03/05/2013 5:11PM

Santa Anita: Omega Star getting tough test in San Felipe

Benoit & Associates
Omega Star will be ridden for the first time by Joe Talamo in the 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.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

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.

automatic slim More than 1 year ago
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...............
george cernansky More than 1 year ago
If you owned the horse she rode when stoned, would you keep her on or find someone who wasn't on any mood altering substances?
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
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
Mark Ford More than 1 year ago
Free information. Awesome. Thanks Brandon
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
Thanks Brandon for the 411, this info will serve me well. Good looking out and for sharing your research.
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
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?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
zerosumzen More than 1 year ago
After the obvious choice of a clean jockey, I'd rather have a rider on coke than on pot. Take Kayla Stra the other day. On Oligarch. Could have sworn she was grinning from ear to ear as her speed horse sprinted miles clear from the field. Only one tiny little problem. It was't the beach, but the backstretch. http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/videos/race-replays/USA/SA/2013/2/28/7/race-7 An intelligent rider is worth his or her weight in gold. And an unintelligent rider may as well be on drugs.
zerosumzen More than 1 year ago
And if that sounds sexist, rest assured that the incredible Rosie Napravnik is among my absolute favorite riders.
Black More than 1 year ago
An intelligent rider ?? Like who Calvin Borel ! You'd rather have a rider on coke ? You aren't too intelligent are you ! Uh Oh! Reefer Madness !! Lock up the women & children !!! What a maroon !
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
Oh come on, sexiest !!!, you really don't care your just trying to get a rise out of someone on this blog just to sit back and watch the cyber war. Don't believe you care sorry not buying it.
george cernansky More than 1 year ago
are you sure this was her first time in trouble, thats what i liked to know.
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
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.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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gallopingtom More than 1 year ago
I feel bad for her but your comment was funny.
Dave More than 1 year ago
Salutos Amigos intrigues me!
Tiny Montgomery More than 1 year ago
Me too, had him good in the Maiden Breaker
John More than 1 year ago
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