Beer Can Man Jim McKay Turf Sprint for trainer Phil D’Amato at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard. (Jim McCue/MJC)
• 2-Year-Old Crazy Hot Sizzles On Debut For Bonde
• ‘All Options Open’ For Elm Drive After Mizdirection Win
• 10 Stakes Including 3 Grade I’s Set For Memorial Weekend
• Tickets For Breeders’ Cup At Santa Anita Now On Sale
Santa Anita Stable Notes By Victor Ryan/Edited
ARCADIA, Calif.—There were nine stakes races run Saturday at Pimlico as part of its Preakness Stakes program. Santa Anita-based trainers and horses won four of them.
Hall of Famer Bob Baffert bookended the winning quartet with Arabian Lion, who scored at odds-on ($2.80) in the Sir Barton and National Treasure, who won the 148thPreakness by a head in an absolute thriller. He paid $7.80 as the second choice in the wagering. National Treasure also provided Baffert with a record eighth Preakness win and Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez with his first. Velazquez, 53, won four stakes on the Preakness card.
In the Jim McKay Turf Sprint, trainer Phil D’Amato won with Beer Can Man ($9.00), who got up to win by a neck under Flavien Prat as the third choice in the wagering. While Beer Can Man has been stabled with D’Amato’s string in Kentucky since mid-April, the trainer Sunday said Beer Can Man would now return to Santa Anita to continue his 5-year-old campaign.
Rounding out Santa Anita’s winning foursome was the crack sprinter Straight No Chaser, who romped to a 7 ¼-length victory in the GIII Maryland Sprint for trainer Dan Blacker With Velazquez up, Straight No Chaser smoked six furlongs in 1:09.05.
Blacker reported Sunday Straight No Chaser was doing well and would fly back to Santa Anita on Tuesday.
Straight No Chaser entered the Maryland Sprint off another scintillating 7 ¼-length win in an Oaklawn Park allowance April 1. The 4-year-old Speightster colt, who was a $110,000 auction buy as a 2-year-old, is owned by My Racehorse.
2-Year-Old Crazy Hot Sizzles On Debut For Veteran Trainer Bonde
Longtime trainer Jeff Bonde reported all was well with the promising 2-year-old filly Crazy Hot after her sparkling 10 ¾-length debut win here Saturday for owners Rusty Brown and Cory Thabit.
“Everything is well. She looks good,” Bonde said from Clocker’s Corner.
Crazy Hot was bet down to the 9-5 favorite for her debut in Saturday’s third race, a 4 ½-furlong dash for statebred 2-year-old fillies. She did not disappoint. The daughter of Kentucky-based stallion Goldencents chased the early pace after breaking from the outside stall under Geovanni Franco. But at about the three-eighths pole, Crazy Hot unleashed a sweeping move to blow past the field. She continued to extend her advantage through the stretch before crossing the wire in a final time of 52.44 seconds.
Crazy Hot was purchased by Bonde last year for $75,000 at the Fasig-Tipton California Fall Yearlings and Horses of All Ages Sale. She is campaigned by Rusty Brown and Cory Thabit.
“She is a nice-balanced horse and well made,” Bonde explained for why he bought the filly. “I just thought she was a good prospect and we bought here.”
Bred by Thomas W. Bachman, Crazy Hot is out the New York-bred stakes winner Harbor Mist, by Rockport Harbor. She arrived at Santa Anita this winter and had worked six times for her debut.
Bonde, 68, said he had reason to expect a big performance from Crazy Hot on Saturday. On April 29, Bonde won the second 2-year-old race of the season with Fly a Fantasy, a daughter of Smiling Tiger who rolled by 3 ¾ lengths as the odds-on favorite. Crazy Hot and Fly a Fantasy had been working together before their respective debuts.
“The way Crazy Hot had worked in the morning, yeah I was expecting a good effort from her,” Bonde said. “She’d been working with a filly I’d already won with at the meet, so we thought it was going to take a really good filly to beat her.”
Bonde, 68, has won 1,921 races since embarking on his training career in 1974. His all-time top earner is Smiling Tiger, a multiple Grade 1-winning sprinter who banked $1,480,704 from 2009-2012. He is now a stallion at Harris Farms in California.
Bonde enters Sunday’s card with three wins in nine starts at Hollywood Meet. In its heyday, Bonde said his stable typically numbered around 100 horses. He currently has about 25 in the barn, which he is making the most of.
“Being 68 now, I want to throw my punches when I can,” Bonde said.
‘All Options Open’ For Elm Drive After Mizdirection Win
Elm Drive has no shortage of race choices moving forward after winning her first start on turf in Saturday’s Mizdirection Stakes on the hillside turf course.
A multiple graded-stakes winner on dirt, Elm Drive finished with a flourish in the Mizdirection under Ramon Vazquez to win by 1 ½ lengths. She returned $13.40 as the co-third choice in a seven-horse field.
Trainer Phil D’Amato reported Sunday Elm Drive came out of the race in good order and “all options are open” when it comes to potential targets moving forward.
“She showed she can run on the grass, which broadens her horizons for for sure. She’s a double threat” D’Amato noted. “We’ll just try and find the best spot for her regardless of surface.”
Elm Drive’s win also capped a lucrative Saturday from coast-to-coast for owner Little Red Feather. The racing partnership managed by Gary Fenton and Billy Kock also co-owns two horses that won stakes on the Preakness undercard—Beer Can Man, who won the Jim McKay Turf Sprint for D’Amato; and Nagirroc, who was sensational winning the James W. Murphy Stakes on turf for trainer Graham Motion.
As for Elm Drive, she has now won five of 10 starts and banked $408,140. Prior to the Mizdirection, the 4-year-old Mohaymen filly was slated to try the turf in the GIII Monrovia April 8. Instead, that race was moved to the dirt main track. Elm Drive would score at 7-1.
Elm Drive’s other stakes wins came in the 2021 Sorrento at Del Mar and the 2022 Angels Flight at Santa Anita. The Mizdirection was her second start following a 6 ½-month layoff.
10 Graded Stakes Including 3 Grade I’s Set For Memorial Weekend
Santa Anita will host a blockbuster four days of racing starting next Friday as part of Memorial Day weekend. There are 10 stakes scheduled, including three Grade I’s, plus an array of other entertainment options including a beer festival, Infield carnival, cornhole derby and the SoCal Corgi Nationals.
Next Saturday, the stakes action gets underway with the GII Triple Bend at seven furlongs on dirt and GIII Daytona for older horses on the hillside turf course.
California-breds will take the spotlight on Gold Rush Day, Sunday. Set for that card is the $150,000 Snow Chief for 3-year-olds on turf; Melair for 3-year-old fillies on the main track; Thor’s Echo at six furlongs on dirt; Crystal Water going a mile on turf and Fran’s Valentine for fillies and mares on turf.
Then on Memorial Day, three Grade I’s will cap the week. Scheduled are the Shoemaker Mile on turf, which is a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Mile; Gamely for fillies and mare on turf and the Hollywood Gold Cup at 1 ¼ miles on the main track.
Tickets, dining packages and more can be purchased by visiting Santaanita.com.
Trainer Adan Farias got his first win of the Hollywood Meet on Saturday with Halfbarberbingie ($48), who in the 10th race was moved up to first following the disqualification of Nineeleventurbo…
There were 212 timed workouts Sunday on the main track and training track combined…
There is a Rainbow 6 Jackpot carryover of $171,863 for Sunday’s eight-race card… Tickets for this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 3 & 4 at Santa Anita are now on sale. Tickets can be purchased at BreedersCup.com/ticket.