Speed plays well on both main track & turf; Cape Wolfe, Imperious One among horses to watch at Santa Anita

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

January 26th, 2016


A single graded affair highlighted the weekend of the winter/spring meeting at Santa Anita.

Santa Monica (G2): Terry Lovinger’s LOST BUS (Bring the Heat) took a short lead at the top of the stretch and gamely held sway down the lane, posting a head upset under the guidance of Fernando Perez. The four-year-old filly, easily the longest shot in the field at 64-1 odds, got seven panels on the fast main oval in 1:21 3/5 for Gary Sherlock. Track Stats

From a total of 26 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 50 percent of the wins. From 18 frays contested on the dirt oval, six animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (33 percent), while three of the eight grassy runs this past week were taken in wire-to-wire fashion (38 percent).

We thought forwardly placed runners had every chance this past week, with front runners and horses pressing the pace having a nice edge throughout. Of the six who led throughout, three came in route races and the other trio came in sprint runs.

Pace was good again on the turf, but not essential to run big on this lawn. But, for two straight weeks, those in the hunt early had every chance on this turf oval.

Meet Totals












59 (36%)

2nd Choices:


28 (17%)

Turf Wire:


11 (26%)

Dirt Wire:


27 (22%)





Friday (1/22)

3RD – PERFECT SET (Pleasantly Perfect) got back to his wining ways with a determined tally for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The six-year-old gelding held off a tough challenge in the lane and we were a bit surprised he avoided being claimed.

TRIBAL JEWEL (Tribal Rule) ran a huge one finishing second on this occasion and will be very tough in his return with even slight improvement for trainer Richard Baltas.

Saturday (1/23)

3RD – HEAVENLY HAZE (Lucky Pulpit) could never get the winner despite being close for much of this dash, though we loved the showing when finishing well clear of third under Tyler Baze. The five-year-old rates a big chance next time for a barn that continues a fine run at this meeting.

6TH – Jack Carava may have made a sharp claim of IT’S LIVING WATER (Good Journey) as the winner rolled home a convincing winner in the downhill dash. The gelded Texas-bred should be rising in class next time and fits well on a course he obviously likes.

9TH – TRUE BRILLIANCE (Unusual Heat) was close in her first pair of races and finally broke through in a big way, strolling home with ease. The Robertino Diodoro trainee smoked this field in a solid final time and will be very tough with winners next time if properly placed.

Sunday (1/24)

4TH – IMPERIOUS ONE (Royal Applause) graduated easily in the turf test, recording a commanding wire-to-wire victory with Flavien Prat in the silks. The three-year-old colt rated well on the lead and exploded late in a very professional showing, and he should be stakes bound once again for conditioner Doug O’Neill. The Euro import is an intriguing prospect.

7TH – CAPE WOLFE (Piccolo) broke slow but soon got into contention and stayed on late, recording a good third in his U.S. debut for conditioner Phil d’Amato. The import has a lot of potential it seems and is one to surely keep an eye on going forward.

A Look Ahead

Saturday will play host to a bevy of stakes races for California-bred runners. The slate is as follows -- $250,000 California Cup Turf Classic; $250,000 Derby; $200,000 Oaks; $150,000 Sprint; and $150,000 Filly and Mare Turf Sprint.