Aug
4

What About My House Value?

first_imgIn Arthur’s case, according to designs from 2015 which are not yet finalized, there would be a monopole on the corner of her front yard, which abuts the rail line. According to JCP&L’s petition to the BPU for the project, the pole heights in her section would range between 110-and 140-feet tall.After purchasing the property 15 years ago for $525,000, Arthur had her home appraised at $900,000 by the Manchester-based ABC Jersey Appraisals, LLC last May, prior to the public announcement of the MCRP. It came after the completion of major renovation to the first-floor layout of her home.Though just last month, after meeting with Heritage House Sotheby’s to seek their current market value, their new range was between $700,000 and $745,000.“It’s a hard pill to swallow,” Arthur said.Arthur is now planning for a move she never saw coming. “We have two children, and we have to do what’s best for them,” Arthur added, saying potential electromagnetic field radiation from transmission lines scares her. “We’ve been looking at properties and homes and saying that we might just have to sell our property and do what’s right.” Concerns about real estate values are also being discussed in Cedar Village in Holmdel, an active adult community that is within 200 feet of the NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line. Joe De John, a resident of the Cedar Village community in Holmdel, lives within 200 feet of the proposed project. He fears his property values will plummet if the powerline project is allowed.In 2005, Joe De John bought a Sonoma model home for around $500,000. Beyond his back patio, which has a few chairs and a small grill, is a thick barrier of lush wetlands. He said his backyard was one of the many stops NJ Transit officials made in November when they toured the line of the proposed MCRP. “If you want to put the poles up, put them on the parkway,” De John said. “Just don’t do it over our homes.”For many of the residents in the 158-unit complex, these homes would be their last purchase after downsizing from multistory and multi-bedroom homes. Some hope the proceeds from a sale of their final home will be passed down to children and grandchildren.“If I put my house up after the poles are installed, and people actually see what they look like, I’m lucky if I sell it,” De John said.While concerns about the home values are growing as the petition process continues, JCP&L has held steady on its view that the MCRP would not have an ill effect on property values.In the Aug. 9 petition to the BPU, the utility provided written testimony from Jerome J. McHale, a principal in J. McHale & Associates, Inc.He testified the MCRP would not have a negative effect of the proposed area.“The ROW (right-of-way) has been in place for many decades; therefore, any possible negative impact on market value has been already realized in the sale and resale values of these properties due to their location abutting active commuter rail service,” he wrote.That belief conflicts with what some local real estate agents believe.Michele Agosta, a real estate agent with Holmdel-based Neuhaus Realty, Inc., says three of her sales in Hazlet within the past eight months have fallen apart due to buyer concerns over the MCRP.Agosta says she morally has to tell buyers about the impending project, something that not all real estate agents are doing. She added that first-time buyers often stay away from eyesores along properties.“Just looking at it that way, on top of the health risks, people are fleeing,” she said.Hazlet Mayor Sue Kiley has also had firsthand experiences with homes not selling.In her position as a sales associate with Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate, Kiley said sales near the rail line now require more paperwork.“We have disclosure forms that both the buyers and sellers sign stating they’re aware this project may happen,” she said.Kiley said Hazlet is the most densely populated of the five towns along the proposed route. And while her town may be seeing more for-sale signs than ever before, she believes the concerns include all five towns.“What is happening, hands down,” Kiley said, “is that people are saying they don’t want to see anything close to the tracks.”This article was first published in the April 6-13, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times. By Jay Cook |MIDDLETOWN – Some residents who reside along the rail line are growing concerned that the proposed 10- mile long JCP&L transmission line could zap their home values.Middletown resident Kim Arthur, who lives on Navesink River Road in the River Plaza section, was taken aback by news from her real estate agent that her property has already lost value, due to its proximity to a potential monopole location on the NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line.“This was it for us,” Arthur said, referring to what she previously believed was a near-million-dollar property. “It was our forever home and our investment.”Home sellers living in the five Monmouth County towns whose homes are located next to the proposed Monmouth County Reliability Project (MCRP) corridor, are wondering about their next move, as they await a decision on the Jersey Central Power & Light Co. (JCP&L) project in the coming months. The project is now in the midst of evidentiary hearings.And even before a decision by the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to approve the project has been announced, homeowners say they are already seeing the effects on their real estate values.Based on preliminary designs acquired by the citizen action group Residents Against Giant Electric (RAGE) through OPRA requests to NJ Transit, residents along the rail line are able to see where JCP&L had preliminary plans to place monopoles necessary for the 230 kV transmission line project, which would run from Aberdeen through Hazlet, Holmdel, Middletown, ending in Red Bank.last_img read more

