backstretch, put a head in front between horses a quarter mile out, found the inside again in the stretch and fought back along the rail in the final sixteenth. DISCREET DIVA came off the inside into the first turn and stalked off the fence, came three deep into the stretch and finished willingly outside the top pair. WHOA NESSIE sped to the early lead, angled in on the first turn and set the pace inside, dueled along the rail on the backstretch and second turn, fell back some into the stretch and weakened. ALL TEA ALL SHADE three wide into the first turn, angled in on that turn to chase inside, went outside a rival leaving the backstretch and on the second turn and into the stretch and did not rally. CEE SAM'S GIRL settled off the inside, angled to the fence on the backstretch and saved ground chasing the pace, dropped back on the second turn and gave way.
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $55,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies. 3 year olds. Time 22.56 45.88 1:10.38 1:23.14 1:35.78
Winner–Beguiled B.f.3 by Orb out of Charming N Lovable, by Horse Chestnut (SAF). Bred by Claiborne Farm (KY). Trainer: Philip D'Amato. Owner: Little Red Feather Racing. Mutuel Pool $244,669 Daily Double Pool $24,350 Exacta Pool $124,551 Superfecta Pool $65,007 Super High Five Pool $30,341 Trifecta Pool $83,322. Scratched–Egyptian Goddess, Lookintogeteven, Quiet Secretary.
50-Cent Pick Three (4-4-3) paid $74.55. Pick Three Pool $48,711.
BEGUILED saved ground stalking the pace, came out leaving the second turn and three deep into the stretch, took the lead in upper stretch, inched away and drifted in despite left handed urging in midstretch and won clear under a late hold. HONOR HOP stalked between horses then inside on the second turn, came out in the stretch, was in a bit tight off heels nearing the sixteenth pole then split rivals and got up between foes late for the place. PREDICTABLE TULLY (IRE) was in a good position stalking the pace three wide to the stretch and was edged for second three deep on the line. UNDISTURBED had speed outside a rival then angled in and set the pace inside, fought back on the backstretch and second turn and into the stretch, was not a match for the winner in the final furlong and was edged for a minor award late. CLAUDIA JEAN (IRE) pulled along the inside on the first turn, bid between horses on the backstretch and outside the pacesetter on the second turn, took a slim lead into the stretch, was between foes in upper stretch and weakened in the final furlong. M IS FOR MAGIC stalked outside a rival, bid three deep on the backstretch, fell back some on the second turn and weakened. MANGOTANGO hopped some and broke out in a bit of a slow start, angled in on the first turn and saved ground off the pace, came out into the stretch and was not a threat. BROADBEACH (IRE) bobbled some at the start, dropped back inside, drifted outside a rival on the second turn, gave way and was eased in the stretch but walked off.
6 Furlongs. Purse: $32,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $50,000. Time 22.39 46.84 59.94 1:13.82
Winner–Slewbury Park Dbb.f.3 by Slew's Tiznow out of My Cinsation, by Cindago. Bred by Premier Thoroughbreds LLC (CA). Trainer: Edward R. Freeman. Owner: Albert, Darrin K., Blackburn, Brian, Freeman, Edward R., Marsden, Mike, Murigo, Antony and Tovar, Lu. Mutuel Pool $159,510 Daily Double Pool $15,716 Exacta Pool $76,970 Superfecta Pool $33,401 Trifecta Pool $50,415. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (4-3-4) paid $35.25. Pick Three Pool $26,205.
SLEWBURY PARK had speed three deep to press the early pace then stalked outside a rival, re-bid three wide on the turn and into the stretch, took a short lead in midstretch, fought back under urging a sixteenth out and gamely prevailed. ON THE VERGE chased off the rail then three deep leaving the turn and into the stretch, bid three wide past midstretch and continued willingly but could not get by the winner. AWESOME ALESSANDRA had speed between horses then stalked just off the rail, re-bid between foes on the turn, put a head in front, fought back just off the fence in the stretch and was outfinished late. POLAR ROUTE stalked inside, split rivals leaving the turn, angled back to the inside in the stretch and lacked the needed late kick. EXCESS COIL broke a bit slowly, settled off the rail, came a bit wide into the stretch and lacked a further response. OUI SAY NO dueled inside then inched away on the backstretch, battled inside on the turn, fell back a quarter mile out and had little left for the drive.
