Aptly named Ultimate Gamble goes for maiden win

March 31, 2023

Ultimate Gamble in a work at Santa Anita. (Ernie Belmonte)

• High-Priced Auction Buy Returns Saturday For Glatt, Dettori Gets Leg Up
• Training Limited On Thursday After More Rain
• Practical Move Co-Second Choice In Ky. Derby Wager
• Mandarin Hero Arrives Stateside For GI SA Derby
• Coast-To-Coast Pick 5 Returns Saturday

Stable Notes By Victor Ryan

ARCADIA, Calif.—Adding intrigue to Saturday’s nine-race card, which is highlighted by the Grade II, $200,000 Royal Heroine on turf, is the return of $1.7-million auction buy Ultimate Gamble in a one-mile maiden race on the main track for trainer Mark Glatt

Ultimate Gamble was purchased last year by owner Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal at the OBS April 2-year-olds in Training Sale. He commanded the second-highest price at the sale behind only Arabian Knight, who sold for $2.3 million. Arabian Knight has since gone 2-for-2 on the track, which includes a win in the Grade III Southwest at Oaklawn on Jan. 28, for owner Zedan Racing and trainer Bob Baffert. Arabian Knight is currently out of training with plans to return for a summer campaign.

Ultimate Gamble made his one and only start on Aug. 13 at Del Mar when going 6 ½ furlongs on the main track. In his bow, Ultimate Gamble hooked a field that included Cave Rock and Practical Move, both of whom would go on to be multiple graded stakes winners.

At Del Mar, Ultimate Gamble stalked pacesetter Cave Rock while second along the inside before weakening to finish fourth. Cave Rock would be a six-length winner over runner-up Practical Move.

Ultimate Gamble is a dark brown colt by Medaglia d’Oro out of the Ghostzapper mare Eltimaas, which makes him a half-brother to 2016 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Drefong. He has worked six times for his sophomore bow, which includes three straight six-furlong drills. Last Saturday, Ultimate Gamble worked the distance from the gate in 1:13.20.

“He’s doing really well, and we’re pleased with how he’s coming into the race,” Glatt said Thursday. “He’s a big, beautiful horse. Probably a little too big to be a really effective 2-year-old. He just needed some time to fill out, which he has. We’ll see what he can do on Saturday.”

Ultimate Gamble is the 8-5 second choice on the morning line behind Textthelegend, who will be ridden for the first time by Frankie Dettori, in Saturday’s fourth race. The card kicks off at 1 p.m. 

Benoit Photo

Training Limited At Santa Anita Thursday Following More Rain

Santa Anita’s main track was closed Thursday morning and the training track was limited to only joggers following yet another rainstorm that hit the area this week.

Track officials said just over an inch of rain fell on Santa Anita during this latest series of storms, which began Tuesday. Yesterday morning, prior to the heaviest of the rainfall, both the main track and training track were open to gallopers and joggers. There have been no timed workouts at Santa Anita since Tuesday.

On Friday, an eight-race card is scheduled for Santa Anita which includes three turf races. Jason Egan, Santa Anita director of racing and racing secretary, said on Thursday he expects the card to be a go.

“The weather is supposed to clear out today, that’s why we kept the main track closed to preserve it for racing on Friday,” Egan said. “I think we’re going to be in good shape. We also should at least have gallopers and joggers on the main track tomorrow.”
As for the status of Friday’s three turf races, Egan said he is hopeful they will remain on the grass.

“We want to wait to see how the rest of today goes weather-wise and then we’ll make a determination,” he added.

Following this latest storm, Santa Anita has received more than 34 inches of rain since the start of the Classic Meet on Dec. 26. It’s resulted in eight cards to be canceled, though four of those have already been made up. An additional makeup date is scheduled for Friday, April 21.

Practical Move Co-Second Choice In Ky. Derby Future Wager

The sixth and final pool for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager opens Thursday with seven horses based at Santa Anita listed among the 39 individual betting interests.

Practical Move gets a work at Santa Anita March 26. (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Leading the way among the Santa Anita horses is Grade II San Felipe winner Practical Move. He is the 8-1 co-second choice on the morning line behind only Forte, last year’s champion 2-year-old male who was installed at 5-2. Trained by Tim Yakteen, Practical Move is slated to run in the Grade I Runhappy Santa Anita Derby here on April 8.

The other Santa Anita horses in the pool include Geaux Rocket Ride (20-1) and Skinner (30-1), the respective two-three finishers in the San Felipe who are both also expected for the Santa Anita Derby; Reincarnate (20-1), who is entered in Saturday’s Grade I Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park for Yakteen; Fort Bragg (80-1), also trained by Yakteen, who is entered in Saturday’s Grade I Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park; and the Yakteen-trained National Treasure (50-1), who is ticketed for either the Santa Anita Derby or Grade I Blue Grass at Keeneland also on April 8.

Also listed in the pool is Japan-based Mandarin Hero, who arrived at LAX on Wednesday and is slated to be at Santa Anita mid-morning on Friday after clearing quarantine. Mandarin Hero made the trip stateside to compete in the Santa Anita Derby with an eye towards the Kentucky Derby. He is listed at 80-1 on the morning line in the future wager.

Unlike the previous Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools, which closed on Sunday, this one closes on Saturday at 3 p.m. PT. That is approximately 40 minutes before the Florida Derby and an hour and 50 minutes before the Arkansas Derby.

Coast-To-Coast Pick 5 With Low Takeout Returns Saturday

The $1 Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 featuring a player-friendly 15 percent takeout returns Saturday with races from Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park. It kicks off at approximately 2:15 p.m. PT with the 12th race from Gulfstream, the Grade II Gulfstream Park Oaks, and ends with the GII Royal Heroine at Santa Anita, which goes as the seventh race at approximately 3:59 p.m. PT.

The other races in the sequence are the Appleton Stakes and GI Florida Derby at Gulfstream and the sixth race from Santa Anita, a $10,000 claimer at 5 ½ furlongs for older horses.
Saturday’s Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 averages 9.2 starters per race. Last Sunday’s Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 returned $10,697.20 for 11 winning tickets.


Santa Anita Derby contender Mandarin Hero is currently in quarantine following a 10-hour flight from Japan to LAX on Wednesday. He is scheduled to arrive at Santa Anita mid-morning Friday with his groom and exercise rider in tow. Trainer Terunobu Fujita is set to arrive next Thursday…

Santa Anita leading rider Juan Hernandez won four more races Monday to give him 53 at the Classic Meet, which is nearly double that of runner-up Flavien Prat (27) …

Nominations close Thursday for next Saturday’s Runhappy Grade I Santa Anita Derby, Grade II Santa Anita Oaks, Grade II Charles Whittingham and three other stakes to be run that day… 

XBTV workout coordinator Teresa Delligatta will be Tom Quigley’s featured handicapping guest Friday on the Santa Anita simulcast feed starting at 11:50… 

There is a $288,165.28 Rainbow 6 carryover for Friday’s card.The sequence starts with the third race at approximately 1:59 p.m

There will be a mandatory payout in the 20 Cent Rainbow Pick Six On Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Day, Saturday, April 8. It is expected the Derby Day Rainbow Six pool will exceed $3 million.

Big score for @AmWager customers. @jonathanstettin does it again!

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