Aug
4

Taste of Title Games Leaves Lions Hungry For More

first_imgBy Jay Cook MIDDLETOWN – The Middletown North Lions went wild in 2016.Since head coach Steve Bush took over the Lions football program in 2013, the team has seen gradual success each and every year under his tutelage. MIDDLETOWN NORTH LIONSHEAD COACH: STEVE BUSH (5TH SEASON)2016 Record: 9-3, North 2 Group 4 state finalistsOffense: 27.75 points scored per gameDefense:18.16 points allowed per game. A dominant 9-3 record from last season marked not only the best team in Bush’s tenure, but also one of the best in Middletown North’s history.That success pushed Middletown North to the North 2 Group 4 state championship game at Rutgers University, where they did falter and fall to Sayreville War Memorial High School in a windy, December afternoon game.Although the Lions could not complete last year’s ultimate goal, both the coaching staff and returning starters are hungrier than ever to return to a title game.“I think we want to kind of build off of that momentum where guys kind of know what’s expected of them now. They know what we’re capable of doing,” Bush said. “We weren’t happy with the way that finished, and we’d like to finish that off. We just have to go one game at a time, and just keep trying to get better.”Middletown North will be without their best player from 2016, quarterback Donald Glenn, who graduated and is set to play Division I football with the Wagner Hawks.Former Miami Dolphins assistant coach Steve Bush has helped lead the Lions to three straight winning seasons.But don’t fret, Lions fans. Bush will not look too far off to fill the void in the quarterback room. Actually, the Lions will go ahead and tap Donald’s younger brother Sean as the new leader of the offense.Glenn has been working with Bush, a former National Football League assistant coach, throughout the summer to prepare him for a talented “B” North division and an even tougher Shore Conference slate of games.“He’s helped me a ton, through seven-on-seven’s during the offseason,” Glenn said. “I’ve been working with him every day on coverages, routes, timing. He’s helped me a lot throughout the year.” This article was first published in the Aug. 31-Sept. 7, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times. While Glenn is new to the starting gig, North will have to lean on the skillset of two-way player Austin DeWise. As a tight end, he’ll be a key part of Glenn’s development throughout the season. But DeWise is known around the Shore as a relentless pass rusher – he notched 12 sacks and 24 quarterback hurries a year ago – and he looks to use that skill set to pressure opposing quarterbacks into bad plays and rushed decisions.And outside of his prowess on the gridiron, he looks to lead the Lions back to a title game this December.“Last year, we were a good team and all family,” DeWise said. “We were very, very close, and we brought intensity every day. That’s what we’ll try to bring this year. If we keep close and everybody does their jobs, we’ll get it done. Just like we did last year.”Middletown North 2017 Football Schedule Sept. 8: NEPTUNE, 7 p.m.Sept. 15: at Red Bank Catholic, 7 p.m.Sept. 23: at Howell, 1 p.m.Oct. 6: NEW BRUNSWICK, 7 p.m.Oct. 13: WALL, 7 p.m.Oct. 21: at Manasquan, 1 p.m.Oct. 27: LONG BRANCH, 7 p.m.Nov. 3: OCEAN TOWNSHIP, 7 p.m.Nov. 23: at Middletown South, 10:30 a.m. SEPT. 15, AWAY AT RED BANK CATHOLIC, 7 P.M. The Lions had the Caseys on the ropes in Week Two last year, but a fantastic drive by RBC led to a game winning field- goal and a 30-27 win. This was one of the best early season games of 2016 when it came to Shore Conference football. This time around, the Lions will be in much more of an underdog role. This game will be a great barometer to see where these teams will eventually wind up when it comes to November.PLAYER TO WATCHCONNOR WELSH, SENIOR RUNNING BACKA broken arm in Week Two against RBC took away what could have been a 1,000 yard season, but Welsh worked hard and was able to return to the lineup in time for the Lions play- of f r un. Considering the r unning back only played in four full games and had 100 yards in three of those contests, it’s easy to forecast that if healthy, Welsh can be one of the Shore’s top r ushers. GAME TO WATCHlast_img read more

