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Atta Boy Roy tries the mile at Santa Anita Friday; Local horses featured at Golden Gate | Emerald Downs
The last time Atta Boy Roy raced around two turns was 26 months and 15 races ago.
That was the 2009 Longacres Mile in which Atta Boy Roy set the fastest fractions in the 76-year history of the race*:21 4/5, :44 and 1:07 3/5*before finishing fifth to Assessment. That Atta Boy Roy was only beaten 1-¾ lengths was a fine achievement, especially when considering he lost a shoe on the backstretch and failed to switch leads in the stretch.
Friday, Atta Boy Roy is entered in a one-mile race on dirt at Santa Anita. Carded as Race 2 at 1:31 p.m., the $55,000 allowance is for 3-year-olds and up which have never won $10,000 three times or have not won a graded stake in 2011. Atta Boy Roy is 3-to-1 on Jon White's morning line with Daniel Vergara the jockey at 118 lbs.
Owned by Roy Schaefer and trained by Valorie Lund, Atta Boy Roy is 12-7-1 in 29 starts lifetime and ranks No. 6 all-time among Washington-bred earners with $546,580. The 6-year-old ridgling is 2-1-1 in six starts this year and comes off a half-length victory in the six-furlong Shot Of Gold Handicap last month at Canterbury Park in Minnesota. Since the victory, Atta Boy Roy shipped to Turf Paradise and recorded three straight bullet workouts at five furlongs, most recently a :59 3/5 clocking last Sunday.
Total Bull, a lightly raced 6-year-old trained by Bob Baffert, is the 1-to-1-morning line favorite Friday. However, the son of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus hasn't raced since winning a $100,000 stakes at Oaklawn Park on April 8, 2010.
Atta Boy Roy has finished off the board in two previous races at Santa Anita: 2009 Ancient Title Handicap (G1) and 2011 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap (G2). Those were sprints, however, and both times he was compromised by poor starts from the rail post. Also, the 2009 race was Atta Boy Roy's lone career start on a synthetic surface.
Oakland Handicap Saturday at Golden Gate
Saturday at Golden Gate Fields, the Frank Lucarelli-trained Our Minesweeper defends his title in the $50,000 Oakland Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs on the synthetic Tapeta surface.
Owned by David P. Taylor, Our Minesweeper finished off the board in two starts this year at Emerald Downs, but the 4-year-old Idaho-bred is 3-3-1 in 12 starts on Tapeta, including a 1:08 4/5 clocking in his 19-to-1 upset in the 2010 Oakland Handicap. Leonel Camacho-Flores*voted Emerald Downs' Top Riding Achievement for his strong second-half*has the mount on the 4-year-old Idaho-bred. Lucarelli, of course, is coming off his first Emerald Downs training title since 2006.
Carded as the eighth race at 4:15 p.m., the Oakland Handicap drew a field of eight including the 12-for-25 Tribesman, a 7-year-old speedster ridden by former Emerald Downs' jockey Inoel Beato.
Hexbraker, owned by Edward and Theresa DeNike of Kent, is a 9-for-29 6-year-old to be ridden by Russell Baze, while probable favorite Shudacudawudya is 5-3-0 in nine starts at Golden Gate.
The Golden Gate Fall Meeting began Thursday and continues through Sunday, Dec. 18.