By Ed Golden —-
• • EMPRESS OF LOV STEPS UP IN LANDALUCE STAKES
• • RUN AWAY 6-5 FAVORITE IN SANTA ANITA JUVENILE
• • DRYDEN VAN DYKE STILL REMEMBERS HOW TO WIN
• • JOCKS’ RACE UP FOR GRABS WITH FOUR DAYS LEFT
TRAINER LOOKS AHEAD WITH EMPRESS OF LOV
Empress of Lov steps up from a handy maiden allowance victory to the stakes level Sunday in the $100,000 Landaluce Stakes for two-year-old fillies at 5 ½ furlongs. Trainer Gary Sherlock feels the California-bred daughter of Empire Way bred and owned in part by Terry Lovingier is up to the task.
“This race will give her plenty of time for the Cal-bred stake at Del Mar,” said Sherlock, referring to the $100,000 CTBA Stakes for two-year-old Cal-bred fillies at 5 ½ furlongs Aug. 2.
“She doesn’t have to be on the lead Sunday. She was on the lead when she won, but Tyler (Baze) can do whatever he wants.”
Empress of Lov was second in her debut race against open company, but had an excuse when she hopped at the start and was three wide in the 4 ½ furlong dash, beaten only two-and-a-half lengths.
The field for the Landaluce, race five of nine: $2,000 supplemental nominee Sauce On Side, Evin Roman, 6-1; Gorgeous Ginny, Jamie Theriot, 8-5; Spirit of Shanghai, Edwin Maldonado, 12-1; Empress of Lov, Tyler Baze, 10-1; Surrender Now, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 9-5; and Bonneville Flats, Joe Talamo, 3-1.
PROMISING MAIDEN WINNER TRIES SANTA ANITA JUVENILE
Run Away was no secret when he made his debut. The two-year-old colt rewarded his many supporters who sent him off at 7-10 with a 2 ¼-length victory in the 4 ½ furlong dash for juveniles at Santa Anita on May 26.
A Kentucky-bred by the City Zip stallion Run Away and Hide, Run Away had two works at Keeneland after that, with the intention of racing him Across the Pond, but that never materialized.
Next up: Monday’s $100,000 Santa Anita Juvenile at five and a half furlongs.
“We’ve had him here all the time,” said Simon Callaghan, who trains the bay for Kaleem Shah. “We shipped back to Keeneland because we were thinking about taking him over to (Royal) Ascot. He breezed twice at Keeneland, and he breezed at Santa Anita last Sunday (five furlongs in 1:01.40 under Flavien Prat, who rides on Monday).
“He worked well and he’s ready to go. We’ve been really high on him from the start and it was nice that he won first out. He’s doing really well for the race.”
The field for the Santa Anita Juvenile: Cono, Joe Talamo, 10-1; Big Boy Candy, Tyler Baze, 8-1; Argosy Fleet, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Run Away, Flavien Prat, 6-5; Sir Valentine, Martin Pedroza, 9-5; and Encumbered, Mario Gutierrez, 12-1.
VAN DYKE RETURNS TO WINNER’S CIRCLE AFTER LONG ABSENCE
In a sense, winning races is like riding a bicycle. Once you learn, you never forget.
Such was the case Friday when jockey Drayden Van Dyke and two horses he rode, Kionntal and Pleasant as Pie, landed in the winner’s circle at Santa Anita after long layoffs.
The 22-year-old Van Dyke was winning his first races since breaking his right arm in a spill last Jan. 26. He was sidelined more than four months.
Kionntal, a four-year-old gelding trained by Dan Hendricks for Sheehy LLC, hadn’t raced since Dec. 5, 2015, but won the 1 1/16-mile race for $40,000 maiden claimers by a half length, paying $12,20.
Pleasant as Pie, a six-year-old Pleasant Tap mare trained by Ron Ellis for the Jay Em Ess Stable, had not raced since last Nov. 27, and was dropping from optional claiming races from which she could not be claimed into a $32,000 claimer going down the hill at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf. She won by a length and a quarter and paid $56.
“I just told him to take her back and make one run and that’s exactly what he did,” Ellis said. “I like Drayden a lot. He’s a nice kid and a good rider.”
Added Hendricks: “Drayden rode him great. He had him in a good position and had enough left to get it done. He’s a good, patient rider who does well. I didn’t tell him much more than to get him comfortable and he’s fit enough to get it done.”
