My Boy Jack shows he can get Juvenile Turf
ARCADIA, Calif. – It was the distance, not the surface, that sealed the fate of My Boy Jack this summer and fall, and that has put him in position to compete Nov. 3 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar following a victory Monday in the Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita.
Keith Desormeaux, his trainer, wanted to run My Boy Jack around two turns as soon as he could.
“I’m ready to go long in June,” he said of his 2-year-olds, only half-joking.
The first two-turn juvenile race at Santa Anita during its spring-summer meet was on grass July 1, so My Boy Jack moved to that surface for his second start.
“That was the first race available at that distance,” Desormeaux said.
My Boy Jack, a colt by Creative Cause, finished second that day, was second twice more at Del Mar in one-mile turf races, and then won the Zuma Beach for his first victory. He’ll make his fifth straight start in a one-mile grass race in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
“I was looking for distance,” Desormeaux said. “Fortunately, he took to the turf.”
My Boy Jack got a Beyer Speed Figure of 80 for his win in the Zuma Beach.
Dirt for Mrs McDougal?
Mrs McDougal was a multiple graded stakes winner on turf before heading to California, but she has yet to reproduce that form in three starts here, so trainer Richard Mandella is thinking of trying something different. Mandella says Mrs McDougal has trained like she’s still eager to compete.
“She trains like she wants to run on dirt,” Mandella said earlier this week, a couple of days after Mrs McDougal finished fourth as the 8-5 favorite on Saturday in the Swingtime Stakes. “I may try her one turn on dirt. If I go long on the dirt and she doesn’t like it, it’s a long way.”
Mrs McDougal, now age 5, won the Grade 2 Lake George at Saratoga in 2015 and Grade 3 Noble Damsel at Belmont Park in 2016, both on turf, while trained by Chad Brown. She made her first start for Mandella in July after a layoff of nearly 10 months, finishing third in the Osunitas at Del Mar. She then finished seventh in the Grade 2 Mabee at Del Mar prior to the Swingtime.
Los Alamitos stakes slate
Los Alamitos will run five stakes, including four for juveniles, at its 12-day winter meeting, which runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 17.
The stakes schedule is led by two Grade 1, $300,000 races for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 9 – the Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity for 2-year-olds and the Starlet Stakes for fillies. For the first time since 2014, Los Alamitos will run the Grade 2 Bayakoa Stakes, a $200,000 race for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 3.
The race was not held in 2015 and was run at Del Mar in 2016. Last month, track officials said the Bayakoa would be included on the winter stakes schedule, but at a cost of lower overnight purses in some categories.
The meeting begins and ends with $100,000 stakes for California-bred 2-year-olds at a mile – the Soviet Problem Stakes for fillies Dec. 2 and the King Glorious Stakes for 2-year-olds on Dec. 16.
Trainer gets 18 months
Trainer Mike Mudaris has been fined $17,500 and suspended 18 months after two of his horses that ran at the 2016 Del Mar summer meeting tested positive for the prohibited medication sildenafil, which is more commonly known by the trade name Viagra.
Sildenafil, a Class 1 drug, is thought by some to have the potential to decrease bleeding in the lungs, but studies of the class of drugs that includes sildenafil have shown that the drug is unlikely to have any effect on a racehorse.
The penalties were proposed by stewards Grant Baker, Scott Chaney, and Kim Sawyer and were recently adopted by the California Horse Racing Board, according to a stewards ruling issued Monday.
Roger Diamond, an attorney representing Mudaris, said in a telephone interview Monday that Mudaris has appealed the penalties.
Diamond said Mudaris did not administer sildenafil to the horses and is being penalized under the absolute insurer’s rule, which states a trainer is responsible for the condition of the horse, including medication violations.
“He wants to correct the record,” Diamond said.
“The board of stewards did not find Mudaris put any Viagra in the horses’ food or drink. It was allegedly done by his employees. He was not there at Del Mar that day.
“It was a mitigating factor. He didn’t deliberately do it.”
The penalties are among the most severe for a Thoroughbred trainer in California this century.
The Mudaris-trained runners Iancol and Shakeitupbetty finished fifth in consecutive races on Aug. 12, 2016, at Del Mar and tested positive for sildenafil. Iancol also tested in excess of the permitted level of the antiinflammatory dexamethasone.