MAKING THE GRADE
WELCOME! This little one is the first foal for the sire ROCKPORT HARBOR (you can read all about him and Fox Hill Farms at www.rockportharbor.com) out of Cat Lea by Cat Thief. This was born at Windfields Farm on Jan. 6 for Dr. John Cummins, a vet.
Ontario-bred SUGAR SWIRL won her first graded stakes race yesterday at Gulfstream when she took the First Lady Handicap (GIII) as the odds-on favourite. The Stronach Stables homebred by Touch Gold – Astrapi by Distinctive Pro is a 5yo who raced 6 furlongs in 1:10.06.
Brian Lynch trains the mare.
Some notes from Gulfstream media…
Sugar Swirl is a Canadian homebred chestnut by Touch Gold who had posted nearly $500,000 in earnings for trainer Bobby Frankel, winning the Very Subtle Stakes last out at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4 before she was sent to Stronach Stable’s
Winning Jockey Quotes
“It felt great to win a race for Mr. (Frank) Stronach at his track. This filly is very nice. I’ve been working her. I rode her two years ago and she’s come into this race at the best moment. She had a lot of speed. She sat right off the other horses , b ut I could have done whatever I wanted with her - rate or go with the other horses. I wasn’t nervous when the one horse (Rgirldoesn’tbluff) went to the lead early. I rode her with patience and a lot of confidence. I waited until the last minute and she had a big kick coming for home.”
Winning Trainer Quote
“I had her as a 2-year-old in
BEYER FIGURES ON SOME STAKES WINNERS OF NOTE
FRENCH BERET - Col. R.S. Bradley (G3) – 97 (matches career best)
EUROEARS (Ky, bred by LANGFUHR) Gaudin Memorial to remain undefeated – 106
SUGAR SWIRL – Can-bred, First Lady H. (G3) – 99, career best
INDIAN BLESSING – SANTA YNEZ, 91
OTHER STUFF..TODAY, the James Perron Stable from
SILVERY WHISPER (Silver Deputy – Whispered Love) and AMAZING MISS (Van Nistleroy – Rahys Hope) are
MALCOM PIERCE is 7 for 24 at Fair Grounds currently. He won again yesterday with Pin Oaks’ WHERETHEWESTBEGINS in a turf allowance race.
SANTA ANITA – LOTS OF SIZZLE BUT ENTHUSIASM FIZZLES
When a filly named INDIAN BLESSING races 7 furlongs in 4/5, faster than the great SPECTACULAR BID raced the distance decades ago (on dirt), something is not right.
Not right at all.
Cushion track at Santa Anita is yielding insane clockings. Indian Blessing is a decent filly, not a world beater, and with that crazy time for her win in the Santa Ynez yesterday, received a modest 91 Beyer Figure.
A decision on the track is to be made soon – read more from the
Zenyatta impresses in victory
By Art Wilson, Staff Writer
Article Created: 01/13/2008 09:19:30 PM PST
ARCADIA - Two fillies, one who's already won a Breeders' Cup race and another who may be talented enough to win one in October at Oak Tree, stole the show Sunday as Santa Anita staged its second consecutive stakes tripleheader.
Zenyatta, owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and trained by John Shirreffs, put on an
impressive show in winning the $150,000 El Encino Stakes for 4-year-old fillies by 1 3/ lengths.
The lightly raced daughter of Street Cry broke slowly, had little pace to run at and raced four-wide into the stretch.
Otherwise, she enjoyed a perfect trip under David Flores and remained unbeaten in three starts while making her stakes debut.
Next up? Maybe the $200,000 Grade II La Canada Stakes on Feb. 10, according to Shirreffs.
"I really don't remember riding any other horse that covers so much ground," Flores said. "She has such a long stride and she does it so easy."
Zenyatta broke her maiden on Nov. 22 at Hollywood Park, where she came from last in a 6 1/2-furlong event and won by three lengths.
She employed similar tactics next time out in a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Hollywood, closing from last in a seven-horse field to win by 3 1/2 lengths.
Zenyatta was last again after the first half-mile Sunday and looked like she might be up against it at the eighth pole, but she roared home in the final furlong to win comfortably under a strong hold by Flores and covered the 1 1 /16-mile distance on the controversial Cushion Track in 1:40.61.
"We think the world of her," Jerry Moss said. "She could be anything, I mean really anything."
Meanwhile, 2007 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly champion Indian Blessing made her 2008 debut a winning one as the 1-9 favorite when she went gate-to-wire in the $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. She held off a late-charging Golden Doc A by a head after a scorching half-mile in 43.76 and six furlongs in 1:07.14.
The final time for the seven furlongs on Cushion Track was a blazing 1:19.89.
Indian Blessing, now unbeaten in four races, won her first three starts by a combined 13 1/4 lengths, including her Breeders' Cup race by 3 1/2 lengths over a sloppy Monmouth Park track.
"I thought they'd leave her alone, but (Alex) Solis was on the outside just pressing her," said Baffert, who said he'd never seen Indian Blessing so tired and would wait to see how taxing the race was before deciding on her future.
"I want to have her around all year long, so I don't want to run her too many times this year. I just don't know what I'm going to do with this filly yet. I don't have a game plan for her."
If Baffert steers her toward the Santa Anita Oaks on March 8, the Jeff Mullins-trained Final Fling may be waiting.
Final Fling, a Cal-bred daughter of Bertrando, closed strongly in the stretch to win the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by 1 1/4 lengths over Grace Anatomy.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Final Fling, a 10-1 long shot, covered the 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track in 1:41.96
Turn Away, the Empire Maker filly trained by Bobby Frankel that went postward as the 3-5 favorite, was eased in the stretch by jockey Rafael Bejarano and had to be vanned off.
The stewards reported she was slightly off in her right hind and was returned to Frankel's barn at Santa Anita.
A Santa Anita source said a decision on what management will do about its Cushion Track problem is expected today.
Track president Ron Charles would only say further testing Sunday proved encouraging in an effort to solve the synthetic track's drainage problem and management continues to search for a high-quality sandy loam soil in case it decides to change to a traditional dirt surface for the remainder of the meet.
"There's always a possibility (regarding a decision today), but we've made that statement before," Charles said. "I don't want to say when the statement will be until we are absolutely sure we've exhausted all possibilities."
Three-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher earned his 2,000th career victory Sunday when Garrett Gomez won the eighth race aboard On the Virg.