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Buzzards Bay works swiftly
ARCADIA, Calif. - Buzzards Bay will be an outsider in the Santa Anita Derby, but an impressive workout Tuesday morning at Santa Anita stamps the colt as a live longshot who will try to give trainer Jeff Mullins his third consecutive upset in the Grade 1, 1 1/8-mile race on April 9.
Buddy Gil, the 2003 winner, paid $15. A year ago, Castledale returned $62.
Mark Guidry worked Buzzards Bay six furlongs in 1:11, fastest of the day by more than one second.
"He did it real easy," Mullins said.
After the work, Guidry told Mullins, "Man, this horse is just getting better."
Buzzards Bay finished third in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby in his last start, and has won 2 of 7 overall.
A field of eight is expected for the Santa Anita Derby. In order of probable odds, they are: Sweet Catomine, Corey Nakatani; Giacomo, Mike Smith; Don't Get Mad, Tyler Baze; Wilko, Frankie Dettori; Golden Shine, Rene Douglas; Buzzards Bay, Guidry; Wannawinemall, no rider; and Go Coyote Joe, Martin Pedroza.
Cozy Guy has surgery
California Cup Classic winner Cozy Guy was scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday for removal of a non-displaced chip in a hind leg, and will miss the remainder of the racing season, according to trainer Dan Hendricks.
Cozy Guy has earned more than $400,000 since Hendricks claimed him for $40,000 from a maiden race in August 2003.
Cozy Guy won the $109,000 Crystal Water Handicap March 12 in his most recent start, which was his seventh win from 18 starts. A 4-year-old gelding who won the Cal Cup in 2004, Cozy Guy is expected to make a full recovery.
"It's a very minor thing that I don't expect to be a big deal," Hendricks said. "It's disappointing for the owners and me, but we've gotten a lot out of him. He's a 4-year-old, and hopefully he'll be back better than ever."
Hendricks said Cozy Guy will be out six to nine months.
Stevens gets mount on Summerly
Gary Stevens, who has won nine Santa Anita Derbies, more than any other jockey, does not have a top-caliber Kentucky Derby colt, but he picked up a top filly for the Kentucky Oaks. Stevens will ride Summerly in the Grade 1 Ashland on April 9 at Keeneland. Summerly won the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks last out under Jerry Bailey, who is riding April 9 at either Aqueduct or Oaklawn Park.
The leading 3-year-old colts Stevens has been riding, Spanish Chestnut and Scipion, are off the Derby trail. While he declined to be specific, Stevens said, "We have options, and a lot is going to happen in the next five weeks."
Stevens has won the Kentucky Derby three times - on the filly Winning Colors in 1988, Thunder Gulch in 1995, and Silver Charm in 1997.
Brooke's Halo lacks graded earnings
Although Mullins nominated 3-year-old filly Brooke's Halo to the $75,000 Santa Paula Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita, he and owner Michael House will aim considerably higher. Brooke's Halo has never run two turns, but the 2-for-3 filly will be considered for the Kentucky Oaks. Only one problem - Brooke's Halo has yet to run in a graded stakes.
"That's why we're going to Keeneland, because she doesn't have any graded earnings," Mullins said.
A front-runner who earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure winning a first-condition allowance on March 9, Brooke's Halo will run seven furlongs on April 14 in the Grade 2 Stonerside Beaumont at Keeneland. The Kentucky Oaks is run 23 days later, on May 6.
Mullins admits the plan is ambitious: "It is, and we're by the skin of our teeth right now."
Mullins said Choctaw Nation, who earned $600,000 for finishing third in the Dubai World Cup on Saturday, was scheduled to return to California on Thursday and would get a long break. His next start, Mullins said, will be "no sooner than Del Mar."
While Mullins was in Dubai with Choctaw Nation, his horses won 5 of 6 last week at Santa Anita, including Mighty Beau, who will ship to Keeneland for the Grade 3 Shakertown Handicap on April 16.
Northern Mischief targets Fantasy
Northern Mischief, third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet in December and fourth in her March 12 comeback on turf, will return to the main track for her next start and try to give trainer Ron McAnally his second straight win in the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Northern Mischief, a half-sister to Eclipse winner Gourmet Girl, will run April 15 in the Fantasy. McAnally won the Fantasy last year with House of Fortune, who makes her comeback April 9 in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom. McAnally also will send Good Student to the race.
Inspiring set for seasonal debut
Bob Baffert and Patrick Valenzuela will try to win three stakes Saturday at Sunland Park in New Mexico - with Sort It Out in the $500,000 WinStar Derby; Pegasus Rose in the $250,000 WinStar Sunland Park Oaks; and Resplendency in the $100,000 Harry Henson Handicap.
Closer to home, the Baffert-trained Inspiring makes her comeback Saturday in the Santa Paula Stakes. Inspiring hasn't raced since the Del Mar meet last summer. Both of her starts came there and she won them both, including the Grade 3 Sorrento. But she was sidelined afterward with a shin problem. Gary Stevens rides Inspiring, whose rivals will include No Bull Baby, She's a Jewel, Leave Me Alone, and Hello Lucky.
The feature on Saturday is the Grade 3 Tokyo City Handicap
for older horses at 1 1/8 miles. Expected runners include Supah Blitz, Borrego, and Outta Here.
Star Over the Bay to Singapore
Star Over the Bay, fifth-place finisher as the second betting choice Sunday in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey, has been invited to a $1.8 million race in Singapore on May 15. Trainer Mike Mitchell said expects Star Over the Bay to be right at home running 2,000 meters, roughly 1 1/4 miles, in the Singapore Airlines International Cup. Mitchell said the 1 1/2-mile distance of the San Luis Rey was too far.
"A mile and an eighth to a mile and quarter is really what he wants," Mitchell said. "They say [Singapore] is a fast turf course, so I think that's what we'll do."
P. Val draws $15K on Ebay
An Ebay auction bid of $15,000 has landed an offshore wagering firm the advertising rights for two months on jockey Patrick Valenzuela's pants and collar. Valenzuela listed himself on Ebay early this month.
"I saw the news where a guy put his forehead on Ebay, and a girl put her chest, and I thought why not put out my advertising?" Valenzuela said Tuesday.
The jockey, who entered the week tied for second in the Santa Anita standings, said he would begin advertising Wednesday for the company.