Source: Daily News
Horse racing notes: Baffert to run Defunded and Hopper in Big ‘Cap Art Wilson %%item_date%% %%item_source%%


(Through Thursday)


Juan Hernandez / 35

Frankie Dettori / 14

Edwin Maldonado / 13

Tiago Pereira / 11

Three tied / 10


Bob Baffert / 17

Doug O’Neill / 14

Philip D’Amato / 12

Steve Knapp / 11

George Papaprodromou / 10



• $100,000 Wishing Well Stakes, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, 6½ furlongs downhill turf course


• $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up bred in CA, 6 furlongs


• $100,000 Tiznow Stakes, 4-year-olds and up bred in CA, 1 mile


• Trainer Bob Baffert is expecting to run Defunded, second behind Art Collector in last month’s Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park, and Hopper in the $500,000 Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 4. Hopper was second in the San Pasqual Stakes in his most recent start. “He showed up,” Baffert told Victor Ryan of Santa Anita publicity about Defunded’s Pegasus effort. “It was a tough ship. It’s really hard to get there now. It took them like 20 hours. But he ran well. Top of the stretch, it looked like we were in good shape, but he just got beat.”

• Santa Anita will have two new state-of-the-art video display boards in the paddock area in time for the 40th Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 3-4. The historic Arcadia race track will host the Breeders’ Cup for a record 11th time. The boards, which measure 9 feet high by 16 feet wide, are being added to enhance the on-track experience by bringing a brighter and sharper image to the walking ring and paddock gardens. Built by Daktronics, one of the world’s leaders in LED video displays, the boards support 1080p video and are expected to arrive this summer.

• Jockey Tiago Pereira adhered to his 6-year-old daughter’s wishes before Santa Anita’s Classic Meet began, and he’s glad he did. The 46-year-old Pereira was ready to head to Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, this winter like last year, but his daughter Valentina was mad that he was leaving. “She was crying and told me, ‘Dad, don’t go to Oaklawn,’” Pereira told Santa Anita publicity. “My daughter is the most important thing in my life. So I said, ‘OK, I won’t go for you.’ I’m glad she spoke up.” Pereira went into Sunday’s action fourth in the rider standings, winning at a healthy 31% rate (11 for 35).

— Art Wilson

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