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Hello, my name is John Cherwa, and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we mourn the loss of those involved in the helicopter crash in Calabasas. Kobe RIP.
I know this is the day where I give you the stewards’ rulings based on the stewards’ minutes, but guess what? Yup, there are no minutes made public since last Monday’s newsletter. I don’t know if the stewards were too exhausted from the three-day weeks or if the California Horse Racing Board folks were too busy not leaving Sacramento to go to a meeting. Or, maybe the Monday holiday threw everything off.
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Saturday was the third Pegasus I’ve been to and was probably the best, despite the main event losing the main attraction of Omaha Beach. There was a good crowd but it wasn’t the most crowded I’ve seen Gulfstream Park since it became a racino. That still belongs to the showdown between Nyquist and Mohaymen in 2016, billed as the battle of unbeatens from the East and West.
Nyquist was so dominant that day that the biggest question of the day remained who in the entourage got to fly back to California on owner Paul Reddam’s private jet and who had to fly commercial.
The media room on big days at Gulfstream is what is normally the trainers and owners lounge. It’s convenient to the paddock and track and located at the back of the horse racing simulcast center called Silks. Wandering into Silks several times, you saw the enthusiasm that takes you back to when simulcasting first started. Almost all of the seats were taken and you felt a real energy.
Now, I’m sure it’s different on a Thursday in February, but for this one day it’s a fun place to be.
But, the question remains, can the Pegasus remain in its current state?
Let’s do a little history. The Santa Anita Handicap, affectionately known as the Big ‘Cap, was once one of the best and biggest races in the country bringing in all the top horses. Do the names Seabiscuit, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid and John Henry ring a bell?
Then in 1996 this little race in Dubai came along which paid a lot more money. It’s currently a $12 million race. The Big ‘Cap is now worth $600,000.
On Feb. 29 will be the inaugural running of the $20 million Saudi Cup. Saturday’s running of the Pegasus was worth $3 million. Which would you rather run for?
The Pegasus World Cup started as a $12 million race, with the money put up by the participants, and grew to $16 million at one point. Saturday’s $3 million was all put up by The Stronach Group.
Maximum Security, 3-year-old male Eclipse winner, was scheduled to come to the Pegasus when the purse was thought to be around $9 million. But, when it was announced the race would be worth $3 million and medication free, owners Gary and Mary West bolted for the desert.
“I spoke to Mr. West right after we announced Pegasus,” said Belinda Stronach, chairman of TSG . “I owed him an apology that we came out very late with our announcement that we would be medication free and [the reduction in purse].
“For him [the medication] wasn’t a deterrent and he commended us for the $3 million purse and the $1 million [turf] purse. He thought those were phenomenal. There aren’t really that many good lucrative races in North America.
“But he said we came out too late. We were refining the process [for the race]. … But for him it was about the purse money. That’s his choice.”
A similar choice by other owners and trainers could spell trouble for this event.
Trainer Bob Baffert, in part, entered eventual winner Mucho Gusto in the Pegasus World Cup with the hopes that a win could lead to an invitation to the Saudi Cup. The expectation is that it will.
Think about it, could the Pegasus turn into a $3 million prep race?
Horse racing never seems to have a shortage of things to fix.
We were remiss in the Sunday newsletter to not mention the win by Texas Wedge in the $150,000 World of Trouble Turf Sprint, for horses going five furlongs on the turf. Texas Wedge is trained by Peter Miller and was ridden by Flavien Prat.
The 5-year-old gelding ran down Carotari in the stretch to win by a length. He paid $11.80, $6.40 and $5.00.
“Great ride, great trip. Flavien’s a great jockey,” Miller told Gulfstream’s press team. “This horse, giving six pounds to the runner-up and he’s not a big horse, it did its job and evened the race out. I’m just really proud of the horse. He ran a big race.“He’s a great little gelding. We bought him for $30,000 at OBS (Ocala Breeders Sale) and I just couldn’t be prouder of the horse and my whole team. It was a great job by everyone.”
Sunday’s feature was the $70,000 Clocker’s Corner Stakes for older horses going 5 ½ furlongs on the turf. Lilo Milo came three wide into the stretch blowing by leader What’sontheagenda and winning by 1 ¼ lengths. The interesting stuff was for second where Ghoul finished second but was disqualified to fifth for intereference.
