01/21/2012 11:54AM

Santa Anita: Coach Bob helping his trainer stay in the game


ARCADIA, Calif. – A trip down Interstate-5 from Pleasanton to Santa Anita gave Coach Bob an upset win in an optional claimer for 3-year-olds on Friday, and has kept trainer Reina Gonzalez in business.

Coach Bob ($47) led throughout the six-furlong race for California-breds, winning by 3 1/2 lengths under red-hot apprentice jockey Eswan Flores, who had three wins on the Friday card.

The victory in the $58,000 race was the richest of Gonzalez’s 10-year career as a trainer. She has been based in Northern California through that time, and has five horses in training.

“I’ve been stuck with some lower level claimers,” she said. “We were next to out of business.”

Gonzalez owns Coach Bob with Jeff Kitchen and Lynette Galarza. They paid $5,000 for Coach Bob at the Northern California yearling sale in 2010. The colt, by Bertrando, has won two of eight starts and $57,260. His preceding win came in a $32,000 claiming race for maidens on Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields on Dec. 4.

Understandably, Coach Bob was overlooked in Friday’s race against stakes-placed runners such as Exotic Slew, who finished second, and Motown Men, a disappointing fourth.

Gonzalez was unsure of her plans for Coach Bob immediately after the race, but a return trip to Santa Anita is possible in coming weeks. “He trains on dirt and I expected him to run well,” she said. “I couldn’t pass it up.”

Flores, 18, also won the eighth and final race on Skip Tony ($78). Including Coach Bob’s win in the seventh, the $2 double on Flores’s last two winners paid $738.

The three-win day pushed Flores into a tie for sixth-place in the standings. He has eight wins at the meeting.

Dancing in Silks has second breeze

Dancing in Silks, the winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint but winless in eight subsequent starts, is moving closer to a comeback for new trainer Anthony Saavedra.

Last Thursday, the 7-year-old Dancing in Silks worked a half-mile in 50 seconds, his second workout since returning to training. Last summer, owner Ken Kinakin and trainer Kathy Walsh announced that Dancing in Silks was retired. Kinakin reversed the decision in the fall and sent the gelding to Saavedra in November.

Saavedra said on Friday that Dancing in Silks is likely to start during the current Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, which runs through April 22.

“We’re trying to get to know him a little bit,” Saavredra said. “He seems like a happy horse. It feels like I’m loping a Ferrari. Horses at that level are so smooth.

“He should get ready quickly. We’ll concentrate on a grass campaign until Hollywood. The main track here may get a little hard for him.”

Dancing in Silks has won 7 of 21 starts and $1,492,715.

Rosario can ride until appeal is heard

Jockey Joel Rosario has received a temporary restraining order from a Superior Court allowing him to continue riding until an appeal is heard, according to his agent, Ron Ebanks.

Rosario’s suspension, for causing interference on Jan. 14, was scheduled to have started on Saturday and continued through next Saturday.

Rosario is currently locked in a battle with Rafael Bejarano for leading rider. Through Friday, Rosario and Bejarano are tied for the lead in the jockey’s standings with 16 wins.