West Region

News and features for Western farm owners, racehorse owners, and breeders

Shapiro 'Allied' with New Calif. Group

Shapiro 'Allied' with New Calif. Group

Richard Shapiro, former chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, has been hired as a consultant by the newly-formed California Horse Racing Alliance. Craig Fravel, the alliance's president and the executive vice-president of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, confirmed the hiring of Shapiro shortly after the group's formation in recent weeks.

Velazquez Wins George Woolf Award

Velazquez Wins George Woolf Award

John Velazquez, a native of Puerto Rico and a two-time Eclipse award winning jockey, has been selected by a vote of his peers as the 2009 winner of the Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. The Woolf Announcement was made Feb. 19 on HRTV by retired Hall of Fame jockey and past Woolf winner Gary Stevens.

Calif. Yearling Sale Undergoes Changes

The California Fall Yearling Sale has been reconfigured and will now be called the California Cup Yearling Sale, it was announced Feb. 18. The catalog will be open to all yearlings and not restricted to California-breds.

Dramatic La Canada Win for Life is Sweet

Dramatic La Canada Win for Life is Sweet

Favored Life Is Sweet hardly had an ideal set-up in the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II), racing at the back of the pack behind extremely slow fractions. But the full sister to champion 2-year-old filly Sweet Catomine refused to be denied, swinging to the outside under Garrett Gomez in the homestretch to overtake Magical Fantasy in the final strides at Santa Anita Feb. 15.

Desert Code Notches Another on Hillside

Desert Code Notches Another on Hillside

If you saw Desert Code's dramatic come-from-behind win in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint last fall, this victory was nothing like that one. Instead, Desert Code took the lead shortly after the start of the $100,000 Daytona Handicap (gr. IIIT) Feb. 15 on the same hillside turf course at Santa Anita and was never threatened.

Wasserman Named WA Horse of the Year

Howard Belvoir's 2008 Longacres Mile Handicap (gr. III) winner Wasserman took home honors as Washington horse of the year, champion handicap male, and sprinter at the Washington Thoroughbred Champions Breeders and Owners Annual Awards Banquet held at Emerald Downs Feb. 14.

Evita Argentina Vs. Boys in San Vicente

Evita Argentina Vs. Boys in San Vicente

An intriguing field of 10 3-year-olds was entered for the $150,000 San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 16 at Santa Anita, including the top three finishers from the San Pedro Stakes last month, two horses each from the barns of Bob Baffert and Jeff Mullins, and the Candy Ride filly Evita Argentina, who was second in the Santa Ynez (gr. II) last out and will look to make history by winning the 62-year-old event for the first time since 1947.

Desert Code Ready to Roll in Daytona

Desert Code Ready to Roll in Daytona

Desert Code, 35-1 upset winner of the inaugural Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint last fall, makes his 5-year-old debut in the $100,000 Daytona Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Park Feb. 15, regardless of whether the race remains on the hillside turf course.

Jockeys to Play Charity Basketball Game

The 42nd annual Holy Angels/Santa Anita Jockeys Charity Basketball game will take place Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at La Salle High School in Pasadena, Ca. Proceeds will benefit the Holy Angels athletic department and legendary Hall of Fame jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye and Laffit Pincay Jr. will serve as honorary captains.

Gio Ponti Can Build On Success in Strub

Gio Ponti Can Build On Success in Strub

Weather played an unexpected role when turf standout Gio Ponti won the Dec. 26 Sir Beaufort Stakes (gr. III), a race transferred from the grass to Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface. Given a freshening since then, he takes the next step on the main track in the $250,000 Strub (gr. II) Feb. 7.

Monba, Yankee Bravo Set to Return

Monba, Yankee Bravo Set to Return

Monba and Yankee Bravo, both prominent on last year's Triple Crown trail, will make their returns to the racetrack in the $100,000 Thunder Road Handicap (gr. IIIT) Feb. 7 at Santa Anita. However, Irish-bred Ferneley, a near-winner in consecutive graded stakes, could loom the largest in the one-mile turf event.

Emerald Downs Open for Training

Wasserman and The Great Face, the last two winners of the Longacres Mile (gr. III), were on the track Feb 2 as Emerald Downs opened for training in advance of the 2009 racing season.

Will O Way Fights On in California Oaks

Odds-On favorite Will O Way, responding to strong urging from jockey Russell Baze after being headed in the homestretch, held off the charging Point of Reference by a nose in the final stride, winning the $100,000 California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields Jan. 31.

Ventura Finds Fast Lane in Santa Monica

Ventura Finds Fast Lane in Santa Monica

The result never seemed in doubt as odds-on choice Ventura shook off stablemate Jibboom with a furlong to run to en route to a measured one-length win, giving trainer Bobby Frankel and Juddmonte Farms the exacta in the $300,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Jan. 31.

Most Popular Stories