Thursday, July 31st, 2014   ( 7 years ago )

Stable Notes Day 11

By Hank Wesch


BAZE SITTING (MOSTLY) CHILLY ON THE VERGE OF MILESTONES

Tyler Baze could become a father at any time. The next victory for the 31-year-old jockey –which could come aboard one of his six rides Thursday – will be No. 2,000 of his career.

Exciting prospects, for sure. But as he made his rounds riding morning workouts Thursday, Baze viewed them with the cool demeanor jockeys maintain when they’re on a closer and a speed duel is developing up front in a race.

“I could get the call any second now,” Baze said of his impending parenthood. His wife Christina is due to deliver a girl. “It’s our first child, so if I get the call, I’ll be taking off. But hopefully the baby will wait until after Sunday so we can get through the weekend.”

The Baze family is to thoroughbred race riding what the Wallenda family is to high-wire walking. Tyler comes from a line of Bazes that includes his father Earl and mother, the former Cammie Hunt, uncle Gary, second-cousin Russell. He was also a cousin to the late Michael Baze.

Victory No. 2,000 will move Tyler to within just more than 10,000 of cousin Russell, racing’s all-time wins leader. He smiles at the idea of pursuing such a figure, then puts things in perspective.

“I just thank God every day I walk away from here safe,” he said.  “It’s dangerous work. For all of us jocks, every win’s a blessing and it’s a blessing every time we leave here. My wife’s thankful I come home in one piece.”

Baze won the Eclipse Award as the top apprentice in North America in 2000 and was the leading apprentice at Del Mar and every other Southern California meeting that year. He had banner years in 2004 and 2008 but battled substance abuse problems starting in 2010-11 and returned to riding full time on January 1 this year.

“I’ve had a rough go of it,” Baze said.  “It will be nice to get it under my belt and join the 2,000 club and start towards joining the 3,000 club. It’s been a lot of work. It hasn’t been easy.”

Equibase statistics through Wednesday show Baze with 92 wins from 654 starts in 2014 with 80 seconds and 87 third-place finishes and purse earnings of $4,984,204. He’s ranked No. 17 of the nearly 1,500 riders for whom statistics are kept. He recently won the Gold Cup at Santa Anita aboard Majestic Harbor, his mount for the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic on August 24, and last Sunday took the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes aboard Big Macher. Through 10 racing days, Baze is tied with Kent Desormeaux atop the meet riding standings. They both have 10 wins.

His mounts on Thursday are: Vord Queen (2nd, 6-1), The Cleaners (3rd, 3-1), Silver Torch (5th, 12-1), Rockin Girl (6th, 12-1), Upbeat Mood (7th, 5-2) and Theatrical Cast (8th, 7-2).

“I remember the year I won the Eclipse Award was 2000. So the number 2,000 will mean something to me but other than that it’s just a number,” Baze said.


STARS’ WORKS PLEASE BAFFERT, HOLLENDORFER

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert sent TVG Pacific Classic defending champion Game On Dude and Del Mar Debutante hopeful Luminance through workouts Thursday morning. They worked separately, each with Martin Garcia aboard.

“Maintenance works,” Baffert said. “They just cruised around there, went well and looked good.”

Game On Dude went 5 furlongs in 1:01.40. Clocker Dane (Dr. D) Nelson recorded a three-furlong split of :37.80 and gallop out to six furlongs in 1:13.80 and commented the 7-year-old gelding was on “cruise control.”

Luminance set a track record for 5 furlongs, :57.39, winning her racing debut on July 20. Thursday the daughter of Tale of the Cat owned by Kaleem Shah went a half-mile in :48.20 with clockers catching the first three-eighths in :36.20 with a gallop-out to five furlongs in 1:01.00. Baffert said Luminance will be trained up to the $300,000, Grade I Debutante on August 30.

Shared Belief, the Eclipse Award winning Juvenile of 2013 who extended his undefeated record with a victory in the Los Alamitos Derby, worked Tuesday at Golden Gate Fields. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer looked on as Shared Belief went five furlongs in 1:01.60, fastest of 11 works at the distance.

“He started out behind two horses and went around them like they were nothing,” Hollendorfer said Thursday morning at Del Mar. “He looked real good.”

Shared Belief is being targeted for the Pacific Classic. Hollendorfer said he has not decided when he might bring the horse to Del Mar but probably will wait until a few days before the race.


IOTAPA EDGES FIFTYSHADESOFHAY FOR HIRSCH FAVORITISM

Iotapa, winner of the recent Grade I Vanity Handicap at Santa Anita, was established as the 2-1 opening line choice in a field of seven for Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes by oddsmaker Russ Hudak. Fiftyshadesofhay is the 3-1 second choice in what figures to be a closely-contested 44th running of the event.

From the rail out the field is: Fiftyshadesofhay (Martin Garcia, 3-1), Iotapa (Joe Talamo, 2-1), Broken Sword (Rafael Bejarano, 4-1), Doinghardtimeagain (Mike Smith, 5-1), More Chocolate (Victor Espinoza, 8-1), Parranda (Elvis Trujillo, 5-1) and Legacy (Tyler Baze, 15-1)


EFRAIN HERNANDEZ HUSTLING TO MAKE IT ON HIS OWN

As usual, Efrain Hernandez exercised horses for trainer Eric Kruljac at Los Alamitos on Wednesday morning. Then he hit the I-405 and I-5 freeways for Del Mar and his one mount on the program. A seventh-place finish on 50-1 shot Caddy Cain ensued.