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $59,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500. Time 23.04 46.27 1:10.17 1:22.30 1:34.02
Winner–Sellwood B.r.5 by Girolamo out of Princess Laila, by Souvenir Copy. Bred by Silver Springs Farm Eqwine &Vineyard LLC (KY). Trainer: Jeff Mullins. Owner: Gulliver Racing LLC. Mutuel Pool $305,645 Daily Double Pool $27,871 Exacta Pool $165,326 Superfecta Pool $87,942 Super High Five Pool $5,417 Trifecta Pool $117,156. Scratched–Dubby Dubbie.
50-Cent Pick Three (3-4-9) paid $117.00. Pick Three Pool $45,531. 50-Cent Pick Four (4-3-4-9) 275 tickets with 4 correct paid $538.25. Pick Four Pool $193,931. 50-Cent Pick Five (4-4-3-4-9) 95 tickets with 5 correct paid $4,492.05. Pick Five Pool $495,445.
SELLWOOD angled in and saved ground chasing the pace, came out leaving the second turn and four wide into the stretch, bid five wide under some urging with the whip turned down and energetic handling to gain the lead past midstretch, drifted in late and won clear. ORIGINAIRE (IRE) saved ground stalking the pace, came out for room and waited off heels in upper stretch, split horses in midstretch and got up inside for the place. FORAY had speed four wide then angled in and stalked outside a rival, continued between foes leaving the backstretch and on the second turn, came three deep into the stretch, bid between foes to gain the lead in the drive, drifted in late and just held third between rivals. BARRISTAN THE BOLD (GB) stalked outside a rival then off the rail, advanced four wide on the second turn and into the stretch, bid four wide then between horses in midstretch and was edged for the show three deep on the line. ACKER settled a bit off the rail then inside, came out in the stretch and lacked the needed late kick. GREGORIAN CHANT (GB) dueled between horses then outside a rival, took the lead nearing the stretch, battled between horses in midstretch and weakened late. PLATINUM EQUITY settled off the rail then outside a rival, came out some in the stretch and lacked the necessary late kick. NEVER EASY had good early speed and dueled inside, fought back on the second turn and into the stretch and weakened in the final furlong. MIDNIGHT SWAP pressed then stalked the pace three deep, dropped back and angled in on the second turn and had nothing left for the stretch.
1 Mile. Purse: $32,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $50,000. Time 23.50 47.05 1:12.92 1:26.80 1:40.99
Winner–Big Hoof Dynamite B.c.3 by Data Link out of Acting Talent, by Bernstein. Bred by Mabaki Investments, Ellen Murphy &William R. Murphy (KY). Trainer: Jay Nehf. Owner: Peter Nehf. Mutuel Pool $213,019 Daily Double Pool $25,614 Exacta Pool $96,828 Superfecta Pool $48,421 Super High Five Pool $5,450 Trifecta Pool $65,876. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (4-9-2) paid $40.90. Pick Three Pool $33,525.
BIG HOOF DYNAMITE stalked inside, came out leaving the second turn, bid three deep into and through the stretch and gamely prevailed late under urging. KADESH stalked off the rail then bid outside a rival to press the pace, took the lead leaving the second turn and fought back between horses through the drive. MASTER RECOVERY pulled between horses and came out into the first turn, stalked just off the rail then inside, came out into the stretch, split rivals in upper stretch then angled in and bid along the rail and continued gamely to the end. MR. NASTY sent along inside early, set the pace along the rail then dueled inside, steadied as rivals went past in upper stretch and weakened. LANDAA three deep early, was pushed out some into the first turn, stalked outside a rival, dropped back and angled in on the second turn and gave way. LINFIELD broke slowly, chased just off the rail then inside, came out into the second turn, also gave way and was eased in the final furlong. WICKED BLUE four wide early, dropped back off the rail, fell farther back on the second turn and was eased through the stretch.
