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Updated on 09/16/2011 9:48AM
Sarava goes to Baffert
INGLEWOOD, Calif. - In one of the more curious twists of 2002, Sarava, whose upset in the Belmont Stakes denied War Emblem the Triple Crown, has been transferred to the barn of Bob Baffert, who trained War Emblem.
Baffert, completing the story seamlessly, said he put Sarava in the stall of his Santa Anita barn that had been occupied by War Emblem, who was retired after the Breeders' Cup Classic.
"His stall was still empty," Baffert said.
At 70-1, Sarava became the longest-priced winner in Belmont Stakes history, putting a stop to Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner War Emblem's bid to become the sport's 12th Triple Crown winner.
Sarava was trained for the Belmont Stakes by Ken McPeek, for whom Sarava won twice and finished second twice in four races after arriving from Europe. One month after the Belmont, Sarava injured a foreleg during a workout at Churchill Downs.
"He had an issue with a suspensory attachment, and he needed time to make sure it healed," McPeek said Tuesday from Florida, where he is based in the winter. "We gave him 120 days to make sure it healed properly."
Sarava is the second high-profile 3-year-old taken from McPeek's care this year. Earlier in the year, Harlan's Holiday - who won the Florida Derby and Blue Grass Stakes for McPeek - was transferred to Todd Pletcher after losses in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
"I'm very proud of what we accomplished with Sarava, and we'll continue to work hard to put our clients in position to win more major races," McPeek said.
Sarava is owed by New Phoenix Stable, a partnership headed by Gary Drake of Louisville.
"The main deal is they want him out here because the Breeders' Cup is here," Baffert said. The Breeders' Cup is at Santa Anita next October.
Sarava had spent the past four months on a farm in Louisville. Baffert said the colt "looks great." Baffert said Sarava was still several months away from racing. He has not had so much as a workout yet.
Congaree just hitting stride
Baffert said that Congaree, a smashing winner of Saturday's Cigar Mile, would remain in training next year at age 5.
"He's just getting his act together," Baffert said. "I've finally got him to where he was as a 3-year-old."
Congaree won the Wood Memorial at age 3, and also finished third in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
Broadcast schedule revised
Santa Anita will offer a changed menu of television programming for the upcoming winter-spring meeting.
There will be no daily racing telecast in the afternoons on Fox Sports West, as was the case in recent years. Earlier this year, Fox officials announced that they would show only programming produced by Television Games Network, the horse racing network and betting system. Santa Anita is not affiliated with TVG. Santa Anita's parent company, Magna Entertainment, operates a rival network and betting system, Horse Racing Television and Xpressbet, launched earlier this year.
The only afternoon racing from Santa Anita that appears on TVG and Fox Sports West is the Oak Tree meeting held in the fall, because Oak Tree has a contractual agreement with TVG. As a result, Santa Anita has reached an agreement with KDOC, a Southern California independent station, to present a Saturday program that will feature five hours of live racing from noon to 5 p.m. The program will also feature racing from Golden Gate Fields and Gulfstream Park, two Magna-owned tracks.
"We wanted to be on every day, but KDOC's programming schedule precluded that," said Amy Zimmerman, Santa Anita's director of broadcasting.
The telecast will be simulcast on Horse Racing Television and will be available on DirectTV through KDOC, Zimmerman said. KDOC will also present a 30-minute replay show, but the number of nights it will air has not been determined.
The only Santa Anita racing that will appear on Fox Sports West during the upcoming winter-spring meeting is the nightly replay program, which will air at 1:30 a.m.
Composure and Kafwain get in works
On Monday, Bob Baffert brought two of his leading 2-year-olds, Composure and Kafwain, to Hollywood Park for workouts in advance of major races this month. Kafwain, who was second to stablemate Vindication in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Arlington Park, worked six furlongs in 1:10.20, the fastest of 15 recorded works at the distance. He is the top contender for the Hollywood Futurity on Dec. 21.
Composure, who is preparing for a start in the Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 14, worked six furlongs in 1:11.20. She ran second to Storm Flag Flying in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies
Baffert is ready for a rematch next spring, which probably will not occur until the Kentucky Oaks.
"Composure worked awesome," he said. "I can't want to run against Storm Flag Flying. I'll beat her next time."
Break time for two
Good Journey and Johar have earned vacations following their victories in $500,000 races last weekend.
Good Journey, who scored a convincing win in the Citation Handicap last Saturday, leaves this week for a two-week rest at Michelle Nakatani's Overview Farm in Bradbury, Calif.
Trainer Wally Dollase, Michelle's father, said Good Journey will resume training later this month and be pointed for the $400,000 Frank Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita on March 1. The purse for the Kilroe Mile has been raised by $100,000 for 2003.
Dollase is also considering sending Good Journey to Dubai for the $2 million Dubai Duty Free on March 29.
Johar won his second consecutive stakes in Sunday's Hollywood Derby, following his success in the Oak Tree Derby in October. He will be given a break and pointed for a 2003 campaign that will focus on the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting in August.
"He's had a pretty hard year," trainer Richard Mandella said. "There is not a lot of turf racing we need to worry about for a little while."
- There was no training at Santa Anita on Monday. The racetrack was closed to allow filming of an upcoming movie based on the popular Seabiscuit book.
- additional reporting by Steve Andersen