10/04/2013 3:04PM

Santa Anita notes: Declassify to run in allowance instead of Sprint Championship

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Declassify, unbeaten in two starts, will run in an allowance Sunday at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – The stakes debut of the unbeaten 3-year-old Declassify will have to wait for another weekend.

On Friday, trainer Bob Baffert scratched Declassify from Saturday’s $250,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship in favor of a start in a $54,000 allowance race Sunday over six furlongs. Baffert said the easier allowance race had greater appeal than the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship.

Unraced since June because of quarter cracks, Declassify will be heavily favored to win his third race Sunday. He would have been an outsider in a tough edition of the Santa Anita Sprint Championship.

Regarding the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint here Nov. 2, Baffert was noncommittal Friday. “Let’s see how he runs on Sunday,” he said.

Owned by Kaleem Shah, Declassify was brilliant in the spring, winning a maiden race over six furlongs by 11 1/2 lengths here April 6 and an allowance race over six furlongs by 7 1/2 lengths at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 8. The quarter cracks that surfaced after the allowance race ended Declassify’s summer campaign. He remained with Baffert’s stable at Hollywood Park during the summer.

“It’s been the foot issues,” Baffert said. “He’s been working well at Hollywood.”

Sunday’s allowance race drew six runners. Persuasive Paul has not raced since winning the Turf Paradise Derby in February. The Baffert-trained Mile High Magic was second in the Jim Kostoff Stakes at the Los Angeles County Fair in 2012 and has not started since being eased in the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes here in January.

Sophomores eye BC Distaff

The $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 1 might include the longshots Wittgenstein and Street Girl, their trainers said Friday.

Wittgenstein was second to 2012 champion 2-year-old filly Beholder in the Torrey Pines Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over a mile at Del Mar on Sept. 1. Beholder returned to win the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes against older females Sept. 28.

Wittgenstein has won 2 of 15 starts and earned $96,665, all for owners Paul and Zillah Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neill. The BC Distaff, run over 1 1/8 miles, would be Wittgenstein’s first start against older females.

“It’s a possibility,” O’Neill said. “The race is in our backyard.”

The Distaff field could grow further pending a decision on the Florida-based Street Girl, third in the Grade 1 Cotillion on Sept. 21 at Parx. Trainer Manuel Azpurua confirmed Friday that Street Girl is scheduled to ship to California on Oct. 25.

“My feelings are that she would show up,” Azpurua said.

Azpurua said he and the filly’s owner, Rontos Racing Stable Corp., have not decided which Breeders’ Cup race Street Girl would run in – the Distaff or the Filly and Mare Sprint. “We should know by the end of the week,” Azpurua said.

Street Girl, 3, has won two races and $246,317 from 13 starts. After stumbling and breaking last in the Cotillion, she rallied from 12 lengths back to finish third, two lengths behind the victorious Close Hatches.

The BC Distaff is expected to be led by Royal Delta, the champion older female of 2012. The field also is expected to include Beholder and Authenticity.

Clubhouse Ride gets a break

Clubhouse Ride, the winner of the Grade 2 Californian Stakes at Hollywood Park in June, has been turned out for the rest of the year after four consecutive losses, trainer Craig Lewis said.

“Physically, he was sound, but mentally, he had too many hard races,” Lewis said.

Clubhouse Ride, 5, was fourth in the Ralph M. Hinds Invitational at the Los Angeles County Fair on Sept. 22. He has won 4 of 32 starts and earned $997,994.

– additional reporting by Brad Free

Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
Couldn't Stronach and his boys came up with better stakes name than the "Santa Anita Sprint Championship"?? Half the new stakes names are horrendous..