09/25/2013 4:34PM

Santa Anita: Layoff horses make Eddie D Stakes tricky to handicap

Benoit & Associates
Unbridled's Note (right) will come off an almost five-month layoff to defend his title in the Eddie D Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. – New paint and a spiffy remodel are among the fresh improvements at Santa Anita, which begins its autumn meet Friday.

But freshness also comes on four legs, and the principal entrants in the Grade 3 Eddie D Stakes are certainly fresh.

Caracortado has not started in nearly 21 months, Snowday has raced just once in 11 months, and Unbridled’s Note has been off almost five months. Layoffs aside, another shared trait is all are good horses qualified to win on opening day.

A field of 14 entered the $100,000 Eddie D, a 6 1/2-furlong turf sprint that leads to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. Win the Eddie D, as Unbridled’s Note did last year, and the Breeders’ Cup is next.

“We only run one [turf sprint] a year that is worth any money, so if you have a horse that is good, you might as well take a shot,” trainer Gary Mandella said.

Mandella trains Snowday, a 3-year-old making his U.S. debut two months later than expected. When he arrived from France in May, he got sick. A planned summer campaign became a fall campaign.

Based on his overseas form, Snowday might be up to the challenge Friday. He won a Group  3 last year at 2; his only start this year was a Group 2 runner-up. Snowday will race on Lasix, and Mandella expects him to fire first start back.

“He trains like his form would expect him to train, like a good horse,” Mandella said. “He trains like a horse that is going to relax and make a run.”

Rafael Bejarano rides.

Caracortado has not raced since Jan. 8, 2012, when he unleashed an electrifying late burst to win the Grade 3 Daytona on the Santa Anita hill. A prolonged ailment to his right front foot kept him away for a year and a half.

“He shed his whole frog, it was a big hole,” trainer Mike Machowsky said. “I didn’t know when he would come back to run, I really didn’t.”

However long it took, Machowsky was confident the wait would be worth it. Caracortado has won nine races and $864,105 from 19 starts and is prepping for the BC Turf Sprint. Felipe Martinez was named to ride, there will be a switch. Is the 6-year-old fit enough?

“I don’t know if fitness is an issue, but I generally don’t run a horse off a 19-month layoff,” Machowsky said. “He’s got a wicked turn of foot, and he’s not going to be hooked up there in the middle duking and fighting it out.”

One horse that will be close to the pace is Unbridled’s Note, who won the Eddie D last fall while in the middle of a campaign. This year, Unbridled’s Note runs without benefit of a recent start. His last race was May 4. Steve Asmussen trains; Corey Nakatani rides.

The “now” horse is Chips All In, shortening up after two Del Mar routes.

“Sprinting down the hill is what he likes to do,” trainer Jeff Mullins said.

Chips All In won the Grade 3 San Simeon on the hill in April, but is not Breeders’ Cup-eligible. Julien Leparoux rides Chips All In; Mullins also starts Sirocco Strike.

Koast entered hoping the race might split. It did not, and trainer John Sadler said Koast will scratch. Other entrants include Et Tu Walker, Huntsville, Boat Trip, Handsome Mike, Rock Me Baby, Rosengold, Majestic City, and El Mirage King.

William Lyons More than 1 year ago
Go Caracortado Go!!!!!!!
Holybull More than 1 year ago
I hope Caracortado SMOKES 'em!
John Anthony More than 1 year ago
Morning line for Beldame has Royal Delta at 3-5 and Princess of Sylmar at 2-1...does anyone have opinion on what final odds will be and prediction for race ??
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
That sounds spot on.
noocheroni More than 1 year ago
I know two things: Royal Delta romps and Princess of Sylmar is OTB.
AzHorsePlayer More than 1 year ago
Glad your doing well Eddie D....wow what I would give to see Eddie D, Laffit & McCarron all fighting it out down the lane again...those were the best days at the great race place....you guys are greatly missed but not forgotten! You all 3 carried yourself like The Hall Of Famers that you are both on & off the track:)
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Eddie D coming down the lane late was a scary sight if you didn't bet him.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Patricia Doyle More than 1 year ago
why do you post ads here? This is a horse racing forum. Why not pay some money and get yourself a website then advertise it. Just not here. This venue is through the courtesy of Daily Racing form. BTW I flagged your post above.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Chips all in is game as they come .win or lose he gives you a run for your money.seems to enjoy a dogfight and doesnt mind getting eyeballed.
tyketwo More than 1 year ago
Regardless of how well Caracatado does off such a long layoff, I'm happy to see him running again! To me, he's always been a fascinating horse and I wish him well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great thing to see Caracortado back!
Holybull More than 1 year ago
Agreed. Dont know who gave you the thumbs down but I hope he wins. He does run well fresh and well have to see how much that foot injury and long lay off took out of him. He doesnt have a lot of works listed and I;m not sure if that will be enough to put him in the winners circle.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Et Tu Walker has been nothing short of brilliant since he was gelded. I'm not sure if this is too tough, but I am willing to take a shot with him as most of the logical contenders are coming off layoffs. Decent price guaranteed on any horse in the race.
Walfred More than 1 year ago
Put Brice Blanc on Caracortado.
Jason Landman More than 1 year ago
Please do not.
Matt Banchero More than 1 year ago
Watch a Replay of Caracortado's last win down the hill with Bejarano aboard....He FLEW home! With the Lesser know Jock and long layoff the odds will be a gift and he wins' by two drawing away!
Jason Landman More than 1 year ago
Love the enthusiasm, and I hope you're right. Just don't give me Blanc.
Pierre Prudhomme More than 1 year ago
He'll never catch them!
Tom Fritzsche More than 1 year ago
Jockeys unfamiliar with the downhill are at a massive disadvantage. Valdivia would be ideal or David Flores........come on Mike!!
Eric Rickard More than 1 year ago
Jockey should not matter. If Caracortado is fit and healthy; easy win. Layoff or not.