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Horse racing newsletter: Congrats to Nadal on a Kentucky Derby trail-worthy performance

Hello, my name is John Cherwa, and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as as we have a stewards’ ruling case that gets resolved after almost two decades.

The Santa Anita stewards were on the ball again this week and filed their minutes in a timely manner. So, let’s get right to them.

Get the latest news, analysis, results and charts with John Cherwa's definitive Horse Racing newsletter.

--Jockey Joel Rosario was suspended for three days (Feb. 6, 7, 8) for careless riding when his mount, Ghoul, was disqualified in the seventh race on Jan. 26 for crossing over without enough clearance and impeding a horse on his inside. Ghoul was moved from second to fifth place. (Note: Racing at Santa Anita was canceled on Feb. 6 but it counts as a suspension day because he was also barred from riding at other tracks such as Golden Gate, which did run. The fact his home track was scheduled to run, but didn’t, doesn’t figure in to it.)

--Groom Saul Garcia is suspended for failing to appear at a hearing to answer charges of disorderly conduct. Garcia was alleged to have been intoxicated and acting aggressively to three different licensees at San Luis Rey Downs on or about Nov. 18 of last year.

--Trainer Phil D’Amato was fined $500 for having a prohibited substance in his horse, Our Romance, who finished third in he fifth race at Del Mar on July 26 of last year. Betamethasone, a corticosteroid, was the drug that was present in the horse Neither D’Amato nor veterinarian Ryan Carpenter how the overage of th medication got in the horse.

--Jockey Agapito Delgadillo was suspended three days (Feb. 8, 9, 14) for careless riding aboard R Matineigh Idol in the first race on Jan. 31. It resulted in R Matineigh Idol to be disqualified from second to third. Delgadillo admitted he crossed over but it wasn’t “that bad.”

--Jockey Hector Berrios was fined $500 for using the riding crop more than three times in a row on his mount, Brown Storm, in the San Marcos Stakes on Feb. 1. The stewards’ minutes said he violated the crop rule three times in the stretch. Brown Storm finished fourth in the six-horse race. Steward Kim Sawyer voted for a two-day suspension.

--Trainer Don Chatlos was fined $400 for late registration of Clivetty as using Lasix in the second race on Feb. 1. The horse was allowed to run and won the maiden special race for 3-year-old fillies.

--Owner John Kofoed was restored to good standing from a suspension that was issued on Aug. 27, 2003. There were two complaints. In 2003, owner Earle Malley filed a complaint against Kofoed for failure to pay $1,724 for training services related to an ownership/partnership agreement over two different horses. According to a CHRB investigator, no one signed for the certified copy of the complaint mailed to Malley. Malley did not appear for the hearing because it was believed that Malley died around 2014. The case was dismissed.

There was a second complaint in 2003 that alleged that Kofoed owned veterinarian John Araujo $94.50 for services rendered in 2002. Kofoed wrote a check and the case was dismissed. So, after almost two decades, Kofoed was restored to good standing. And, if you are as confused as I am, join the club.

OK, here’s one I’m not taking a bullet for. Some of you (who are obviously not reading this because you can’t) have not gotten the newsletter the last couple of days. I’m heartened that so many of you find this newsletter a part of your morning routine. Some of you were even receiving this newsletter well after racing has finished for the day. Neither is acceptable. We want to return this newsletter to its normal schedule and we’ll get there. The good news is I’ve got Houston Mitchell, my editor and our own Ray Donovan, on the case with our tech people. (Can you believe Showtime canceled Ray Donovan?)

There was one graded stakes on Sunday, and it was a good one. So, let’s review it.

Grade 2 $200,000 San Vicente Stakes: What makes this race unusual is it’s only seven furlongs and carries with it no Kentucky Derby points. But, given that all the emphasis is on the last two prep races, you can get away with no points in perhaps your first prep of the year. Oh, yes, it’s restricted to 3-year olds.

