- FAVORED JUSTIFY WORKS FOR KENTUCKY DERBY
- TRAINER TRIES A QUICK SAN JUAN TURNAROUND
- EVO CAMPO TACKLES MALE RIVALS IN SAN JUAN
BAFFERT ‘HAPPY’ WITH JUSTIFY’S DERBY BREEZE
Santa Anita Derby winner and current Kentucky Derby favorite Justify had his pen-ultimate workout this morning for the 144th Run for the Roses on May 5, going six furlongs under jockey Drayden Van Dyke in 1:13.20.
The undefeated chestnut son of Scat Daddy defeated Bolt d’Oro in the Santa Anita Derby on April 7 for his third straight daylight victory.
“I was happy with the work,” said Bob Baffert, seeking his fifth Kentucky Derby triumph and his first since sweeping the Triple Crown in 2015 with American Pharoah. “Everything went well. He’ll work one more time here next weekend.”
Added private clocker Toby Turrell: “Justify was just as impressive as he’s been up to this point. Nothing’s changed.”
Also working Saturday for the Kentucky Derby was Jerry Hollendorfer trainee Instilled Regard, presently on the outside looking to participate in the first jewel of the Triple Crown, as he is 22nd with qualifying points for the mile and a quarter classic.
A maximum of 20 horses will start based on points earned in designated stakes prior to the Kentucky Derby.
Instilled Regard worked five furlongs in 1:01.
DESORMEAUX’S MOONMAN BACK IN FORTNIGHT FOR SAN JUAN
Keith Desormeaux hopes lightning strikes twice Sunday when he sends out Moonman in the Grade III, $100,000 San Juan Capistrano Stakes for three-year-olds and up at about 1 ¾ miles on turf.
In 2015, the trainer sent out Crucero to win the marathon race at 23-1 after only a week from his last start. Moonman will have the benefit of an additional week when he runs Sunday.
“I’d prefer a week to two weeks,” Desormeaux said, tongue firmly in cheek. “One week seemed to work, so I’m skeptical about two weeks.”
Moonman has had three races on grass, none worth writing home about, a fourth in a maiden claimer his best showing, but Desormeaux is encouraged about his bloodlines.
“He’s out of a Spinning World mare (whose dam was Spinnette) and he’s by Malibu Moon, so I wouldn’t judge him on his prior grass races, and there’s no doubt he likes a distance, obviously, according to his last race. I knew that all along.”
That was a third by nearly 12 lengths in the Grade III Tokyo City Cup at a mile and a half on dirt April 8.
“But class is still a question,” Desormeaux continued. “He’s jumping up considerably, and he jumped up in his last race and performed admirably, I thought. But it’s still in question. This race is a mile and three-quarters so hopefully his affinity for the distance will make up for his lack of class.
“If he wasn’t eating his feed, showing some vigor, confidence and soundness, then we wouldn’t go, but he’s checked in fine on all points and he’ll be ready for tomorrow.”
The San Juan, race six of nine with an 11:30 a.m. first post time: A Red Tie Day, Tyler Baze, 6-1; Nessy, Mike Smith, 6-5; Evo Campo, Drayden Van Dyke, 4-1; Lazzam, Corey Nakatani, 5-1; Principal Bob, Mario Gutierrez, 20-1; Moonman, Brice Blanc, 20-1; and Rye, Kent Desormeaux, 3-1.
EVO CAMPO MEETS MALES IN MARATHON SAN JUAN
Paddy Gallagher hopes the marathon distance of about 1 3/4 miles suits Evo Campo Sunday when the six-year-old mare tackles male rivals in the San Juan Capistrano Stakes.
“She didn’t run well the other day and I couldn’t find any excuse for her, really,” the trainer said, referring to her seventh in the Grade II Santa Ana Stakes against females at 1 1/8 miles on a “good” turf course.
“She acts like she can run a mile and three-quarters, so we’ll give it another try.
PAM GOMEZ TO HOST ‘EXTREME BARREL RACING’ EVENT IN NORCO
Pam Gomez, wife of the late Hall of Fame jockey Garrett Gomez, will host an “Extreme Barrel Racing” event Wednesday, April 25, in Norco at Ingalls Park.
Sponsored by Santa Anita Park and presented by the Gomez family in loving memory of Garrett, the event is a great way for horsemen of all ages to come together and compete for $500 in added money, with belt buckles awarded to the winners of four separate events.
With a start-time of 6:30 p.m., there is a $20 entry fee along with a one-time $10 grounds maintenance fee. Participants will have to contend with three barrels and three jumps.
For additional information, or to sign up in advance, please contact Jerry Lunde at (951) 212-2238.
FINISH LINES: Congratulations to popular jockey Joe Talamo and his wife, Elizabeth, on the birth of their second child, Dominic Anthony Talamo, born Thursday at 8:23 a.m. “Baby Talamo” checked in at seven pounds, one ounce. Agent Scotty McClellan reports the baby and his mother are both at home, resting comfortably . . . Causeforcommotion worked five furlongs this morning in a minute flat under Evin Roman for next Saturday’s Grade III Santa Barbara Stakes at a mile and a half on turf. Eric Kruljac is the trainer and part owner of the four-year-old Americain filly. Among the 286 recorded works on a busy Saturday morning at Santa Anita was a six furlong bullet move in 1:12.80 from the gate by champion Abel Tasman for Bob Baffert, and a five furlong training track drill in 1:01.80 by claimer-turned-stakes-winner Skye Diamonds for Bill Spawr . . . Wampus, nose winner of Friday’s third race under Stewart Elliott for trainer Art Sherman, is a son of Malibu Moon out of the millionaire New Mexico-bred dam Peppers Pride, who was unbeaten in 19 starts and earned $1,066,085 . . . Jim Benes, 2013 NHC champion, will be Tom Quigley‘s guest handicapper Sunday, 10:20 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens.