Horse racing newsletter: Stewards getting serious about the crop
Hello, my name is John Cherwa, and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we remind you that Thursday’s card at Santa Anita has been canceled. Racing resumes Friday.
Don’t know if we shamed them into it or if they got more efficient, but we got three weeks of stewards’ minutes and rulings for the newsletter. It would be good if we were just one week late on rulings, especially jockey suspensions, so that you might know why a jockey isn’t around. This is a good start.
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Now, remember, the rulings are available pretty quick but it’s the stewards’ minutes that give it the context and tell a story. This week may be one of the most significant as far as rulings go but not nearly as entertaining as when jockey Norberto Arroyo, Jr., showed up for a meeting with stewards wearing a towel.
What these rulings show is that the stewards are getting very serious about riding crop violations, going as far as suspensions. Can’t remember that happening recently and it’s very unlikely to have happened in the past.
Also, if you stick around to just past the end of the rulings, you’ll find out about something that happened that you just won’t believe. (I know, sounds like one of those clickbait headlines about celebrities.)
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So, let’s get to the rulings.
--Jockey Mario Gutierrez was fined $400 for using his riding crop more than three times in succession without giving his mount, Hit the Seam, a chance to respond in the third race on Jan, 5. Gutierrez debated the definition of “succession.” It was Gutierrez’s fourth offense in the last 60 days. Hit the Seam finished third.
--Owner James Marsden was suspended for failing to show for a stewards’ meeting in discuss a complaint that he allegedly owed Steven Cole of Cole Ranch $4,893.33 for training services. The suspension started Jan. 18. During this time Marsden is barred from the premises.
--Jockey Ruben Fuentes was fined $300 for using his riding crop more than three times without giving his mount, Queen Bee to You, a chance to respond during the La Canada Stakes on Jan. 11. It was his second violation in the last 60 days. Queen Bee to You won the Grade 2 race.
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--Jockey Brice Blanc was fined $300 for using his riding crop more than three times in succession without giving his mount, Kaydetre, a chance to respond during the La Canada Stakes on Jan. 11. It was his first offense in the last 60 days but the stewards believed his usage was “excessive” calling for a higher penalty. Blanc “adamantly disagreed,” according to the stewards. Kaydetre finished fourth.
--Trainer Vladimir Cerin was fined $1,500 when Big Sky Logan had an overage of Phenylbutazone, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory, in his system after finishing fifth in the first race at Del Mar on Aug. 30. Cerin offered no explanation other than it “could have been a mistake at the barn.” It was Cerin’s second violation in the past 365 days.
--Owner Juan Pablo Silva was suspended when he failed to show for a hearing on Jan. 17 over an unpaid veterinarian services to Dr. Melinda Blue. Initially Silva’s license had expired but the case couldn’t be filed until he renewed his license, which he did. The suspension was supposed to start Jan. 25. However, his license was restored when he paid $1,027.15. It required two different stewards’ rulings.
--Apprentice jockey Pedro Zavaleta was given a $50 training citation when he entered the training track a few minutes early and went through the out gap. Outrider Cindy Ellet issued the citation. Zavaleta took responsibility and was very apologetic.
--Jockey Juan Hernandez was fined $200 for using his riding crop more than three times in succession without giving his mount, Indian Peak, a chance to respond during the seventh race on Jan. 18. It was his second violation in the last 60 days. Indian Peak finished seventh in the nine-horse race.
--Trainer Philip Oviedo was fined $500 when his horse Leroy tested positive for Naproxen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory sold to humans as Aleve, after finishing third in the fourth race at Del Mar on Aug. 22. Oviedo told the stewards that he got the horse from trainer Keith Hanna in Washington two weeks before the race. (In people, Naproxen usually stays in the system for a little more than 90 hours.) Oviedo said he was “puzzled” about how it got into the horse’s system and he was still investigating.
--Jockey Joel Rosario was fined $1,000 when he failed to show for five mounts on Jan. 19 after he was unable to make it back from Dubai on time. He was scheduled to ride Into Rissa in the first race, Playa Chica in the fourth, Lostintranzlation in the sixth, Nadal in the seventh and Real Master in the eighth.
--Jockey Iggy Puglisi was suspended for two days (Feb. 1, 2) for excessive use of the riding crop once a horse has reached maximum placing. He was riding Heartfullofstars in the seventh race on Jan. 24 when he struck the horse eight or nine times from the 5/16th pole to the finish line. The horse finished seventh, 3 ¼ lengths behind the sixth-place horse. The stewards called the strikes “forceful.” Puglisi apologized and said he had been “pressing” lately.