Nadal was the favorite and didn’t disappoint. He broke sharply, ran near the front, went to the front on the far turn, was challenged by Ginobili and then pulled out an effortless win by three-quarters of a length. Nadal paid $2.60, $2.20 and $2.10. Ginobili was second followed by Fast Enough, Storm the Court, Ra’ad and Party Town.

Here’s what the winning connections had to say.

Bob Baffert (winning trainer): “[Sunday], I told [jockey] Joel [Rosario], don’t get cute, just go. We can rate him some other day. They took it to him, but if we’re gonna get beat, get beat. I trained him light for this, so this is my serious work. … I thought he was gonna get beat. He got to gut it out [Sunday], so he’s got a good foundation now. This should set him up pretty good and I think we’ll go to the Rebel [at Oaklawn Park March 14].”

Joel Rosario (winning jockey): “He broke sharp and he handled the pressure from the outside. I was never worried about it. My horse was moving very well and I was confident because I could feel I had a lot of horse under me. He was very impressive. He ran very fast today and he runs like he’ll like two turns, but you never know until they do it.”

If you want to read more, there this story I did for the L.A. Times web and print. Just click here.

A look at graded stakes or races worth $100,000 late Saturday night and on Sunday.

Late Saturday

Delta Downs (8): $100,000 Louisiana Premier Night Sprint, La-breds 4 and up, 5 furlongs. Winner: Double Barrel Man ($34.20)

Delta Downs (9): $150,000 Louisiana Premier Night Championship, La-breds 4 and up, 1 1/16 miles. Winner: Underpressure ($12.40)

Delta Downs (10): $100,000 Louisiana Premier Night Matron, La-breds fillies and mares 4 and up, 5 furlongs. Winner: Mint to Stardom ($3.40)

Sunday

Aqueduct (8): $100,000 Biogio’s Rose Stakes, NY-bred fillies and mares, 6 furlongs. Winner: More Mischief ($8.10)

Santa Anita (7): Grade 2 $200,000 San Vicente Stakes, 3-year-old, 7 furlongs. Winner: Nadal ($2.60)

Now, the star of the show, Sunday’s results. See you Friday.

Santa Anita Charts Results for Sunday, February 9.

Copyright 2020 by Equibase Company. Reproduction prohibited. Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 23rd day of a 60-day meet. Showery & Firm

FIRST RACE.

5½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $33,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $25,000. Time 22.17 45.28 57.34 1:03.28

Winner–Swirling B.m.6 by Twirling Candy out of Hermione's Magic, by Forest Wildcat. Bred by English Range Farm (FL). Trainer: Reed Saldana. Owner: Thomas Urbina. Mutuel Pool $131,092 Exacta Pool $65,818 Superfecta Pool $27,315 Super High Five Pool $3,329 Trifecta Pool $41,709. Claimed–Drift Away by Where We At. Trainer: Mark Glatt. Claimed–Square Peggy by Bran Jam Stable. Trainer: Vladimir Cerin. Scratched–none.

SWIRLING had speed between horses then stalked a bit off the rail, came out in upper stretch, rallied under left handed urging five wide in deep stretch and got up nearing the wire. SEASIDE DANCER dueled three deep between horses then stalked leaving the backstretch, angled to the inside on the turn, awaited room behind rivals leaving the turn and into the stretch, came out for room nearing midstretch, rallied four wide between foes to a short lead in deep stretch and was edged late. DONUT GIRL bobbled as the ground broke out behind at the start, settled outside a rival then chased a bit off the rail, came out in upper stretch and finished well. DRIFT AWAY broke a bit slowly, angled in and saved ground off the pace, came out a bit in upper stretch then was in tight off heels past the eighth pole, came out for room and was outfinished for the show. SQUARE PEGGY prompted the pace four wide then stalked outside the runner-up into and on the turn, re-bid three deep into and through the stretch, put a head in front in midstretch and was outkicked late. I LOVE ROMANCE had good early speed and dueled inside, fought back in the stretch and also was outkicked late. FRACAS dueled between horses then outside a rival on the turn, fought back between horses into and in the stretch and also was outfinished.

SECOND RACE.