Aug
3

Early loss sends Nelson Selects to consolation round at B.C. Soccer Provincial B Cup

first_imgAn early round loss spelled the end of the line for the Nelson Selects at the B.C. Soccer Provincial B U15 Boy’s Cup Sunday at Kings Park in Penticton.Host Pinnacles from Penticton scored early and often en route to a 7-1 shellacking of the Selects in consolation play.The loss dropped Nelson into eighth spot in the tournament.“Naturally we are disappointed with our final placement but the difference was so tight from first to fourth in our group . . . just a one-game difference,” commented co-coach Dan Szabo.“We certainly belonged in this tournament and competed well and if not for a few errors and breakdowns could have challenged for gold and were so close to the bronze game.”“You only get three games to determine your placing,” Szabo added.Nolan Percival scored the only goal of the game for Nelson against Penticton.The Selects opened with a 4-1 loss to Comox Valley in a game the Kootenay Reps dominated in the early going.Two first half goals by Comox Valley, one on a penalty shot, gave the Island Reps a 2-0 lead. James Miller pulled Nelson to within a goal.With the Selects pressing for the equalizer, Comox Valley put the game away with two goals in the final three minutes.Nelson bounced back Friday by stopping West Vancouver Spuraways 3-2. The teams exchanged goals, Nelson’s Percival scoring, before the Lower Mainland team took over the game scoring to make it 2-1.In the second half Spencer Szabo, on a fine individual play, tied the game before Micah May pushed the ball past the West Vancouver defence to notch the winner.Still in the running for a medal, Nelson saw its hopes fade away with a 3-1 loss to Vancouver Point Grey.“A win or a tie in this game would have resulted in Nelson playing in the bronze medal game,” Szabo said.Once again Nelson fell behind before the trio of Szabo, May and Percival, the latter scoring the goal, combined to pull Nelson to 2-1.Pressing for the tying goal Nelson saw its medal hopes dashed when Point Grey scored an insurance goal on goalkeeper Harrison Giles.“(The coaching staff is) proud of our boys . . .. They really worked for it,” said Szabo.“We have come so far with this group since last season,” he added. “We reached our goal of making provincials and now have a good idea of where we are with teams from across the province. “We will only get better.”sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more

Aug
3

West Kootenay Glacier Challenge raised more than 60 grand for MS research

first_imgNot only did the riders have a lot of fun trekking around Kokanee Glacier on bikes, but the contingent also raised a whopping total of $67,800 for the MS Society of Canada.The two-day event had bikers ride 102 kilometers from Bosun Hall in New Denver to Lakeside Park in Nelson for a barbecue during Saturday’s day one.Sunday, bikers rode 114 km from Nelson to the Bosun Hall.The MS Bike Tour has been a critical part of the MS Society’s fundraising efforts for over 20 years.Proceeds from this event and others like it fund innovative programs and services and support research dedicated to finding a cure. Fifty-nine riders busted the $60,000 mark this past weekend at the West Kootenay Glacier Challenge.The event, hosted by the West Kootenay Chapter of the MS Society of Canada, is a pledge-based fundraising event that provides Canadians with the opportunity to ride through scenic and often spectacular parts of the country.last_img read more

