Richard Baltas

Hit the Road Works for Pegasus

Hit the Road (More Than Ready), aiming for the Jan. 29 GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational at Gulfstream Park, worked five furlongs in :58.40 (1/1) over the Santa Anita turf Sunday. The 5-year-old, trained by Dan Blacker, capped a four-race win streak with a win in the GI Frank E. Kilroe Mile S. last March. He has been off since a third-place effort in the GII City of Hope Mile S. last October. The nine-furlong Turf Invitational will be Hit The Road's first start beyond a mile. Also working...

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Velazquez to Winter at Santa Anita

Jockey John Velazquez will be based primarily at Santa Anita Park for the upcoming meet there that starts Dec. 26, a switch from recent seasons in which the 50-year-old Hall-of-Famer has wintered at Gulfstream Park. Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form first broke the news Monday. TDN left a phone message for Velazquez seeking comment, but it did not yield a return call prior to deadline for this story. The four-time GI Kentucky Derby-winner and co-chairman of the Jockeys' Guild made his decision public Nov. 29 via his agent, Ron...

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Sunday's Insights: Pricey Arrogate Colt Debuts at Del Mar

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency GUN RUNNER FILLIES DEBUT AT CHURCHILL 7th-CD, $120k, Msw, 2yo, 6f, 3:57 p.m. Freshman sire Gun Runner is represented by a pair of debuting fillies in this six-furlong affair. Richard Baltas saddles PEACE PEDDLER (GUN RUNNER), a $200,000 KEESEP yearling purchase, for Calvin Nguyen. The bay filly is a daughter of Canadian champion Embur's Song (Unbridled's Song). Steve Asmussen sends out Stonestreet homebred Ari Oakley (Gun Runner), a daughter of Belle of Perintown (Dehere) and half-sister to graded winner Strike It Rich (Unbridled's Song) and...

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Unbeaten Lady Speightspeare Makes All-Weather Debut in Bessarabian

'TDN Rising Star' Lady Speightspeare (Speightstown), three-for-three on turf to start her career, will try all-weather racing for the first time Saturday at Woodbine, going seven furlongs on the Tapeta in the GII Bessarabian S. A sharp 3 3/4-length frontrunning winner debuting on the local turf last August to earn her 'Rising Star' badge, the Chuck Fipke homebred quickly backed up that distinction with a score in the GI Natalma S. The chestnut was sidelined for nearly a year after that, however, before returning with an optional claiming success in...

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California Contenders Tune Up for Breeders' Cup

Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) tuned up for a tilt at the Nov. 6 GI Breeders' Cup Classic with a six-furlong drill in 1:14.00 (4/6) at Santa Anita Saturday. "We were happy," trainer Doug O'Neill said of the work. "He cooled out good. If all goes well and he stays injury-free, we're two works away. He'll have one at Santa Anita and one at Del Mar." Third in the GI Kentucky Derby and second in the GI Belmont S., Hot Rod Charlie was disqualified from a first-place finish in the GI...

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Going to Vegas Going to Del Mar After Frontrunning Rodeo Drive Victory

In their respective most recent trips to the post, Going To Vegas (Goldencents) was ridden by Flavien Prat to a popular victory in the GII John C. Mabee S. while stablemate Luck (Kitten's Joy) had Umberto Rispoli in the irons for a first-level allowance tally at Del Mar Aug. 7. The preeminent turf riders on the circuit swapped mounts for Saturday's GI Rodeo Drive S., and at the end of a very entertaining 10 furlongs, it was the Italian and Going To Vegas who proved narrowly best over the French...

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Monday's Insights: Pricey Fillies Square Off at Santa Anita

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 5th-SA, $61k, Msw, 3yo/up, f/m, 6 1/2fT, 6:14p.m. LNJ Foxwoods' SPEEDCUBER (War Front), a $525,000 KEENOV weanling, makes her debut for trainer Richard Baltas. She is a daughter of Drifting Cube (Aus) (Encosta de Lago {Aus}), a full-sister to multiple group winner Rubick (Aus). Also debuting is Tommy Town Thoroughbreds' What a Feeling (Medaglia d'Oro). The $700,000 KEESEP yearling is trained by Jonathan Wong, who also saddles fellow Tommy Town firster The Pharoah's Girl (American Pharoah), a $330,000 KEESEP yearling purchase. TJCIS PPs

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Whether Riding in The Big 'Cap or the Nightcap, Rosario Is a Master of Timing

The Week in Review, by T.D. Thornton Generally speaking, when your horse is parked near last for most of the trip, fanned six wide on the far turn, fifth with a furlong to go, and still third 100 yards from the wire, your chances of winning are slim. Unless Joel Rosario is riding, of course. That was the exact scenario facing Idol (Curlin) in deep stretch of Saturday's GI Santa Anita H. at Santa Anita Park. Yet "Judicious Joel," who at age 36 is without fanfare blossoming into the absolute...

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Idol Finishes Best of All To Take the Big 'Cap

Calvin Nguyen's Idol (Curlin) seemed to relish the 10 furlongs of Saturday's GI Santa Anita H. as he turned the tables on Express Train (Union Rags) to post a mild 5-1 upset. Even-money invader Maxfield (Street Sense) could only manage third with no obvious excuse. Last seen finishing third as the favorite behind Express Train when trapped behind a slow pace in the Jan. 30 GII San Pasqual S., the bay was kept off the inside and unhurried as he sat second last. Last year's GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay...

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Six Go Postward in Delayed San Marcos

A field of six, led by Acclimate (Acclamation) and Masteroffoxhounds (War Front), goes postward in the GII San Marcos S. Saturday at Santa Anita. The 1 1/4-mile turf race had originally been scheduled for Jan. 30, but was pushed back to avoid the winter rainstorm which hit Arcadia a week ago. Rockingham Ranch's Masteroffoxhounds will be making his third stateside appearance in the San Marcos. The bay colt, a maiden winner in Ireland last summer, was seventh going one mile in his U.S. debut last November. He powered home to...

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Bob and Jackie Tops Keeneland Monday

A pair of racehorse prospects offered by St. George Sales late in the day were the lone lots to bring six figures during Monday's session of the Keeneland November sale, with graded-stakes placed Bob and Jackie (Twirling Candy) (hip 3017F) bringing top price of $190,000 when selling to bloodstock agents Grey Price and Mike Recio on behalf of California owner Calvin Nguyen. Bred and raced by Zayat Stables, the 4-year-old is a three-time stakes winner and recently finished third in the Oct. 3 GII City of Hope Mile S. Bob...

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Saying 'Grace' In the Raven Run

A competitive group of 10 sophomore fillies line up in Saturday's GII Lexus Raven Run S. at Keeneland. Among the expected favorites for the seven-furlong test is Whitham Thoroughbreds' Four Graces (Majesticperfection). Trained by Ian Wilkes, the homebred has won four of five starts at the Raven Run distance, including Churchill's GIII Dogwood S. in June followed by the GIII Beaumont S. over the local Beard Course July 10. Given some time off following that effort, she speed-loving filly weakened late to be second behind Sconsin (Include) in the Sept....

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