Frankie Dettori aboard Freedom Flyer after their victory in the Wishing Well, his fourth win on the day. (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
By Maribeth Kalinich
The Santa Anita Classic Meet began on Dec. 26 and on his first day at Santa Anita, Frankie Dettori had six mounts. He scored three wins that day and started off with a flourish winning the G2 San Antonio Stakes aboard Country Grammar for trainer Bob Baffert.
In Dettori’s first start of the New Year, Jan. 2, he placed second on the appropriately named Sweet Hello. The Italian superstar scored a third place the same day in the G3 Las Cienegas Stakes on Freedom Flyer. The same horse he won on at Santa Anita Saturday in the Wishing Well Stakes to cap off a four-win day.
Dettori quickly assimilated into the Santa Anita jockey colony picking up multiple mounts per day. He rides in $39,000 Maiden Claiming races and $1M G1 stakes. And he wins. Out of 93 starts, Dettori has won 19 times. He has also placed 9 times and finished third 16 times more.
Lil Nas gave Dettori his first win of the year in a $72,000 Allowance Optional Claiming race on Jan. 8. Five races later, the seasoned rider placed second in the G3 Sham Stakes aboard Newgate for Bob Baffert. He would ride Newgate again on Feb. 4 this time to a win in the G3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes.
Taking a vacation from SoCal to SoFla, Dettori jetted to Gulfstream Park Feb. 2 for Pegasus World Cup day and rode in every race but one. And he won—one race. A $50,000 Maiden Optional Claiming race aboard Musical Design.
Back west, Dettori would score in the Sweet Life Stakes with Manhattan Jungle (IRE) Feb. 11. The following day he would win the Lady of Shamrock aboard Ag Bullet.
Sweet Life…Lady of Shamrock, fate may be telling Dettori something.
Saturday, before his win on Freedom Flyer for trainer Leonard Powell in the Wishing Well, Dettori won Race 2, a $40,000 Starter Optional Claimer for trainer Michael McCarthy’s Piroli; Race 5, a $40,000 Starter Allowance aboard another Powell trainee Harper’s Gallop; and, Race 8, a $75,000 Allowance Optional Claiming race piloting Teddy’s Barino for trainer Mark Glatt.
Dettori hits the turf Sunday aboard Thirty Four Coupe in Race 3, a $39,000 Maiden Claiming race for trainer George Papaprodromou. The 4-year-old gelding is owned by Aidan Butler, CEO of 1/ST Racing and Gaming.
The favorite at 2-1 odds Dettori and Thirty Four Coupe break from post no. 2.
On the Monday Holiday, Dettori is back on the turf with three mounts for three notable trainers.
He gets a leg up from Jonathan Wong on Our Shining Light (IRE) in Race 1, a $40,000 Starter Allowance at 6/5 odds. Dettori will be aboard Carla Gaines’ Nashoba’s Joy at 8-1 odds in Race 5, a $67,000 Maiden Special Weight. In Race 7, a $38,000 Maiden Claiming race, he will be aboard Mark Glatt’s Cuban Crisis (GB). Dettori’s mount is 7/2 and vies against stablemate Rosy Edge at 8-1 with Geovanni Franco aboard, who is not, by the way, Italian.
Odds are Dettori might win one of his three races. And we will get to see the Classic Flying Frankie Dismount.
To read more about Frankie Dettori’s final year in the saddle, check out the other installments of Past The Wire’s series. Click here for Part 6 “Frankie’s Fanfare: Globetrotter.”
Check out our exclusive One on One interview with the legend himself here: