Spring House successfully defended his San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) title on the Santa Anita turf Feb. 22, surging past odds-on favorite Zambezi Sun in deep stretch to win the $150,000 event.
The 74th running of the $300,000 Longacres Mile (gr. III) on Aug. 16 once again heads the list of stakes events to be run during the 2009 meeting at Emerald Downs.
Southern California shipper Mayor Marv leads all the way for jockey David Flores in the $100,000 Turf Paradise Derby Feb. 21, winning for Bob Baffert and Mike Pegram.
Odds-on choice Georgie Boy turned the $150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) into a procession at Santa Anita Feb. 21 with a long sustained move from off the pace in the seven-furlong event.
Jerry and Ann Moss were named 2008 Owners of the Year and their undefeated filly Zenyatta won Horse of the Year honors from the Thoroughbred Owners of California.
The Feb. 16 Buena Vista Handicap, moved from the turf to Santa Anita's synthetic racing surface due to inclement weather, had its grade II status reinstated by the American Graded Stakes Committee.
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.
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.
French group I winner Zambezi Sun, in his first start since the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) last fall, makes his United States debut in the $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf Feb. 22 for trainer Bobby Frankel.
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.
California-bred Georgie Boy looked like he was back in top form when he won the Sunshine Millions Sprint Jan. 24, making him a formidable favorite for the $150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 21.
Singletary, winner of the 2004 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I), has been moved to Harris Farms near Coalinga, Calif., for the 2009 breeding season, it was announced Feb. 16.
Heavily favored Jibboom, able to post soft fractions while dueling for the lead into the stretch, pulled away in the lane to score an easy 2 1/2-length win in the off-the-turf $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap (gr. III) at soggy Santa Anita Feb. 16.
Compared to Stardom Bound, the 3-year-old filly Evita Argentina found the nine males she faced in the $150,000 San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) easy pickings at stormy Santa Anita Feb. 16.
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.
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.
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.
Santa Teresita, with just a minor stakes win previously, pulled a big surprise when she bettered a top-notch field of older fillies and mares in the Valentine's Day $300,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Feb. 14.
Chocolate Candy sweetened trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's Triple Crown hopes on Valentine's Day with the colt's first graded stakes win in the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields.
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.
Axel Foley, one of the favorites for the upcoming $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) Feb. 14 at Golden Gate Fields, has been privately purchased by Jeff Singer, it was announced Feb. 13. The 3-year-old Officer colt will remain in training with Doug O'Neill.
After her dominating win in the El Encino Stakes (gr. II) in January, Life Is Sweet stands out among nine 4-year-old fillies entered for the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park Feb. 15.
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.
Barretts has cataloged 124 horses for its March select sale of 2-year-olds in training. The number is down 35.1% from last year's total of 191.
A California appeals court has ruled that a racing steward does not have the right to take preemptive action against an owner who wants to scratch his horse even if the owner's request violates rules governing late withdrawals.
Chocolate Candy is not only the obvious hunch play on Valentine's Day in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields Feb. 14, he's the solid one as well.
A dozen older fillies and mares take a shot at grade I glory in a deeply contentious renewal of the $300,000 Santa Maria Handicap at Santa Anita Feb. 14.
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.
Magnum, a close second to Lava Man in the 2006 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), should get a second chance after his sharp upset win in the $200,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 8.
Trainer Frank Lucarelli recorded the 1,000th victory of his career when Premier Diablo rallied from last to win the first race Feb. 8 at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, Calif.
Cowboy Cal is headed to the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in one month following his hard-fought win in the $250,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 7.
Matto Mondo grabbed the lead from favored pacesetter Monterey Jazz at the head of the stretch and rolled on to register a 3 1/4-length win in the off-the-turf Thunder Road Handicap at Santa Anita Feb. 7.
Triple Crown contender Pioneerof the Nile, overcoming traffic problems on the final turn, charged from the back of the pack to win the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) in the final strides over 17-1 shot Papa Clem at Santa Anita Feb. 7.
Stardom Bound, champion 2-year-old filly of 2008, could be headed for the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) after turning in a big effort in winning the $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) for new connections in her 2009 debut Feb. 7 at Santa Anita.
Arnold Zetcher has been appointed to the board of directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California.
Hold for Gold and Mambo Train will stand in 2009 at Fleming Thoroughbred Farm near Willcox, Ariz.
Tiago makes his first start since he rallied from far back for a third-place finish in the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) when he takes on 10 rivals in the $200,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 8.
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.
Stardom Bound, the juvenile filly champion of 2008, makes her 3-year-old debut Feb. 7 in the $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride racing surface.
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.
The thrills. The spills. The rivalries, rage, and romances. And yes, the flipping, too. It's all there in a new 12-part documentary television series, "Jockeys."
Here's a fact: Some domestic advance deposit wagering outlets are openly offering cash rebates to customers that wager on California racing signals.
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.
Stakes-placed Iron Cat, a 14-year-old son of Storm Cat, will stand at Oakhill Farm near Paso Robles, Calif.
Pasar Silbano, making her second American start for trainer James Cassidy, took control coming down the hillside turf course and drew off in the homestretch to win the $100,000 La Habra Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Feb. 1.
Stardom Bound, the runaway 2-year-old filly Eclipse champion of 2008, worked five furlongs at Santa Anita Feb. 1 in preparation for her 3-year-old debut in the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) Feb. 7.
Bob Baffert, an old hand at getting horses ready for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), starts heading down the Triple Crown path once again when he saddles Pioneerof the Nile for the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita on Feb. 7.
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.
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.
Santa Anita Park lost an important link to its past glory when 98-year-old Eddie Logan, Santa Anita's iconic shoeshine attendant since opening day, Dec. 25, 1934, died early on the morning of Jan. 31 at his home in Monrovia, Calif.
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