ARCADIA – Richard Mandella begins the new year in a familiar role, as the holder of a strong hand in one of Santa Anita’s important handicap races. Mandella-trained 5-year-olds Turnbolt and Spellbinder drew side-by-side posts for Saturday’s $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap, the opener of the older-horses series that includes the Feb. 5 San Antonio Handicap and the March 4 Santa Anita Handicap. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Spellbinder, with Martin Pedroza aboard from post 4, seeks his first stakes victory after winning four of 16. He held a close third to Trotamondo and Bully Hayes at 18-1 in the Native Diver Handicap at Hollywood. Bully Hayes (Alex Solis) drew post 1 in the 1 1/16-mile San Pasqual. Melanyhasthepapers (Tyler Baze), Buckland Manor (Kent Desormeaux), High Limit (Patrick Valenzuela) and Sam Forli (Jose Valdivia Jr.) complete the field of eight. High Limit won the Louisiana Derby and ran second to Bandini in the Blue Grass last spring but had rough goes in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Borrego, the most accomplished active Southern California handicap runner now that Rock Hard Ten is retired, is being pointed to the San Antonio and the Big ‘Cap. Chips Are Down and Sort It Out, nominated to the San Pasqual by trainer Bob Baffert, also are waiting for the San Antonio. The San Pasqual is one of four stakes at Santa Anita Saturday and Sunday. It’s an honor: Five 2004 champions have a chance to repeat in the 2005 Eclipse Awards, scheduled to be announced Jan. 23 at a dinner at the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. So-called finalists – actually the top three vote-getters in each division – were revealed Thursday. They include 2004 champions Ashado in the older-females division; Hirapour in the steeplechase division; jockey John Velazquez, trainer Todd Pletcher and breeder Adena Springs, owned by Frank Stronach. The finalists (alphabetically): older males – Borrego, Rock Hard Ten, Saint Liam; older females – Ashado, Pleasant Home, Stellar Jayne; 3-year-old male – Afleet Alex, Flower Alley, Giacomo; 3-year-old female – Round Pond, Smuggler, Summerly; 2-year-old male – First Samurai, Henny Hughes, Stevie Wonderboy; 2-year-old female – Adieu, Folklore, Wild Fit; turf male – Artie Schiller, Leroidesanimaux, Shirocco; turf female – Cesario, Intercontinental, Megahertz; jockey – Jerry Bailey, Edgar Prado, Velazquez; apprentice jockey – Channing Hill, Justin Stein, Emma-Jayne Wilson; trainer – Steve Asmussen, Bobby Frankel, Pletcher; breeder – Adena Springs, Edward P. Evans, Live Oak Stud. Horse of the Year finalists weren’t announced because that would give away the winners of some divisional votes. Horse of the Year appears to come down to Saint Liam, the Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, and Afleet Alex, the Preakness-Belmont hero. Ballots are cast by racing journalists and executives. Adding it up: Garrett Gomez and Doug O’Neill were the leading Southern California-based jockey and trainer for 2005 – in both earnings and victories – in the Daily Racing Form’s year-end statistics. Gomez’s $14.2 million in purses placed fifth nationally behind John Velazquez’s $24.4 million, and his 245 wins were 13th behind Russell Baze’s 375. O’Neill’s $9.5 million put him fifth behind Todd Pletcher’s record $20.9 million, and his 158 wins were 13 th behind Steve Asmussen’s 474. The Northern California-based Baze’s 30 percent winners led the nation for the 10th time in 11 years. He is 350 victories from Laffit Pincay’s record 9,530. SANTA ANITA LEADERS Through Thursday Jockeys, Wins Patrick Valenzuela 11 Garrett Gomez 10 Victor Espinoza 7 Aaron Gryder 5 Felipe Martinez 5 Trainers, Wins Bob Baffert 7 Doug O’Neill 4 Bobby Frankel 3 Mike Mitchell 3 Jeff Mullins 3 ON THE STAKES SCHEDULE Santa Anita Saturday $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap, 4-year-olds and up, 1 1/16 miles $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes, 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 miles Sunday $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap, 4-year-old-and-up fillies and mares, 1 1/8 miles $75,000 San Miguel Stakes, 3-year-old, 6 furlongs A WEEK AT THE RACES Bob Umphrey, the inventive racing secretary at Calder, died Monday at 53 after a heart attack and stroke. Umphrey was Hollywood Park’s racing secretary for the first Breeders’ Cup in 1984 and later held the same job at Golden Gate Fields. Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum, the Dubai ruler who died Wednesday at age 62 after apparently having a heart attack, is being mourned in racing. Maktoum, with brothers Mohammed, Hamdan and Ahmed, have spent lavishly to become the world’s leading owners and breeders of the past quarter-century. Stevie Wonderboy, expected to be the champion 2-year-old, completed a 6-furlong workout in 1:12 3/5 at Hollywood Park Thursday and was pronounced set for his 3-year-old debut in the Jan. 14 San Rafael Stakes at Santa Anita. Gulfstream Park, the East Coast’s major winter track, opened Wednesday for the season that includes the April 1 Florida Derby. With the facility’s renovation behind schedule because of the hurricanes, construction will continue through the meet. Roberto Gonzalez was suspended for five days at Bay Meadows after the stewards cited him for “failure to give his best efforts” in a shaky-looking ride aboard Classically Lit, beaten after leading by three lengths in a Dec. 30 race. Danzig, who was the sire of 21 champions worldwide and had led North American stallions in stakes-winning offspring, was euthanized Tuesday at age 29 because of the effects of age, Claiborne Farm officials said in Kentucky. – Kevin Modesti and Associated Press 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Mandella’s barn has dominated the three races in the past decade, producing nine victories from 1995 to 2005 with Best Pal, Gentlemen, Siphon, Malek, Redattore, Pleasantly Perfect and, last year, Congrats in the San Pasqual and Rock Hard Ten in the Big ‘Cap. Turnbolt, to be ridden by Corey Nakatani out of post 3, is a son of Deputy Minister trying two turns for the first time after winning three of eight sprints. He was second to Bordonaro at 7-1 odds in the Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park in his first start after moving from trainer Ron Ellis.
DDTV VIDEO: LISA AT WOMAN OF THE YEAR CELEBRATIONS
LAX controllers expected to discuss on-the-job fatigue