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Santa Anita: Omega Star getting tough test in San Felipe
ARCADIA, Calif. – Omega Star will make his graded stakes debut in Saturday’s $300,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita, just in time to make an impression in the last major prep for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 6.
Trained by John Shirreffs for Marty Wygod and Herman Sarkowsky, Omega Star has had three starts, but never faced a field as tough as the one expected for the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes. Run over 1 1/16 miles, the San Felipe is expected to be led by recent graded stakes winners Flashback and Goldencents, top contenders for the Santa Anita Derby.
Omega Star was second against California-breds in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes over a mile on Jan. 26. He led in the stretch, but was caught late by the longshot Tiz a Minister, another candidate for the San Felipe.
The loss in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes was Omega Star’s first race behind 6 1/2 furlongs and left Shirreffs eager to try a two-turn race again.
“I don’t think the last race is indicative of what he can do,” Shirreffs said. “He doesn’t have a big kick, but he’s got a big stride, and distance is not an issue.”
Omega Star will be ridden for the first time by Joe Talamo in the San Felipe. A three-length winner of a maiden race for California-breds over 6 1/2 furlongs on Dec. 31, Omega Star is likely to race from off the pace in what could be a quick race.
Shirreffs said he trained Omega Star through February with an angle toward stamina more than speed.
“Because of the way he is, we don’t look for anything exceptional,” Shirreffs said. “We don’t use him up too much. We take things with a bit of caution. We’re trying to set him up to close.”
Flashback, trained by Bob Baffert, won the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 2, and is expected to be favored in the San Felipe. Goldencents, trained by Doug O’Neill, won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes over a mile on Jan. 5.
The San Felipe is likely to have eight runners, including Hear the Ghost, who was second in the San Pedro Stakes for sprinters in January; Carving, who won the Real Quiet Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park in November; and the maiden race winners Kochees and Salutos Amgos.
Carving is owned by Olympic gold medal skier Bode Miller and Baffert’s wife, Jill.
Monday at the Barretts March sale of selected 2-year-olds in training, Miller paid $100,000 for a Candy Ride colt who will be trained by Baffert.
In the case of Cheryl Charlton, what the Hell, lets be fair. ( "abstain from any mood altering substances") Then anybody in Horse Racing that drinks alcohol, takes pain medication, or drugs for depression ought to be suspended also. What a bunch of Dummies, no clue, and no class...............
The following races have produced the most Derby winners since 1985. The first number is how many Derby winners the race has produced since 1985 and the second number is how many Derby points the race is worth to the winner. Santa Anita Derby 8, 100 Florida Derby 7, 100 Blue Grass 6, 100 SAN FELIPE 6, 50 B.C. Juvenile 5, 10 CashCall Futurity 5, 10 Arkansas Derby 4, 100 Wood Memorial 4, 100 Fountain of Youth 3, 50 Robert B. Lewis 3, 10
Since 1985 the San Felip has produced SIX Kentucky Derby winners. That's tied for third with the Blue Grass behind only the Santa Anita Derby (8) and Florida Derby (7) and ahead of the Arkansas Derby (4) and Wood Memorial (4). Should the San Felipe be a 100 pointer?
Cheryl Charlton, was suspended for a year for Pot? When other jocks like last year E. Flores got suspended for thirty days for Cocaine? You're kidding. this is a huge unfair issue! SOUNDS Like sexism to me, and I'm a guy.
Let's hope that the new agents will do the trick for all 3 veteran jocks, who could all use a boost in their business. Baffert is using Flores more, Blanc is always dangerous on turf, and Espinoza can surprise at times, so good luck to all of them.
Salutos Amigos intrigues me!
The Charles Town Classic would be a great fit for Clubhouse Ride ! He is more of a long striding grinder, and would fit the layout of the track well ! Craig Lewis is a real decent guy, has a law degree but we all grew up in Lakewood going to the races from young ages, Craig was one of our team ! Good Luck and safe journeys to all, just come home in once piece ! PLEASE
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