Smith to Espinoza: “Keep Walking or I’ll Cut Your Head Off”

Things would get a little testy inside the Santa Anita Jockey room when everyone returned from the Awesome Again Stakes

Things would get a little testy inside the Santa Anita Jockey room when everyone returned from the Awesome Again Stakes

By Jim Charvat

According to the Pasadena Star News Monday, things got a little testy inside the Jocks Room at Santa Anita following the running of the G1 Awesome Again Stakes Saturday. In a race, Victor Espinoza, aboard Sky Kingdom, fanned heavy favorite, Shared Belief and jockey Mike Smith five wide in the first turn, Smith apparently was not too happy with the bullying tactics.

Espinoza told the Star News that afterward Smith cursed at him in the jockey’s room, telling Espinoza to “keep walking or I’ll cut your head off.” This was far removed from the business-like statements Smith made to reporters immediatedly after he guided the gutsy Shared Belief to a remarkable victory. 

“They tried to use some tactics on me which made the win today even sweeter.”…   Read the rest of this entry >>

Desormeaux Kicked By Horse, Suffers Broken Rib

Kent Desormeaux will miss an undetermined amount of time after being injured in a mishap before race 8 at Santa Anita Sunday

Kent Desormeaux will miss an undetermined amount of time after being injured in a mishap before race 8 at Santa Anita Sunday

Update:

As of Monday night, still no word on the extent of rider, Kent Desormeaux’s injuries or how long he’ll be out of action. His sister wrote on the Kent Desormeaux facebook page tonight…

The events of yesterday have everyone at Team DesOrmeaux and everyone close to Kent in shock, myself included. I, myself, will continue to be dark until I am given the green light to release information. I will continue to check the page and pass on any and all messages that you may have!

Thank you,
-Christa

sdhorserace will also pass along any information on these pages as it becomes available to us.

Arcadia, Ca  9-28-14

Kent Desormeaux is expected to miss some time riding after he was kicked by a horse… Read the rest of this entry >>

Rosalind to Join Beholder and Princess of Sylmar in the Sales Ring

Rosalind will be up for sale at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale

Rosalind will be up for sale at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale

By Jim Charvat

The Fasig-Tipton November Sale is shaping up to be a quite an event for those looking to purchase a Marquee Filly. Rosalind, the co-winner of last spring’s, G1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland, will be up for sale as a racing/broodmare prospect, joining two other high-profile fillies, Beholder and Princess of Sylmar.

Rosalind finished in a dead heat with Room Service in the Ashland last April. It was her first stakes win and her first win since she broke her maiden at Ellis Park in August of 2013. Since then, she has run nine times, eight of those races in graded stakes company, seven of those races in Grade 1′s. The daughter of Broken Vow was 3rd in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile… Read the rest of this entry >>

Itsmyluckyday to Skip Breeders’ Cup: Will Go Next in G1 Cigar Mile

Itsmyluckyday holds off Moreno to win the G1 Woodward at Saratoga.

Itsmyluckyday holds off Moreno to win the G1 Woodward at Saratoga.

By Jim Charvat

The connections for Itsmyluckyday announced Monday that they are not going to ship their Grade 1 winner out west to the Breeders’ Cup at the end of next month, but instead will point him toward the G1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct at the end of November.

Itsmyluckyday has had a spectacular 2014. After a fourth place finish in the G2 Gulfstream Park Handicap in March, he won four of his next five races including the G1 Woodward at Saratoga. The 4-year old son of Lawyer Ron also won the Best of the Rest Stakes at Gulfstream, the Majestic Light Stakes at Monmouth Park, the G3 Salvador Mile before finishing second to Moreno in the G1 Whitney.

In his last outing, he finished a disappointing third in the G2 Kelso. Trainer, Edward… Read the rest of this entry >>

Victor Espinoza Get Days For Rough Ride in Awesome Again Stakes

Espinoza, aboard Sky Kingdom, was handed a 7-day suspension Sunday

Espinoza, aboard Sky Kingdom, was handed a 7-day suspension Sunday

By Jim Charvat

Victor Espinoza was not too happy about the way he and California Chrome were manhandled in the Pennsylvania Derby. Whether it was taking out frustrations or just some instructed race riding, his move on board Sky Kingdom in the Awesome Again did not go unnoticed and Sunday the stewards at Santa Anita suspended Espinoza for 7-days.

The incident occurred in the first turn of Saturday’s Grade 1 race. Espinoza and Sky Kingdom fanned the heavy favorite, Shared Belief, four or five wide in the first turn. Sky Kingdom, trained by Bob Baffert, was the longest shot in the field at 36-1. Some observers noted and there were many accusations after the race that the move was a planned maneuver designed to… Read the rest of this entry >>

Tonito M Captures G3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park

Tonito M crosses the wire first in the G3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park

Tonito M crosses the wire first in the G3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park

Tonito M. rallied wide off the final turn then pulled clear with an impressive 2-3/4 length score in the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby on Sunday afternoon at Remington Park.

Owned by Mickey Gonzalez of M Racing Group LLC of San Juan, Puerto Rico and trained by National Racing Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, Tonito M. was ridden to victory by Rafael Bejarano.

Relaxed just six lengths off the lead for the first half of the race, Tonito M. waited until midway through the final turn before accelerating for the front. Moving into the homestretch Bejarano angled his colt outside of three rivals for his big run to the finish where he covered the 1-1/8 miles in 1:50.41 over a fast track.