--Apprentice jockey Jorge Velez was fined $300 for using the riding crop three times on his mount, Kleen Karma, when the horse was sixth and last in the sixth race on Jan 25. The stewards told Velez that they were “ratcheting up” riding crop violations.
--Jockey Asa Espinoza was suspended two days (Feb. 2, 6) for excessive use of the riding crop on his mount, Fort Dodge, when the horse had achieved his maximum placing in the eighth race on Jan. 20. The horse finished seventh in an eight-horse race. Espinoza used his riding crop 20 times from the 3/8th pole to the finish line. The jockey has had seven violations for misusing the crop since May, 2018. According to the minutes, “Espinoza pointed out a couple of other riding crop actions or inactions in which our judgment was poor.” Steward Grant Baker voted for a three-day suspension.
--Jockey Victor Espinoza was fined $100 for using the riding crop five times in succession without giving his mount, Flagstaff, a chance to respond in the Palos Verdes Stakes on Jan. 25. Flagstaff finished second. It was Espinoza’s first offense in the last 60 days.
You’re not going to believe this
On Jan. 25, Santa Anita and California racing survived an incident that could have even further shaken the public’s confidence in the sport. Neither party had anything to do with it and all turned out well. But …
I’ll let the stewards’ minutes tell the whole story from Jan. 25.
“Following the running of the ninth race photo finish operator/ General Manager Plusmic USA Jim Anderson told the Stewards via speaker box that the photo finish camera failed to function for this race. He placed blame on an electrical failure. Fortunately for the Stewards and placing judges the participants in this ten (10) horse field were very ‘spread out’. After conferring with the placings judges’, all five (5) of us were in agreement as to the order of finish and the placing were made ’Official’. Mr. Anderson is filling in this week for regular photo finish Tammy Boag, who is off for personal reasons. We ordered a letter of explanation from General Manager Anderson requesting a description of what led to this potentially major problem.”
Imagine what would have happened if there was a blanket finish.
It’s not just Gulfstream
We’ve been critical of the Gulfstream drag and later when it found its misbegotten ways to Santa Anita. The drag is the time between when a race is to be run (when the minutes to post hits zero) and when it actually starts.
If you watched the Super Bowl on Sunday night, you noticed a lot of that going on before the start of the game. Newsletter contributor Ron Flatter of the Vegas Sports & Information Network tweeted “Super Bowl LIV had 11 minutes of post-time drag.”
Who goofed, I’ve got to know?
It was me again. In Sunday’s newsletter I referred to Feb. 17 as Martin Luther King Day, but that was in January. It’s President’s Day.
Santa Anita review
There wasn’t much to pick from, yet Mike Willman, Santa Anita’s director of publicity, was able to find a feature race when we couldn’t in Sunday’s newsletter preview. The choice was the sixth, a 5 ½ furlong allowance/optional claimer for fillies and mares on the turf. The winner was Del Mar May, who went gate to wire to win by 1 ¼ lengths.
Del Mar May paid $10.20, $7.60 and $4.40 in making her first start on the turf. An Eddie Surprise was second and Devils Dance was third.
“You can see on her form she’s run in some really nice races and she’s a nice filly,” winning jockey Geovanni Franco told Willman. “She handled the grass well. I didn’t know if we’d be on the lead, but it didn’t look like there was too much speed in there, so it worked out good.”
Richard Baltas was the winning trainer.
Big races review
A look at graded stakes or races worth $100,000 on Sunday.
Aqueduct (7): $100,000 Busanda Stakes, fillies 3-years-old, 1 1/8 miles. Winner: Harvey’s Little Goil ($3.50)
A final thought
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Now, here’s the star of the show, Sunday’s results. See you on Friday.
Santa Anita Charts Results for Sunday, February 2.
Copyright 2020 by Equibase Company. Reproduction prohibited. Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 20th day of a 60-day meet. Clear & Fast
7 Furlongs. Purse: $55,000. Maiden Special Weight. 3 year olds. Time 21.10 44.21 1:09.52 1:22.50
|3||West Sider||122||3||3||3–1½||3–1||3–5||1–2½||Van Dyke||2.10|
|$1 EXACTA (3-4)||$14.00|
|10-CENT SUPERFECTA (3-4-2-6)||$28.52|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (3-4-2)||$44.25|
Winner–West Sider B.c.3 by Uncle Mo out of Vied, by Elusive Quality. Bred by Clodagh McStay (KY). Trainer: Bob Baffert. Owner: West, Gary and Mary. Mutuel Pool $128,732 Exacta Pool $61,966 Superfecta Pool $23,618 Trifecta Pool $38,998. Scratched–none.
