Jockey Frey Has Hot Hand At Hollywood Meet

May 3, 2024

Kyle Frey (Santa Anita Photo)

+ 2-Year-Old Racing Kicks Off Friday At Santa Anita
+ Arabian Knight Continues On Steady Work Tab For Baffert
+ Hall Of Famer Mcanally, 91, Now 2-For-2 At Hollywood Meet

Santa Anita Stable Notes By Victor Ryan

It’s been a stellar start to the Santa Anita Hollywood Meet for jockey Kyle Frey. Through the first two weeks of the 29-day stand, Frey has connected at a 28 percent clip with eight victories from 29 starts. He enters Friday’s action with a one-win lead in the jockey’s standings over Umberto Rispoli.

“It’s incredible the success we’ve had these first two weeks,” Frey said on Thursday.

Frey won two races on opening day of the Hollywood Meet, April 19, and has continued to win consistently. Last Saturday, Frey bagged three wins with all returning double-digit payouts. He won the opener with Gold Foot ($23.80) for trainer Sean McCarthy, the third with Sneaker ($10) for trainer George Papaprodromou and the eighth with American Cat ($10.40) for trainer Lorenzo Campuzano. 

“My agent, Jack Carava has been doing a great job,” Frey said. “For me, I’m just blessed I have been grounded by God. I have been able to find focus and peace with life, both on and off the track.”

Last summer, Frey found himself in a mental funk. He elected to step away from the track in late July to focus on his personal well-being. Frey said that what ended up being a one-month break from the game was a key factor to his recent success.

“Look at the stats,” said the 32-year-old native of Tracy, Calif. “It’s taken a little while for all the cards to fall in in the right place. But it’s not me. I’m just doing what I can in the moment and letting God do the rest.”

Frey won his first race in 2010 at Golden Gate. The following year, he won the Eclipse Award as North America’s outstanding apprentice jockey. Entering Friday’s eight-race card at Santa Anita, Frey has 1,157 career victories and more than $30.4 million in earnings.

Frey has four mounts on Friday and 10 rides booked on an 11-race card Saturday. Among his mounts on Saturday are Grade I winner Gold Phoenix in the GII Charles Whittingham Stakes presented by FanDuel TV. Frey previously rode Gold Phoenix in 2022 when he first arrived in trainer Phil D’Amato’s barn from Europe. He got the mount Saturday after Juan Hernandez opted to ride Offlee Naughty, last year’s winner of the Whittingham.

“It will be fun to reunite with Gold Phoenix. I was one of the first if not the first to ride him when he came over,” Frey said. “Hopefully we get a nice trip and a clean break. He’s a horse who occasionally doesn’t break well. I think that’s what happened to him last time.”

On April 4, Gold Phoenix returned from a five-month layoff in the GIII American at a mile on turf. He broke last under Hernandez and was never a factor when checking in ninth at 5-2.

“He’s also done that with (Kazushi) Kimura and (Flavien) Prat. I was the first,” Frey said with a laugh. “Hopefully he gets a good break, is on his toes sitting in a good spot and we can go on and get it done.”

The Whittingham goes as the seventh race on an 11-race card Saturday. With the Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs set to go at 3:57 p.m. PT, there will be an extended break between the sixth and seventh races at Santa Anita. 

Post time for the Whittingham is set for 4:37 p.m.

2-Year-Old Racing Kicks Off Friday At Santa Anita

Juvenile racing begins Friday with a pair of races for California-breds on an eight-race card. The first race is for 2-year-old statebreds at 4 ½ furlongs on the main track, while the fifth is for statebred fillies also at 4 ½ furlongs on the main track.

Trainer Doug O’Neill entered the filly How About Pavel in the opener against males. She is the 2-1 favorite on Jon White’s morning line. By Pavel, How About Pavel enters with two consecutive gate works. She went four furlongs in 48.40 seconds from the gate April 20 and then three furlongs from the gate in 36.40 seconds on Sunday.

Field for Race 1, post time 1:00 p.m. PT

Owned and bred by Reddam Racing, How About Pavel will be ridden by Mario Gutierrez.
Also sure to garner interest in the opener is R Heisman, who has been working fast for noted trainer of 2-year-olds Luis Mendez. By the Blame stallion Far From Over, R Heisman worked a bullet three furlongs from the gate in 35.60 seconds April 13 and then came back with another bullet when drilling three furlongs in 34.00 on April 21. R Heisman will break from the rail under Edwin Maldonado.

