Bob Black Jack’s victory in the $250,000 Malibu Stakes on Friday at Santa Anita was only the second Grade I win for a Cal-bred in 2008. Cost of Freedom won the Grade I Ancient Title during the Oak Tree meet.
There’s a $171,220.28 pick-six carryover heading into the first Saturday card of the 84-day meet. There were no huge upsets Friday, just a number of 6-1 and 7-1 outsiders to give the pick-six players fits.
Garrett Gomez, 2007 Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s top jockey, has a shot to break Jerry Bailey’s single-year record for earnings by a North American jockey with four days left in the 2008 racing season. After earning $118,560 with his mounts Friday, including $60,000 for his win aboard Gio Ponti in the $100,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes, Gomez has $23,137,979 compared to Bailey’s record of $23,354,960 established in 2003.
David Flores, who won all three opening-day stakes at Santa Anita a year ago with Johnny Eves in the Malibu, Monterey Jazz in the Sir Beaufort and Bob Black Jack in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes, made it back-to-back Malibus aboard Bob Black Jack and finished second in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes with 3-1 favorite Feisty Suances. He didn’t have a mount in this year’s Sir Beaufort.
Rafael Bejarano, who recently joined Chris McCarron (1983) and Patrick Valenzuela (2003) as the only riders to sweep the five major meets in Southern California in one year, Gomez and Mike Smith all had riding doubles Friday.
Triphon B. Dahl, a 44-year-old Fairplex Park-based trainer, scored the first stakes victory of his career when All Saint came charging home through the stretch to win the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes at 7-1 under Bejarano. Dahl has eight horses in his barn, all for owner Eduardo Gamez, a Pomona resident.