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Homeracing

Songbird picks up where she left off in a spectacular return; speed fares well on Santa Anita turf

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

June 21st, 2016

SANTA ANITA NOTEBOOK

A pair of graded affairs were offered at Santa Anita.

Summertime Oaks (G2): Fox Hill Farms’ unbeaten champion SONGBIRD (Medaglia d’Oro) returned to action off a 10-week layoff and continued to dominate, taking command nearing the top of the lane before easing home a facile 6 ½-length winner under Mike Smith. Sidelined by an illness, the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee endured 1 1/16 miles in 1:42 3/5 en route to an eighth straight romp and is much too good for California-based sophomore fillies. With Del Mar lacking any premiere events for 3-year-old fillies on dirt, Songbird is expected to head east to face better competition this summer.

Honeymoon S. (G2): Alesia et al’s CHEEKABOO (Unusual Heat) commenced her run at the top of the lane and got up late in a blanket finish to register the upset by a head under Smith. The Peter Eurton charge went nine panels on the firm turf in 1:46 4/5.

Track Stats

From a total of 34 races held at the Arcadia, California racetrack during the past week, favorites won at a 38 percent clip and the top two betting choices combined for 59 percent of the wins. From 20 frays contested on the dirt oval, five animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (25 percent), while three of the 14 grassy runs this past week were taken wire-to-wire (21 percent).

All three of the wire jobs on the lawn came in the form of sprint runs. We noticed quite a few grassy winners that were on or very close to the lead this past week. That might be something to keep an eye on going forward.

All five of the wire-to-wire winners on the main surface came in sprint races. In addition, 19 of the 20 who came home first broke inside of post seven, for what it is worth. We still think the main oval was pretty fair to most, though.

Meet Totals

Races:

 

254

Dirt:

 

168

Turf:

 

86

Favorites:

 

87 (34%)

2nd Choices:

 

51 (20%)

Turf Wire:

 

13 (15%)

Dirt Wire:

 

48 (29%)

 

 

 

HORSES TO WATCH

Thursday (6/16)

1ST – MS WAKAYA (Flower Alley) drifted some late but still wound up a clear second in this dash, and the Steve Miyadi pupil could be graduating soon with any kind of improvement going forward.

3RD – MY CALIFORNIA (Calimonco) was tons the best in this dash and likely will be seeing stakes foes in the very near future off the commanding tally. The Robertino Diodoro trainee was 9 ¼ lengths clear under the line and looks like a nice prospect.

Friday (6/17)

1ST – Jerry Hollendorfer’s SEASIDE GLORY (Speightstown) showed no signs of rust in her return with a big maiden score and the sophomore filly could be in line for a nice second half of 2016 if she improves off this run.

Saturday (6/18)

7TH – TENGA’S RANSOM (Tenga Cat) finally broke through following a bunch of close calls and the Jeff Mullins pupil could be a danger next time after learning how to cross the wire in first. The sophomore colt impressed while running down a clear one in the lane under Tyler Baze.

Sunday (6/19)

1ST – SECRETO PRIMERO (First Samurai) got our day started off in a fine way with a very game tally. The Mike Machowsky trainee has now won two straight, proving tough going down the hill and routing, and the gelding could be a very useful one if properly placed in this current form cycle.

5TH – SPANISH HOMBRE (Spaniard) took aim on the clear leader in midstretch, and got up late, recording a professional and game maiden win for Craig Lewis. The gelded sophomore might be a contender with winners next time with any kind of forward move.  

PAPA PAPA PAPA (Forestry) took a big lead into and through the lane and just tired some late in his first start since the fall. The Mark Glatt trainee will be ultra tough next time with more fitness.

8TH – STAYS IN VEGAS (City Zip) suffered her first loss on the turf when third in this grassy affair, but the Hollendorfer trainee ran a winning race in defeat despite tiring a bit in the lane. The talented three-year-old is consistently good and has a nice future on the green.

A Look Ahead

A pair of Grade 1 races on Saturday will highlight the weekend at Santa Anita. The $500,000 Gold Cup (G1) leads the way and will be joined by the $300,000 Triple Bend H. (G1).

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