Track Reports

Santa Anita Stable Notes: Danzing Candy ‘Perfect’ Breeze, Stellar Wind Has First Work of 2016

Danzing Candy - Photo Credit: ©Clockers' Corner/Zoe Metz
©Clockers' Corner/Zoe Metz


Several of the West Coast’s leading Triple Crown aspirants got in their final major licks on a summer-like morning today for next Saturday’s Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby, which has produced the winner of the Kentucky Derby two of the last four years, I’ll Have Another (2012) and California Chrome (2014).

San Felipe Stakes winner Danzing Candy worked five furlongs under regular rider Mike Smith in company outside of Miraglo. Each was clocked in 1:00.60.

“Perfect,” is how trainer Cliff Sise Jr. termed the move by the speedy Danzing Candy. “Even though it looks like a small field for the Santa Anita Derby, post positions will be important, especially with the speed in there now.

“We don’t have to be in front, but I’ll pretty much leave it up to Mike. I’m sure if the other speed (Iron Rob, coming off a front-running win in the six furlong San Pedro Stakes March 20) knows that if I draw inside, I’m going to go, and he’ll sit off of us.

“If he draws inside of me, it will be vice-versa.”

Santa Anita clockers gave Danzing Candy fractional times of 24, 36.40 and 48.40, with a gallop out time of 1:14 for six furlongs.

Exaggerator, second to unbeaten champion Nyquist in the Feb. 15 San Vicente and third behind Danzing Candy in the March 12 San Felipe, worked five furlongs for Keith Desormeaux with brother Kent aboard in 1:02.80.

Exaggerator’s fractions were 25 flat and 50.80.

“It was a little slower than he’s used to going,” Keith said, “but Kent said he was well in hand and galloped out strong.”

Also working for the Santa Anita Derby were Iron Rob, six furlongs in 1:14.40 for George Papaprodromou; California-bred Smokey Image, six furlongs in 1:13.40 for Carla Gaines; and Uncle Lino, five furlongs in 1:02.40 for Gary Sherlock.

Smokey Image had splits of 13.40, 36.60 and 48.80. Uncle Lino went a half in 50.40.


Purchased at Fairplex Park for just $32, there was one winning Santa Anita Pick Six ticket on Friday, and it was worth $52,823.

One of just two “live” horses in an eighth race field of 10 fillies and mares, favored Be Mine quickly erased any notion of a Pick Six carryover into Saturday with an emphatic 5 ¼  length win under Flavien Prat at odds of 2-1.

There were 70 tickets with five winners, each worth $327.20.


Those wishing to spend the morning at Santa Anita’s Clockers’ Corner on Santa Anita Derby Day next Saturday, April 9, are advised that Baldwin Ave. will be closed to vehicular traffic between the 210 Freeway and Huntington Drive from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. in order to accommodate foot traffic related to Santa Anita’s annual Derby Day 5K Run and Walk.

Accordingly, Santa Anita’s Gate 8, which adjoins the Westfield Shopping Mall on Baldwin Ave., and Gate 7, at the track’s northwest end, will also be closed to vehicles during the same time frame.

Those wishing to visit Clockers’ Corner on Derby Day morning will be able to enter the track on Santa Anita’s northeast perimeter, through Gate 5, or on the track’s southern perimeter, through Gate 3. Gates 3 and 5 will be open for easy access to Clockers’ Corner beginning at 5 a.m. and will remain open throughout the day. Santa Anita’s main track will be closed for training at 7:30 a.m.

Gate 3 is located at the intersection of Holly Ave. and Huntington Drive. Gate 5 is located at the confluence of Colorado Place and Huntington Drive.

For additional information on the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby and on the Derby Day 5K Run and Walk, fans are encouraged to visit, or call (626) 574-RACE.

FINISH LINES: Stellar Wind, champion Older Female of 2015, had her first work since running second in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff last Oct. 30, going three furlongs Saturday for John Sadler in 37.40. “Very nice,” is how the trainer termed the move. Stellar Wind went the first quarter-mile in 25.20. Also working for Sadler was Santa Anita Handicap runner-up Hard Aces, four furlongs in 48.20, while Palos Verdes and San Carlos winner Kobe’s Back went four furlongs in 49.20 for Peter Eurton . . . Nyquist arch-rival Swipe worked six furlongs for Keith Desormeaux in 1:13 flat. The trainer has the Grade I, $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 25 as a long-range goal for 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red . . . Arcadia Stakes winner Bolo worked four furlongs for Carla Gaines in 48 flat, while La Canada winner Taris went the same distance in 49 flat for Simon Callaghan . . . San Pedro runner-up Denman’s Call worked a mile for Doug O’Neill in 1:43.20 . . . With two wins Friday, Phil D’Amato has opened a 32-30 lead over O’Neill in the battle for Winter Meet training honors. The jockeys’ race is a fait accompli, with perennial leader Rafael Bejarano holding a commanding 68-47 bulge over injured and idle Santiago Gonzalez, but third-place Flavien Prat could take advantage of Gonzalez’s down time and move into second. He sits third with 43 victories. . . Effective today, agent Mark North has taken the book of Stewart Elliott, while apprentice Brayan Pena and agent Vic Lipton have parted company . . . UBER, the official ride to Santa Anita, will continue to offer 50 percent discounts to and from the track (up to $20) through July 10, 2016. The promo code is SANTAANITA2016. Santa Anita employees are welcome to use the discount code.

Source: Santa Anita Park

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