01/23/2014 4:18PM

Santa Anita notes: Busy Saturday for Desormeaux

Barbara D. Livingston
Mike McCarthy, a former assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, will send out his first starter Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux has six mounts Saturday, including horses in all five stakes for California-breds.

A former leading rider on this circuit, Desormeaux has been riding in Florida in recent weeks. He said earlier this month that he wanted “to test the waters” in California, where he has ridden occasionally in recent years for major stakes.

Desormeaux, 43, won 11 riding titles in California from 1990-98. On Saturday, his mounts include Lucky Views in the $250,000 California Cup Derby, Maybe Tuesday in the $250,000 California Cup Turf Classic, and Susans Express in the $200,000 California Cup Oaks.

[California Cup Day: Get PPs, watch Saturday's card live]

McCarthy has first starter

Michael McCarthy, former assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, will have his first starter since striking out on his own when Norastone runs in Saturday’s $200,000 California Cup Oaks.

McCarthy, 42, worked for 11 years for Pletcher, who has been honored with the Eclipse Award as the nation’s top trainer six times, most recently in 2013. McCarthy left Pletcher’s team in December to form his own stable.

Norastone is owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. A filly by Kafwain, Norastone won her first two starts at Parx Racing for Hopes Racing Stable and trainer Guadalupe Preciado. She was sent to Southern California this month and worked a half-mile in 48.60 seconds on turf last Saturday.

“It looked like she got over it okay,” McCarthy said of the turf workout.

McCarthy’s stable has only a few runners but will grow as the season progresses, he said.

“We’ll get rolling with the 2-year-olds,” McCarthy said.