UNBRIDLED’S NOTE BACK TO DEFEND TITLE IN FRIDAY’S GRADE III EDDIE D. STAKES AT SANTA ANITA, ASMUSSMEN TRAINEE HEADS FIELD OF 14 AT 6 ½ FURLONGS DOWN HILLSIDE TURF COURSE AS 24-DAY AUTUMN MEETS OPENS
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 24, 2013)—Unbridled’s Note heads a strong field of 14 horses in the Grade III, $100,000 Eddie D. Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at about 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course as the The Great Race Place kicks off its 24-day Autumn Meet on Friday in anticipation of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 1 & 2.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Unbridled’s Note won last year’s Eddie D. at age three and was subsequently second, beaten a half length by Mizdirection in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. Lightly raced this year, Unbridled’s Note has been idle since running eighth in the Grade II, seven furlong Churchill Downs Stakes on May 4. Prior to that, he was a game winner of the Joe Hernandez Handicap down the hill on Feb. 23 and was then second in the Grade II, 6 ½ furlong Potrero Grande Stakes on April 6.
Owned by Mike McCarty, Unbridled’s Note has demonstrated that he can lay close or come from off the pace effectively. He’ll again be handled by Corey Nakatani, who has ridden him in each of his last six starts.
Idle since streaking to victory in the Grade III Daytona Stakes down the hill on Jan. 8, 2012, comebacking Caracortado, a 6-year-old California-bred gelding, is a multiple graded stakes winner on both turf and dirt and like many, is hoping to use the Eddie D. as a springboard to running in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
Bred, trained and owned in-part by Mike Machowsky, Caracortado has been on the sidelines due to a nagging problem with his right front hoof. Dating back to Aug. 19 at Del Mar, he has a steady series of drills to his credit, his most recent being a five furlong move in 1:13.80 on Sept. 20 at Santa Anita.
“He had lost that whole frog (an integral component of the foot that acts as a shock absorber and helps facilitate circulation) and it took a lot of time to strengthen and grow out properly,” said Machowsky. “There’s always going to be a little deformity to it because of the way it’s grown back, but we’ve been able to string together (several) works and it’s looking good now.”
Despite his lack of recency, Machowsky is bullish on Caracortado’s chances. “He’s trained unbelievable and he’s never been beaten off a layoff.”
Prior to his hiatus, Caracortado, one of three Cal-breds in the Eddie D. lineup, was considered one of the top turf milers in the country. In his lone hillside sprint, Caracortado was a devastating last-to-first winner of the Daytona and could employ similar tactics should a fast pace develop. In addition to Machowsky’s Lo Hi Stable, he is owned by (Don) Blahut Racing LLC, Kagele Brothers and Donkey Island Racing. Caracortado has $864,105 in earnings from an overall mark of 19-9-2-3.
Trainer Jeff Mullins is well represented with the hard-knocking Chips All In, who was second, beaten a nose, by Unbridled’s Note four starts back in the Joe Hernandez on Feb. 23. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by North Light, Chips All In was second as the even money favorite, beaten four lengths, in a one mile turf classified allowance at Del Mar on Aug. 22.
Owned by Jean Everest, John O’Brien, Valdez and partners, Chips All In sat close to the early pace and won the Grade III San Simeon down the hill on April 20 and has an outstanding turf mark of 10-3-4-1. He has six wins from 15 starts overall and has banked $350,613.
Mullins will also be represented by Sirocco Strike, a bona fide turf sprinter who just missed when second, beaten a neck, in the 5 furlong Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 14. A 6-year-old gelding by Forestry, Sirocco Strike is owned by Truline Racing. With 20 overall starts, he is winless in two tries down the Santa Anita hillside. All four of his lifetime wins have come on grass.
Up and coming Rock Me Baby, a 4-year-old California-bred gelding by Rock Hard Ten, will shorten up out of five consecutive turf routes and could be dangerous in this, his first foray into graded stakes competition.
Trained by Craig Dollase and owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, Rock Me Baby rallied from off the pace to win a second condition allowance going one mile on turf on Aug. 17 at Del Mar. A state-bred allowance winner down the hill March 17, he has a win and a second from two hillside tries.
Rock Me Baby has an outstanding 10-5-4-1 mark and $262,414 in earnings. He’ll again be handled by jockey Edwin Maldonado, who has been aboard for all 10 starts.
Rosengold, a lightly raced 3-year-old with a world of early speed, appears primed and dangerous for owner and co-breeder William Currin. An impressive winner of the $79,000 Baffle Stakes down the hill in his third lifetime start March 2, Rosengold opened up early in Del Mar’s Grade II, mile and a sixteenth La Jolla Handicap on Aug. 10, but faltered late, finishing last in a field of nine.
Conditioned by Julio Canani, Rosengold has worked four times since the La Jolla, with his most recent drill a bullet five furlong turf move in 59.40 on Sept. 20 at Santa Anita.
The complete field for the Eddie D. Stakes, which will be run as the eighth race on a nine-race card Friday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Et Tu Walker, Agapito Delgadillo, 118; Huntsville, Erick Lopez, 118; Caracortado, 118, Felipe Martinez (alt) 118; Boat Trip, Garrett Gomez, 118; Unbridled’s Note, Corey Nakatani, 120; Handsome Mike, Mario Gutierrez, 123; Rock Me Baby, Edwin Maldonado, 118; Chips All In, Julien Leparoux, 123; Koast, Victor Espinoza, 118; Rosengold, Martin Garcia, 115; Sirocco Strike, Joe Talamo, 118; Snowday, Rafael Bejarano 115; Majestic City, Gary Stevens, 118, and El Mirage King, Chantal Sutherland-Kruse, 118.
All on-track attendees will receive beautiful color posters depicting 2012 Breeders’ Cup Champions Beholder and Mizdirection, free, with paid admission. Retired Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye will be on hand to present the trophy for the race named in his honor.
First post time on Friday is at 1 p.m. For more racing information, please visit santaanita.com, or call (626) 574-RACE.
Santa Anita Park is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, and is one of North America’s top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets.The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horseracing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America’s premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.