WEST SIDER between horses early, stalked off the rail, came three deep into the stretch, bid three wide under left handed urging past the eighth pole to gain the lead nearing the sixteenth marker and drew clear while under a hold late. CANDY FURY sped to the early lead off the rail, dueled inside, fought back along the fence in the stretch, drifted out from the whip to bump that one late and came back for second. DOCTRINAIRE came out early and dueled outside the runner-up, took a short lead into the stretch, battled alongside that rival then between foes a sixteenth out bumped with that one late and was edged for the place. REPROBATE chased off the rail then outside on the turn, came four wide into the stretch and had a mild late bid while drifting in. WESTERN SMOKE bobbled some just after the start, chased off the inside, came three wide into the stretch and did not rally. MASTERING broke slowly, came off the rail to chase the pace, angled three wide into the stretch and lacked a further response.
1 1/16 Mile. Purse: $23,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $30,000. Time 25.10 50.15 1:15.86 1:42.77 1:49.75
|6||K P Cats Wild||122||6||2||2–½||3–1½||2–hd||1–3||1–4½||Cedillo||3.50|
|4||Vannavanna Bo Bana||122||4||4||5–hd||5–hd||5–1½||3–hd||2–1¼||Pereira||4.40|
|6||K P CATS WILD||9.00||5.20||3.20|
|4||VANNAVANNA BO BANA||5.00||3.00|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (3-6)||$35.40|
|$1 EXACTA (6-4)||$16.20|
|10-CENT SUPERFECTA (6-4-3-5)||$15.45|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (6-4-3)||$24.45|
Winner–K P Cats Wild B.f.3 by Tale of the Cat out of Pink Palace, by Empire Maker. Bred by Anderson Farms Ont. Inc. (ON). Trainer: Robert B. Hess, Jr.. Owner: Edward J. Brown, Jr.. Mutuel Pool $166,390 Daily Double Pool $26,571 Exacta Pool $91,997 Superfecta Pool $40,161 Trifecta Pool $60,261. Scratched–none.
K P CATS WILD prompted the pace three deep, took the lead leaving the second turn, angled in a bit off the rail into the stretch and kicked clear under urging then steady handling late. VANNAVANNA BO BANA took up in very tight early, was fanned five wide into and on the first turn, angled in and chased outside a rival, came out in upper stretch and gained the place. SUBTLE RIDE steadied in tight between foes just after the start, pulled alongside a rival and steadied again into the first turn, angled in and saved ground, came out and went around a rival past midstretch and gained the show inside. SALSA VERDE bumped in the early running, was fanned four wide into the first turn, stalked off the rail or outside, went up four wide on the second turn, bid outside the winner leaving that turn and into the stretch and weakened in the final furlong. HONEYWHISKEYNWINE steadied in tight just after the start, saved ground chasing the pace, continued inside into and through the stretch and also weakened. AKUBA came out four or five paths in the early running, angled in and tried to get out into the first turn, dueled a bit off the rail then between horses, dropped back leaving the second turn and into the stretch and had little left for the drive.
6 Furlongs. Purse: $22,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $16,000. Time 22.79 46.28 58.32 1:10.64
|5||South Boot Shirley||124||4||2||2–½||2–1½||2–1½||3–3¼||Maldonado||4.50|
|5||SOUTH BOOT SHIRLEY||2.60|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (6-3)||$24.40|
|$1 EXACTA (3-6)||$9.90|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (3-6-5)||$14.60|
Winner–Sheza Factor Grr.m.5 by The Factor out of Patricias Prospect, by A.P. Indy. Bred by Glen Hill Farm (KY). Trainer: Vann Belvoir. Owner: Cahill, James, Langer, Keith, Langer, Patricia L., Martin, Linda L.,Martin, Tom. Mutuel Pool $161,741 Daily Double Pool $17,716 Exacta Pool $61,479 Trifecta Pool $47,152. Claimed–Sheza Factor by Zennedjian, Eddie S. and Garcia, Victor. Trainer: Victor Garcia. Scratched–Coilette.
50-Cent Pick Three (3-6-3) paid $38.30. Pick Three Pool $33,036.
SHEZA FACTOR sped to the early lead, set the pace inside, responded when challenged leaving the turn and in the stretch, inched away under urging past the eighth pole and won clear. LEADING INDICATOR stalked outside then three deep, continued alongside a rival on the turn and into the stretch, came out in the drive and outfinished a rival for the place. SOUTH BOOT SHIRLEY close up stalking the pace off the rail then between horses, bid alongside the winner on the turn and into the stretch, battled outside that one in midstretch, then could not match strides and was outkicked late for second. VALLESTINA saved ground stalking the pace throughout and lacked the needed response in the lane. CIMARRON broke a bit slowly, came out and settled off the rail, came a bit wide into the stretch and did not rally.
