03/22/2010 12:00AM

Bob Black Jack retired with injury


Dancing in Silks, the Breeders' Cup Sprint winner, has gone to the sidelines after two disappointing runs this year. In his absence, Bob Black Jack looked poised to assume the top spot in the California sprint division following his victory in last month's San Carlos Handicap. But he has been retired after injuring a suspensory ligament in a workout last week at Hollywood Park, a crushing setback to trainer James Kasparoff, who only has a handful of horses.

"For me, it's a pretty big blow," Kasparoff said. "He's the best horse I've been around."

Kasparoff trained Bob Black Jack for his brother, Tim, and co-owner Jeff Harmon. They patiently nursed Bob Black Jack back to the races after he injured a tendon following a victory in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes in December 2008. The San Carlos was his first start following a layoff of nearly 14 months.

"His owners are looking to sell him and have him stand at stud," Kasparoff said. "It's a bummer because things were going so good."

Plans uncertain for Unzip Me

Trainer Marty Jones, who has had a terrific meeting with the likes of stakes winners Cherokee Heaven, Compari, and Unzip Me, said Unzip Me will get a nice rest following her hard-fought victory in the Irish O'Brien on Saturday. Unzip Me dueled with A Jealous Woman through swift early fractions down the hill, put away that rival, then bravely held off the late run of U R All That I Am for her third straight victory.

"She was pretty tired, but it's nice to see her be so game after not getting things her own way," Jones said.

Texts keep horsemen up to date

Owing to a low horse inventory and opportunities for runners out of town, it has been challenging to put together cards here in recent weeks. One of the tools Santa Anita has used to keep trainers and jockey agents up to speed on entries are text messages from Rick Hammerle, the track's racing secretary, who sends out numerous updates each day, first reminding which day's entries are to be taken, then subsequent alerts on which races need more runners, which races might be split, and which distances may be altered. Finally, the races that are used, and those discarded, are denoted, all within the space of a few hours.

For a trainer like John Sadler, who was at Gulfstream Park over the weekend, the texts are an invaluable way of staying on top of the Santa Anita entry process, even if he's at the other end of the country.

"I love it," Sadler said. "It really helps. It uses technology that everyone uses. It gives you a good feel for what's going on."