“I had a very good trip. The horse broke really good. This time I tried to get him… Read the rest of this entry >>

Rajiv Maragh Out With Broken Arm: May Miss Breeders’ Cup

Rajiv Maragh suffered a broken arm in Saturday's spill at Belmont Park

Rajiv Maragh suffered a broken arm in Saturday’s spill at Belmont Park

Update: Monday, 9-29-14

Rajiv Maragh was expected to be released from the hospital at noon EDT Monday. He underwent surgery Sunday to have plates and screws inserted in his broken arm.

His agent, Tony Micallef, told DRF.com’s, David Grening, that the Breeders’ Cup is not out of the question for Maragh, that he will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

 

By Jim Charvat

Jockey Rajiv Maragh will miss some time after he suffered a broken arm in Saturday’s spill during the running of the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. The 29-year old rider broke his right arm when his mount, Wicked Strong, clipped heels with Moreno at the top of the far turn.

Maragh went to the ground with a crowd of horses behind him but avoided any contact with the other runners. He was taken to a Long Island hospital for treatment. Wicked Strong… Read the rest of this entry >>

Bright Thought Punches Ticket to Breeders’ Cup With Win in G2 John Henry

Bright Thought and Tyler Baze win the G2 John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita

Bright Thought and Tyler Baze win the G2 John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita

A graded stakes winner a year and a half ago, Bright Thought broke a seven-game losing streak Sunday at Santa Anita, taking the Grade II, $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship under Tyler Baze, laying close to the pace and prevailing by three quarters of a length while traversing 1 ¼ miles on turf in 1:58.27.

Watch: Bright Thought Win the G2 John Henry

Making his second start for trainer Phil D’Amato, Bright Thought was lapped on pacesetter Big Kick and Victor Espinoza under the… Read the rest of this entry >>

Shared Belief Puts In A Jaw Dropping Performance in G1 Awesome Again

Shared Belief and Fed Biz battle to the wire in the G1 Awesome Again

Shared Belief and Fed Biz battle to the wire in the G1 Awesome Again

By Beth Harris

Shared Belief was floated four-wide in the first turn, had to go five-wide turning for home, got hooked by Fed Biz in a gut wrenching stretch duel…and still won the G1 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita to remain undefeated. On top of that, jockey Mike Smith had just come off a spill on the turf in the previous race.

Watch: Shared Belief’s remarkable run

Shared Belief was all over the track, leaving Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith ticked off by the tactics of his fellow riders.

Whether the opposition deliberately tried to derail Shared Belief, it didn’t work.

The 3-year-old gelding rallied to win the $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes by a neck over Fed Biz at Santa Anita on Saturday and improve… Read the rest of this entry >>

King of Belmont: Tonalist Takes G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup; Maragh Hurt

Tonalist adds another G1 to his resume...the Jockey Club Gold Cup

Tonalist adds the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup to his resume

by Jon Forbes

Tonalist returns to the scene of his biggest win and adds another Grade 1 to his resume, the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The Belmont Stakes winner earned another big victory on Super Saturday at Belmont Park, overcoming a troubled trip to rally from last in the Grade 1 test for 3-year-olds and up.

Watch: Tonalist wins the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup

With the win, Tonalist becomes the 24th horse to win both the Belmont Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup in his career and first since eventual Champion Three-Year-Old Male Summer Bird swept the races in 2009.

Tonalist, racing without blinkers for the first time since his debut last November, was slightly… Read the rest of this entry >>

Champ is Back: Beholder Guts-It-Out in G1 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita

Beholder and Mike Smith make their way to the winner's circle after winning the G1 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita

Beholder and Mike Smith make their way to the winner’s circle after winning the G1 Zenyatta Stakes

Beholder took command at the top of the stretch and then had to hold off a pesky Tiz Midnight to win the G1 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita.

Beholder rallied to win the $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes by three-quarters of a length under Smith, who was the regular rider of the superstar mare for whom the race is named. Smith replaced Beholder’s regular rider, Gary Stevens, who is out recuperating from knee replacement surgery.

Watch: Beholder’s return in the G1 Zenyatta

“She felt great, really good,” Smith said. “We were worried about her getting a little tired. We were hoping we could get a bit tired but still win in hand but I had to ride her a little. The second-place mare, Tiz Midnight, is a race-fit mare. She’s run twice down at Del Mar and ran impressively so she was the kind of mare that would probably push us today. She made us do… Read the rest of this entry >>

Emollient Stamps Her Ticket to the Breeders’ Cup With G1 Rodeo Drive Win

Emollient racks up another G1 win, taking the Rodeo Drive at Santa Anita

Emollient racks up another G1 win, taking the Rodeo Drive at Santa Anita

Emollient holds off a re-surgent, Parranda, to win the G1 Rodeo Drive at Santa Anita. Moulin de Mougin fell on the turn unseating rider, Mike Smith, but both horse and rider appear okay.

Emollient won the $300,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes by a half-length under Rosie Napravnik to earn an automatic berth in the BC Filly & Mare Turf.

The 4-year-old filly ran 1 1/4 miles on the turf in 2:02.42 and paid $8.40, $5.60 and $3.60.

Watch: Emollient fend off Parranda in the Rodeo Drive

Parranda returned $7 and $4.20, while Rusty Slipper and Irish Mission finished in a dead-heat for third, 1 1/4 lengths back. Rusty Slipper paid $6 to show, while Irish Mission paid $2.60.

Smith, aboard Moulin de Mougin, got tossed when his mount slipped and fell… Read the rest of this entry >>