With the announcement that Del Mar plans to switch from Polytrack back to a dirt main track in 2015, the grand experiment with synthetic racing surfaces in Southern California is likely coming to an end.
Lee and Susan Searing already have one formidable West Coast contender for the Triple Crown trail in Candy Boy. After winning the San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) in handy style with Kobe's Back, they have a second as well.
Samantha Nicole, a full sister to 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, had an adventurous career debut, but managed to run on for second in a maiden special weight test for 3-year-old fillies Feb. 16 at Fair Grounds.
Back on a synthetic surface he seems to prefer, Tamarando closed from last on the far turn to register a half-length triumph over Dance With Fate in the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields Feb. 15.
Graded stakes-placed four times previously in her career, Iotapa broke through with a front-running tally in the $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 15 at Santa Anita Park.
Egg Drop starts her 2014 campaign in the $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes (gr. IIT) on Presidents' Day Feb. 17 at Santa Anita with a three-race winning streak trainer Mike Mitchell credits in great part to jockey Martin Garcia.
Following a 2-year-old season that ended disappointingly, Kobe's Back returns to action in the $200,000 San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 16 in his debut on dirt at Santa Anita Park.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer lost his leading candidate for the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. I) Feb. 15 when his undefeated colt Exit Stage Left sustained a training injury. But he had a good back-up plan.
Lea opened a big lead off the final turn and turned back the late charge of 3-year-old champion Will Take Charge to capture the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) in track-record time Feb. 9 at Gulfstream Park.
Two-time champion Groupie Doll provided a satisfying conclusion to her stellar career with an eye-catching last-to-first romp in the $200,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 9 at Gulfstream Park.
Candy Boy stamped himself as the top contender for the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) when he overpowered a pair of well-regarded Bob Baffert trainees in winning the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. I) Feb. 8 at Santa Anita.
Blingo came from off the pace for his first graded stakes score as heavily favored Game On Dude and Blueskiesnrainbows flamed out in the $300,000 San Antonio Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 8 at Santa Anita Park.
The California Horse Racing Board suspended jockey Patrick Valenzuela indefinitely Feb. 7 for failing to appear before stewards at Santa Anita Park over charges that he failed to fulfill his riding agreement.
After a less than satisfying outcome in the Cigar Mile (gr. I) in November, owner Mandy Pope says she couldn't bear to see two-time female sprint champion Groupie Doll end her career that way.
Fourteen horses have been entered for the San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita Park turf Feb. 8, led by recent San Gabriel Stakes (gr. IIT) winner Jeranimo.
Sham Stakes (gr. III) winner Midnight Hawk takes his next step on the Triple Crown trail for trainer Bob Baffert when he faces six other 3-year-olds in the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 8 at Santa Anita Park.
A 60-acre parking lot on land adjacent to shuttered Hollywood Park has been acquired within the past month by developer Stan Kroenke, owner of the St. Louis Rams.
Racing fans will want to take a short break from pre-Super Bowl hype Feb. 2 to check out the Palos Verdes Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita, where Eclipse Award sprint finalists Secret Circle and Sahara Sky are set for battle.
Suggestive Boy, who went to the sidelines with a splint injury last spring, returns from an 11-month absence to defend his title in the $200,000 Arcadia Stakes (gr. IIT) Feb. 1 at Santa Anita Park.
Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) winner Streaming puts her unbeaten mark on the line when she returns in grade I company for the $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes Feb. 1 at Santa Anita Park.
Fresh off a victory over the Tampa Bay Downs turf course, Nicklaus Way goes in search of his first graded stakes win for trainer Ian Wilkes Feb. 1 in the $150,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Sahara Sky, nearing his first start since winning the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) last spring, worked six furlongs in company Jan. 26 at Santa Anita Park for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
Rose to Gold picked up the fourth graded stakes win of her career after running down favored Unusual Way to win the second renewal of the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic on the night of Jan. 25 at Sam Houston Race Park.
Odds-on choice Admiral Kitten surged through the stretch to catch Fredericksburg just in time for a neck victory in the $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Cup (gr. IIIT) on the night of Jan. 25 at Sam Houston Race Park.
Weewinnin, emerging at the rail in the stretch, ran away from his rivals to win the $250,000 California Cup Turf Classic at 21-1 odds by 2 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita Park Jan. 25.
