CLASSY DONNA VELOCE HEADS SUNDAY’S GRADE III, $100,000 SANTA YSABEL STAKES FOR SOPHOMORE FILLIES AT 1 1/16 MILES ARCADIA, Calif. (March 5, 2020)–Favored in all three of her starts and most recently second in a pair of Grade I stakes, trainer Simon Callaghan’s Donna Veloce heads a field of seven sophomore fillies going a mile and one sixteenth in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita.As is his custom, Bob Baffert will also be well represented in the Santa Ysabel, as he’ll send out promising recent maiden winner Storie Blue and battle tested Gingham, who was a well beaten second behind potential superstar Venetian Harbor in the Grade II Las Virgenes Stakes here on Feb. 8.DONNA VELOCEOwner: Kaleem Shah, Inc., Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor & Derrick SmithTrainer: Simon CallaghanImmensely talented, she rolled to a 9 ¼ length first-out maiden win going 6 ½ furlongs here on Sept. 28, earning a lofty Beyer Speed figure of 91. Subsequently second, beaten a neck as the 2-1 favorite going 1 1/16 miles in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 1, she’s been idle since running second, beaten a half length at 1-5 in the Grade I Starlet Stakes at the same distance over a wet surface Dec. 7 at Los Alamitos. Clearly the horse to beat on Sunday, this Kentucky-bred daughter of Uncle Mo, who’s earned $430,000 from her three starts at age two, will be ridden for the fourth consecutive time by Flavien Prat.STORIE BLUEOwner: Don Alberto StableTrainer: Bob BaffertHead and head early, this homebred filly by Empire Maker prevailed by a neck in breaking her maiden going a flat mile here on Jan 5 in what was her third consecutive race at that distance. With steady improvement in each start and a proven ability to go two turns, Storie Blue, who earned a 78 Beyer last time out, should be forwardly placed under Mike Smith in what will be her fourth career start.GINGHAMOwner: Sarah Kelly & Jane WiltzTrainer: Bob BaffertMost recently second, beaten 9 ¼ lengths by freakish winner Venetian Harbor in the one mile Las Virgenes Stakes Feb. 8, this Quality Road filly finished 2 ¼ lengths clear of the third horse in what amounted to a separate race. A one mile allowance winner two starts back and mile maiden victress four races back on Oct. 31, Gingham rallied from off the pace in both victories and should a hot pace develop, she could be dangerous in the late stages on Sunday. With an overall mark of 7-2-4-0, she’ll be ridden or the third consecutive time by Drayden Van Dyke.GIDGETTAOwner: Jungle Racing, LLCTrainer: Richard BaltasOwned and bred by Jim and Janet Rome’s Jungle Racing, Gidgetta will be facing winners and stretching out for the first time in the Santa Ysabel. An impressive one length maiden winner going 6 ½ furlongs in her second start Jan. 20, this daughter of the Medaglia d’Oro stallion Fast Anna could prove bothersome to anyone with designs on a front-running trip.SPEECHOwner: Eclipse Thoroughbred PartnersTrainer: Michael McCarthyA runaway nine length maiden winner going six furlongs at Los Alamitos on Dec. 14, a race in which she earned an 86 Beyer, she was most recently second, beaten 2 ¼ lengths, to the highly respected Auberge in a six furlong allowance here Feb. 1. In what will be her fourth start, this daughter of Mr. Speaker will be stretching out for the first time and will no doubt be in close attendance early.THE GRADE III SANTA YSABEL WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 7 of 8 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PTDonna Veloce–Flavien Prat–120Gidgetta–Joel Rosario–120Speech–Geovanni Franco–120Tiz Fake News–Abel Cedillo–122Gingham–Drayden Van Dyke–122Paige Anne–Umberto Rispoli–122Storie Blue–Mike Smith–120First post time for an eight-race card on Sunday is at 1 p.m., with admission gates opening at 11 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
Crime spiralling out of control…says Police statistics not reflecting realityPublic Security Minister Khemraj RamjattanThe Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) on Friday called out the Public Security Ministry on its sloth in addressing the alarming crime statics in Guyana and also slammed the subject Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan, for the manner in which the situation is being handled.According to the union, there has been a rising “spate of criminality” across communities, adding that media reports of statistics from the Guyana Police Force which suggest crime is on the decline does not substantiate the reality on the ground.“Whether all crimes are actually reported is something that should be verified. If it is the case that our people have decided not to report such acts, it says a lot in our view, about the confidence in those charged with maintenance of public order and security,” FITUG stated.The union added that throughout Guyana, there have been reports of citizens being victims of varying criminal offences, instilling fear among others. FITUG contended that this mindset is not one which people should ever have to contend with.FITUG noted that it has seen, in practically all corners of the country, reports about people being the victims of crime.“Some incidents, we note too, have resulted in the untimely death of victims. This is a situation we can neither condone nor be happy about. At this time, we will recognise that our people are genuinely afraid about whether they will be the next victim.”The Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan, was under scrutiny for the way this matter has been addressed. While it is a serious situation, the union expressed that this is yet to be realised and, therefore, called for the issue to be addressed immediately and treated with grave importance.“The Federation has also seen pronouncements from the Minister of Public Security on the situation. From the Minister’s utterances, we cannot help but conclude that he is at sea when it comes to grasping with the gravamen of the situation at hand. It appears that the Minister may need assistance from his colleagues who have experience in the security sector,” the union said.The union called for a concerted plan to address the situation at hand and bring reprieve to Guyanese, who must contend with various criminal activities.“The need for a safe and secure society cannot be underscored. The need for our people to have peace of mind is important on so many fronts.”Ramjattan was recently quoted as saying that although crimes are occurring, there must be an appreciation of the fact that Guyanese live in a geopolitical space where interpersonal violence is the highest in the world.However, this analysis of the escalating crime situation in Guyana did not go down well with Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Harry Gill; a Member of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on the Security Sector, who in no uncertain terms called for the Minister to either be reassigned or fired as Public Security Minister.He added that the ease with which criminals are going about their business, “brutalising families in their homes, stripping them of their valuables, their dignity and often, their very lives, is reminiscent of the infamous Burnham era of the notorious kick down the door bandits. And Minister Khemraj Ramjattan seems clueless and in denial,” he added.