Glory finds niche in turf sprint, d'Amato sends out a couple of horses to watch at Santa Anita

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October 6th, 2015


A trio of graded races took place this past weekend at Santa Anita.   

Santa Anita Sprint Championship S. (G1): Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer et al’s WILD DUDE (Wildcat Heir) took a short lead with a sixteenth-of-a-mile left to run and held off a stern late charge in posting a neck victory under the guidance of Rafael Bejarano. The five-year-old sped six panels in 1:09 2/5 to earn a second Grade 1 trophy.

Eddie D. S. (G3): Double JH Stable’s NO SILENT (Silent Name) moved to the fore nearing midstretch and strode home a comfortable 1 ¾-length victor under the guidance of Gary Stevens. The much-improved Gary Mandella trainee rolled home to a third straight tally, finishing off the about 6 ½ furlongs on the firm lawn in 1:13.

L A Woman S. (G3): Doubledown Stable’s BEN’S DUCHESS (Munnings) sat in last behind a wicked early duel and rolled past her tiring foes late in securing a 3 ¼-length score with Joe Talamo. The talented John Sadler trainee went 6 ½ furlongs on the fast dirt in 1:15 3/5 to register her first graded win.

Track Stats

From a total of 35 races held at the Arcadia, California racetrack during the past week, favorites won at a 29 percent clip and the top two betting choices combined for 54 percent of the wins. From 27 frays contested on the dirt oval, five animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (18 percent), while two of the eight grassy tilts were taken all the way on the front end (25 percent).

The main oval was kind to speed horses on Thursday but as the week unfolded, horses running from off the pace appeared to have at least a slight edge. Only two of 21 dirt races from Friday-through-Sunday were won on the front end.

Of the two wire jobs on the green, one came going down the hill and one traveling long. We thought all types had a chance this past week for sure, as we witnessed horses up close and from far back coming home a winner.

Meet Totals












15 (27%)

2ND Choices:


12 (22%)

Turf Wire:


3 (20%)

Dirt Wire:


6 (15%)


Thursday (10/1)

5TH – BOONE DOCKS (Smart Strike) led early and after being headed at the top of the lane, broke again to put the race away, breaking his maiden in fine fashion for Eric Guillot. The well-bred sophomore didn’t beat the deepest field of all time but appears to be thriving presently, and the gelding might be a player with winners next time out.

7TH – GLORY (Tapit) tracked patiently early, picked up momentum approaching the run down the hill and put this field away late for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The three-year-old filly surely looked the part in this turf debut and with a pedigree to run all day, she may have found her niche.

Saturday (10/3)

1ST – The Phil d’Amato-trained HAIL MARY PLAY (Haynesfield) tracked in second behind lone speed to midstretch and gradually wore down the 2-5 favorite en route to what we thought was a fine debut score. The two-year-old filly didn’t run the fastest time ever, but she was professional and hinted that she will be able to get more ground down the road.

3RD – Simon Callaghan’s CORPS DE BALLET (Speightstown) surely relished the move to the turf in posting a sensational downhill turf run to graduate. The two-year-old filly opened up in the lane and won by 5 ½ lengths, posting a 93 BRIS Speed number.

6TH – We liked the effort put in by third-place finisher TOOWINDYTOHAULROX (Harlan’s Holiday), who could have surely been second with a little luck in this fray. The late runner from the barn of d’Amato is a solid turf performer who might be best at sprint trips.

Sunday (10/4)

7TH – TOUGH SUNDAY (Grazen) has steadily improved in each run this year and got up to beat a useful group in this sprint for conditioner Steve Miyadi. The three-year-old colt is pretty honest with some versatility and we think he could be a player in his next performance if properly placed.

A Look Ahead

There is no graded racing this week at Santa Anita.