On the phone from Rio de Janeiro, Luis Taunay, the owner of Redattore, was kidding with his trainer, Richard Mandella, about the future of their ageless 8-year-old.
“Can I have him for another year?” Mandella asked.
“You can have him for three years,” Taunay said.
Some California breeders have expressed an interest in the remarkable Redattore as a stallion, but as Mandella says, the horse is making too much money to be retired now. Redattore’s two-length win in Sunday’s $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap was his 15th in 32 starts and the $90,000 winner’s share lifted his career purses to just a few dollars shy of $1.8-million .
“He exudes health,” said Mandella, standing in the same winner’s circle at Santa Anita where he won a record four Breeders’ Cup races two months ago. “He’s like family. He tells me how to train.”
By the time Redattore runs next, in the $400,000 Jimmy Kilroe Mile, he’ll be a 9-year-old. Only five 9-year-olds have won stakes at Santa Anita, the most recent being Kona Gold last season. Redattore won the Kilroe in March.
Redattore has won five of eight starts, with two thirds, in 2003. He’s now won four of six grass starts at Santa Anita, where he regularly trains.
“This is an experienced horse who loves to win,” jockey Alex Solis said.
Carrying high weight of 122 pounds, which was six to 10 pounds more than any other starter in the nine-horse field, Redattore stalked the leader, Denied, for the first mile of the 1 1/8-mile race. The winner went to the lead at the head of the stretch.
“It worked out just like I hoped,” Solis said. “I thought the pace would be slow and it was. My horse was real strong from the half-mile pole.”
Denied finished third, 2 1/2 lengths behind Continental Red. On a drying-out turf course listed as firm, Redattore was clocked in 1:48. He paid $4.80.
“He worked [five furlongs] in 57 3/5 the other day, so we knew he wouldn’t be too far back after showing that kind of speed,” Mandella said. “He’s a tough old campaigner. That workout astonished us, but it also left us not too surprised that he won.”
Mandella hadn’t won the San Gabriel since his victories with Romarin in 1995-96. He’s got two chances -- with Polygreen and Spring Star -- to win today’s Monrovia Handicap.... This is the schedule for three of Mandella’s four Breeders’ Cup winners: Action This Day will run in the Santa Catalina on Jan. 17, Halfbridled in the Las Virgenes on Feb. 15 and Pleasantly Perfect in the San Antonio Handicap on Jan. 31.... Although the Thoroughbred Corp. has set a dispersal sale for March 2, Johar -- Mandella’s other Breeders’ Cup winner--is not going to be offered and will stay in training.... Pesci, the undefeated 3-year-old filly owned by actor Joe Pesci, scored her second impressive win.... Owner Stan Fulton’s Strong Cat, a maiden winner Friday, has been taken from trainer Bruce Headley and given to Rafael Beccera along with three other horses.