Tracy Gantz

Tapit Weanling Tops Barretts Final Day

A Tapit weanling colt brought a session-topping $60,000 at the second day of the Barretts October mixed sale Oct. 28. Broodmares and weanlings made up most of the sale's second half, which saw 100 horses gross $379,500 and average $3,795.

Barretts' First Session Suffers Declines

With no major dispersals in the mix and working against an ailing economy, the two-day 2008 Barretts October mixed sale began Oct. 27 facing an uphill battle. The first day saw 143 horses sell for $536,600, yielding an average of $3,752 that was 69% last year's event.

Dearest Trickski Proves Quite a Claim

Dearest Trickski Proves Quite a Claim

Dearest Trickski's road to the Sentient Flight Group Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint began late last year, when the Kalookan Queen Stakes at Santa Anita failed to fill. That pushed the filly into the grade I La Brea Stakes Dec. 29, and a victory there gave owner Tom Mankiewicz and trainer John Sadler grander ideas.

Fabulous Strike Makes Sprint This Year

Fabulous Strike Makes Sprint This Year

Todd Beattie is happy to be in California with Fabulous Strike for the Sentient Flight Group Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I). He had hoped to be at last year's Sprint, but instead had to battle a lung infection that could have ended the gelding's racing career.

Indian Blessing 2-1 Choice in F&M Sprint

Indian Blessing 2-1 Choice in F&M Sprint

Champion Indian Blessing drew post position 5 and was installed the 2-1 morning-line favorite in a full field for the Sentient Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita Oct. 21. That puts the front-running filly three outside another speedster, 12-1 Indyanne, in the seven-furlong event.

Lady Sprinter Flying Under the Radar

As the media descend daily on barn 27 of the Santa Anita backstretch to get a glimpse of Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) favorite Curlin Oct. 20, trainer Juan Reviriego quietly goes about his business next door at barn 28. He also has a Breeders' Cup contender, though Lady Sprinter doesn't have nearly as high a profile as her neighbor.

'House' Rooting for Tiz Elemental

'House' Rooting for Tiz Elemental

When it comes to the Sentient Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, the Oak Tree Racing Association board members can be forgiven a little partisanship. The hosts of the 2008 Breeders' Cup Oct. 24-25 should be impartial, but fellow board member Warren Williamson bred and owns Filly & Mare Sprint contender Tiz Elemental.

Fatal Bullet Strikes at Santa Anita

Fatal Bullet Strikes at Santa Anita

Fatal Bullet, the Canadian invader for the Sentient Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 over the Santa Anita Pro-Ride surface Oct. 19. Trainer Reade Baker and his wife, Janis, watched the work from the grandstand, as regular jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva was in the saddle.

'Living Legends' Talk Race Tactics

'Living Legends' Talk Race Tactics

As if they had never left the racetrack, 10 Hall of Fame jockeys spoke knowingly of tactics in the Oct. 18 "Living Legends" competition at Santa Anita -- mostly about how Angel Cordero Jr. will be herding the field from his outside post position.

Sprint: Double Time

Sprint: Double Time

Trainer Bob Baffert will be trying to accomplish something in the Sentient Flight Group Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) never done before-win the race twice with the same horse.

Curlin Works Toward Classic Start

Curlin Works Toward Classic Start

Curlin took another step closer to the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) when he executed a flawless workout between races at Santa Anita Oct. 13. With regular exercise rider Carlos Rosas aboard and in company with Hawaii Calls, Curlin traveled five furlongs in :59.11, galloping out in 1:12.14.

Curlin, Student Council Work at SA

Curlin, Student Council Work at SA

With trainer Steve Asmussen looking on, Curlin worked over the Pro-Ride synthetic surface at Santa Anita early the morning of Oct. 6. The trainer, who has made no secret of the fact that he prefers dirt over synthetic surfaces, said that he could not make any decision about Santa Anita's new surface on the basis of just one work.

Curlin Settles in at Santa Anita

Curlin Settles in at Santa Anita

Curlin, racing's $10 million horse, arrived at Santa Anita on Sunday, Sept. 28, and settled in at Barn 27. Assistant trainer Scott Blasi said that Curlin would probably make his first visit to the Santa Anita track Wednesday, Oct. 1.