Such is the life of Hernandez, a 22-year-old apprentice jockey. A life he knows well, having grown up in Montclair, near Pomona, the son of an exercise rider and a track habitué from a very young age.

“I started out as a groom and worked my way up,” Hernandez said. “Everything I’ve learned, I’ve learned at the track.”

Hernandez left California to start his riding career in the Midwest. He rode his first winner on July 25, 2012 at Thistledown in Cleveland, Ohio – Music Conductor for Richard Rettele – and stayed there for six months before returning to California in 2012. He has 769 career rides with 69 victories and more than $1 million in purse earnings for his horses. In 2014 the numbers are 138 races with six wins, 10 seconds and 21 thirds.

The most recent win came last Friday in the first race, a wire-to-wire trip aboard Wild Heart Run, a 2-year-old filly in part owned by his father and trained by Louis A. Bradvica.

“She won pretty easy,” Hernandez said. “She broke well and went right to the front and turning for home I knew she had a lot left.”

Hernandez has been represented by agents in the past but currently is without one and taking mounts as they come. “A lot of people know me because I’ve been around the track since I was small,” he said.


BEACH, QUIGLEY SET TO GUEST IN HANDICAPPING SEMINARS

Brian Beach, agent for jockey Victor Espinoza, and horse racing social media expert Tom Quigley will be the guest experts for the free weekend handicapping seminars.

Beach, ever-present through Espinoza’s heady experience guiding California Chrome to victory in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness last spring, will offer his picks and opinions in the Saturday seminar. Quigley will do likewise on Sunday at the side of regular host Jon Lindo.

The seminars are from 12:45-1:30 p.m. at the Seaside Terrace near the top of the stretch.


IF YOU LOVE CHILI, DEL MAR IS YOUR SPOT ON SATURDAY

Chili lovers – from those who prefer it hot and spicy to those who are willing to go really HOT and unbelievably SPICY – will be beating a path to Del Mar Saturday when the track presents its annual Western Regional Chili Cookoff with free samples for all.  There will be a record 50 chili cooks on board throughout the afternoon, serving up their special concoctions starting at 2 p.m. alongside the Seaside Stage concert area on the western end of the grandstand. A fine sampling of cold brews from beer tents throughout the area also will be available. The cooks will be vying for $2,500 in prizes, as well as a new 42” television. Additionally, there will be a Salsa Contest as part of the festivities.

Following the cookoff after the races, the track will present fan favorites Weezer in concert on the Seaside Stage. 


CLOSERS – Ship And Win eligible horses on Thursday’s card are: Rock N Bunny (2nd, Tony Locke, trainer), Hashtag Stormy (4th, J. Keith Desormeaux), She’s Complete (4th, Doug O’Neill), Classy and Sassy (6th, Troy Taylor), Hit Girl (7th, Michael Stidham), Popalicious (7th, Steve Miyadi), Lotta Attitude (7th, Blaine Wright) … Selected works from 139 timed Thursday: Diamond Bachelor (4f, :49.00), Luminance (4f, :48.20), Game On Dude (5f, 1:01.40); turf – Miss Serendipity (7f, 1:31.00), Quick Casablanca (7f, 1:28.60).


DEL MAR STATISTICS

 Jockey Standings

(Current Through Wednesday, July 30, 2014 Inclusive)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Tyler Baze

74

10

8

5

14%

$693,230

Kent Desormeaux

42

10

3

6

24%

$584,630

Elvis Trujillo

62

9

6

8

15%

$533,474

Mike Smith

39

9

2

6

23%

$677,752

Martin Garcia

41

7

2

6

17%

$475,600

Fernando Perez

50

6

4

2

12%

$292,230

Rafael Bejarano

48

5

10

10

10%

$541,436

Joseph Talamo

64

5

8

6

8%

$455,452

Corey Nakatani

35

5

4

7

14%

$407,760

Martin Pedroza

32

5

2

3

16%

$182,680

 

Trainer Standings

(Current Through Wednesday, July 30, 2014 Inclusive)

Trainer

Sts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Peter Miller

43

7

5

6

16%

$366,076

Doug F. O'Neill

44

6

7

6

14%

$390,276

Bob Baffert

20

5

1

3

25%

$352,080

John W. Sadler

40

4

4

9

10%

$379,928

Jerry Hollendorfer

24

4

3

4

17%

$262,486

Mark Glatt

17

4

3

2

24%

$233,320

Robert B. Hess, Jr.

18

3

2

2

17%

$94,500

Michael Pender

10

3

1

2

30%

$126,340

James M. Cassidy

17

3

1

2

18%

$308,820

Kristin Mulhall

13

3

1

1

23%

$107,700

 

Winning Favorites Report

(Current Through Wednesday, July 30, 2014 Inclusive)

Winning favorites -- 24 out of 94 -- 25.53%

 Winning favorites on Polytrack -- 18 out of 66 -- 27.27%

 Winning favorites on turf -- 6 out of 28 -- 21.43%

 Winning odds-on favorites -- 4 out of 8 -- 50.00%

 In-the-Money favorites -- 56 out of 94 -- 59.57%

 In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 7 out of 8 -- 87.50%


Thursday, July 31, 2014 Contact: Dan Smith 858-792-4226/Hank Wesch 858-755-1141 ext. 3793