Aug
3

Rookie keeper Burkart sparks Bombers to 2-0 win over Crowe

first_img“With the senior players away at a school leadership function, Kyra agreed to step into the goal. She had one practice session and then was thrown into a game.”Rookie Noa Butterfield, with an assist to Allie Zondervan and Ava Strautman scored for LVR. Naomi Perkins assisted on Strautman’s goal.Gibson said the defensive squad was working as a strong unit.“Emma Gregorich took on the leadership and directed the team,” Gibson explained.“Veteran Lauren Walgren was sick and still played every minute of the game. Anna Goeppner and Noelle Wang did not get much substitution time either as they held up the defensive unit.”The Bombers return to the pitch Tuesday back at Pass Creek when LVR meets Stanley Humphries Rockers. The L.V. Rogers Bombers rode the shutout goalkeeping of rookie Kyra Burkart to a 2-0 victory over J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks in West Kootenay High School Fieldhockey League play at Pass Creek Park in Castlegar.The win in goal came in Burkart’s first-ever game guarding the cage.“Kyra did a fantastic job and made many key saves in the game,” said Bomber coach Val Gibson.last_img read more

Aug
3

Vancouver North East Chiefs Major Midget League champs

first_img The Chiefs, holding a 3-2 lead after one period, were led by a pair of goals from Matthew Davis and a beautiful breakaway goal from Caleb Fantillo, while the Cougars answered bag with goals from Joel Patsey and Mitchell Williams. The Vancouver North East Chiefs captured the 2014-15 BC Major Midget League Championship with a 6-4 win against the Cariboo Cougars. The win completed the sweep for the Chiefs in the best-of-the three series agaisnt the regular season champion Cougars. The Chiefs made it a two-goal game with a marker from Lee early in the frame, but the Cougars quickly got one back just as a penalty expired with a point shot from Conor MacEachern. Again the Chiefs fought back to make it a 5-3 game with a nifty passing play finished off by Ziyan Karim. Early in the 3rd period the Cougars cut the lead to one (1) with a great goal from Steven Jandric, but again this was short lived as Fantillo scored his second of the game to make it 6-4. The Cougars fought hard to get back into the game, but were unable.center_img The Chiefs, finishing third overall in regular season standings, now host the Pacific Midget Regional Championship and take on the Alberta Midget AAA Champion in a best-of-three series. The Alberta Championship series is on-going with the UFA Bisons leading CAC 1-0 in the best-of-five series. The Pacific Regional Championship will take place in British Columbia on April 3 – 5, 2015, where the Chiefs will host the Alberta AAA Midget Hockey League champion in a best-of-three series to determine the Pacific Representative at the 2015 TELUS Cup, which will be held in Rivière-du-Loup, Québec, from April 20-26, 2015.The BC Hockey Major Midget League was established in 2004 to provide elite level 15, 16 and 17 year olds an opportunity to play within their own age group at a high level and be developed for the next level of hockey.These 11 teams, including the Kootenay Ice from the West Kootenay region, have an opportunity each year to compete for the National Midget Championship.last_img read more

Aug
3

Playoffs to decide Nelson Mixed Slopitch League

first_imgThe Unknowns will be looking to repeat as the Nelson Mixed Slopitch League champs as the playoff weekend began Wednesday at the Lakeside Ball Diamonds.The Unknowns defeated Louie’s 13-2 to capture the title last season. Action continues in the three divisions until Sunday afternoon’s final at 4:30 p.m.The B Final also goes at 4:30 p.m. while the B Championship is slated for 3 p.m.Total Chaos, winnners of the 2015 regular season title, opens play Friday against the winner of the play-in contest between Whitewater and Wild Cards.Defending playoff champion Unknowns meet Ripping Giraffe Thursday.last_img read more

Aug
3

Canadian National team victory against Honduras sparked by defender with West Kootenay connection

first_imgStraith, 25, anchored the Canadian defence Friday against a pesky Honduran squad.Straith was six years old when he started playing soccer for Bays United SC in Victoria. He then was a member of the Whitecaps Residency Program in 2007 before turning professional in Germany in 2009. Straith currently plays in Norway for Fredrikstad.He was 15 years old when he began his career with Canadian Soccer, playing for the youth program in 2006. Straith was a member of the Canadian squad at the 2007 CONCACAF Under-17 Qualification Tournament in Jamaica.Straith represented Canada at the 2009 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in Trinidad and Tobago and was 19 years old when he made his debut for Canada in May of 2010.Canada, ranked No. 104 in the world, is in one of three four-team groups along with No. 24 Mexico, No. 94 El Salvador and No. 95 Honduras.”Great start in Vancouver, now off off El Salvador to play on Tuesday,” Straith said on Twitter. “BC Place was fantastic tonight.”Straith is the son rugby star Kane Straith and of former Mount Sentinel High School start Delphine (Zarikoff) Straith. Zarikoff, the daughter of Helen and John Zarikoff, was one of the best athletes to graduate from the South Slocan-based school.Straith’s mother Delphine played all sports at Mount Sentinel before attending school at University of Victoria where she was a key player on the Vikes varsity women’s soccer team.Delphine Straith, who played for Team BC at the Canada Games, was also instrumental in starting a women’s soccer team, Sportnettes, in Nelson during the early 1980s. Canada started the road to Russia on a positive note as Cyle Larin scored the 38th minute to spark the home side to a 1-0 victory over Honduras in World Cup qualifying before a raucous crowd of 20,108 Friday at BC Place in Vancouver.The game marked the first meeting between the teams since the Canadians were routed 8-1 by Honduras in October 2012 during the final game of qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil.Canada entered the game needing only a draw to advance to the final round of qualifying.The game featured a local Nelson connection as defender Adam Straith, whose mother Delphine was born and raised in South Slocan, played his 31st cap for the National Team.”Up early, must be because I’m excited to have a chance to play in front of my family and friends tonight at BC Place,” Straith said prior to the game on his Twitter account.last_img read more

Aug
2

HIGHLY ACCOMPLISHED EFFINEX GETS TOP WEIGHT OF 123 POUNDS FOR 79TH RUNNING OF GRADE I, $1 MILLION SANTA ANITA HANDICAP ON MARCH 12

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (March 5, 2016)–Trainer Jimmy Jerkens’ highly accomplished Effinex has been assigned high weight of 123 pounds for the 79th running of the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Handicap, to be contested at a mile and a quarter next Saturday, March 12.Runner-up to Triple Crown Champion American Pharoah in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic Oct. 31, Effinex, a 5-year-old New York-bred horse by Mineshaft, was a three quarter length winner of his most recent start, the Grade I, 1 1/8 miles Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs Nov. 27. Effinex is owned by Tri-Bone Stables.North America’s longest continuously run “hundred grander,” the Big ‘Cap, for 4-year-olds and up, was first run on Feb. 23, 1935, and was won by Azucar, who was ridden by the legendary George “The Iceman” Woolf.Won last year by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s Shared Belief, the Santa Anita Handicap has been won by some of the greatest horses in racing history, including; Seabiscuit (1940), Noor (1950), Round Table (1958), Hill Rise (1965), Lucky Debonair (1966), Ack Ack (1971), Cougar II (1973), Affirmed (1979), Spectacular Bid (1980), John Henry (1981 & 82), Alysheba (1988) and Tiznow (2001).Won a record 11 times by jockey Bill Shoemaker, the all-time leading Big ‘Cap trainer is Charlie Whittingham, as the Bald Eagle saddled nine winners, four more than Bob Baffert.Here is the full list of weights for the 2016 Santa Anita Handicap.last_img read more

Aug
2

STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – FRIDAY APRIL 29, 2016

first_imgSANTA ANITA MOURNS PASSING OF DONN LUBY            The racing community at Santa Anita mourned the passing of former trainer and Santa Anita Stall Manager Donn Luby who died in his sleep Tuesday night due to complications from cancer at the Life Care Center in Bridgeton, Missouri, at the age of 71.An avid golfer, Luby, who frequently had a tobacco pipe in-hand, was a well-respected horseman and friend to many in Southern California’s large racing community.            “He was a good guy,” said trainer Jerry Fanning. “He was a good stall man. He trained, did everything.”An assistant to Gary Jones in the late 70s, Luby took over the training of Eleven Stiches in the spring of 1981 and sent him out to victory with Sandy Hawley aboard in the Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup that summer. Seven years later, he would go on to train Flying Julia, who won Santa Anita’s Grade I Santa Margarita Handicap under Frank Olivares in 1988.Added octogenarian assistant starter Huey Barnes: “He was one wonderful person and a fair stall man. In that job, you have to be in the center of the road. You can’t help one man more than another. If he could do something for you, he would do it. He was a good man.“You can’t play favorites and he didn’t. He was straight down the pike.”Donna Luby, Donn’s wife of 45 years, said a viewing for family and friends would take place this week, prior to his being cremated. Donn Luby is survived by his wife, a son, Jason, who attended West Point on an academic scholarship, and two granddaughters. HOME RUN KITTEN IN STRIDE FOR AMERICAN STAKESHome Run Kitten stretches out again when he runs in the Grade III American Stakes at one mile on turf Friday, May 6, second day of Santa Anita’s 41-day Spring Meet.The five-year-old Kitten’s Joy horse owned by Tarabilla Farms was an eventful seventh breaking from the rail in the Joe Hernandez Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf Feb. 28, hopping when crossing the dirt portion of the course.“He didn’t care for the track that day for some reason,” trainer David Hofmans said. “It’s the first time I ever saw him jump across the dirt. Something was bothering him. I don’t know what it was. He wasn’t the same. He got to the dirt, he just jumped over it.“He didn’t fire at all. But I freshened him up, he’s training well and we’re hoping whatever it was, he’s over it.”Home Run Kitten has four wins from 17 career starts with earnings of $342,645. He worked five furlongs last Sunday in a bullet 59.60, fastest of 39 drills at the distance.FESTIVE DERBY DAY ACTIVITIES AT SANTA ANITASanta Anita will host the “Biggest Derby Party West of Kentucky,” the KROQ Kentucky Derby Beer Festival, in the track’s spacious Infield Area on Saturday, May 7.In addition to the Run for the Roses, Santa Anita will offer fans a full card of live Thoroughbred action, with first post time at 12 noon. Admission to the KROQ Beer Festival will commence at 12 noon. Approximate post time for the Kentucky Derby is 3:40 p.m. PDT.            Those wishing to spend Derby Day on the Trackside Apron can partake of a Kentucky Derby Trackside Package that includes Club House admission, a drink voucher (must be 21 or over), a racing program and tip sheet, access to Trackside and reserved Grandstand seating areas and an American Pharoah Tote Bag.            For more information on the Derby Day KROQ Beer Festival or to purchase tickets online, please visit santaanita.com/events. GALLAGHER SEEKS LUCK OF THE IRISH IN DERBYPaddy Gallagher will be shooting for the moon when he sends out maiden Trojan Nation in next Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, but, like everyone else, the 59-year-old trainer recognizes that you can’t win if you’re not in.Trojan Nation punched his ticket to the Run for the Roses with a furious rally from last along the rail under Aaron Gryder to finish second by a head at 81-1 in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 9.Thursday at Santa Anita, Trojan Nation worked six furlongs in 1:12.60, with fractional times of 25, 36.80, 48.80, 1:00.20 and a seven furlong gallop out time of 1:27.“I ran one horse on my own before in the Derby, Domestic Dispute (10th in 2003) and Diazo (who ran fifth in 1993) when I worked with Bill Shoemaker,” said Gallagher, who rode as an amateur in his native Ireland.“Trojan Nation leaves Monday for Kentucky and I’ll follow Tuesday or Wednesday. He worked well. His performance in the Wood was a very nice surprise.”At Keeneland Friday, unbeaten Kentucky Derby favorite Nyquist worked a mile under Mario Gutierrez for Doug O’Neill in 1:41.01. “Very happy, beyond what we imagined,” O’Neill told Daily Racing Form. “He exceeded our expectations. He did it nice and easy.” SANTA ANITA OFFERS FREE SHUTTLE SERVICESanta Anita will offer complimentary shuttle service every racing day during the Spring Meet that runs through July 10.The operating times will be from 12 noon to 8 p.m.  Regular first post time during the spring is 2 p.m.On Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, May 7, with a first post of 12 noon, two shuttles will be available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.Sunday, May 8, Mother’s Day, the shuttle service will be available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Service will be offered from the Metro Arcadia train station to the Infield Admission Gates, Club House Admission Gates, and the South Battery.The shuttle will be picking up/dropping off every 25 minutes from all locations (subject to traffic delays). SANTIAGO GONZALEZ EAGER TO RESUME RIDING            Jockey Santiago Gonzalez returns to the races at Santa Anita on opening day, after a six-week recovery from a non-displaced fractured jaw and an injured right knee suffered in a riding mishap on March 20.“The doctor said it would be about six weeks,” said Santiago’s agent, former trainer Craig Stephen, who has enjoyed unexpected but welcome success with Gonzalez since taking his book in December of 2014. “He just can’t wait to be back. He’s happy just breezing horses right now. He wants to be out here and on horses.“He’s been working with a personal trainer at the gym and they’ve never stopped since he got the go ahead. He always watches his diet, but he’s always been light and never has a problem with his weight.“He’s been hiking mountains, bike riding, going to the gym and working out. He just wants to be on horses. That’s his thing.’ TRIPLE CHAMP BEHOLDER PREPS FOR ADORATIONGALLAGHER HOPES TO SMELL ROSES WITH MAIDENSADLER SENDS OUT PAIR IN OPENING DAY FEATUREFORMER TRAINER DONN LUBY PASSES AT 71TOP JOCK GONZALEZ RESUMES RIDING THURSDAYHOME RUN KITTEN FRESH FOR AMERICAN STAKESFREE SHUTTLE SERVICE FOR FANS AT SANTA ANITA FINISH LINES: Dan Ward, assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer, reports that unbeaten champion Songbird returns to the track early Sunday for the first time since a fever that struck after her Santa Anita Oaks win on April 9 forced her to miss next Friday’s Kentucky Oaks . . . Trainer David Hofmans has the Grade I, $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 25 as a long-range goal for Santa Anita Handicap winner Melatonin, who was second last out in the Oaklawn Handicap on April 16. The trainer mentioned the Californian Stakes on May 22 as a possible prelude to the Gold Cup . . . Trainer John Shirreffs on champion mare Zenyatta being elected to the Hall of Fame: “It’s great to revisit all those memories one more time. I’m just so proud of what she’s accomplished.” The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in August . . . Jockey Martin Garcia is back stateside after visiting family and friends in Vera Cruz, Mexico, and rides Living The Life for Gary Mandella in the Royal Heroine on opening day. The Irish-bred mare was a troubled third in the Grade I Santa Margarita March 19 . . . Ohio seeks his second win from two starts in the U.S. when he runs in the Grade III American Stakes Friday for Paulo Lobo under Brice Blanc, who worked the Brazilian-bred son of Elusive Quality six furlongs on the training track April 24 in a bullet 1:14. “He went the last three-eighths in 35 flat,” pointed out an enthusiastic Aaron Hesz, agent for Blanc . . . Trainer Carla Gaines said Arcadia Stakes winner Bolo likely will pass the American in favor of the Grade I, $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Derby Day . . . Trainer Peter Eurton has multiple stakes-winning sprinter Kobe’s Back set to work around 9 o’clock Saturday morning before shipping to Kentucky Monday for the Grade II, $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes at seven furlongs, also on Derby Day . . . Agent J.R. Pegram is delighted with the success he and Kent Desormeaux are enjoying since he took the Hall of Fame rider’s book in late March, two weeks before the Santa Anita Derby on April 9. “Everything’s going