Bejarano Takes Santa Anita Jockey Title

Bejarano Takes Santa Anita Jockey Title
Photo: Benoit Photography
Rafael Bejarano is the Leading Santa Anita jockey for the Spring meet.

Trainers Jerry Hollendorfer and John Sadler shared the trainer title and jockey Rafael Bejarano ranked as the top jockey when Santa Anita Park concluded its winter meet April 20.

Hollendorfer, perennial leader at Bay Area tracks, and Sadler each won 34 races during the meet. In a dramatic finish to draw even with Hollendorfer, Sadler sent out Bench Light to win the final race by a neck closing day over the Hollendorfer-trained Husband's Folly. Bob Baffert was third in the standings with 33 wins.

Bejarano continued his reign of dominance in Southern California, leading from start to finish to capture his fifth Santa Anita riding title, outdistancing runner-up Joe Talamo, 93-54. Gary Stevens led in stakes triumphs with 10, including the Santa Lucia Stakes with champion Beholder on the final day. Apprentice rider Drayden Van Dyke was a unanimous choice as the leading 'bug" rider. The 19-year-old native of Louisville, Ky., won 31 to finish eighth in the standings overall.

Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, who campaign Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner California Chrome, a leading hopeful for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), were named the meet's outstanding owners, edging the Hronis brothers, Kosta and Peter, and Glen Hill Farm.

California Chrome was named horse of the meet by virtue of his authoritative victory in the Santa Anita Derby April 5. 

The California-bred son of Lucky Pulpit   trained by Art Sherman also was unanimously named the meet's outstanding 3-year-old.

"We're very proud of his accomplishments and appreciate the recognition by the media," Sherman said. "We hope he rewards their respect by continuing to win."

California Chrome won three races during the meet by wide margins: the California Cup Derby by 5 1/2 lengths Jan. 25 and the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) by 7 1/4 lengths March 8 in addition to the Santa Anita Derby by 5 1/4 lengths.

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