Taris records another sharp stakes tally; speed plays well on turf with give to it at Santa Anita

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

January 19th, 2016


A pair of graded runs highlighted the past weekend of the winter/spring meeting at Santa Anita.

La Canada S. (G2): Coolmore’s TARIS (Flatter) tracked the pace while always in range and pulled away to a facile 5 ¼-length score with Gary Stevens in the stirrups. The Simon Callaghan trainee traveled 1 1/16 miles on the fast main oval in 1:44 1/5 en route to her second straight graded tally.

Megahertz S. (G3): Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Moss’ homebred KERI BELLE (Empire Maker) gained a short edge past midstretch and held off a pair of late charges to secure the 12-1 upset for trainer John Shirreffs. The six-year-old mare got one mile on a turf course labeled ‘good’ in 1:36 1/5 with Alex Solis in the silks.

Track Stats

From a total of 43 races held at the Arcadia, California racetrack during the past week, favorites won at a 39 percent clip and the top two betting choices combined for 58 percent of the wins. From 28 frays contested on the dirt oval, six animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (21 percent), while five of the 15 grassy runs this past week were taken in wire-to-wire fashion (33 percent).

The turf oval was good for speed types, and something about having moisture in the ground may have had something to do with that. We will keep an eye on the course and how it plays the next time we see precipitation.

Speed on the main oval was solid, but not a necessity to win. All kinds came home victorious this week over what we consider to be a fair surface.

Meet Totals












49 (36%)

2nd Choices:


25 (18%)

Turf Wire:


8 (23%)

Dirt Wire:


21 (20%)





Thursday (1/14)

3RD – LA BOHEME (Montjeu) made a nice impression in her U. S. debut when rallying to be second behind a wire-to-wire winner for trainer Richard Mandella. The four-year-old filly was well backed at the windows and could be even more fit in her subsequent outing here.

6TH – TURN YOUR EYES (Kafwain) was just second in this dash, but the sophomore colt showed a lot of heart after being passed in the lane and finished more than seven lengths clear of his nearest foe. The Steve Miyadi trainee will be super tough next time out with anything like this performance.

8TH – EDZACTLY (Midnight Lute) was bet like a runner and proved to be just that with a commanding debut tally for conditioner Bob Baffert. The four-year-old gelding was going away late and could be a great claim for trainer Doug O’Neill.

Friday (1/15)

3RD – SUGAR SPICE (Tavasco) tracked a clear leader early on and then took charge in the lane, posting a very strong tally in our view beneath Santiago Gonzalez. The Kristin Mulhall is perfect in a pair of runs since being claimed and has bagged three of four overall in a fine form cycle.

6TH – SEEKING THE SHERIF (Officer) was much the best in his return to the barn of Ron Ellis, paying instant dividends off the claim today. The seven-year-old has a lot of back class and proved there is more in the tank here.

Saturday (1/16)

5TH – INSTANT DRAMA (Big Drama) was last at the top of the lane but full of run late, taking down this field in the latter stages for trainer Gary Mandella. Three-year-old filly could be intriguing going forward with more development.

Peter Eurton’s ALWAYS BELIEVE (Archarcharch) swept to the front and looked home free before being caught late at a big price in a sharp debut showing. The sophomore lass won’t be a maiden for long with even slight improvement going forward.

8TH – DREAMOLOGIST (Tapit) relished the cut back in distance with a pretty easy tally from a tough post in this spot for Mandella. The well-bred filly has been something of an all-or-nothing sort to this point, but may have found her niche on this course.

Sunday (1/17)

4TH – DRESSED TO A T (Square Eddie) made her first try with winners a winning win in grinding out a tally for trainer Ben Cecil. The Cal-bred four-year-old has run well in each of her trio of lifetime runs and is a nice prospect, as we’ve noted before.

Monday (1/18)

1ST – UPTOWN TWIRL (Twirling Candy) looked like she might be topped in this opener until finding more in the lane and inching clear under the wire for conditioner John Sadler. We’ve never given up on this $630,000 purchase and we think she could run a bit further with a good foundation under her.

6TH – HORSE GREEDY (Horse Greeley) showed big improvement in staying close early and making the favorite work hard in a sharp second-place run in what looked to be a strong field. The Brian Koriner pupil was more than five lengths clear of second in this dash and surely will graduate with any type of forward move in the very near future.

A Look Ahead

Saturday’s $200,000 Santa Monica S. (G2) is the lone graded race carded at Santa Anita this weekend.