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Horse racing: Santa Anita leaders, notes

Through Thursday
Drayden Van Dyke / 4
Tiago Pereira / 3
Flavien Prat / 3
Joe Talamo / 3
Three tied / 2
Peter Eurton / 2
Carla Gaines / 2
Michael McCarthy / 2
Doug O’Neill / 2
Michael Pender / 2
John Sadler / 2
• $200,000 Grade II Kona Gold Stakes, 3-year-olds and up, 6½ furlongs
• Richard Mandella has been training horses in Southern California dating to the 1970s, and what has gone on at Santa Anita since the beginning of the winter meet has been difficult for him to swallow. “My horses are my family, just the same as most of the people that work for me,” he said. “They’re our best friends, it’s our relatives, this is our life. They mean the world to us. Saying that, there’s always going to be some bad apple in the bunch. You can’t help that. You just do the best you can to weed them out. Racing maybe needs to do a better job of showing the good in it rather than wait for the criticism and then trying to defend ourselves.”
• A coalition of leading thoroughbred racing associations and organizations announced Thursday a new initiative that will phase out Lasix beginning in 2020 and eliminate the use of the anti-diuretic in stakes races held at their race tracks beginning in 2021. Tracks that have signed on to the initiative include all tracks owned and operated by Churchill Downs Inc., the New York Racing Association, and The Stronach Group. Other tracks include Del Mar, Keeneland, Lone Star Park, Remington Park, Los Alamitos (thoroughbred), Oaklawn Park and Tampa Bay Downs. These tracks represent 86 percent of stakes races assigned graded or listed status in the U.S. in 2018.
• The Bob Baffert-trained Dr. Dorr was installed as the 9-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s $200,000 Grade II Kona Gold Stakes at Santa Anita. Baffert also has Zatter, a 10-1 longshot, entered in the five-horse field for the 6½-furlong test on the main track. Kanthaka is listed at 2-1 and Cistron is 5-2. Zatter’s rider, Joe Talamo, told Ed Golden of Santa Anita that he thinks the 4-year-old son of Midnight Lute can pull an upset. “He ran really well when I won on him (March 3),” Talamo said. “He has a good style. He kind of sits back and makes a nice run the last part. Six-and-a-half to 7 furlongs is a good distance for him – anywhere from six to seven, actually. He’s a late-running sprinter.”
— Art Wilson
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