Trainer John Sadler. (Benoit Photo)
• BC Veteran Manhattan Jungle Tries The Hill In GIII Sweet Life
• Practical Move, Geaux Rocket Ride In Ky. Derby Future Pool
• Rush Hour: Coast-To-Coast Pick 5 In 60 Minutes On Saturday
• Santa Anita Adds Race Card For Friday, Feb. 24
Stable Notes By Victor Ryan
ARCADIA, Calif.—Set to make his debut Saturday for trainer John Sadler is Nuclear, a colt by 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify who commanded $1.55 million at the 2021 Keeneland September yearling sale.
Nuclear will face nine rivals in a six-furlong maiden special weight on turf, which goes as the final race on a 10-race card. For his debut, the high-priced auction buy has lured Santa Anita leading rider Juan Hernandez.
Nuclear has been working at Santa Anita since early December and most recently has reeled off four straight five-furlong drills, which includes a five furlong move in 1:00 on Jan. 28 that was the third fastest of 62 works at the distance. Last summer, Nuclear had been in training at Del Mar but Sadler was forced to back off the colt due to what he said were shin issues.
“You can tell by his price tag we’re anxious to get him going,” Sadler said. “We decided to start him on grass because of the way he’s trained. The way he moves, I thought the turf was the way to get started, but he looks like a good prospect.”
Nuclear is owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, Talla Racing and Stonehaven Steadings. He is out of the Latent Heat mare True Feelings, who was graded-stakes placed as a 2-year-old at Saratoga in 2011. True Feelings has also produced stakes winner Feeling Mischief, graded-stakes placed Royal Act and six-figure earner Forge ($227,761).
“He’ll probably be better going long second time, but he still has a chance first start,” Sadler said.
Nuclear’s debut is scheduled for approximately 5 p.m. on Saturday.
BC Veteran Manhattan Jungle Tries The Hill In GIII Sweet Life
Manhattan Jungle has the look of a major contender for trainer Michael McCarthy in Saturday’s Grade III Sweet Life for 3-year-old fillies on the downhill turf course.
Last fall, Manhattan Jungle arrived stateside from Europe for trainer Amy Murphy to compete in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland on Nov. 4. Tested at a mile for the first time at the Breeders’ Cup, Manhattan Jungle – who in France placed in multiple group stakes sprinting – showed speed into the stretch before fading to finish eighth.
Manhattan Jungle was subsequently transferred to McCarthy’s stable at Santa Anita. She returned in the one-mile Blue Norther on turf Dec. 30 at Santa Anita where she was a solid second.
“She got ready quick for us after the Breeders’ Cup,” McCarthy said. “I was surprised how much she put into her training and how fast she came around. So, we decided to go ahead and try her at a flat mile, and I thought she ran a very good race. The winner never came back.”
Manhattan Jungle now returns to sprinting in the about 6 ½-furlong Sweet Life.
“This race was really the plan all along,” McCarthy added.
Manhattan Jungle has lured the services of Frankie Dettori, who has ridden multiple winners on the downhill turf course this winter. He replaces John Velazquez, who was aboard for the Blue Norther but will be riding out of town this weekend.
“She trains like a very honest filly,” McCarthy said. “She came here and got black type right off the bat in California. Hopefully she’ll become a winner of black type on Saturday.”
The Sweet Life goes as the ninth race on Saturday with an approximate post time of 4:30.
Practical Move, Geaux Rocket Ride In Ky. Derby Future Pool
Two horses based at Santa Anita are among the 39 individual betting interests listed in this weekend’s Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Practical Move, winner of the Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity most recently, is tabbed at 50-1 on the morning line while flashy maiden winner Geaux Rocket Ride is 40-1.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager opens at 9 a.m. Friday and closes Sunday at 3 p.m. It is a pari-mutuel wager with a $2 minimum.
Trained by Tim Yakteen, Practical Move sprung a 10-1 upset when rolling to a 3 ¼-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile Futurity on Dec. 17. The Practical Joke colt returned to the work tab on Jan. 21. Yakteen recently said Practical Move would be ready to run in a Kentucky Derby prep either at the end of this month or early March.
As for Geaux Rocket Ride, he romped by 5 ¾ lengths when debuting in a six-furlong maiden race on dirt here Jan. 29 for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. The Candy Ride colt stopped the clock in a sharp 1:09.52, which earned a 92 Beyer Speed Figure. Mandella said last week that Geaux Rocket Ride, who was a $350,000 auction purchase, would make his next start in the Grade II San Felipe going 1 1/16 miles on March 4.
Rush Hour: Coast-To-Coast Pick 5 In 60 Minutes On Saturday
The action will come fast and furious in Saturday’s Coast-to-Coast Pick 5. The sequence, which combines races from Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park, kicks off at 1:07 PT with the ninth race from Gulfstream Park and concludes 59 minutes later with the 11thrace from Gulfstream.
The Coast-To-Coast Pick 5 is a $1 minimum wager with a player-friendly 15 percent takeout. The other three legs on Saturday are the third race from Santa Anita, 10thrace from Gulfstream and fourth race from Santa Anita. Field sizes average 8.8 starters per race.
The Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 is offered every Saturday and Sunday during the Santa Anita and Gulfstream meets. Last Sunday’s wager returned $2,634.90 for 73 winning tickets.
Sunday will have a special first post of 11 a.m. to accommodate those with plans to watch the Super Bowl…Last Sunday’s Rainbow 6 mandatory payout returned $935.70 for 3,655 winning tickets…A total of 369 3-year-olds were nominated to this year’s Triple Crown, an 18 percent increase from a year ago…J
ohn Barr, a longtime owner-breeder and former president of the California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, died on Sunday at the age of 93…Santa Anita will conduct live racing on Friday, Feb. 24, which was originally scheduled to be a dark day. First post time will be at 12:30 p.m. The card has been added as a makeup for weather-related cancellations earlier in the Classic Meet…
Every Friday during the Classic Meet on-track patrons will receive free admission, free parking and drink specials that include $3 beers and $5 margaritas…
Entering Friday’s action, favorites have won at 29.27 percent clip at the Classic meet.