New SA Surface Gets Positive Reviews

New SA Surface Gets Positive Reviews

Oak Tree's opening day, Sept. 24, brought sweltering temperatures back to Southern California, almost as if by design to test the new Pro-Ride synthetic surface. The surface heated up, but after the day's six races over it (the other three being on turf), reviews were generally optimistic.

Aurebach's Karma with CARMA

Aurebach's Karma with CARMA

Look in the winner's circle after any offspring of Unusual Heat wins a race and you'll likely see a petite, brown-haired woman hugging the jockey, high-fiving the trainer, or congratulating the owner.

TOC to End Exclusive ADW Pacts

The elimination of exclusive account deposit wagering contracts and meeting the challenges of racetrack closures were among the subjects addressed at the Thoroughbred Owners of California's annual membership meeting Aug. 16 at Del Mar.

Santa Anita Surface Overhaul in Progress

Santa Anita Surface Overhaul in Progress

Large piles of material dot Santa Anita's backside parking lot, as work continues on the overhaul of the track's synthetic surface. Repairs to the drainage system are expected to be finished soon, with the next step being the placement of the base grit layer, according to Ian Pearse, founder and president of Pro-Ride Racing Australia.

Del Mar Focuses On More Consistent Track

Del Mar Focuses On More Consistent Track

Water, designed to keep Del Mar's Polytrack more consistent from morning to afternoon, also led to three track records opening day, July 16, at the Southern California track. The five races carded over the synthetic surface were run at four different distances, with new marks set at 5 1/2 furlongs, six furlongs and a mile.

Racetrack Enacts Zero-Tolerance Slaughter Policy

Sending racehorses to slaughter will not be tolerated at Suffolk Downs racetrack in Boston. Track management will now deny trainers stalls if they sell a horse for slaughter. This latest move bolsters other efforts underway to protect Thoroughbred racehorses, including retirement funding already in place by the track and local horsemen.

"I hope we...

Four-Year-Old Tops Barretts Sale

Four-Year-Old Tops Barretts Sale

Phoenix owner Todd Finch bought the sale topper at the Barretts summer sale June 24 as his first venture into Southern California racing. Trainer Anthony Saavedra successfully bid $40,000 on behalf of Finch's Val-U-Chem for Leesider, a 4-year-old son of champion Bertrando.

Inside Track: Rehab Specialist

Inside Track: Rehab Specialist

Hundreds of former racehorses owe their second careers to Leigh Gray. Manager of Dr. Don Shields' lay-up facility, Winner's Circle Ranch in Bradbury, Calif., Gray not only rehabilitates racehorses for a living, she does it in her spare time.

Test Calls for Flooding of SA Surface

Test Calls for Flooding of SA Surface

A two-day flooding of Santa Anita Park's synthetic surface is one of the final tests management plans before making a decision on the future of the main-track surface. Track president Ron Charles said the surface will be flooded following training hours May 28.

Final Season for Hollywood Park?

Final Season for Hollywood Park?

Hollywood Park may be celebrating its 70th anniversary season, but the question remains, will the Southern California track be around in 2009 for its 71st? "I just don't know -- nobody knows," said F. Jack Liebau, Hollywood Park president, on opening day, April 23.

Santa Anita's Track Decision Due in May

Santa Anita's Track Decision Due in May

Now that the Santa Anita winter meeting has ended, work can begin in earnest on the choice of main-track surface. Following a comprehensive series of tests on the current main track, a decision is probable sometime in May, Santa Anita president Ron Charles said April 22.

Perfect Drift Appears Eager to Race

Perfect Drift Appears Eager to Race

Perfect Drift had his second three-furlong work at Santa Anita March 31 for trainer Richard Mandella. The 9-year-old earner of $4,680,691 clocked :37 flat on Santa Anita's synthetic surface and appears eager to get back to the races.

Bejarano Injured When Horse Collapses

Bejarano Injured When Horse Collapses

Leading Santa Anita jockey Rafael Bejarano was thrown heavily to the ground in the stretch of the final race March 13 when his mount, Parisian Art, had an apparent heart attack and died. The jockey was put into an ambulance on a stretcher and taken to nearby Arcadia Methodist Hospital.

Santa Anita to Replace Surface

Santa Anita to Replace Surface

Experts from all avenues of the racing industry presented statistics and opinions on synthetic surfaces and Santa Anita track president Ron Charles said the track will replace its Cushion Track as a six-hour special meeting called by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) concluded Feb. 20.

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