SATURDAY JULY 2, 2016
Songbird (Zoe Metz Photo)
· SONGBIRD BREEZES FOR EAST COAST CAMPAIGN · NARDO MAKES HIS STAKES DEBUT IN THOR’S ECHO · KNAPP HOPES TO CATCH SPEEDSTERS SLEEPING · BIG BANG FOR YOUR BUCK MONDAY AT SANTA ANITA · FIRING LINE IN ‘PERFECT’ WORK TO MEET ‘CHROME’
SONGBIRD WORKS ‘VERY EASILY’ AT SANTA ANITA Superstar filly Songbird, who always gives her all even though she has yet to be asked for it, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track in 1:01 early Saturday morning as she prepares for an East Coast sojourn. “The clockers gave her 1:01; I got her in a minute point 85, and she galloped out very nicely and very easily,” Jerry Hollendorfer said, emphasizing the word ‘very’ on both occasions. Regular rider Mike Smith was scheduled to work Songbird, but exercise rider Edgar Rodriguez deputized for the Hall of Fame jockey when he was involved in a minor mishap on another worker shortly after the main track opened before sunup, around 5:10 a.m. “Mike was going to work her, but he had a problem this morning,” Hollendorfer said. “I told him he shouldn’t work the horse if he wasn’t 100 percent, and he agreed.” Hollendorfer outlined the schedule for undefeated champion Songbird, winner of all eight of her races for Delaware-based owner Rick Porter, who campaigns as Fox Hill Farms. “We’re looking at the Delaware Handicap on the 16th (of July) and we’re looking at the Coaching Club American Oaks (at Saratoga on July 24), and we definitely want to run in the Alabama (at Saratoga on Aug. 20),” Hollendorfer said. “So what the first race is, we don’t know yet.” The $750,000 Delaware Handicap at a mile and a quarter is for fillies and mares, three and up; the $300,000 Oaks is at 1 1/8 miles; and the $600,000 Alabama will be decided at a mile and a quarter. Each is a Grade I race.
NARDO MAKES STAKES DEBUT IN THOR’S ECHO Streaking Nardo guns for his third straight win when the four-year-old chestnut gelding makes his stakes debut in Monday’s $100,000 Thor’s Echo Handicap at six furlongs. “He’s a solid horse and tries hard every time,” said Mike Puype, who trains the son of Olmodavor for owners/breeders Anthony and Suzy Narducci. “He seems to be getting better and we’ll see if he’s up to this level. He’s done everything asked of him and this is the most logical place to run. The Narduccis have been long time clients, with me for many years. They’ll be here to root for the horse.” Nardo has finished out of the money only once in seven career starts, running fourth in a maiden allowance race last March 13. The Thor’s Echo, a part of the Golden State Series: Raised a Secret, Santiago Gonzalez; Love My Bud, Rafael Bejarano; Forest Chatter, Mike Smith; Nardo, Flavien Prat; Magic Mark, Drayden Van Dyke; and Mrazek, Mario Gutierrez.
HARLINGTON’S ROSE CATCHES SPRING FEVER Steve Knapp is hoping pace will take its toll in Monday’s $100,000 Spring Fever Handicap for fillies and mares, three and up at six furlongs, and Harlington’s Rose can benefit and spring an upset. “She had her comeback race and ran third,” the trainer said of five-year-old Harlington mare that finished a distant third in an overnight race May 19, her first start in five months. “It’s a tough race. This track has pretty much been favoring speed and I’ve got to come from behind so it’s going to be a difficult task, but she’s very sharp. She’s coming into the race really well. I hope Lost Bus and Sunday Rules hook up and go real fast to give us a shot.” The Spring Fever, one in the Golden State Series, goes as race three: Lost Bus, Fernando Perez; Sunday Rules, Edwin Maldonado; Sidepocket Run, Tiago Pereira; Harlington’s Rose, Joe Talamo; and Codacious, Kent Desormeaux.
TOC OFFERS FREE ‘BUYING A RACEHORSE’ SEMINAR Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Barretts Sales and Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) will host a free “Buying a Racehorse” Seminar and Preview of the Paddock Sale for prospective owners at Del Mar on Saturday, July 23, starting at 9 a.m. in the Veranda Café and ending at approximately 11:30 a.m. Seminar panelists include bloodstock agent Rollin Baugh, trainer Ron Ellis, Jeff Lifson of West Point Thoroughbreds, and international auctioneer Ryan Mahan. They will discuss acquiring horses at auction and through private sales, claiming horses, and joining racehorse partnerships and syndicates. The seminar also will include a trip to the Barretts Sales barns, where attendees will get a close-up look at horses in training and a preview of the horses entered in that evening’s Paddock Sale. Any partnerships or syndicates interested in participating should call Mary Forney at (626) 574-6617. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling TOC at (626) 574-6620 or visiting online at www.toconline.com.
FINISH LINES: Firing Line, preparing for the San Diego Handicap on July 23 and a possible meeting with 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome, worked four furlongs Saturday in 48 seconds, breezing. “Perfect” is how trainer Simon Callaghan termed the move for the 2015 Kentucky Derby runner-up, who would be making his first start in the San Diego after an absence of more than 13 months. At his Los Alamitos headquarters Saturday, California Chrome worked seven furlongs for Art Sherman in 1:26.40 . . . Multiple graded stakes winner Tara’s Tango worked three furlongs for Jerry Hollendorfer in 36.80, while Fair Grounds Oaks winner Land Over Sea went four furlongs for Doug O’Neill in 50 seconds flat. Melair winner Enola Gray worked five furlongs for leading trainer Phil D’Amato in 59.80 . . . The current Spring Meet will close out with a three-day week next Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 10. Simulcast wagering will be offered on Thursday . . . Rito Almanza, a 23-year-old rider from Arequipa, Peru, the same hometown as Rafael Bejarano, makes his U.S. debut today in the second and ninth races. A multiple stakes-winning and leading apprentice in Peru, Almanza’s agent is Michael Burns.