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Santa Anita Stable Notes: Exaggerator, Songbird Have Sights on Future

Santa Anita Stable Notes: Exaggerator, Songbird Have Sights on Future


Santa Anita Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Exaggerator is doing well in the Empire State as he prepares for the nine furlong, Grade II, $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on July 30.

“He’s just freshening now, in light training, and probably pick up the program around July 1 and we’ll point to the Jim Dandy and see if we can do the same thing last year when we won that race with Texas Red,” trainer and part owner Keith Desormeaux said.

“Exaggerator is in New York with (assistant) Julie Clark. All systems are in order.”

Exaggerator galloped a mile and a half at Belmont Park Saturday.


Champion filly Songbird is scheduled to have three races prior to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita on Nov. 4, and one of them will be the Grade I, $600,000 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 20, Jerry Hollendorfer said Saturday morning.

“I’m not sure what race she’ll run in before that,” Hollendorfer said, “but the Alabama is on her schedule, for sure.”

The Alabama will be decided at a mile and a quarter, the longest distance Songbird has ever run. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms, is unbeaten and unchallenged in eight victories, including her most recent, the Summertime Oaks on June 18, in which she cantered home first by 6 ½ lengths.


Shh She’s Ours seeks her fourth straight win tomorrow when she runs in $75,000 Desert Stormer II Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at six furlongs on dirt.

Each of her three previous wins has come in sprints on Santa Anita’s main track. She was third going about 6 ½ furlongs on the hillside turf course on Feb. 15, her first race in 11 months.

“The comeback race was on the grass,” said Jim Cassidy, who trains the four-year-old daughter of Tiz Wonderful for principal client Deron Pearson of Valencia, who campaigns as DP Racing. “That’s the only reason she didn’t handle it. She’s very fast and a nice filly. She is what you see. Victor (Espinoza) just sits there when the gates open and away she goes.”

Another speedball, Sensitively, conditioned by runaway training leader Phil D’Amato, drew outside of Shh She’s Ours in the race, but Cassidy is playing with the hand he’s been dealt.

“I’ve got no choice but to go,” he said. I’ve got to go, so if he (D’Amato) takes off, God bless him. If he doesn’t . . . She’s put away a lot of horses that have gone with her.”

The Desert Stormer II, race five of nine: Avenge, Mike Smith, 8-1; Shh She’s Ours, Victor Espinoza, 8-1; Luminance, Rafael Bejarano, 3-1; Juno, Flavien Prat, 7-2; and Sensitively, Tyler Baze, 4-5.

FINISH LINESCalifornia Chrome worked six furlongs at Los Alamitos Saturday in 1:12.20 as the 2014 Horse of the Year prepares for the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 23 . . . Sunday Rules, a contender for the $100,000 Spring Fever Handicap at Santa Anita on July 4, worked six furlongs for Phil D’Amato Saturday in 1:12.40. D’Amato also had Melair Stakes winner Enola Gray go five furlongs in 59.20. With 22 wins from 81 starts, D’Amato is winning at a 27 percent clip overall, and even better on dirt at 32 percent (12 for 38) . . . Sir Barton Stakes winner American Freedom, prepping for the $250,000 Iowa Derby July 1, worked six furlongs for Bob Baffert in 1:12.20. A three-year-old son of Pulpit owned by Gary and Mary West, American Freedom broke his maiden on a sloppy track at Santa Anita first out on April 9, was sixth in the Grade III Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs on May 7, and won the Sir Barton going a mile and a sixteenth at Pimlico on a muddy track Preakness day, May 21 . . . Santa Anita will offer holiday racing on Monday, July 4, with first post time at 1:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m.

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