6½ Furlongs. Purse: $32,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $50,000. Time 22.16 46.01 1:12.09 1:19.01

Winner–Arc Nation Ch.c.3 by Alternation out of Divine River, by Divine Park. Bred by Brereton C. Jones & B. Ned Jones (KY). Trainer: Patrick Gallagher. Owner: Arc Racing. Mutuel Pool $143,322 Daily Double Pool $28,901 Exacta Pool $57,919 Trifecta Pool $46,212. Scratched–none.

ARC NATION pressed the pace three deep, took a short lead outside the runner-up in upper stretch, brushed then bumped with that one in the final furlong and gamely prevailed under urging. ARCH ABILITY had good early speed and dueled between horses then briefly outside a rival midway on the backstretch, battled between foes into and on the turn, took a short lead off the rail leaving the turn, fought back just off the fence in the stretch, brushed then bumped with the winner in the final furlong and went on willingly to the end. OUTRIGHT stalked outside a rival, came out leaving the turn and four wide into the stretch and gained the show. SHANGHAI CURLY broke in a bit, stalked inside then a bit off the rail on the turn, came out leaving the turn and into the stretch and lacked the needed rally. CONSTITUTIONAFFAIR bobbled slightly at the start, had good early speed and dueled inside, dropped back leaving the turn and into the stretch and weakened, then was not persevered with in the final furlong.

THIRD RACE.

1 Mile Turf. Purse: $55,000. Maiden Special Weight. 4 year olds and up. Time 23.63 48.12 1:11.93 1:23.99 1:35.85

Winner–Sea of Liberty Grr.g.4 by Boisterous out of Seekitana, by Unbridled's Song. Bred by Mr. & Mrs. Thomas A. Shapiro (CA). Trainer: John W. Sadler. Owner: Hronis Racing LLC. Mutuel Pool $189,572 Daily Double Pool $17,145 Exacta Pool $87,031 Superfecta Pool $38,680 Trifecta Pool $57,688. Scratched–none.

50-Cent Pick Three (3-4-5) paid $51.60. Pick Three Pool $42,662.

SEA OF LIBERTY stalked off the rail then outside, went three deep on the second turn and into the stretch, bid outside the runner-up to gain the advantage under left handed urging nearing midstretch, drifted out late and gamely prevailed. BUD KNIGHT had speed three deep then dueled outside a rival, battled between horses on the backstretch and alongside a foe on the second turn, inched away briefly into the stretch, drifted in and fought back inside the winner in the final furlong. BIG CITY BANE stalked off the rail, went up three deep to put a head in front midway on the backstretch then fell back a bit off the fence into the second turn, was between horses into the stretch and bested the others. FRAVEL pulled between horses then angled in and stalked inside or a bit off the rail, continued inside on the second turn, steadied off heels into the stretch, came out for room in upper stretch and lacked a rally. WATCH THE DIP had good early speed and dueled inside, fought back on the second turn and weakened in the stretch. ZIYANAIR broke a bit slowly, angled in and saved ground chasing the pace, dropped back on the second turn and had little left for the drive.

FOURTH RACE.

1 1/16 Mile. Purse: $38,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000. Time 23.95 48.76 1:13.29 1:38.40 1:44.84

Winner–Winning Element Ch.g.6 by City Zip out of It'schemistrybaby, by Meadowlake. Bred by Trackside Farm & Tenlane Farm (KY). Trainer: Andrew Lerner. Owner: Eric Homme. Mutuel Pool $175,692 Daily Double Pool $17,128 Exacta Pool $71,491 Superfecta Pool $41,501 Trifecta Pool $60,173. Claimed–Winning Element by Randy Marriott. Trainer: Ryan Hanson. Scratched–none.

50-Cent Pick Three (4-5-4) paid $10.75. Pick Three Pool $25,674.