In the fifth, O’Neill has morning-line favorite Odies Memory Lane (2-1) and 5-2 co-second choice Knightwithlouis.

Odies Memory Lane is by Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another out of the Square Eddie mare Don’t Sell. She has worked five times including a four-furlong gate move in 48.20 seconds April 20. Odie’s Memory Lane will break from the rail under Kyle Frey.

Knightwithlouis is by Mrazek out of the Candy Ride mare Full of Sugar. On Sunday, Knighthwithlouis worked three furlongs from the gate in 35.40 seconds. It was the second-fastest of 29 works at the distance. Jockey Abdul Alsagoor takes the call on Knightwithlouis.

Both Odies Memory Lane and Knightwithlouis were bred by Reddam Racing and are owned by Here We Go Brothers.

The first race Friday is at 1 p.m. PT. The fifth is set to go at 3:20 p.m.

GI Winner Arabian Knight Continues On Steady Work Tab 

Arabian Knight in a work at Santa Anita last summer. (Ernie Belmont/Past The Wire)
Arabian Knight in a work at Santa Anita last summer. (Ernie Belmont/Past The Wire)

Grade I winner Arabian Knight, off since a fourth-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 4 at Santa Anita, had his fourth work since April 11 Thursday at Santa Anita.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Arabian Knight worked five furlongs in a bullet 59.80 seconds. Last Friday, Arabian Knight also fired a bullet when going four furlongs in 47.20 seconds.

A 4-year-old Uncle Mo colt, Arabian Knight last year won the GI Pacific Classic at Del Mar and the GIII Southwest at Oaklawn Park. Sandwiched between those two wins was a third-place finish in the GI Haskell at Monmouth Park.

Arabian Knight is 5: 3-0-1 with $1,544,275 in earnings for owner Zedan Racing.

Also working were stakes winners Nadette and Pushiness. Nadette, trainer by Neil Drysdale, went four furlongs on the main track in 50.80. On April 4 at Santa Anita, Nadette won her first U.S. stakes in her 10th attempt when taking the GIII Wilshire at a mile on turf.

Pushiness is on the comeback trail for trainer Michael McCarthy. Last year, the Kantharos filly won the CTBA Stakes at Del Mar and was seventh in the GI Del Mar Debutante before hitting the sidelines.

Owned by Repole Stable, Pushiness worked four furlongs in 47.80 seconds. It was her fourth drill since April 8.

In all, there 70 times workouts combined between the main track and training track.

Hall Of Famer Mcanally, 91, Now 2-For-2 At The Hollywood Meet

Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally won his second race from as many starters at the Hollywood Meet Sunday when homebred Charm Your World won her debut under Jose Valdivia Jr. and paid $56.60.

Charm Your World, a 3-year-old by Candy Ride, rallied to score by three-quarters of a length in an open maiden race for fillies and mares at six furlongs on turf. Nine days earlier, McAnally won a $25,000 claimer at six furlongs on turf with The Giants Candy ($8.20), who is a 6-year-old half-brother to Charm Your World.

Both Charm Your World and The Giants Candy were bred by McAnally and his wife Deborah from their graded stakes winning mare Charm the Giant. Charm Your World is a full brother to 2021 GI Santa Anita Derby winner Rock Your World. The Giants Candy is by Twirling Candy.

McAnally, 91, now has 2,594 career wins and $126,358,521 in earnings. A three-time Eclipse Award winner as outstanding trainer, he was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1990.

FINISH LINES ______________

With Saturday being Kentucky Derby Day, first post at Santa Anita for an 11-race card is 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m…

Post time for the 150th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs is 3:57 p.m. PT…

With two winning favorites as part of the sequence, Sunday’s $1 Pick Six paid $11,655.40 for eight perfect tickets. The winners with payouts were #5 Vulin* ($4.60), #4 Crosby Beach ($10.60), #3 Motorcade ($13), #6 Curlin’s Chaos* ($4.40), #5 Irish Wahine ($11.60) and #10 Charm Your World ($56.80)…

Trainer Jorge Gutierrez and jockey Tiago Pereiragot Sunday’s card started with a bang when scoring with 68-1 longshot Shezmisbehaving ($138) in the opener. It was the first win at the Hollywood Meet for both Gutierrez and Pereira…

Sunday’s $1 Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 returned $9,444.10for nine winning tickets…

Every Friday at the Hollywood Meet, on-track patrons will receive free parking and admission plus $3 beers and $5 margaritas.

@jonathanstettin great read as always!

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