Lil Milo paid $14.20, $6.60 and $4.20. What’sontheagenda was placed second followed by Ax Man, making his first start on turf, Double Touch, Ghoul, Oiseau de Guerre and Bay Muzik.
Here’s what the winning connections had to say.
Alfredo Marquez (winning trainer): “This horse has been so unlucky in some of his races. [Jockey] Ruben [Fuentes] was patient and he rode him great. I like the way he settled [Sunday] and that’s a big credit to Ruben. He got him to relax and then finish, so it went perfect.
“I have never given up on this horse, when he was a baby before he was racing, I told Jack [Weinstein] this is going to be something different. Something special. I knew it watching him breeze a bit at San Luis Rey Downs, I told the rider to stop on him and they did. They gave him the time and now it paid off.”
Ruben Fuentes (winning jockey): “We had a perfect trip. I was behind those two speed horses (What’sontheagenda and Bay Muzik) and I thought the seven (Bay Muzik) would stop, so I waited until we turned for home and then we angled out. When I asked him, he took off and he was gone. It’s great to ride for Alfredo. He’s a great guy and he’s a great trainer.”
A look at graded stakes or races worth $100,000 on Sunday.
Aqueduct (7): $100,000 Ruthless Stakes, fillies 3-years-old, 7 furlongs. Winner: Cruise and Danze ($7.90)
Sam Houston (5): $100,000 Frontier Utilities Turf Sprint, 4 and up, 5 furlongs on turf. Winner: Real News ($3.80)
Sunland (8): $100,000 Johnie L. Jamison Stakes, NM-breds 4 and up, 6 ½ furlongs. Winner: Big Time ($5.80)
Sam Houston (7): $200,000 Texas Turf Mile, 3-year-olds, 1 mile on turf. Winner: Bodecream ($21.00)
Sunland (9): $100,000 Riley Allison Derby, 3-year-olds, 1 mile. Winner: Rowdy Yates ($3.00)
Sam Houston (8): Grade 3 $300,000 Houston Ladies Classic, fillies and mares 4 and up, 1 1/16 miles. Winner: Lady Apple ($18.40)
Sam Houston (9): Grade 3 $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Stakes, 4 and up, 1 ¼ miles on turf. Winner: Dot Matrix ($8.20)
Now, here’s the star of the show, Sunday’s results. See you on Thursday.
Santa Anita Charts Results for Sunday, January 26.
Copyright 2020 by Equibase Company. Reproduction prohibited. Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 16th day of a 60-day meet. Cloudy & Firm
5½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $25,000. Waiver Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $25,000. Time 22.69 45.81 57.38 1:03.56
Winner–Untouched Elegance B.m.5 by Bodemeister out of A. P. Elegance, by A.P. Indy. Bred by The Robert & Beverly Lewis Trust (KY). Trainer: Richard Baltas. Owner: MRO Thoroughbreds, LLC, Baltas, Richard and Cavalli, John. Mutuel Pool $142,139 Exacta Pool $68,939 Superfecta Pool $37,407 Super High Five Pool $60,142 Trifecta Pool $48,998. Scratched–Hang a Star.
UNTOUCHED ELEGANCE came out some at the break, had good early speed and dueled inside, kicked clear in the stretch and proved best under some urging. JACCAT stalked outside, angled in some on the turn, swung out into the stretch and edged a rival late for the place. TAMARAANDTHEBOYS dueled between horses then outside the winner into and on the turn and into the stretch and was edged late for second. PERFECT ICE STORM steadied at the start, stalked a bit off the rail then inside on the turn, came out slightly into the stretch and lacked a rally. ICE KITTY prompted the pace three deep between horses then stalked off the rail leaving the backstretch, angled in on the turn, came a bit off the fence in the stretch and weakened. TINSEL TOWN QUEEN broke in a bit and bobbled then steadied early, pulled between foes and was in tight off heels a half mile out, came out on the turn and four wide into the stretch, drifted in and lacked a response in the drive. MISS LADY ANN between horses early, dropped back three deep then angled in leaving the backstretch, saved ground on the turn and into the stretch and did not rally. ACADIA FLEET was reloaded after being fractious in the gate, broke alertly and pressed the pace four wide, stalked outside a rival on the turn, came three deep into the stretch and had little left for the drive.