WINNING ELEMENT had speed three deep then pressed the pace outside the runner-up, took a short lead into the stretch, inched away under urging in midstretch, edged clear and was under a long hold late. I CAN DO THIS hustled between horses early, angled in and set a pressured pace inside, fought back into the stretch, could not match the winner in the final furlong but clearly bested the others. ENGRAM stalked outside a rival then off the rail on the second turn, came out into the stretch and bested the others. ORIGINAL INTENT broke in and a bit slowly, saved ground off the pace, split horses into the stretch and lacked a rally. BIRD a step slow to begin, angled in and settled outside a rival, came three wide into the stretch and did not rally. ACCOUNTABILITY saved ground stalking the pace, dropped back on the second turn and into the stretch and gave way.

FIFTH RACE.

1 Mile Turf. Purse: $57,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000. Time 23.31 47.32 1:11.56 1:23.68 1:35.74

Winner–Desert Oasis (GB) B.m.5 by Medaglia d'Oro out of Shumoos, by Distorted Humor. Bred by Aislabie Bloodstock Ltd (GB). Trainer: Neil D. Drysdale. Owner: Al Shira'aa Farms. Mutuel Pool $274,926 Daily Double Pool $20,520 Exacta Pool $135,371 Superfecta Pool $54,490 Super High Five Pool $4,741 Trifecta Pool $83,860. Scratched–none.

50-Cent Pick Three (5-4-3) paid $11.80. Pick Three Pool $38,651. 50-Cent Pick Four (4-5-4-3) 2930 tickets with 4 correct paid $43.60. Pick Four Pool $167,544. 50-Cent Pick Five (3-4-5-4-3) 647 tickets with 5 correct paid $523.55. Pick Five Pool $393,976.

DESERT OASIS (GB) forced out into the first turn, stalked three deep to the stretch, bid outside the pacesetter to gain a short lead under urging, drifted in some aand gamely prevailed. ARCTIC ROLL (GB) saved ground stalking the pace, came out for room past midstretch and split horses late for the place. KITTY BOOM BOOM had speed outside foes then inched away and angled in, set the pace inside, fought back a bit off the rail in upper stretch, drifted in and battled along the fence in the final furlong. KYNANCE (IRE) pulled along the inside then came out into the first turn, stalked between horses then outside a rival on the second turn, angled out in the stretch and was edged for the show. SAPPHIRE KID forced four wide into the first turn, stalked three deep or outside a rival, came out in the stretch and could not quite summon the needed late kick. KOOKIE GAL angled in and saved ground off the pace, continued inside into and in the stretch and also could not quite offer the necessary response. PINK SCATILLAC stalked outside a rival then between horses on the second turn and into the stretch and weakened in the final furlong.

SIXTH RACE.

1 Mile. Purse: $33,000. Starter Allowance. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $50,000. Time 24.96 49.32 1:14.28 1:26.95 1:39.75

Winner–Coldwater B.m.5 by Hold Me Back out of High Cholesterol, by Until Sundown. Bred by Janavar Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY). Trainer: Patrick Gallagher. Owner: Janavar Thoroughbreds LLC. Mutuel Pool $204,976 Daily Double Pool $22,628 Exacta Pool $101,819 Superfecta Pool $34,939 Trifecta Pool $62,535. Scratched–none.

50-Cent Pick Three (4-3-2) paid $13.00. Pick Three Pool $28,602.

COLDWATER stalked outside a rival then bid alongside the runner-up on the backstretch and second turn and into the stretch, took a short lead past midstretch and gamely prevailed under some late urging. BUYBACK sped to the early lead, set the pace inside, battled along the rail on the backstretch and second turn, fought back along the fence through a long drive and continued gamely to the end. ZUCCHERA bobbled in a slow start, chased off the rail, came four wide into the stretch and picked up the show. HARPER'S GALLOP pulled along the inside and steadied on the first turn, saved ground stalking the pace, came out into the stretch and weakened. DIAMOND OF VALUE off a bit slowly, stalked outside then three deep to the stretch and also weakened. SYBIL'S KITTY prompted the pace outside a rival then stalked a bit off the rail, dropped back into the stretch and had little left for the drive.

SEVENTH RACE.

