Trainer H. Graham Motion vanned Sanagas from his Fair Hill, Md., training base Thursday to Newark to be flown to California for the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Sanagas, a 5-year-old German-bred gelding, will be accompanied by assistant Alice Clapham and stabled in Barn 53 North with trainer Gary Mandella.
Sanagas will be accompanied on the flight by Gypsy’s Warning, defending champion in the $250,000 Matriarch Stakes here November 25. Motion said he will fly out two other stakes-winning females, Summer Soiree and Unbridled Humor, Tuesday to join Gypsy’s Warning in the Matriarch.
Sanagas, to be ridden by Rajiv Maragh, drew the outside post in a field of seven in the Grade I Hollywood Turf Cup at 1 ½ miles. Sanagas comes off a victory in the Grade III Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland October 20, his sixth victory in nine starts.
“We felt the further he goes, the better, and this seemed like a good fit,” said Motion of the decision to ship for the Turf Cup.
Gypsy’s Warning, a 6-year-old mare, seeks to become the first repeat winner of the Matriarch since Flawlessly won three in a row from 1991-93.
She is winless in four starts this year since capturing the Matriarch.
“Gypsy’s Warning has been a little unlucky this year,” said Motion. “On more than one occasion, she has run on a soft turf course, which she does not care for. The record doesn’t look too good but it’s deceptive.”
The South African-bred mare breezed at Fair Hill Wednesday and will run for the first time under the silks of Flaxman Holdings, which purchased her at the Keeneland November sale. Rafael Bejarano has the Matriarch call.
Motion said that Noble Damsel Stakes winner Unbridled Humor will breeze Friday and be ridden by Ramon Dominguez. He added that Summer Soiree, who shipped to California in August to win the Del Mar Oaks, will breeze Saturday and be ridden by Gabriel Saez.
SUPPLEMENTARIES SPICE TURF FESTIVAL LINEUPS
A batch of $5,000 supplementary entries were received by the racing office Thursday for the Grade I Hollywood Derby and Matriarch and the Grade II Citation Handicap, $250,000 cornerstones of the Turf Festival next week.
Six 3-year-olds were supplemented to the Hollywood Derby November 27 at 1 ¼ miles. Three females were supplemented to the Matriarch at one mile on November 25. Two horses were supplemented to the Citation at 1 1/16 miles on November 26.
Supplemented to the Derby were Oak Tree Derby 1-2-3 finishers Ultimate Warrior, Venomous and Cozy Kitten, Kentucky-based Willcox Inn and New York-based Imagining and Casino Host.
Cozy Kitten worked five furlongs on turf in 1:05.80 here Thursday morning under jockey Alonso Quinonez to the satisfaction of Blake Heap, assistant to trainer Wesley Ward. “Just a maintenance work around the dogs,” said Heap.
Willcox Inn, trained by Mike Stidham, won the Grade III Hawthorne Derby in his last start October 15 after capturing the Grade II American Derby in July.
Casino Host finished third in the Virginia Derby for trainer Chad Brown while Phipps Stable’s Imagining has recorded a maiden win in four outings for trainer Shug McGaughey.
Never Retreat tops a trio of Matriarch supplementaries. The multiple stakes-winning 6-year-old millionairess comes off a sharp score in the Grade I First Lady Stakes at Keeneland October 8 for trainer Chris Block.
Also supplemented are Maryland-based Summer Soiree, winner of the Del Mar Oaks for trainer Graham Motion, and Madera Castana, a Chilean-bred mare based locally with Ruben Cardenas.
Assessment, runner-up in the Lure Stakes November 5 at Santa Anita for trainer Vann Belvoir, and War Element, fourth-place finisher in the same race for Carla Gaines, were supplemented to the Citation.
HILLS DUO READY FOR EUROPEAN INVADERS
Slumber and Island Paradise, a pair of English candidates trained by Charles Hills for the Turf Festival next week, were two of five European arrivals Wednesday.
Foreman Geoff Snook and exercise rider Heather Johnson enjoyed the scenery at Hollywood Park Thursday as they awaited the Hills duo to clear quarantine Friday.
Juddmonte Farm’s Slumber is scheduled to run in the Hollywood Derby November 27, while Island Paradise will vie in the $100,000 Miesque Stakes for 2-year-old fillies November 25.
“I started out with Barry Hills, Charles’s father, in 1970,” said Snook. “Charles took over for his father in August. He said the two horses left Lambourn, about 60 miles from London, and were driven over the channel to Amsterdam before the 10-hour flight to LAX.
Snook said he expected Slumber, an English-bred son of Cacique, to be forwardly placed. “In his last race, he made the lead,” said Snook of a victory in the James Seymour Stakes at Newmarket at 1 ¼ miles October 29. “They tried him once this year at 1 ½ miles, and he didn’t quite stay.”
Island Paradise will make her first start for Hills. She was purchased by Canadian owner Richard Bonnycastle after her last race.
EMPIRE WAY EARNS CASHCALL FUTURITY CONSIDERATION
Trainer Mike Harrington said Thursday that the $750,000 CashCall Futurity December 17 could be the next start for Empire Way following an auspicious debut Sunday.
“I was pretty impressed,” said Harrington from horseback on the training track after Empire Way rallied to win in 1:17.93 for 6 ½ furlongs.
“He didn’t run very fast, but the way he did it was impressive.
“He had been working behind horses,” added Harrington. “I knew he could run, but I didn’t tell people he was going to win because he’s a two-turn horse and I didn’t know if he’d get up at 6 ½ furlongs. But things set up for him. Sometimes things just fall into place.”
By Empire Maker out of the A.P. Indy mare Delta Princess, Empire Way is a full brother to Royal Delta, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic and an overwhelming favorite to win the Eclipse Award as 3-year-old filly champion. Empire Way was purchased for $250,000 at the Fasig Tipton February sale for owner Heinz Steinmann.
Harrington also trains 2-year-old colt star Creative Cause, winner of the Norfolk Stakes and third-place finisher in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Harrington said he has earned a vacation for the rest of the year.
Empire Maker began a big day with Empire Way. He is also the sire of Charm the Maker, who won the $100,000 Sharp Cat Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and earned a probable return in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes December 10 for trainer Ron McAnally.
FINISH LINES—Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, fresh off a victory in the Sharp Cat Stakes Sunday with Charm the Maker, worked two other stakes candidates on turf Thursday. Jockey Brice Blanc worked both Goldwaki four furlongs in 50 seconds for the Hollywood Turf Cup Saturday and Las Palmas Stakes winner All Star Heart five furlongs in 1:02.20 for the Matriarch Stakes November 25…Jose Valdivia, Jr. is leaving the local jockey colony to ride at Golden Gate Fields. Ray Harris, who also handles the book of Russell Baze, will take his calls… Garrett Gomez will be at Churchill Downs November 25 to ride Ruler On Ice in the Clark Handicap… Martin Garcia will ride double stakes winner Up In Time for trainer Simon Callaghan in the Matriarch…Slammer Time, winner of the 2010 California Cup Juvenile, is nearing a return to the races for trainer Gary Mandella after being sidelined for nearly a year. “He caught pneumonia after the CashCall Futurity,” explained Mandella, who estimated the colt is about a month away from a return…Trainer Humberto Ascanio said that Fluke, winner of the 2009 Citation Handicap, should be ready for his first start since March around the end of the year. “He got a little crabby,” explained Ascanio of the absence of the 6-year-old Brazilian-bred horse. He won the Grade I Kilroe Stakes at Santa Anita in his last outing.
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