04/19/2013 2:17PM

Santa Anita notes: Procurement has something to prove

Benoit & Associates
Procurement looks like the favorite in Sunday’s La Puente on the grass.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Procurement may have finished second in the Pasadena Stakes at Santa Anita on March 29, but the 3-year-old must do more to earn accolades from trainer Tom Proctor.

“I don’t know if he’s a top horse, but I think he’ll be a nice horse,” Proctor said.

Procurement can enhance his reputation when he starts as the favorite in Sunday’s $70,000 La Puente Stakes for 3-year-olds over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Santa Anita.

The La Puente is part of a nine-race program on the final day of the winter-spring meeting. The spring-summer meeting at Betfair Hollywood Park begins on Thursday.

Procurement was bred by Glen Hill Farm and has won 2 of 8 starts and $87,698. In the Pasadena Stakes over a mile on turf, Procurement closed from sixth in a field of nine to finish a half-length behind the two-time stakes winner Rosengold.

“The horse that won ran well,” Proctor said. “He looks like a quality horse.”

Procurement, who will be ridden by Garrett Gomez, will start over 1 1/8 miles on turf for the first time since a fourth in a maiden race here last November. “It looks like he fits,” Proctor said.

Earlier this year, Procurement won an optional claimer on the hillside turf course and was fifth as the 5-2 favorite in the Baffle Stakes on the hillside turf course behind Rosengold.

The Pasadena Stakes drew a field of five, including Counting Days, Little Jerry, and Miceli, who were third through fifth in the Pasadena Stakes. Collation, fourth in an optional claimer on the hillside turf course on April 4, also runs.

Little Jerry was beaten 2 1/2 lengths in the Pasadena after racing in traffic in the stretch.

Pair of surprisers

The Thursday winners Becky Lou ($66.20) and Song of a Witch ($75.40) are headed in different directions in coming weeks.

Becky Lou, who won an allowance race for 3-year-old fillies on turf in her American debut under Tyler Baze, surprised trainer Matt Chew with her nose victory over another English import, Lilbourne Eliza. Chew said that Becky Lou will be considered for the $100,000 Senorita Stakes over a mile on turf for 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park on May 11.

“I thought she’d need the race and I could go in an allowance [next],” Chew said. “I didn’t think she had that effort in her.”

Owned by Daniel O’Neill, Becky Lou was bought for approximately $90,000 in England last December.

Song of a Witch, who won a $25,000 claimer under jockey Kayla Stra, is getting a vacation, trainer Derek Meredith said. She will be turned out for six weeks, with an expected return at Del Mar in the second half of the summer.

“We’ll let her be a horse,” Meredith said. “She didn’t like the track at Hollywood Park. We’ll freshen her up for Del Mar.”

Local heros to be honored

The Arcadia city council recently approved a Thoroughbred Walk of Champions to honor the famous horses and people who have competed at Santa Anita.

The Walk of Champions will feature plaques recognizing horses, as well as jockeys, trainers, and owners. Promoters hope to launch the project in December. The Walk of Champions will start on Huntington Drive, between Santa Anita and Second avenues, near the racetrack.

Chaney determined

Scott Chaney, one of three stewards at the Southern California Thoroughbred tracks, was at home last Tuesday when he finalized plans for April 21, 2014.

He is bound for Boston to run in his third Boston Marathon.

“I’m going to run next year,” he said on Thursday.

An avid triathlete who plans a trip to Hawaii in October to compete in the famous Ironman Triathlon, Chaney ran in the 2008 and 2011 Boston Marathons, and recorded a personal best of 2 hours, 41 minutes in 2011.

When he learned the news of the Boston bombings from this past Monday, Chaney, 40, reacted with sadness and anger – and a renewed determination to support a classic road race. Chaney began making arrangements immediately, and plans to qualify for Boston in a marathon in Ventura, Calif., in September.

“It’s a national tragedy, but as a runner it’s personally offensive,” he said. “Boston is sacred ground.”