01/20/2012 5:35PM

Santa Anita: Rumor works for Santa Monica start

Benoit & Associates
Rumor, with Garrett Gomez riding, wins the Kalookan Queen.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Rumor, the winner of the minor Kalookan Queen Handicap on Jan. 1, worked five furlongs in 1:01 on Friday at Santa Anita  in advance of her Grade 1 debut in the $300,000 Santa Monica Stakes for fillies and mares on Jan. 28.

Rumor worked alone for trainer Richard Mandella, who said he did not expect a quick time.

“We don’t want her leaving it on the racetrack,” Mandella said. “She was ready last month, and we need to keep her happy.”

Owned by a partnership, Rumor has won 4 of 7 starts and $201,718. In the Kalookan Queen Handicap , she stalked the pace under jockey Garrett Gomez and won the race over 6 1/2 furlongs by 2 1/4 lengths over Saint Isabelle.

For the seven-furlong Santa Monica, Gomez will be replaced by Mike Smith. Gomez is currently sidelined with a heel injury expected to keep him out until March.

Rumor’s competition will include Teddy’s Promise, the winner of the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes on Dec. 31; Sugarinthemorning and Home Sweet Aspen, who were second and fourth in the La Brea; Bella Diamante, who was fourth in the Kalookan Queen; and She’s Cheeky, second in the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar last August.

There is a chance that Sugarinthemorning could start in the $100,000 Valentine Dancer Stakes for statebred females over a mile on turf on Jan. 28, trainer Ron McAnally said.

There are five stakes on the Jan. 28 program – the Santa Monica, the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, and three stakes for statebreds. The $100,000 Sensational Star Handicap for statebreds on the hillside turf course may draw Amazombie and Caracortado.

Amazombie, the champion sprinter of 2011, was entered for Saturday’s Palos Verdes Stakes but could scratch because of wet conditions. Caracortado won the Daytona Stakes on the hillside turf course earlier this month.

The $100,000 Crystal Water Stakes for statebreds over 1 1/16 miles on the main track is also on the schedule.

Charm the Maker, the winner of the Sharp Cat Stakes at Hollywood Park in November and second to Killer Graces in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes on Dec. 10, is bound for the Santa Ysabel. She worked seven furlongs in 1:26.20 on Friday. Killer Graces is another candidate for the Santa Ysabel.

Plenty of workers

Rumor’s was one of 205 recorded main-track workouts at Santa Anita on Friday.

Plum Pretty, the winner of the Kentucky Oaks and two other stakes last year, worked a half-mile in 48 seconds. Baffert mentioned the $500,000 Apple Blossom Stakes at Oaklawn Park on April 13 as a long-term goal.

Game on Dude, runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November, worked six furlongs in 1:11.80 on Friday. Baffert said Game on Dude actually worked seven furlongs. The $200,000 San Antonio Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 5 will be Game on Dude’s 2012 debut.

“He’s doing as good as ever,” Baffert said. “He sure loves this track.”

At Hollywood Park, Creative Cause, the winner of the Norfolk Stakes and third in the BC Juvenile last fall, worked six furlongs in 1:14. He is being pointed for the San Vicente Stakes over seven furlongs on Feb. 19.