1 1/8 Mile Turf. Purse: $59,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500. Time 23.63 48.82 1:12.52 1:36.50 1:48.57
|3||Don't Blame Judy||122||3||4||5||4–hd||3–1½||3–3||2–nk||Rispoli||1.70|
|2||Wicked Old Fashion||124||2||5||4–hd||3–1||4–½||5||5||Pereira||12.90|
|3||DON'T BLAME JUDY||2.60||2.10|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (3-1)||$16.40|
|$1 EXACTA (1-3)||$4.50|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (1-3-5)||$7.50|
Winner–Opus Won B.f.4 by Eddington out of Russian River, by Stravinsky. Bred by Frank Mermenstein & Tom McCrocklin (CA). Trainer: Richard Baltas. Owner: Little Red Feather Racing. Mutuel Pool $243,794 Daily Double Pool $16,596 Exacta Pool $104,981 Trifecta Pool $83,946. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (6-3-1) paid $31.30. Pick Three Pool $18,334.
OPUS WON stalked inside then a bit off the rail or outside a rival on the backstretch, continued just off the inside on the second turn and into the stretch, bid alongside the pacesetter in midstretch, gained the advantage under left handed urging a sixteenth out and proved best. DON'T BLAME JUDY pulled between horses and steadied early, angled in and stalked inside, came out in upper stretch and finished willingly to edge a rival for th place. HARMLESS tugged some outside foes early, inched away and angled in, set the pace inside, fought back along the rail in the final furlong and was edged late for second. ANGEL ALESSANDRA pulled three deep early, stalked outside a rival then inside on the second turn, came out a bit into the stretch and did not rally. WICKED OLD FASHION a step slow to begin, went three deep into and on the first turn, chased outside a rival on the backstretch and into the second turn, fell back a bit off the rail leaving that turn and weakened.
6 Furlongs. Purse: $57,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000. Time 22.05 45.28 57.32 1:09.64
|7||It's Tiz Time||122||7||2||7||7||5–hd||2–½||Sanchez||16.80|
|2||Make It a Triple||124||2||6||2–hd||3–hd||3–½||5–3¼||Bednar||33.50|
|4||Heck Yeah||124||4||3||3–hd||4–1||6–2||6–1½||Van Dyke||3.00|
|7||IT'S TIZ TIME||13.40||6.80|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (1-3)||$18.60|
|$1 EXACTA (3-7)||$25.70|
|10-CENT SUPERFECTA (3-7-5-1)||$34.43|
|$1 SUPER HIGH FIVE (3-7-5-1-2)||$1,286.10|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (3-7-5)||$64.80|
Winner–Tiger Dad Dbb.g.4 by Smiling Tiger out of Q T Shae, by Unusual Heat. Bred by Mark Devereaux, Scott Gross & Mark Gross (CA). Trainer: Carla Gaines. Owner: Devereaux, Mark and Gross, Scott. Mutuel Pool $243,643 Daily Double Pool $27,090 Exacta Pool $106,689 Superfecta Pool $56,959 Super High Five Pool $99,486 Trifecta Pool $82,876. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (3-1-3) paid $17.30. Pick Three Pool $29,840. 50-Cent Pick Four (6-3-1-3) 1048 tickets with 4 correct paid $79.15. Pick Four Pool $108,756. 50-Cent Pick Five (3-6-3-1-3) 1038 tickets with 5 correct paid $291.20. Pick Five Pool $351,638.
TIGER DAD sped to the early lead, angled in and set the pace inside, came a bit off the rail in the stretch and drew off under a brisk hand ride. IT'S TIZ TIME chased outside then off the rail, angled in leaving the turn, found the fence in the stretch and gained the place. CITY RAGE stalked just off the rail, came out four wide into the stretch and was edged for second. SOLDIER BOY had a shoe repaired in the paddock, broke a step slowly, saved ground stalking the pace, came a bit off the rail in the stretch and weakened late. MAKE IT A TRIPLE close up stalking the winner between horses to the stretch, lacked the necessary response. HECK YEAH stalked between horses then three deep on the turn and into the stretch and weakened. STREET VISION was in a good position stalking the pace four wide then outside a rival on the turn, came four wide into the stretch, drifted in and also weakened.
