Both ovals play fairly at Santa Anita; d’Amato & McCarthy place multiple horses on Watch List

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

May 17th, 2016


A single graded race topped the second weekend at Santa Anita.

Lazaro Barrera S. (G2): Hans Poetsch’s homebred I WILL SCORE (Roman Ruler) opened up a lead in the lane and held off a stern test late to post a neck victory under Martin Garcia. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee went seven furlongs on the fast main oval in a swift 1:21 1/5. 

Track Stats

From a total of 36 races held at the Arcadia, California racetrack during the past week, favorites won at a 30 percent clip and the top two betting choices combined for 58 percent of the wins. From 23 frays contested on the dirt oval, six animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (26 percent), while one of the 13 grassy runs was taken in wire-to-wire fashion (8 percent).

Both ovals appeared to be playing fairly for the second straight week of racing at Santa Anita. Five of the six wire jobs on the dirt came in sprints, with two of those being juvenile runners at 4 ½ furlongs.

On the lawn, we saw all types having success from pace pressers to deep closers. The lone wire-to-wire victress on the sod came in a route race.

Meet Totals












26 (36%)

2nd Choices:


15 (20%)

Turf Wire:


1 (4%)

Dirt Wire:


12 (24%)





Thursday (5/12)

5TH – HUNT (Dark Angel) ranged up to the leader in midstretch and finished best of all in posting a solid allowance score for conditioner Phil d’Amato. The four-year-old gelding beat a solid cast in securing a second straight win and could be stakes bound in his return.

7TH – NARDO (Olmodavor) proved the move to open foes would not be an issue recording a solid tally for trainer Mike Puype. The four-year-old has now won two in succession, and three of four overall, and has never been better.

Friday (5/13)

2ND – We tabbed NINELIVES (Sixthirteen) to win at first asking and the John Brocklebank pupil made us look good with a convincing tally in the debut performance. The juvenile colt was getting away late and could be a nice prospect for a fine two-year-old conditioner.

5TH – BIG MOVE (Mr. Big) fell just short at the wire in this dash but put in yet another fine try for conditioner Tim Yakteen and must be applauded for his consistency. The four-year-old is always a contender when placed logically and has room to get better being lightly raced.

Saturday (5/14)

1ST – SCUDERIA (Gio Ponti) fell just shy in his debut for conditioner Mike McCarthy, but the Gulfstream Park shipper ran a winning race in defeat and was more than four lengths clear of his nearest foe at the wire. The gelding likely will graduate soon.

8TH – THE LIEUTENANT (Street Sense) rallied up the rail in the lane and inched clear late to post a solid maiden victory for McCarthy. The sophomore colt has a nice turn of foot and could evolve into a very useful one with more seasoning.

The well-bred ZICONIC (Tapit) made a strong late run from last early to get back on track after a subpar outing for trainer John Shirreffs. The gray still has a lot of room for improvement and we won’t give up hope on this one just yet.

Sunday (5/15)

8TH – BELLAMENTARY (Bellamy Road) forced the pace to the top of the lane and then proved much the best late in a fine stakes tally for trainer Phil d’Amato. The talented three-year-old filly made pretty easy work of a solid field and will be back in with graded foes before long.

A Look Ahead

Saturday will play host to the $200,000 Kona Gold S. (G2), while the Sunday headliner is the $200,000 Californian S. (G2).