1 Mile Turf. Purse: $100,000. 'Megahertz Stakes'. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Time 23.61 46.83 1:11.35 1:22.98 1:34.64
Winner–Carressa B.f.4 by Uncle Mo out of Iplaytricks, by Desert God. Bred by Michael C. Stinson (KY). Trainer: John A. Shirreffs. Owner: Mercedes Stables LLC, West Point Thoroughbreds, Dilworth, Scott, Ingordo, Dorothy, Ingordo, David an. Mutuel Pool $355,413 Daily Double Pool $41,894 Exacta Pool $161,718 Superfecta Pool $72,474 Super High Five Pool $7,241 Trifecta Pool $110,074. Scratched–Tonahutu (IRE).
50-Cent Pick Three (9-2-1) paid $51.75. Pick Three Pool $38,769.
CARRESSA pulled along the inside then outside a rival into the first turn, stalked alongside a foe, went up three deep nearing the second turn, bid outside the leader leaving that turn to gain the advantage into the stretch, inched away under urging in midstretch and held on gamely. SUPER PATRIOT angled in and settled just off the rail, came out leaving the second turn and three deep into the stretch and edged a rival for the place. LA SARDANE (FR) broke a step slowly, tugged three deep then stalked just off the rail, went up three wide on the second turn and into the stretch, drifted in some late and was edged for second. STREAK OF LUCK hopped slightly at the start, angled in and settled inside, came out into the stretch and again in upper stretch and was four wide on the line. TAKE THESE CHAINS (IRE) stalked inside then between foes on the second turn and through much of the stretch and lacked the needed late kick. KEEPER OFTHE STARS sped to the early lead, dueled inside then stalked along the rail to the stretch and weakened some in the drive. BRILL prompted the pace outside a rival then inched away and angled in on the backstretch, fought back inside leaving the second turn and into the stretch and also weakened some late.
1 Mile. Purse: $20,000. Maiden Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000. Time 24.28 48.87 1:14.39 1:27.49 1:40.85
Winner–Derby Storm Dbb.g.4 by Sapphire Cat out of Big Honey Bee, by Songandaprayer. Bred by John Antonelli (CA). Trainer: Ruben Gomez. Owner: Derby, Susan and Folgner, Gary. Mutuel Pool $264,785 Daily Double Pool $86,626 Exacta Pool $162,838 Superfecta Pool $125,278 Super High Five Pool $28,348 Trifecta Pool $140,851. Scratched–Muskoka.
50-Cent Pick Three (2-1-4) paid $100.55. Pick Three Pool $143,124. 50-Cent Pick Four (9-2-1-4) 219 tickets with 4 correct paid $1,456.50. Pick Four Pool $417,275. 50-Cent Pick Five (4-9-2-1-4) 75 tickets with 5 correct paid $3,878.00. Pick Five Pool $381,094. 20-Cent Pick Six Jackpot (3-4-9-2-1-4) 5 tickets with 6 correct paid $19,976.84. Pick Six Jackpot Pool $186,977. Pick Six Jackpot Carryover $600,551.
DERBY STORM had good early speed and dueled inside, took a short lead on the second turn, inched away under urging in midstretch and held on gamely. SPEAKEROFTHEHOUSE chased outside a rival then three deep on the second turn and into the stretch and finished willingly. CROSS TOWN had speed between horses to set a pressured pace, dueled outside the winner leaving the second turn and into the stretch and bested the others. NIL PHET four wide into the first turn, stalked three deep on that bend then outside a rival on the backstretch, continued a bit off the rail on the second turn and weakened. SHARED prompted the pace three deep, fell back a bit leaving the second turn, angled in off the rail into the stretch and also weakened. STARSHIP CHEWY saved ground off the pace, came out a bit in the stretch and did not rally. FORT DODGE broke a bit slowly, angled in and settled inside, came off the rail on the backstretch, went outside a rival into the stretch and was not a threat. SON OF A QUEEN hopped a bit at the start, stalked between horses then a bit off the rail, continued inside on the second turn, came out into the stretch and weakened.