Horse racing: Santa Anita leaders, notes – Inland Valley Daily Bulletin


Through Thursday


Joel Rosario / 15

Abel Cedillo / 11

Drayden Van Dyke / 10

Mario Gutierrez / 6

Flavien Prat / 6


Peter Miller / 10

Bob Baffert / 9

Richard Baltas / 7

Richard Mandella / 4

Doug O’Neill / 4



• $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic, 4-year-olds and up (California-bred or sired), 1-1/8 miles (turf)

• $200,000 California Cup Derby, 3-year-olds (California-bred or sired), 1-1/16 miles

• $200,000 California Cup Oaks, 3-year-old fillies (California-bred or sired), 1 mile (turf)

• $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly/Mare Turf Sprint, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up (California-bred or sired), 5-1/2 furlongs (turf)

• $150,000 California Cup Sprint, 4-year-olds and up (California-bred or sired), 6 furlongs


• $100,000 Grade III Astra Stakes, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, 1-1/2 miles (turf)


• Thirty-two Grade I winners are among more than 140 horses nominated for the inaugural $20 million Saudi Cup on Feb. 29, including McKinzie, Maximum Security and Midnight Bisou. Said Bob Baffert, trainer of McKinzie: “If you put up $20 million, you’ll get good horses in your starting gate.” The Saudi Cup will be run at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh as Saudi Arabian racing adds the first turf track in the country’s history. The Saudi Cup is a 1-1/8-mile race on the dirt. Saudi Cup race day will include stakes races worth a total of $29.2 million.

• Ashleyluvssugar could be making the final start of his career when he runs in the $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic, one of five stakes races at Santa Anita on Saturday for California-breds worth a total of $900,000. The 9-year-old Game Plan gelding has been a familiar figure at Santa Anita, racing there 18 times with six victories, two seconds and four thirds for earnings of $948,963. Overall, he’s won 10 of 36 with earnings of $1,475,583. He worked 5 furlongs in 1:01.80 Sunday morning in preparation for Saturday. “We’ll just play it by ear every race from here on out,” trainer Peter Eurton told Ed Golden of Santa Anita publicity. “We expect him to run well Saturday, but if he doesn’t, he could be retired at any time.”

• Italian native Umberto Rispoli is off to a nice start at Santa Anita. The 31-year-old jockey won riding titles in Italy in 2009 and 2010 and came to Santa Anita after a stint in Hong Kong. Through the first eight days of the Santa Anita meet, he’s won four races to go with four seconds and two thirds from 20 mounts. “The reception for Mr. Rispoli so far has been good,” his agent, Ron Anderson, told Golden. Anderson also represents the meet’s leading rider, Joel Rosario. “He’s opened some eyes with a couple of his rides already, so we’ll see what happens moving forward.”

— Art Wilson