1 1/16 Mile. Purse: $35,000. Starter Allowance. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $25,000. Time 24.03 48.51 1:13.35 1:38.43 1:44.70
Winner–Boogalute Dbb.g.6 by Midnight Lute out of Bridal Song, by Vicar. Bred by Buck Pond Farm, Inc. (KY). Trainer: Mike Puype. Owner: Slugo Racing. Mutuel Pool $92,705 Daily Double Pool $30,581 Exacta Pool $33,029 Trifecta Pool $18,722. Scratched–Full of Luck (CHI).
BOOGALUTE had speed three deep then dueled outside a rival, took the lead leaving the second turn, inched away while drifting out slightly into the stretch, kicked clear and drifted in a bit under urging nearing midstretch and drew off under steady handling late. ROYAL INSIDER saved ground stalking the pace, came out leaving the second turn and three wide into the stretch and clearly bested the others. IMPLICITLY had speed between horses then angled in and dueled inside, fought back on the second turn and weakened in the final furlong. HOOTIE close up stalking the pace outside a rival, dropped back off the rail on the second turn, came out into the stretch and gave way.
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $55,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies. 3 year olds. Time 22.21 46.29 58.67 1:05.14
Winner–Morning Addiction Ch.f.3 by Carpe Diem out of Quay, by Tapit. Bred by Mark Stansell (KY). Trainer: Peter Eurton. Owner: C R K Stable LLC. Mutuel Pool $156,241 Daily Double Pool $11,878 Exacta Pool $83,601 Superfecta Pool $34,737 Trifecta Pool $49,734. Scratched–Tale of the Tavern.
50-Cent Pick Three (1-4-4) paid $17.95. Pick Three Pool $37,358.
MORNING ADDICTION hopped slightly and was bumped between horses at the start, dueled between rivals then inside on the turn, came a bit off the rail into the stretch, inched away in midstretch, drifted in a sixteenth from home then drifted out a bit from whip late and just held. REGAL BEAUTY broke slowly, was taken off the rail and dropped back on the backstretch, advanced outside leaving the turn and four wide into the stretch and finished well to just miss. GOLDEN STAR LADY prompted the pace five wide and four wide into the turn, continued three deep on the turn and into the stretch and bested the others while in a bit tight between the top pair on the line. I'M THE HERO bobbled and broke in to bump a rival, had speed three deep between foes, dueled between rivals, angled to the inside in upper stretch and weakened. COCO COOKIES bumped at the start, went up inside to duel for the lead, was shuffled back a bit into the turn, came out into the stretch and also weakened. MUNN SHE'S PRETTY pressed the pace four wide between horses then stalked outside a rival into and on the turn, came out into the stretch and gave way.
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $55,000. Maiden Special Weight. 3 year olds. Time 21.77 45.29 57.35 1:03.70
Winner–Silent Fury Ch.c.3 by Violence out of Silent Emotion, by Ghazi. Bred by Mike Abraham (KY). Trainer: Brian J. Koriner. Owner: Jay Em Ess Stable. Mutuel Pool $190,210 Daily Double Pool $23,562 Exacta Pool $86,310 Superfecta Pool $45,303 Super High Five Pool $4,065 Trifecta Pool $60,627. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (4-4-1) paid $43.70. Pick Three Pool $15,168.
SILENT FURY had speed inside and inched away leaving the backstretch, set the pace inside, drifted out into the stretch, fought back off the rail and drifted in a bit in midstretch and held on gamely under left handed urging. YENG AGAIN stalked five wide on the backstretch, bid outside the winner on the turn, was fanned out some into the stretch, battled alongside that one through a long drive and continued willingly but could not get by. MOON MISCHIEF had speed between horses then stalked a bit off the rail, came out in upper stretch and edged a rival late for the show. SHOOTERS SHOOT dueled between horses then stalked a bit off the rail, continued inside on the turn, swung out into the stretch and was edged for third late. LEMON KICK pressed then stalked the pace four wide between horses, continued three deep on the turn and four wide into the stretch and weakened. CANADIAN PRIDE prompted then stalked the pace between horses, continued outside a rival on the turn and three wide into the stretch and also weakened. MALIBU MORNING dropped back along the inside on the backstretch, saved ground throughout and was outrun.
5½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $33,000. Starter Allowance. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $50,000. Time 22.32 45.30 56.80 1:02.80
Winner–Mystery Messenger Dbb.g.4 by Point of Entry out of Starship Universe, by Mineshaft. Bred by Adena Springs (KY). Trainer: Doug F. O'Neill. Owner: Pro Selection Stable, Fontaine, Robert, Kachigian, Ann and Tucker, Terri. Mutuel Pool $245,627 Daily Double Pool $21,004 Exacta Pool $134,728 Superfecta Pool $64,388 Trifecta Pool $92,387 X-5 Super High Five Pool $2,869. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (4-1-3) paid $74.15. Pick Three Pool $29,973. 50-Cent Pick Four (3/4-4-1-3) 394 tickets with 4 correct paid $151.35. Pick Four Pool $78,246. 50-Cent Pick Five (1/7-3/4-4-1-3) 891 tickets with 5 correct paid $390.15. Pick Five Pool $404,257.
MYSTERY MESSENGER reluctant to load, stalked the pace inside, came out into the stretch, bid outside the runner-up under left handed urging in midstretch, gained the advantage nearing the sixteenth pole and inched away late. HIT THE SEAM had good early speed and angled in, pulled his way to the front and set the pace inside, fought back a bit off the rail in the stretch, could not match the winner late but held second. FACTORIAL chased off the rail then a bit off the fence, angled to the inside on the turn, went up the rail in the stretch and was edged for the place. SILKEN PRINCE broke a bit slowly, angled in and saved ground off the pace, came out in midstretch and was outfinished. WORTHY TURK chased outside a rival on the backstretch and turn, came four wide into the stretch and lacked the needed rally. SOUL BEAM broke slowly, settled off the rail, came four wide into the stretch and did not rally. CAMBY was reloaded after being fractious in the gate, stalked outside a rival, came three wide into the stretch and weakened. FIRST IN SHOW pulled along the inside then stalked a bit off the rail, continue outside a rival on the turn and between horses into the stretch and also weakened.
1 1/16 Mile. Purse: $33,000. Starter Allowance. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $50,000. Time 24.21 48.25 1:12.72 1:38.77 1:45.51
Winner–Tartini Ch.g.6 by Giant's Causeway out of Vignette, by Diesis (GB). Bred by George Strawbridge Jr. (KY). Trainer: Jack Carava. Owner: Red Baron's Barn LLC and Rancho Temescal LLC. Mutuel Pool $219,976 Daily Double Pool $22,121 Exacta Pool $111,549 Superfecta Pool $44,569 Super High Five Pool $9,372 Trifecta Pool $71,475. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (1-3-2) paid $91.60. Pick Three Pool $28,481.
TARTINI saved ground stalking the pace, came out some for room and waited off heels leaving the second turn and into the stretch, continued waiting while behind rivals in upper and midstretch and until the sixteenth pole, then came out and surged between foes under some urging to get up. CHALLAH stalked off the rail then bid between horses on the backstretch and second turn, battled between foes through the stretch and continued gamely to the end to share the place. ZORICH four wide on the first turn, stalked outside, bid four wide on the second turn and through the stretch, took a short lead in the drive and continued willingly to the wire. TAKEO sped to the early lead, set the pace inside then dueled along the rail, fought back along the fence through a stiff drive and also continued gamely. MONGOLIAN LEGEND a step slow into stride, was forced four wide into the first turn, stalked three deep, came four wide into the stretch and was outfinished. MAYAN WARRIOR had speed between horses then stalked outside a rival, bid three deep on the backstretch and three wide between foes on the second turn, fought back in the stretch and weakened late. UNBROKEN STAR pulled between horses early then came out into the first turn, stalked off the rail, angled out into the stretch and lacked the needed late kick.
5½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $70,000. 'Clocker's Corner Stakes'. 4 year olds and up. Time 22.21 44.72 56.47 1:02.62
Winner–Lil Milo Dbb.g.5 by Rocky Bar out of Solid Brass Cat, by Editor's Note. Bred by Jack Weinstein (CA). Trainer: Alfredo Marquez. Owner: Weinstein, Dr. Jack and Cannon, Robert T.. Mutuel Pool $327,216 Daily Double Pool $29,716 Exacta Pool $157,154 Superfecta Pool $58,878 Trifecta Pool $94,699 X-5 Super High Five Pool $8,562. Scratched–none. DQ–#2 Ghoul (BRZ)–finished 2nd, disqualified, placed 5th.
50-Cent Pick Three (3-2-3) paid $176.10. Pick Three Pool $30,530.
LIL MILO stalked between horses then off the rail on the turn, came three wide into the stretch, bid three deep under left handed urging in midstretch, gained the advantage in late stretch and inched away. GHOUL (BRZ) chased a bit off the rail, came out some in midstretch, moved up three deep then drifted in under right handed urging and bumped a rival a sixteenth out but finished well. WHAT'SONTHEAGENDA angled in and pulled inside and was in a bit tight a half mile out, bid outside a rival on the turn, took the lead into the stretch, fought back between horses in midstretch then a bit off the rail in deep stretch and was outfinished. AX MAN stalked a bit off the rail then inside on the turn, came a bit off the fence in the drive, was bumped when between foes a sixteenth out and could not quite summon the needed late kick. DOUBLE TOUCH (GB) broke a bit slowly, stalked three deep then outside a rival leaving the turn, came out into the stretch, was bumped and steadied between horses a sixteenth out and was outkicked late. OISEAU DE GUERRE also away a bit slowly, settled off the pace inside, came out leaving the turn and three deep into the stretch and lacked the necessary late response. BAY MUZIK had speed outside a rival then inched away and angled in, set the pace inside, dueled along the rail on the turn and into the stretch, fought back in midstretch and weakened late. Following a stewards' inquiry, GHOUL was disqualified and placed fifth for interference in deep stretch.
6 Furlongs. Purse: $18,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $12,500. Time 22.16 46.14 59.20 1:13.08
Winner–She Cherie Dbb.f.4 by Shanghai Bobby out of Thunderina, by Curlin. Bred by Todd Hansen & Shawn Hansen (WA). Trainer: Mark Glatt. Owner: Hansen, Todd and Shawn. Mutuel Pool $250,458 Daily Double Pool $96,262 Exacta Pool $139,361 Superfecta Pool $81,292 Super High Five Pool $36,150 Trifecta Pool $107,413. Scratched–Ginger Street.
50-Cent Pick Three (2-3-6) paid $76.00. Pick Three Pool $116,078. 50-Cent Pick Four (3-2-3-3/6) 664 tickets with 4 correct paid $410.70. Pick Four Pool $357,318. 50-Cent Pick Five (1-3-2-3-3/6) 80 tickets with 5 correct paid $2,429.35. Pick Five Pool $254,654. 20-Cent Pick Six Jackpot (4-1-3-2-3-3/6) 6 tickets with 6 correct paid $6,477.04. Pick Six Jackpot Pool $72,745. Pick Six Jackpot Carryover $38,207.
SHE CHERIE bobbled then steadied at the start, settled off the rail chasing the pace, continued outside rival on the turn, swung four wide into the stretch, was five wide in midstretch rallied under left handed urging to bid outside the runner-up in late stretch and got up in the closing strides. QUEEN CARMELITA pressed the pace three deep then stalked outside a rival, continued three wide leaving the turn and into the stretch, gained the lead in upper stretch, inched away in midstretch, fought back in deep stretch and continued gamely to the wire. PROMNESIA saved ground stalking the pace, split horses in midstretch and edged rivals for the show. JABBER NOW bobbled at the start, pressed the pace between horses then stalked a bit off the rail, was between foes leaving the turn and into the stretch and in midstretch and was edged for third. DADDY'S MELODY stalked outside a rival on the backstretch and turn, came four wide into the stretch and was outfinished for a minor share. LAKER JET chased a bit off the rail, drifted to the inside in the stretch and lacked a rally. DIOSA had speed inside to duel for the lead, inched away a half mile out, set the pace inside, continued along the rail in the stretch and weakened late.