04/16/2013 3:33PM

Santa Anita notes: San Juan Capistrano Handicap shaping up with short field

Shigeki Kikkawa
Fire With Fire will stretch out to 1 3/4 miles in Sunday’s San Juan Capistrano Handicap.

ARCADIA, Calif. – The San Juan Capistrano Handicap will have a new winner this year.

Tuesday, trainer Neil Drysdale said that Bourbon Bay, winner of the San Juan Capistrano in 2010 and 2012, will skip Sunday’s race at Santa Anita.

Drysdale plans to start Fire With Fire, who was third in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes over 1 1/2 miles on turf March 16.

“He ran well the other day and he should love the distance,” Drysdale said.

The $150,000 San Juan Capistrano is run over about 1 3/4 miles on turf, the longest stakes of the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, which ends Sunday.

Bourbon Bay is winless in four starts since the 2012 San Juan Capistrano, including two races this year. He worked six furlongs Monday in 1:15.40 at Betfair Hollywood Park.

The San Juan Capistrano will not have a large field. Trainer Bob Baffert said Tuesday that he was “on the fence” about starting Sky Kingdom, who won the Tokyo City Cup over 1 1/2 miles on the main track March 23. A 4-year-old, Sky Kingdom has never run on turf.

Other candidates are All Squared Away, Interaction, Oilisblackgold, Smart Ellis, and The Only Key.

The Only Key, a 7-year-old mare, won an optional claimer over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita on April 5 when entered to be claimed for $40,000. Owned by former Santa Anita president Ron Charles, The Only Key also is nominated to Saturday’s $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap for fillies and mares over 1 1/4 miles on turf.

Beitia set to resume riding after spill

Jockey Jose Beitia, who was unseated when his mount slipped and fell in a turf race Sunday, is scheduled to resume riding Thursday, according to his agent, Alex Procel-Crowley.

Beitia, who has one win at the meeting, was taken to a local hospital for observation and was released late Sunday, his agent said. His mount, the 5-year-old mare The Grans, was walked off the track.

Thursday, Beitia is booked to ride Soi Phet in the first race, a starter allowance over a mile.

Spellbound sidelined with bone chip

Spellbound, fourth in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks in her stakes debut April 6, has been sidelined with a bone chip in an ankle, trainer Richard Mandella said.

“We’ll have her back in the fall,” Mandella said. “With time and filling out, she could be a nice filly.”

Owned by the partnership of Claiborne Farm, Ramona Bass, and Adele Dilschneider, Spellbound, by Bernardini, has won 2 of 6 starts and $88,500.

◗ There will be no 2-year-old races at Santa Anita at the current meeting. Two maiden races for $100,000 claimers were offered Thursday and Friday, but failed to draw sufficient entries.

Forego137 More than 1 year ago
Interaction is due for a win and this is a good spot to notch another Graded victory
John More than 1 year ago
Anyone know what happened to the filly in the last race Sunday ?> Benedict Audry stumbled crossing the dirt, and the replays didnt show if she just stumbled or fell ! Hope the horse is OK, I had her with the winner in an exacta, but lets hope the horse is OK ! Money can be replaced .
realquiet8 More than 1 year ago
Hey Steve any news on All Squared Away? What is up man he has beat all theses horses give me your email
Geoffrey Nadler More than 1 year ago
They should make it a minimum of 6 entries for a race to keep its graded status
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
If it hat was the case,we would lose half of the graded races out here on the west coast.
Hadrian Marcus More than 1 year ago
Yeah, we should cut the San Juan (despite the great history of the race, which was at one time a Grade One). Let's cut the BC Marathon and the Brooklyn Handicap too...since the American thoroughbred is capped at about 8.5 furlongs. We should have more distance races and tracks should be required to card longer races (over a mile)...or we will have no marketplace internationally for the American breed except for fragile sprinters.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Santa Anita needs to can this race .every year 5 horse fields of less than grade 3 horses .shorten it to 1 1/8 for today's bred for speed thoroughbreds it's not close to what it was 15 to 20 years ago
Courthouseguy1999 More than 1 year ago
Yeah, it's pretty sad. I also think it's just a reflection that US breeders don't breed for stamina anymore, and on the Cali circuit in the last 15 years especially, that means we get 2nd or 3rd rate turf runners from overseas who couldn't cut it there, but suddenly look like world beaters in CA. This used to be a prestigious G1 race, like the Hol Turf Cup, now also a sad G2.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
I don't know why they wouldn't run Bourbon Bay in the San Juan. There's no point in saving him for Hollywood because he's never won at that track. At this stage of his career, Bourbon Bay's best chance to win another graded stakes is the San Juan; the 14 furlong distance levels the playing field for Bourbon Bay as it emphasizes stamina(which Bourbon Bay still has) rather than brilliance(which his competitors have more of). Also, the San Juan is at Santa Anita where Bourbon Bay is 7 for 11. Finally, as a grade 2, the San Juan no longer draws truly elite fields, and this year's field looks particularly weak. This is precisely the type of field Bourbon Bay needs to face if he's to win another graded stakes.