The $1-million, grade I Pacific Classic will be repositioned to Labor Day weekend as the highlight of the 70th season of racing at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, which will offer 31 stakes with purses totaling nearly $7 million. The meet begins Wednesday, July 22 and runs through Wednesday, Sept. 9.
Historic Hollywood Park, under the eminent threat of redevelopment, opens for its 70th and possibly final spring/summer racing season on April 22. Some say now is not the time.
Breeders' Cup Ltd. has issued a statement reaffirming its belief that negotiations can be completed so the 2009 World Championships will still take place Nov. 6-7 at Santa Anita as part of the Oak Tree meet.
Santa Anita Park concluded its 84-day winter/spring meeting in robust fashion on April 19, posting the first gain in on-track attendance at any major California racetrack since the summer of 2007 at Del Mar.
Everything went right for front-running Midships in the $196,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) as he held sway over the up-against-it Spring House on a warm closing day afternoon April 19 at Santa Anita Park.
Rafael Bejarano, winner of the last six major Southern California riding titles, has the mount on Backbackbackgone as Hollywood Park's 70th spring/summer meet opens April 22 with the $70,000-added Harry Henson Stakes.
In spite of being blocked on the final turn, Magical Fantasy scored an incredibly close victory in the $200,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) over hard-luck Black Mamba, who lost this race by the barest of margins for the second straight year at Santa Anita April 18.
Front-running Mr Gruff won his stakes debut in style, turning back a brief challenge in the lane to win the $100,000 San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita April 18.
Big Booster returns to the turf to defend his title in the $200,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) on closing day of the 2008-09 season at Santa Anita April 19.
Foxysox and Black Mamba, separated by a nose when they ran first and second, respectively, in last year's Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita, return in what should be an intriguing renewal of the $200,000 grass event April 18.
Gallant Son underwent surgery for bone chips on both knees April 10 and will be out of action until at least this fall, trainer Frank Lucarelli said.
Hillside turf course specialist Desert Code makes a quick turnaround for trainer David Hofmans as the 122-pound high weight in the $100,000 San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Santa Anita's penultimate day for the 2008-09 racing season April 18.
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Pioneerof the Nile had his final workout at Santa Anita on a blustery but sun-drenched morning April 15, busting four furlongs on the Pro-Ride racing surface in a bullet :46 1/5, the fastest of 39 drills at the distance.
Mike Pegram is quick with a joke when his horses win, but the owner said he felt very humbled when the Southern California racing industry turned out to honor him and his wife, Mary Ellen.
Charles Cono, who campaigned 2008 champion 2-year-old filly Stardom Bound, died April 9 at his La Mesa, Calif.
Course specialist Gotta Have Her got up in the final stride by a nose over Reba Is Tops to win the $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT), the Easter Day feature on the Santa Anita hillside April 12.
Chocolate Candy, runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), worked five furlongs under new rider Mike Smith on Pro-Ride in :59 1/5 April 12. The son of Candy Ride is scheduled to leave April 14 for Louisville to prepare for the 135th Kentucky Derby.
British-bred Battle of Hastings scorched his competition in Santa Anita's $100,000 La Puente Stakes on April 11 when he rallied for a 1 1/2-length victory over Smokey Lonesome.
The City of Arcadia has proclaimed Sunday, April 19, as "Eddie Logan Day" in honor of Santa Anita's iconic shoeshine attendant who passed away on Jan. 31 at the age of 98.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) runner-up Square Eddie, who had been expected to train up to the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), instead will first run in the April 18 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland, if all goes well following a scheduled six-furlong workout April 11 at Hollywood Park.
Tuscan Evening, an impressive winner over Santa Anita's hillside turf course in both of her American starts, can provide jockey Garrett Gomez with a record-tying stakes mark at the meet April 12 if she can win the $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Its meet extended by one week, Portland Meadows handled a record $44,655,297 over 66 full race days when the 2008-09 Oregon meet concluded March 31.
Two-time national champion Indian Blessing has traveled far and wide in adding accomplishment after accomplishment to her vaunted graded-stakes resume. And her lesser-known older brother has had his fair share of journeys, too, though more often due to court-related drama - including a criminal arrest - than for racing glory.
Barretts has cataloged 250 horses for its May sale of 2-year-olds in training. The auction will be held May 11, beginning at 1 p.m. (PDT), in the Hinds Pavilion, which is located on the grounds of Fairplex Park in Southern California.
CARMA invited representatives from several California rescue organizations to a roundtable April 8 at Santa Anita to discuss ways the groups could work together to save Thoroughbreds and rehabilitate them for second careers.
Via Lombardia, a California graded stakes winner, has been relocated to Dan Burch's Burch Farm near Monroe, Utah.
