Santa Ana won't have Harmonious

Updated: March 18, 2011, 11:12 AM ET
By Steve Andersen | Daily Racing Form



ARCADIA, Calif. -- Harmonious, the winner of two Grade 1 turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies last year, will miss Saturday's $150,000 Santa Ana Stakes at Santa Anita after trainer John Shirreffs said on Wednesday that he was unhappy with her recent training.

"I'm not going to run," Shirreffs said from his base at Hollywood Park. "I wasn't pleased with the way she worked last time. She didn't look like herself."

Harmonious worked six furlongs in 1:14.60 at Hollywood Park on Sunday. Owned by breeder Marty Wygod and his family, Harmonious has made two starts at this meeting, finishing second by a nose in the Robert Frankel Stakes on turf on Jan. 1 and third of four in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes on dirt on Feb. 13, her first career start on that surface.

Rosario to ride Turning Top

The absence of Harmonious from the Grade 2 Santa Ana Stakes, which is over 1 1/8 miles on turf for fillies and mares, has resulted in leading rider Joel Rosario taking the mount on Turning Top, the winner of two stakes last year.

Trained by Simon Callaghan, Turning Top was ridden by Rosario in wins in an optional claimer and an allowance race last year, but Brice Blanc was aboard for the mare's victories in the restricted Redondo Beach Stakes and Grade 3 Beverly Hills Handicap last June. Blanc rode Turning Top in four subsequent starts, including a sixth in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap over a mile on Feb. 21.

Following that loss, and with the availability of Rosario, Callaghan and owner Michael Tabor decided to switch riders.

"The owner, in consultation with me, decided to make the switch," Callaghan said. "For me, Rosario is one of the best in America. We felt it was the best time to make a change."

Through Sunday, Rosario has a one-race lead over Rafael Bejarano in the jockey standings at Santa Anita, with 68 wins.

Blanc was briefly without a mount in the Santa Ana after Callaghan and Tabor's decision, but was named to ride the longshot Church Camp.

The race has drawn a field of eight, led by Eclair de Lune, the winner of the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park last August.

Canani eyes La Puente for Akkadian

Akkadian, the sharp winner of a maiden race on Feb. 24, makes his debut against winners in a $56,000 allowance race over a mile on turf in Friday's seventh race. The allowance race could lead to a start in the $100,000 La Puente Stakes over 1 1-8 miles on turf for 3-year-olds on April 10.

"He's a nice, nice, nice horse," trainer Julio Canani said.

Garrett Gomez rode Akkadian in the maiden race win over 1 1-8 miles on turf, when the colt rallied from fourth in a field of six to win by 2 1/2 lengths with little urging.

"He won very easily," Canani said. "He didn't ask him for nothing."

Owned by Gary Broad, Akkadian is part of a field of nine.

The field includes Major Art, who was group stakes-placed in England last year, and fourth in the Eddie Logan Stakes here on Dec. 31; Ten Devils, who was second in the Logan; and Dr Green, an English import who has not started since finishing third in an allowance race at Ascot last July.

Palma slowly building barn

Hector Palma always has been one of the best-kept secrets among the local trainers, and he is having a solid meet with a fairly small barn. Palma is trying to get back to the prominence he once enjoyed, having stepped away from the sport for several years to attend to his wife, Becky, when she became seriously ill nearly a decade ago.

"She had an aneurysm and almost died," said Palma, 73. "I had to quit for three or four years. She's all right now. She told me to go back to work. I'd like to do better, like before, but I need the horses.

"It's difficult when you come back, because people forget, and they like to go to the younger people. When I was young," Palma said, laughing, {I wondered why I had more horses than the guys who had more experience."

Dakota Phone back in training

Dakota Phone hasn't had much luck since his upset victory in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile four months ago, and, after his most recent loss at Santa Anita, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer gave him a month off from training.

Dakota Phone is back in serious training, and breezed over the weekend at Santa Anita, but Hollendorfer said he's inclined to not rush him back to the races just yet.

"He probably won't start again until Hollywood Park," Hollendorfer said.

Hollywood Park opens in five weeks.

-- additional reporting by Jay Privman