5½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $59,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500. Time 22.63 45.60 57.00 1:02.83
|5||Del Mar May||122||5||5||1–hd||1–hd||1–1||1–1¼||Franco||4.10|
|3||An Eddie Surprise||124||3||4||3–hd||4–1½||4–1||2–1¼||Gutierrez||8.30|
|5||DEL MAR MAY||10.20||7.60||4.40|
|3||AN EDDIE SURPRISE||7.60||4.00|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (3-5)||$44.60|
|$1 EXACTA (5-3)||$39.80|
|10-CENT SUPERFECTA (5-3-7-4)||$81.86|
|$1 SUPER HIGH FIVE (5-3-7-4-6)||$1,309.90|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (5-3-7)||$121.30|
Winner–Del Mar May B.f.4 by Jimmy Creed out of Big Lou, by Malibu Moon. Bred by T/C Stable, LLC (KY). Trainer: Richard Baltas. Owner: Calvin Nguyen. Mutuel Pool $228,492 Daily Double Pool $28,230 Exacta Pool $123,034 Superfecta Pool $43,272 Super High Five Pool $5,151 Trifecta Pool $71,396. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (1-3-5) paid $40.65. Pick Three Pool $34,354.
DEL MAR MAY had spesed between horses then angled in and dueled inside, inched away under urging in midstretch and held on gamely. AN EDDIE SURPRISE saved ground stalking the pace, waited off heels leaving the turn, came out a bit for room into the stretch and gained the place. DEVILS DANCE had speed three deep then dueled outside the winner, fought back into the stretch and held third. HOLLY HUNDY stalked a bit off the rail then inside, came out into the stretch and was edged for the show. STORMING LADY was in a good position stalking the winner outside a rival, came three deep into the stretch and was edged for third between foes late. LUCKY PERIDOT saved ground chasing the pace throughout and lacked the needed rally. MISCHIFFIE (IRE) a step slow to begin, came out early and chased outside a rival, angled three wide into the stretch and could not offer the necessary response.
6 Furlongs. Purse: $32,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $50,000. Time 22.39 45.98 58.36 1:11.26
|4||Rstars and Stripes||122||3||4||1–hd||1–1||1–5||1–9½||Rosario||1.40|
|5||Reds Tribal Heart||122||4||7||7||6–2½||5–hd||5–nk||Valdivia, Jr.||13.40|
|4||RSTARS AND STRIPES||4.80||3.00||2.40|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (5-4)||$33.80|
|$1 EXACTA (4-8)||$9.80|
|10-CENT SUPERFECTA (4-8-6-2)||$5.82|
|$1 SUPER HIGH FIVE (4-8-6-2-5)||$121.40|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (4-8-6)||$15.75|
|$2 CONSOLATION DOUBLE (5-1)||$12.20|
Winner–Rstars and Stripes Grr.f.3 by Coil out of Kimberly's Gold, by Cee's Tizzy. Bred by Stephen R. Campbell (CA). Trainer: Kristin Mulhall. Owner: Stephen R. Campbell. Mutuel Pool $281,309 Daily Double Pool $72,693 Exacta Pool $153,977 Superfecta Pool $73,921 Super High Five Pool $14,322 Trifecta Pool $100,334. Claimed–Rstars and Stripes by Robert Vanderdussen. Trainer: Steve Knapp. Scratched–H and R's Girl.
50-Cent Pick Three (3-5-4) paid $45.40. Pick Three Pool $77,410. 50-Cent Consolation Pick Three (3-5-1) paid $15.45. 50-Cent Pick Four (1-3-5-1/4) 2157 tickets with 4 correct paid $110.60. Pick Four Pool $312,629. 50-Cent Pick Five (3-1-3-5-1/4) 475 tickets with 5 correct paid $343.95. Pick Five Pool $214,094. 20-Cent Pick Six Jackpot (6-3-1-3-5-1/4) 49 tickets with 6 correct paid $1,022.80. Pick Six Jackpot Pool $93,356. Pick Six Jackpot Carryover $135,744.
RSTARS AND STRIPES broke in a bit, had good early speed and dueled inside, inched away leaving the turn and drew off in the stretch under a steady hand ride and a long hold late. AWESOME ALESSANDRA dueled three deep then stalked outside a rival leaving the turn, drifted in through the final furlong and was clearly second best. SMART GIRL had speed between horses to duel for the lead, stalked just off the rail leaving the turn and bested the others. LA CROIX saved ground stalking the pace, came a bit off the rail in the stretch then drifted in late and weakened. REDS TRIBAL HEART broke a bit slowly, settled off the rail, angled to the inside on the turn, came out in the stretch and did not rally. EXCESS COIL stalked between horses then outside a rival on the turn and weakened. SONGBIRD EYDIE broke in a bit, stalked three deep, dropped back and angled in some leaving the turn, gave way and was eased in the stretch.
|Out of State||N/A||$3,659,906|
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