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Santa Anita: Not even spill slows down Bejarano
ARCADIA, Calif. - The first thing that jockey Rafael Bejarano wanted to do after he was unseated in a spill at Santa Anita on Friday was get back to work.
“I told the guys, ‘I’m fine,’ ” he said on Sunday, recalling his conversation with ambulance personnel. “I could have kept riding.”
Bejarano was not injured. He missed his final three rides on Friday and went home to rest. Saturday morning, he was back at the track for workouts. That afternoon, he showed why he is the leading rider in Southern California.
Bejarano won four stakes, including three Grade 1 races on horses trained by Bob Baffert.
Bejarano won the Chandelier Stakes with the undefeated Executiveprivilege, the FrontRunner Stakes with Power Broker, and the Awesome Again Stakes on Game On Dude. All three are trained by Baffert and have excellent chances to win Breeders’ Cup races at Santa Anita on Nov. 2-3.
Sunday morning, there was no time to sleep in. Bejarano was back at the track, riding workouts for Baffert.
“I felt okay, much better this morning,” he said between workouts.
Bejarano, 30, has emerged as the dominant rider on this circuit, especially since Joel Rosario decamped to New York in July. After finishing second to Rosario in the jockey standings at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting earlier this year, Bejarano won titles at the Betfair Hollywood Park spring-summer and Del Mar meetings.
Bejarano has won 12 riding titles at Southern California tracks since relocating to this circuit from Kentucky in late 2007 at the insistence of the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel.
A close alliance with Baffert in recent months has secured Bejarano a position among the nation’s leading riders in earnings. Through Saturday, Bejarano’s mounts had earned $13.4 million, leaving him ranked fourth in the nation behind Ramon Dominguez ($18.6 million), Javier Castellano ($17 million), and John Velazquez ($14.3 million).
Saturday’s three Grade 1 wins was a career-first for Bejarano and the first time he had won three graded stakes on the same day in more than five years. Bejarano won three graded stakes on the undercard of the2007 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
Next Saturday, he will be at Hoosier Park in Indiana to ride four stakes on Baffert-trained runners, including Fed Biz in the $500,000 Indiana Derby. Bejarano will ride at Santa Anita on Friday and Sunday, according to his agent, Joe Ferrer.
Bejarano has won three Breeders’ Cup races in his career, most recently the Juvenile Sprint last year with the Baffert-trained Secret Circle.
Considering his accomplishments on Saturday, coming away from the forthcoming Breeders’ Cup without a win, or more, would be a massive disappointment.
Bejarano had worked Game On Dude frequently in the last year, but Chantal Sutherland had the mount for the last 18 months, a span that included a win in the 2011 Santa Anita Handicap and 2012 Hollywood Gold Cup, but seconds in the 2011 BC Classic and Pacific Classic on Aug. 26.
After the Pacific Classic, Baffert went with Bejarano for the Awesome Again Stakes, the first time that Bejarano had ridden Game On Dude since an allowance race win in January 2011.
“I was excited to get on the horse,” he said.
Game On Dude is expected to be favored in the BC Classic on Nov. 3.
Power Broker joined the list of contenders for the BC Juvenile on Nov. 3 with his win on Saturday. On the preceding day, Executiveprivilege will be favored to win the BC Juvenile Fillies.
Bejarano described Power Broker’s win in the FrontRunner as his “biggest surprise” of the day.
Power Broker was a stakes-placed maiden before the FrontRunner, in the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf at Del Mar on Sept. 5, and won the FrontRunner over 1 1/16 miles on the main track by 6 1/2 lengths.
“I didn’t think he’d run like that,” Bejarano said. “I think he likes this track. I’m happy.”
After the events of Friday and Saturday, Bejarano had a right to be.
I just wish that STUPID Santa Anita would give updates on jockeys injured/ or that may be injured ater a fall like Rafe took in Race 5 on Friday afternoon. Bettors, handicappers, not even Trevor Denman could give us (your betting public, Customers) an update on that fall in the 5th on Friday?There was nothing in DRF Friday night or Saturday morning......Am I going to get into my car, put $60,00 worth of fuel in it, pay $10.00 admission, get a form, handicap the races, put out all that effort.........and find out that THE LEADING JOCKEY at Santa Anita is OFF all his mounts on Saturday? I did not attend SA on Saturday! Santa Anita Marketing and Administration are FOOLS. Stupid beyond reproach. And lets clean up that background microphone that at times over powers Trever's voice......this is suppose to be a family program, yet all you hear out of it is X-rated cuss words of drunk and potty mouthed fans. Come on Santa Anita........what ever happened to TOP drawer?
I think trainers make the decision they fill will give them a win or a check. Bottom line they want to win, and so do we. Jockeys need to realize that a trainer has a right to switch riders plain and simple. That is the business. No room for hurt feelings. BTW do my eyes deceive me Pat Val is riding at Delaware. I noticed he was off his mounts at Santa Anita and wondered if he slipped up again. Looks like he picked up his tack and headed east. Delaware Park at the end of season? Hum
A jockey that rode in the Pacific Classic said Chantal is stupid and didn't know what she was thinking when she made an early move at the 5/8. If you read the article, Bejarano worked out Game on Dude frequently in the last year. The Dubai Cup earlier this year, Bejarano and Chantal went and rode on Saturday. Next day, Bejarano was back at Santa Anita and rode 3 winners. Chantal was no where to be seen probably had plans to vacation in Dubai, while Bejarano is all business. If Chantal was nasty looking you all wouldn't be pulling for her. Perhaps, she a spoiled princess and gets outworked in the mornings, if she even shows up. There has to be a reason why she doesn't get mounts. Probably more into photo shoots, etc. Bejarano works hard, "Sunday morning, there was no time to sleep in. Bejarano was back at the track, riding workouts for Baffert." and shows up to ride on a Sunday when in Dubai a day early. Bejarano is a hard worker. Martin didn't show up to morning workouts for Bob and decided to depart, until he acknowledged it wasn't a good move and called Bob back to help. Nothing wrong to give the mount to a hard working Bejarano.
Total bummer for Chantal. Again. (Remember Mine That Bird?) Still if you can get Borel at CD or Rafa at Santa Anita, that's pretty hard to turn down. Hope she does great this year. Pulling for Martin Garcia, too. Sucks to get Bafferted.
You guys have no clue if you think Bejarano is not a great rider! Don't you think maybe the owner of Game on Dude wanted to switch after Chantel dropped the rein in the Pacific Classic?
Big nose Bejarano was second fiddle when Rosario was here. I don't consider him a great rider. He is decent rider that just rides favorites. And as for Game on Dude. He won't win the BC Classic that is a given, no matter his track record at SA. He couldn't even beat Dullahan. What a joke. This horse is only given credit cause his trainer is butcher bob
I hope Game on Dude loses the Classic. I cant see where Sutherland did anything wrong. I cant see where Martin Garcia did anything wrong. Bobs got a quick trigger.
shows who's boss in the Baffert family or maybe Chantal was gettin too close to Bob IT ALSO SHOWS THIS IS A WIN BUSINESS. don't win and your not in BAFFERT'S BUSINESS.
Didn't matter who road G.O.D.He was a stand out.Chantal got screwed bottom line... Hell I could have won on him yesterday. He owns Santa Anita.
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