Big Macher, always traveling well in his stakes debut in the $125,000 Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint, took command nearing the furlong mark and won comfortably Jan. 25 at Santa Anita Park.
Scherzinger, given a crafty ride by Mike Smith in her stakes debut, registered a one-length victory in the $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 25 at Santa Anita Park.
Highly touted Top Billing made easy work of a first-level allowance field as the even-money favorite in his second start as a 3-year-old Jan. 25 at Gulfstream Park.
There was no immediate word from trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's camp on the status of unbeaten Triple Crown contender Shared Belief, who had been slated to work at Santa Anita Park Jan. 24 but did not.
Summer Hit is the clear standout in a field of 14 entered for the $250,000 California Cup Turf Classic, one of three races for older horses included in the Sunshine Millions/California Cup lineup Jan. 25 at Santa Anita Park.
Grade I winner Teddy's Promise attempts to end her racing career successfully with a repeat victory in the Santa Monica Stakes (gr. II) Jan 25 at Santa Anita Park.
After missing a recently scheduled workout with a slight quarter crack, champion Shared Belief is to have his next timed work Friday, Jan. 24, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said.
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Spellbound made trainer Richard Mandella's quick cross-country trip worthwhile when she came from far out of it to capture the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) by a neck at 16-1 odds Jan. 19 at Santa Anita Park.
Victor Carrasco beat out fellow Puerto Rican riders Manuel Franco and Edgard Zayas to win the 2013 Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding apprentice jockey.
Todd Pletcher's deep bench of top quality runners sometimes make it difficult to gauge his accomplishments when compared to those of other trainers. But in 2013, he was in a league of his own.
Malibu Stakes (gr. I) winner Shakin It Up answered doubts about his ability around two turns when he overpowered stablemate Govenor Charlie to give trainer Bob Baffert the exacta in Santa Anita Strub Stakes Jan. 18.
Exit Stage Left kept his record unblemished with his third consecutive stakes victory in the $100,000 California Derby Jan. 18 at Golden Gate Fields, denying favored Enterprising by half a length.
With little to contend with, Mucho Macho Man galloped to victory as he pleased by 14 lengths while opening his 2014 campaign in the $400,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Jan. 18 at Gulfstream Park.
Closing with a rush under Rosie Napravnik, favored Daddy Nose Best tagged upset-minded Adios Nardo at the wire to win the $125,000 Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) on yielding turf at Fair Grounds Jan. 18.
Unable to overcome a poor break as the favorite in December's Bayakoa Stakes (gr. II), Fiftyshadesofhay is out to turn the tables on the runaway winner of that race, Broken Sword, in the La Canada Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 19.
Enterprising, sharp winner of the Eddie Logan Stakes over the Santa Anita Park turf last time out, takes on undefeated local favorite Exit Stage Left in the $100,000 California Derby Jan. 18 at Golden Gate Fields.
Former Hollywood Park president Rick Baedeker has been unanimously selected as the executive director of the California Horse Racing Board, commission chairman Chuck Winner announced Jan. 16.
A revamped Strub Stakes (gr. II), moved forward on the Santa Anita Park schedule and shortened in distance to 1 1/16 miles, features two strong entrants apiece from Hall of Fame trainers Bob Baffert and Jerry Hollendorfer.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will hold a 15-day fall meeting this November in addition to its regular summer stand, it announced in a statement released Jan. 15.
Daddy Nose Best, a smashing stakes winner in his first start over the turf at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, returns to the New Orleans track as the top weight in the $125,000 Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Devil's Cave, a two-length winner in her stakes debut over Florida-bred fillies last time out, will put her speed to the test in the $300,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff Jan. 18 at Gulfstream Park.
- By Jack Shinar
- Racing, Breeders' Cup, Triple Crown, Northeast Region, Southeast Region, West Region, Kentucky
Voters brought out the heavyweights for the 2013 Outstanding Trainer category, with finalists Todd Pletcher, Bob Baffert, and Bill Mott combining for 11 previous Eclipse Awards.
Statistically speaking, there's little separating jockeys Victor Carrasco, Manuel Franco, and Edgard Zayas, the three Puerto Rican-born finalists for the 2013 Eclipse Award as outstanding apprentice rider.
Jockey Tyler Baze earned his first win since returning from an alcohol-related suspension when he guided Changethechannel to a front-running tally in the featured $58,000 Venus Purse allowance Jan. 10 at Santa Anita Park.
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