Donworth dives into deep waters for San Antonio
ARCADIA, Calif. – Donworth will face the toughest test of his career in his first start for Paul and Zillah Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neill in the $500,000 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita next Saturday.
A 4-year-old colt by Tiznow, Donworth was purchased for $550,000 by the Reddams at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, and has been with O’Neill since last fall.
“I think we have a nice horse for the handicap division,” O’Neill said on Friday.
The Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes is run at 1 1/8 miles on dirt and is a prep for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 12 or even for the $10 million Dubai World Cup in the United Arab Emirates on March 26.
O’Neill said plans for Donworth beyond the San Antonio are not clear.
“We need to see how he runs in the San Antonio,” he said.
Donworth was previously trained by Graham Motion for Regis Racing and won 2 of 4 starts last year on the East Coast and Kentucky. Donworth has not raced since winning the Stanton Stakes by 11 lengths at Delaware Park last June.
The list of probable starters for the San Antonio is led by Dortmund, who has not raced since winning the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar last November. Trained by Bob Baffert for Kaleem Shah, Dortmund won the Santa Anita Derby last April and was later third in the Kentucky Derby behind stablemate American Pharoah.
Baffert plans to run three horses in the San Antonio, including Hoppertunity and El Kabeir. Other candidates for the race are Blingo, Hard Aces, and Imperative. Imperative and Hoppertunity were second and third behind California Chrome in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes here on Jan. 9.
The San Antonio is one of
four stakes on next Saturday’s program, which is scheduled to include the 2016 debut of Songbird, the undefeated champion 2-year-old filly of 2015. Songbird is a candidate for the $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes for 3-yearold fillies at a mile. The other stakes are the $150,000 Robert Lewis Stakes and the $200,000 San Marcos Stakes.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer for Rick Porter, Songbird has not raced since winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland on Oct. 31.
The probable field for the Grade 2 Las Virgenes Stakes has one other Grade 1 winner
in Street Fancy, who won the Starlet at Los Alamitos on Dec. 12. Other candidates are Jade Princess, Land Over Sea, and Uptown Twirl.
Mor Spirit, the winner of the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 19, will be favored in his 3-year-old debut in the Robert Lewis Stakes.
The Grade 3 Lewis Stakes is run at 1 1/16 miles. Other expected runners are Dressed in Hermes, I Will Score, Let’s Meet in Rio, and Path of David. Dressed in Hermes was scheduled to start in the $100,000 Sham Stakes on Jan. 9, but missed the race because of illness.
Let’s Meet In Rio, second in the Sham Stakes, worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 on Friday.
The Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes at 1 1/4 miles on turf is expected to be led by Flamboyant, the upset winner of the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes on Jan. 2. Trained by Paddy Gallagher, Flamboyant worked six furlongs in 1:13.20 on Friday, the fastest of 11 works at the distance.
Lobo gets Euro JFK
John F Kennedy, a Galileo colt who at one time was the future-book favorite for the 2015 English Derby, has joined trainer Paulo Lobo’s stable at Santa Anita for an expected campaign this summer.
Last month, John F Kennedy was sold as a stallion prospect by Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Flaxman Stables to a South American group which included Nicolas Ojea Quintana of Argentina, Lobo said. A 4-year-old, John F Kennedy has been in training with Lobo for a month.
Lobo said John F Kennedy could race this spring and summer and be sent to South America for stud duty later this year.
“It depends on how he performs,” Lobo said. “If he does okay, maybe he’ll stay another year.”
John F Kennedy has won 2 of 6 starts, including the Grade 3 John Deere Juvenile Turf in Ireland in 2014. He was winless in three starts in 2015, and was taken out of consideration for the English Derby after he finished last of seven in the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York, England, last May. John F Kennedy made one more start in Europe, finishing third in the Grade 3 Enterprise Stakes in Ireland last September.
Lobo, best known for training 2002 champion 3-year-old filly Farda Amiga, said he plans to target turf races with John F Kennedy in California.
Donworth, second in the Grade 3 Lexington at Keeneland last spring, will make his first start since June in the San Antonio.