Said Van Dyke’s agent, Brad Pegram, who also represents Mike Smith, tops in purse earnings through June 29 with $13,498,956: “I’m very happy. Yesterday things worked out well for everybody, both horses ran really well, Drayden put up good rides and we’re ready to go.”
FINISH LINES:With four days remaining, it’s anybody’s race in the battle for the riding crown, Flavien Prat leading onrushing apprentice Evin Roman, 36-35, with Joe Talamo third at 32 and Rafael Bejarano fourth at 31. Peter Miller appears to have the training title in hand, leading runner-up Richard Baltas, 31-24 . . . Santa Anita races through Tuesday, July 4 when the Spring portion of the current meet ends. Both Monday, July 3, and July 4, are DOLLAR DAYS, with beer, hot dogs and soda on sale for a buck apiece . . . Three horses with this year’s top Beyer figures are headquartered at Santa Anita: Arrogate (119, more than one mile); Mor Spirit, 117, up to one mile); and Paradise Woods (107, three-year-olds, male or female) . . . Arrogate is scheduled to work at 7:45 Sunday morning for Bob Baffert, who sent Mor Spirit in a four furlong drill Saturday with American Anthem, each receiving a time of 48.40. Kentucky Oaks winner Abel Tasman worked four furlongs in company with Misremembering in a bullet 47 flat and 47.20, respectively, while multiple graded stakes winner Vale Dori went the same distance in 49.40. Vale Dori is ticketed for the Grade I Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar on July 30, while Abel Tasman also could also surface in that race. Other options for the daughter of Quality Road include the Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks on July 23 and the Grade I Alabama Aug. 19, each at Saratoga . . . Gold Cup at Santa Anita runner-up Follow Me Crev worked six furlongs for Vladmir Cerin in a bullet 1:13 as he prepares for next Saturday’s Grade II Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park . . . Dawn Wells, who portrayed Mary Ann on the classic TV sitcom Gilligan’s Island, will present a trophy to the winning connections of today’s Wilshire Stakes . . . There will be a Celebration of Life for the popular late agent Ivan Puhich, 11 a.m., Friday, July 28 at the Charlie Whittingham Pub overlooking the Del Mar paddock . . . Jockey Israel Ocampo has been suspended three days (July 9, 13 and 14) for causing interference on Watch This Cat in Sunday’s sixth race . . . Trainer Gary Stute displayed both class and sensitivity after winning Friday’s eighth race with 20-time maiden Lethal Legacy, handing the shank to the four-year-old filly’s former trainer, Barry Abrams, who bred the four-year-old daughter of the late Unusual Heat and who led her into the Winner’s Circle. Abrams owns Legal Legacy along with his wife, Dyan, who campaign as Bardy Farm. Abrams trained and was one of the owners of the prolific California-based stallion Unusual Heat, a son of Nureyev, who died at the age of 27 on May 17.
SANTA ANITA STATISTICS
(Current Through Friday, June 30)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Flavien Prat 152 36 21 27 24% 55% $1,807,646
Evin Roman 168 35 22 17 21% 44% $1,150,670
Joseph Talamo 194 32 37 22 16% 47% $1,575,158
Rafael Bejarano 137 31 22 21 23% 54% $1,847,322
Tyler Baze 172 24 29 34 14% 51% $1,218,123
Tiago Pereira 153 18 24 21 12% 41% $786,335
Edwin Maldonado 106 16 17 17 15% 47% $711,402
Gary Stevens 68 15 10 6 22% 46% $823,286
Kent Desormeaux 65 13 12 8 20% 51% $835,742
Santiago Gonzalez 134 12 14 24 9% 37% $617,211
Kyle Frey 83 12 8 14 14% 41% $317,579
Martin Pedroza 118 11 11 23 9% 38% $470,537
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Peter Miller 116 31 15 18 27% 55% $1,153,639
Richard Baltas 102 24 16 15 24% 54% $1,208,684
Philip D’Amato 116 21 21 12 18% 47% $1,331,453
Bob Baffert 48 16 9 7 33% 67% $1,377,100
Steven Miyadi 62 14 10 10 23% 55% $405,403
Peter Eurton 43 12 7 5 28% 56% $582,128
Doug O’Neill 92 11 24 15 12% 54% $720,919
Jerry Hollendorfer 84 11 12 15 13% 45% $740,591
John Sadler 66 10 11 12 15% 50% $709,658
Jack Carava 42 10 2 8 24% 48% $225,420
Mark Glatt 58 9 7 8 16% 41% $350,480
Santa Anita Park is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, and is one of North America’s top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation The Stronach Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is North America’s premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.