Sweet August Moon took advantage of a hot pace to run down the odds-on pacesetter High Resolve, scoring her first graded stakes win in the $100,000 Las Flores Handicap (gr. III) on April 5 at Santa Anita.
Even as he prepares to ship Pioneerof the Nile to Churchill Downs April 14 for the 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Bob Baffert says he's still trying to figure out what kind of running style the son of 2003 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Empire Maker possesses.
The morning after the scratch of pre-race favorite The Pamplemousse from the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) due to a tendon flare-up, co-owner Alex Solis II, said the promising colt is off the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail.
Acting Lady, a 20-1 outsider ridden by Victor Espinoza, repelled the charge of American newcomer Mrs Kipling to win the $150,000 Providencia Stakes (gr. IIT) by a half-length in a big surprise on the Santa Anita turf April 4.
Soul City Slew, who had run for a $50,000 claiming tag in March, pulled off an upset in the $126,000 Potrero Grande Handicap (gr. II) April 4 at Santa Anita Park in California, defeating favored Halo Najib by a half-length. It was the first stakes win of any kind for Soul City Slew, who had shown flashes of promise previously when he had finished third in both the 2007 Pat O'Brien Handicap (gr. II) and the 2008 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II).
Dixie Chatter slid through an opening on the rail mid-stretch and kicked clear to win the $150,000 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park April 4 for his first graded stakes win since capturing the 2007 Norfolk Stakes (gr. I).
A lack of pace changed the game plan for odds-on choice Pioneerof the Nile, but jockey Garrett Gomez improvised, enabling the son of Empire Maker to hold off Chocolate Candy for a one-length win in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on a picture-perfect day in Arcadia, Calif.
The first four finishers in last month's Honest Lady Stakes will all have the unenviable task of trying to catch the speedy filly High Resolve in the $100,000 Las Flores Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita April 5.
Lucky J.H., a graded stakes winner of 8 of 20 starts, with earnings of $632,065, has been retired to the place of his birth, his owner/breeder John Harris's Harris Farm near Coalinga, Calif.
Jockey Leslie Mawing, who sustained compound fractures of both the tibia and fibula in his left leg in a spill at Golden Gate Fields,had emergency surgery on the leg the evening of April 1 at Highland Hospital in Oakland, Calif.
A California court of appeal recently affirmed a $2.7-million judgment awarded to retired Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. against the ambulance company that handled the injuries that ultimately ended his career
Saarland, who was one of the top 2-year-olds of 2001, died March 11 because of injuries suffered after running into a feeder.
Got Koko, a grade I winner for Aase Headley and Paul Leung and a broodmare for Jess Jackson's Stonestreet operation, died from foaling complications.
Irish-bred import Pasar Silbano, winner of the La Habra Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Santa Anita Park's hillside turf course in her last start Feb. 1, will be among the contenders in the Providencia Stakes (gr. IIT) on April 4.
Winless in 11 previous graded stakes tries, Halo Najib figures to never get a better chance to end the hex than he has in the $150,000 Potrero Grande Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita April 4.
Jockey Leslie Mawing sustained compound fractures of both the tibia and fibula in his left leg when his mount, Pasta Time, crashed through the inner rail during the stretch run of the seventh race at Golden Gate Fields April 1.
Millionaire Desert Code, winner of both last fall's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint and the Daytona Handicap (gr. IIIT) six weeks ago on the hillside turf course, will attempt to stretch out to a mile in the Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita April 4.
Longtime California-based trainer Richard Matlow succumbed to the effects of Amytrophic Lateral Schlerosis (ALS) late on the night of March 30 at his home in Monrovia at the age of 66.
Trainer Julio Canani says The Pamplemousse doesn't need the lead to win the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) April 4. After a couple of interesting developments when entries were taken, that theory could be put to the test.
Purse winnings for the victorious effort of Einstein in the March 7 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) are being contested by former clients of the horse's owners, Shirley Cunningham Jr. and William Gallion.
California stakes winner Spenditallbaby was euthanized March 30 because of complications from a sesamoid injury.
The Pamplemousse, with his regular rider Alex Solis aboard, turned in a sharp final tune-up March 31 for the April 4 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). The 3-year-old son of Kafwain worked three furlongs in :34.80 seconds at Santa Anita Park in California. He was the fastest of 15 workers at that distance.
Michael Paulson March 30 called a judge's ruling to remove him as the trustee of his father's living trust "without merit," and said he will appeal the decision.
Favored Kelly Leak took the overland route for jockey Mike Smith to register a 1 1/2-length win in the $900,000 Sunland Derby before 16,388 at New Mexico's Sunland Park March 29.
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