Practical Move gets in a 4 furlong work handily for Tim Yakteen in 47.60 Saturday at Santa Anita. (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
• Taiba, Havnameltdown Return To Santa Anita
• D’Amato Eyes Two Turns For Irish O’Brien Winner
• Coast-To-Coast Pick 5 Returns Sunday
Stable Notes By Victor Ryan
ARCADIA, Calif.— Practical Move returned to the work tab Saturday following his win in the GII San Felipe on March 4. Also drilling for trainer Tim Yakteen was GIII Sham winner Reincarnate, who most recently was third in the GII Rebel Stakes on Feb. 25 at Oaklawn Park.
Practical Move worked a solo half mile in 47.60 seconds, which Yakteen called “a beautiful drill.
“He came out of the San Felipe in great shape and it’s all systems go,” he added.
Reincarnate, who returned to the tab nine days ago, worked six furlongs in company in 1:12.40. Yakteen said Reincarnate was probably headed back to Oaklawn for the GI Arkansas Derby on April 1 where he would likely need a top-two finish to qualify for this year’s Kentucky Derby.
Practical Move has already banked 60 points for the Kentucky Derby, which ranks second on the leaderboard and likely enough to qualify for the 1 ¼-mile classic at Churchill Downs.
“Nothing is etched in stone yet, but right now we’re looking at Oaklawn for Reincarnate and the Santa Anita Derby (on April 8) for Practical Move,” Yakteen said.
Yakteen said his third Kentucky Derby prospect, National Treasure, was likely to work either Sunday or Monday. Yet another rainstorm is scheduled to hit Santa Anita early in the week.
“We’re just playing the weather, but you’ll see him on the tab in the next couple of days,” Yakteen said.
National Treasure was the morning-line favorite in the San Felipe but had to be scratched because of a bruised hoof. He returned to the tab this past Tuesday with a six-furlong work in 1:11.80.
Taiba, Havnameltdown Back At Santa Anita After Saudi Arabia Trip
Taiba and Havnameltdown are back at Santa Anita following their expeditions to the Middle East to complete in the rich Saudi Cup program on Feb. 25 in Riyadh. Trainer Bob Baffert said both colts arrived Tuesday night and had settled in nicely.
Taiba and Havnameltdown were both the beaten favorites in their respective races at King Abdulaziz Racecourse. Taiba, who ran in the GI Saudi Cup along with stablemate Country Grammar, was never a factor and finished eighth, while Country Grammar ran a big second, as he did last year.
“Taiba didn’t bring his ‘A’ game,” Baffert said Friday.
Havnameltdown ran in the GIII Saudi Derby and was a gallant second. He and locally based contender Commissioner King engaged in a race-long slugfest with Commissioner King getting the narrow victory.
Baffert said at this point he is not sure what will be next for either Taiba or Havnameltdown.
“I haven’t even thought about it,” he said. “But Taiba will probably be ready to run first. Havnameltdown ran really hard. That was a tough race, I’ll probably give him some time.”
Baffert isn’t quite done in the Middle East this year. He has three horses scheduled to run on next Saturday’s Dubai World Cup program.
Country Grammer will next try and defend his title in the $12 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse March 25. Baffert also has Worcester set to run in the GII UAE Derby and Hopkins slated for the GI Golden Shaheen going six furlongs on dirt.
D’Amato Eyes Two Turns For Irish O’Brien Winner Alice Marble
Alice Marble’s productive winter at Santa Anita continued Saturday with a second-straight stakes win in the 6 1/2-furlong Irish O’Brien Stakes, which was scheduled for the hillside turf course but moved to the main track.
Trainer Phil D’Amato Sunday morning said the Nick Alexander homebred “came out of the race in good shape” and would likely target a two-turn race for her next start. A leading possibility is the Fran’s Valentine Stakes, a one-mile turf race for California-breds which Alice Marble won last year.
“We’ll check out our options, but the Fran’s Valentine would be a logical choice,” D’Amato said.
In the Irish O’Brien, Alice Marble stalked the pace in second under Flavien Prat before taking over near the quarter pole and crossing the wire a 1 ¼-length winner. The runner-up, Rose Maddox, finished well in an encouraging effort after having to check hard on the turn. Rose Maddox, also an Alexander homebred, is trained by Steve Miyadi.
As for Alice Marble, she upped her record to 7-2-3 from 15 starts. She has four stakes wins on the resume. The $60,000 winner’s share for the Irish O’Brien pushed her earnings to $470,080.
Coast-To-Coast Pick 5 Returns Sunday
The $1 Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 with player-friendly 15 percent takeout rate returns Sunday with races from Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park. The sequence, which includes four turf sprints, kicks off at 1:07 p.m. PT with the eighth race from Gulfstream Park.
Gulfstream Park’s eighth race is a $35,000 claimer for 3-year-old turf sprinters. It has a field of nine entered. The sequence continues with the ninth and tenth race from Gulfstream, the fifth race from Santa Anita and concludes at 3:31 p.m. with the seventh race from Santa Anita.
Sunday’s Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 averages 8.8 starters per race before scratches. Last Sunday’s Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 returned $14,912 to 11 winning tickets.
Flavien Prat won three races Sunday including the featured Irish O’Brien aboard Alice Marble. After a slow start to the Classic Meet, Prat is now a clear-cut second in the jockey’s standing with 25 wins. His nine stakes wins are also just one fewer than Juan Hernandez, who leads the colony in both total wins (44) and stakes wins (10) …
There is a $151,568 Rainbow 6 carryover for Saturday’s card…Horseplayer Steve Pollack will beTom Quigley’s featured handicapping guest Sunday on the Santa Anita simulcast feed starting at 11: 20 …
The win rate for favorites has ticked up to 35.27 percententering Saturday’s card.