Taiba, Forbidden Kingdom Lead Friday’s Work Tab

January 20, 2023

Taiba in a morning work at Santa Anita. (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Dicey Mo Chara, Air Force Red Nearing Stakes Encore

Stable Notes By Victor Ryan

ARCADIA, Calif.—Taiba and Forbidden Kingdom, the 1-2 finishers in the Grade I Malibu on opening day, each worked Friday at Santa Anita.

Forbidden Kingdom got back on the tab with a three-furlong drill in 34.60 seconds for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. Taiba, who 12 days ago worked an easy half mile in 50.80 seconds for Bob Baffert, picked things up on Friday when completing the same distance in 48.80 seconds. Taiba is slated to ship out of Santa Anita next month and head to the Middle East for a try in the $20 million Saudi Cup in Riyadh on Feb. 25.

In the Malibu, Forbidden Kingdom set the pace before being overtaken in the stretch by Taiba and falling 4 ¼ lengths short. The Malibu was Taiba’s third Grade I win of 2022, bolstering his case as Eclipse Award finalist for champion 3-year-old male.

Baffert also had several other workers Friday. Among the more notable were Grade I Starlet winner Faiza (5f, 59.60), Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity runner-up Carmel Road (4f, 48.8) and Arabian Lion (5f, 59.60), a well-regarded maiden winner who was fifth as the odds-on favorite in the Futurity most recently.

Dicey Mo Chara, Air Force Red Nearing Stakes Encore

Dicey Mo Chara (GB) and Air Force Red got the Classic Meet off to a flying start for trainer Leonard Powell when taking down the Grade II San Gabriel and Grade II Joe Hernandez, respectively, during openin

On Friday, Air Force Red had his second work since the Joe Hernandez when going an easy five furlongs in 1:03.20. Dicey Mo Chara, who has already worked twice since the San Gabriel, is slated for a third drill on Saturday.

Air Force Red handily winning the Lure Stakes at Santa Anita Oct. 29, 2022. (Benoit Photo)

Following his win in the San Gabriel, Dicey Mo Chara was invited to compete in next Saturday’s $1 million, Grade I Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park. But after some consideration, the connections decided against making the cross-country trip. Dicey Mo Chara will instead run in the $200,000, Grade II San Marcos going 1 ¼ miles on Feb. 5 at Santa Anita.

“The (Pegasus) was going to be a tough race and the ownership (Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal) loves to support California racing,” Powell said. “This is also a track he likes, so we decided to just stay home and run in the San Marcos.”

As for Air Force Red, who is campaigned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Holly Golightly, Powell said a decision on his next start will be made in the next couple days.

“We have a couple options for him. We’ll get together with the owners following his work today and make a decision,” Powell said.

Air Force Red, who prior to the Joe Hernandez won the Oct. 29 Lure Stakes at Santa Anita, has a record of 10-5-0-0 and earnings of $354,140. Dicey Mo Chara, who collected his first stakes win in the San Gabriel, has a record of 4-4-3 from 17 starts and earnings of $430,277.

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