In a pattern similar to the 2016-2017 Santa Anita winter/spring meet, it appears New York based trainer David Jacobson has brought some marginal stock for disposal to California along with plenty of money to claim and eventually take with him many useful runners back to New York.
Since his return from New York in December, here is a list of horses he has lost via the claim box along with the track, date and claim price:
Claim Box List
• Discreet Senorita (SA, Dec. 29, claimed away for $40,000)
• Lewis Vale (SA, Dec. 30, claimed away for $25,000)
• Rprettyboyfloyd (SA, Jan. 1, claimed away for $12,500)
• Lewys Vaporizer (SA, Jan. 7, claimed away for $10,000)
• Winners Dream (SA, Jan. 11, claimed away for $16,000)
At first glance most of the above horses appear well sold and marginal fits on the tough Southern California circuit.
In the meantime, Jacobson hit the ground running at the claim box. His acquisitions since returning in December include:
• Starr of Quality (Los Alamitos, Dec. 10, claiming price $40,000)
• North County Guy (Los Alamitos, Dec. 15, claiming price $40,000)
• Rye Patch (SA, Dec. 30, claiming price $25,000)
• Skelton Pass (SA Dec 31 – claiming price $40,000)
• Devil’s Beauty (SA Jan 6 – claiming price $16,000)
• Peach Cove (SA, Jan. 7, claiming price $45,000)
• Joeray (SA, Jan. 11, claiming price $50,000)
These $256,000 (plus sales tax) in purchases do not include horses for which Jacobson dropped claim slips but lost “shakes.”
A shake occurs when there are multiple claim slips dropped for the same horse.
Each claim slip is numbered and then numbered pills similar to bingo balls are placed in a container and one pill is shaken out of the container in random fashion.
The claim slip corresponding to the numbered pill that comes out wins the “shake.”
Jacobson wins at a high percentage back east, but he struggled mightily at Santa Anita last winter and is off to another slow start this year (1-for-11 through Sunday).
It may be Jacobson is not here to necessarily win races but instead to improve his stable before he returns to New York.
I hope the Santa Anita racing office is keeping track.
It would be a shame to lose several useful runners to another circuit again, especially while offering bonus incentives like the “ship and stay” program for trainers.
NYRA taps Oaklawn
The New York Racing Association has announced two bonus programs designed to increase dirt field sizes at Aqueduct and Belmont Park at the expense of Oaklawn Park.
NYRA will offer a 30 percent purse bonus and a $1,500 shipping stipend to the connections of horses who start at Aqueduct or Belmont Park after making their previous start at Oaklawn Park.
It is unusual to see a bonus program targeting a specific racing circuit.
It will be interesting to see the ramifications of this bonus program and how well New York based horsemen are received at Oaklawn Park during their meet.
1. There are rumors around Santa Anita that the 2019 Pegasus Invitational could be held at Santa Anita.
2. The handle on the late Pick Five on Sunday, fueled by a carryover of $192,748, was a robust $1,516,694.
The early Pick Five with the 14 percent takeout drew a handle of approximately $750K as well, far above the $389K on that same wager on the same day in 2017.
3. Top 3-year-old Solomini, trained by Bob Baffert, spiked a fever on Saturday and will miss his scheduled 3-year-old debut in the Feb. 3 Grade-III Robert Lewis Stakes.
There is a virus running through the barn area that has affected the availability of many horses, including Solomini.
4. Speaking of Baffert, he matched his 2017 win total on turf (one) with Plein Air’s victory in Sunday’s Astra Stakes.
5. Twenty-nine-year-old jockey Octavio Vergara Jr., son of retired local jockey Octavio Vergara, has been riding in Saudi Arabia but is scheduled to move his tack to Santa Anita at the end of January.
6. Favorites have been winning at just under 29 percent for the meet through last Friday.
7. The Barretts Sales company will donate 10 percent of their proceeds from this Wednesday’s mixed sale to the California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation (CTHF) for victims of the San Luis Rey fire as needed.
8. New York-based trainer Robert Falcone has won with his first two starters at this Santa Anita meet.
It does appear he has come here to take advantage of the “ship and stay” program and win races. Keep an eye out for more well-meant runners from this stable.
Play of the Week
Golden Gate, Friday, Race 3, Giant Mongolian (post 3): Trainer Enebish Ganbat has a stable at Santa Anita for the very first time.
He has already won a race in Arcadia, and this entrant is also based at SA.
She has done her best work on synthetic tracks and turf, however, so it makes sense she makes her California debut at Golden Gate on the Tapeta surface. Consider her well-meant.