well,” Pegram said. “No complaints. Kent’s happy, he’s out working every day and winning races.” Desormeaux won with 10 of 21 mounts at Los Alamitos through the meet’s first eight days to lead all riders going into the final week. Desormeaux will seek his fourth Kentucky Derby victory when he rides Santa Anita Derby winner Exaggerator, trained by older brother, Keith, on Saturday. Kent leaves tonight for Churchill Downs where he will be aboard Exaggerator for his final major breeze tomorrow prior to the Derby . . . Roimes Chirinos, a 33-year-old rider from Venezuela, makes his Santa Anita debut on opening day. A two-time Triple Crown winner in his native country, Chirinos has ridden at Gulfstream Park and Pimlico and more recently Sunland Park. This year marks his first full-time campaign in the United States. His agent is Norberto Arroyo, who also represents Abel Lezcano. “Roimes (pronounced ROY-mes; but he’s called Roy) has been working horses for John Sadler and Richard Baltas,” said Arroyo. SADLER HAS TWO FOR THE MONEY IN ROYAL HEROINE            John Sadler plans to enter two horses in the Grade II, $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes when entries are drawn Sunday for Santa Anita’s opening day feature next Thursday, May 5: Elektrum and Nancy From Nairobi.Each mare is owned by Sadler’s principal client, the brothers Hronis, Kosta and Peter. Elektrum, a consistent Irish-bred daughter of 2002 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner High Chaparral, has been absent since finishing second in the Grade III Red Carpet Handicap at Del Mar last Nov. 21, but won the Grade II John C. Mabee at the seaside course last Aug. 8.Nancy From Nairobi, an English-bred daughter of Sixties Icon, seeks her first stakes win after winning her last two starts on Santa Anita’s grass course despite troubled trips.“We think she runs pretty well on this course,” Sadler said of Nancy From Nairobi. “Elektrum was a Grade II winner last year. We gave her the winter off but she’s ready to start up again.“Both are good quality horses, so it should be a good race.”Sadler added that Stellar Wind, champion Older Female of 2015, is scheduled to work Sunday for her long-range goal, the Grade I, $400,000 Vanity Mile on June 4.Probable for the Royal Heroine: Elektrum, Victor Espinoza; Glory, Mike Smith; Living The Life, Martin Garcia; Nancy From Nairobi, Abel Lezcano; Sharla Rae, Tiago Pereira; and Smoove It, no rider. BEHOLDER DRILLS FOR 2016 DEBUT AT SANTA ANITA SUNDAY            Santa Anita Park, which showcased champions California Chrome, Nyquist, Runhappy and Songbird at its 2016 Winter Meet, hopes to focus on that same theme when it begins its 41-day Spring Meet on Thursday, May 5, two days before the 142nd Kentucky Derby, which fans can watch and wager on at The Great Race Place when the first jewel in racing’s Triple Crown is run next Saturday, May 7.            The reign of champions is expected to continue when three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder, the gift that keeps on giving, begins her six-year-old campaign in the Grade III Adoration Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Sunday, May 8.The daughter of Henny Hughes owned by B. Wayne Hughes and trained by Richard Mandella was a champion at two, three and five, and will be making her first start since winning the Grade I Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita for the third time last Sept. 26. Beholder is a remarkable 11 for 12 in her career at Santa Anita and 15 for 20 overall, with earnings of $4,436,600.Beholder worked a mile in company Friday under Janeen Painter in 1:40 flat, with fractions of 26, 38.60, 51 and 1:28.40. Stablemate Atypique went seven furlongs in 1:29.40.“I was happy. She looked good. It went a little slow the first part but that was because of a traffic jam,” said Hughes, on hand from his Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky. “The second half was perfect.”Added Mandella: “It was a nice, steady mile. She went very good and everything’s in good shape.”Hughes plans to head back to Kentucky Sunday and attend the Kentucky Derby a week from tomorrow. “Then we’ll fly home (in a private jet) the next day and bring Gary Stevens with us, so that he has to show up (laughing aloud). We’ll have him locked in the plane.”Stevens, the regular rider of Beholder, seeks his fourth triumph in the Run for the Roses when he rides Mor Spirit in the mile and a quarter classic.last_img read more