7 Furlongs. Purse: $200,000. 'San Vicente Stakes'. 3 year olds. Time 21.81 44.09 1:09.05 1:22.59

Winner–Nadal B.c.3 by Blame out of Ascending Angel, by Pulpit. Bred by Sierra Farm (KY). Trainer: Bob Baffert. Owner: Bolton, George, Hoyeau, Arthur, Lipman, Barry and Mathiesen, Mark. Mutuel Pool $467,603 Daily Double Pool $40,985 Exacta Pool $163,309 Superfecta Pool $75,641 Trifecta Pool $113,145. Scratched–none.

50-Cent Pick Three (3-2-4) paid $15.75. Pick Three Pool $35,689.

NADAL had good early speed and dueled between horses then inside on the turn and into the stretch, battled along the rail to a short lead nearing the sixteenth pole and gamely prevailed under urging. GINOBILI four wide early, dueled three deep then outside the winner on the turn, fought back alongside that one through the final furlong and continued gamely to the wire. FAST ENOUGH saved ground stalking the pace, split horses on the turn, came out leaving the turn and into the stretch and just held third. STORM THE COURT had speed between horses then stalked between foes, continued three wide between horses on the turn and outside a rival into the stretch and was edged by that one for the show. RA'AD pulled alongside a rival early then came out on the backstretch, went four wide on the turn and into the stretch and gave way. PARTY TOWN angled in and prompted the pace inside, dropped back into and on the turn, gave way and was eased in the drive.

EIGHTH RACE.

1 1/8 Mile Turf. Purse: $55,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies. 3 year olds. Time 22.89 47.79 1:12.93 1:37.25 1:49.01

Winner–Red Lark (IRE) B.f.3 by Epaulette (AUS) out of Firecrest (IRE), by Darshaan (GB). Bred by Mrs S. M. Rogers & Sir Thomas Pilkington (IRE). Trainer: Patrick Gallagher. Owner: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. Mutuel Pool $393,602 Daily Double Pool $105,406 Exacta Pool $217,733 Superfecta Pool $107,343 Super High Five Pool $24,548 Trifecta Pool $148,251. Scratched–Egyptian Goddess.

50-Cent Pick Three (2-4-8) paid $25.65. Pick Three Pool $148,404. 50-Cent Pick Four (3-2-4-8) 1603 tickets with 4 correct paid $161.75. Pick Four Pool $339,800. 50-Cent Pick Five (4-3-2-4-8) 978 tickets with 5 correct paid $266.85. Pick Five Pool $341,836. 20-Cent Pick Six Jackpot (5-4-3-2-4-8) 294 tickets with 6 correct paid $255.30. Pick Six Jackpot Pool $140,508. Pick Six Jackpot Carryover $229,501.

RED LARK (IRE) angled in and chased a bit off the rail then outside a rival on the backstretch, went three deep into and on the second turn and four wide into the stretch, rallied to bid between horses under urging in deep stretch and gamely prevailed. LADY TIMMY HO (IRE) saved ground chasing the pace, came out leaving the second turn and four wide into the stretch, rallied to bid three wide in deep stretch and continued willingly to just miss. SWEET DEVIL stalked three deep then outside a rival, bid three wide into and on the second turn to put a head in front into the stretch, inched away in midstretch, fought back off the rail in deep stretch and was edged late. NOBLE HEARTED saved ground stalking the pace, came out into the stretch, was between horses past midstretch, drifted out some late and lacked the necessary late kick. UNDISTURBED stalked a bit off the rail or outside a rival, bid between horses into and on the second turn and into the stretch and weakened in the final furlong. HONOR HOP pulled between horses to stalk the early pace, continued a bit off the rail on the backstretch and between rivals on the second turn, came out into the stretch and lacked the needed rally. NU PI LAMBDA sped to the early lead, inched away and set the pace inside, fought back into and on the second turn and into the stretch and weakened in the final furlong. PROFITEROLE (FR) had a shoe repaired before the start, broke out a bit, angled in and saved ground off the pace, dropped back on the second turn and had little left for the drive.

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