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Santa Anita Park Picks | Lazaro Barrera Stakes 2024
Ball Don't Lie (Benoit Photo)

Santa Anita Park Picks | Lazaro Barrera Stakes 2024

Ball Don’t Lie, who popped a 97 Beyer Speed Figure when earning his diploma last month at Santa Anita, makes his stakes debut for trainer Mark Glatt in Sunday’s $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes for 3-year-olds going seven furlongs at Santa Anita Park.

First post Sunday is 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.

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A New York-bred colt by Blame, Ball Don’t Lie graduated by 1 ½ lengths on April 6 when making his second start. With Frankie Dettori in the irons, Ball Don’t Lie pressed stablemate Santarena before taking over with a furlong remaining. He completed six furlongs in 1:08.79.

Owned by Muir Hut Stables and Saints or Sinners, Ball Don’t Lie was purchased for $165,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale. He debuted March 9 going 6 ½ furlongs at Santa Anita and checked in third. The winner of that race, Vlahos, returned to finish third in last Saturday’s GII Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs.

Ball Don’t Lie will be ridden by Antonio Fresu for the first time.

Trainer John Sadler entered both Tapalo and Heart Headed, who are owned by Hronis Racing.

Tapalo cuts back to one turn after finishing fifth in the GI Santa Anita Derby April 6. In the 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby, the Tapiture ridgling set the pace under Umberto Rispoli before relinquishing the lead at the top of the stretch and fading.

Tapalo broke his maiden going this same seven-furlong trip Jan. 12 at Santa Anita. Sandwiched between that win and the Santa Anita Derby was a runner-up effort in the El Camino Real Derby on synthetic at Golden Gate Feb. 10.

Tapalo, who will be ridden by Hector Berrios, was purchased for $55,000 at last year’s OBS March 2-year-olds in training sale. He has a record of 6: 1-2-1 with $77,020 in earnings.

Heart Headed returns to dirt after a pair of stakes tries on the hillside turf course. By Oscar Performance, Heart Headed graduated last November for trainer William Walden when going seven furlongs on dirt at Churchill Downs. He was subsequently entered in the Keeneland November horses of racing age sale where he was purchased for $135,000.

In his local bow on Jan. 15, Heart Headed won a starter/optional claimer at 6 ½ furlongs on dirt. The move to turf started with the Feb. 17 Baffle Stakes when he was beaten just a head by the highly regarded Stay Hot. In the subsequent John Shear Stakes down the hill, Heart Headed was dispatched as the 4-5 favorite. He finished a disappointing fourth.

Juan Hernandez rode Heart Headed in both turf efforts and again has the call. Also exiting the Santa Anita Derby is Tessuto for trainer George Papaprodromou. The Munnings ridgling was never a factor when finishing last under Kazushi Kimura. Prior to that effort, he graduated going a mile on dirt Feb. 25 at Santa Anita.

Umberto Rispoli, who was aboard for Tessuto’s maiden win, takes the call Sunday. Owned by Kretz Racing, Tessuto was a $280,000 auction buy last year. He is 4: 1-0-2 with $55,100 in earnings.


Race 4 of 9 Approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PT

  1. Heart Headed—Juan Hernandez—120
  2. Tapalo—Hector Berrios—120
  3. Tessuto—Umberto Rispoli—120
  4. Ball Don’t Lie—Antonio Fresu—120