Sandpit Makes Return to Track a Successful One


Making his first start since finishing fifth in the Japan Cup on Nov. 27, Sandpit toyed with seven rivals in a $60,000 allowance race Wednesday at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, who was subbing for the suspended Corey Nakatani, the 6-year-old Brazilian-bred tracked the pace set by 17-1 shot Lord Shirldor before taking charge in the stretch. He won by four lengths in 1:36 1/5 for the mile as the 9-10 favorite.

Successful in an overnight handicap at Del Mar and the Oak Tree Invitational before going to Japan, Sandpit will now be pointed to Santa Anita’s remaining turf marathons, the San Luis Rey Stakes on March 26 and the San Juan Capistrano on April 23, by trainer Richard Mandella.


“In a nutshell, I galloped him to the quarter pole,” Desormeaux said. “Then I dropped his head and let him stretch his legs.”

One race later, Cold N Calculating, the 5-2 third choice in a field reduced to four starters after Onetimesoneisone and High Stakes Player were scratched, rallied along the inside to beat 2-1 second choice Score Quick by a neck in the $76,800 Bolsa Chica Stakes. Strategist, the 4-5 favorite, was third.

Horse Racing Notes

El Camino Real Derby winner Jumron Entries will not be entered in the $150,000 San Rafael Stakes this morning and will run in the $100,000 Great West Stakes on March 19 at Remington Park instead. . . . Gary Stevens will be aboard longshot Urgent Request in the Santa Anita Handicap on March 11 and he’ll also ride on March 9-10. . . . Diazo, who won the 1994 Strub Stakes in his final start, has been retired to stud and will stand at the Vinery in Midway, Ky. . . . Chris McCarron was off his mounts Wednesday after undergoing minor surgery on Monday.