Undefeated Lethal Heat won her third straight race in the space of a month and became a grade III winner when she burned past the pacesetters mid-stretch en route to a 1 3/4-length victory in the $108,500 Santa Paula Stakes on the Santa Anita synthetic track March 30.
Long disappointing on the turf, Niagara Causeway has found a home on synthetic racing surfaces after tallying a game score over Church Service by a nose for his first graded stakes win in the $108,200 Tokyo City Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita March 29.
It remains to be seen if grade II winner Salute the Sarge can make the Derby after five months on the sidelines, but it appears his connections want to try after the colt's gritty win in the $78,000 San Miguel Stakes at Santa Anita March 29.
El Gato Malo and Georgie Boy turned in bullet moves March 29 at Hollywood Park in their final major works for next week's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
Santa Anita leading jockey Garrett Gomez announced he is leaving for Keeneland next week while Rafael Bejarano, who has been sidelined since cracking two vertebrae in a spill on March 13 is nearing a return.
Santa Anita stewards have disqualified a horse trained by Doug O'Neill from a first-place finish and ordered redistribution of the purse as a result of a test sample that showed the horse had raced with an excess of total carbon dioxide.
The Barretts Classic I, a select sale of horses of racing age, is set for Oct. 26.
Owners in California will have the option of "claim-proofing" a horse that has been on the shelf for at least 180 days for one start under a proposal advanced by the state's horse racing board March 27.
Barry Abrams' and Madeline Auerbach's Lethal Heat is making her first start in graded stakes company, will be running off the turf for the first time, and is coming back in 10 days from a 1 3/4-length allowance win. But Abrams fully expects the 3-year-old daughter of Unusual Heat to handle those factors in the $100,000 Santa Paula Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita March 30.
Zappa, off the board in two starts since winning the San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) in January, tries softer company for trainer John Sadler in the $100,000 Tokyo City Cup (gr. III) at 1 1/2 miles on Santa Anita's synthetic racing surface March 29.
Perfect Drift has been galloping at Santa Anita and is nearing his first breeze, trainer Richard Mandella said March 23.
Monterey Jazz, who finished 12th as the 7-2 favorite in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), and Awesome Gem will get their next starts at Hollywood Park.
Sweeter Still, two-for-two in 2008, is scheduled to make her next start in Santa Anita's Providencia Stakes (gr. IIIT) April 5.
Unbeaten Peppers Pride moved to within one victory of tying the modern-day record for most consecutive wins when she captured the $100,000 Sydney Valentini Handicap at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino March 23 for her 15th straight.
Costume, thanks to a little chicanery from jockey Garrett Gomez, gave trainer Bobby Frankel his eighth win in the Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) with an all-out front-running victory on the Santa Anita turf March 23.
Craig Dollase thinks grade III winner El Gato Malo will be even tougher in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 5 thanks to his recent defeat.
The wire came just in time for the veteran Boule d'Or, a recent $50,000 claim by trainer Jeff Mullins who stole the $200,000 San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) with a well-timed ride from jockey Tyler Baze on the Santa Anita turf March 22.
The unbeaten Peppers Pride, the queen of New Mexico racing, goes for her 15th straight win in the $100,000 Sydney Valentini Handicap at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino March 23.
A Pick Six pool of more than $3 million at Santa Anita Park March 20 produced three winning tickets worth $702,754 apiece.
After finally breaking through with a victory in the Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) for trainer Bobby Frankel last month, Juddmonte Farms' Costume returns in the $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf March 23, Easter Sunday.
Lethal Grande has been named the 2007 Oregon Horse of the Year by the Oregon Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
Distance specialist On the Acorn, expected to defend his title in the San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) next month, heads a field of seven entered for the $200,000 San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) at 12 furlongs on the Santa Anita turf course March 22.
Youbet.com said March 18 it had resolved its part in a federal investigation into its former International Racing Group subsidiary, and will not be charged in return for continued cooperation with officials.
Graded stakes winners Zenyatta and Tiago both "are doing very well" and probably will run in stakes at the upcoming Hollywood Park spring/summer meet, which gets under way April 23, trainer John Shirreffs said.
Favored Sky Mom overcame a stewards' inquiry and jockey objection to win the $200,000 WinStar Sunland Park Oaks in come-from-behind fashion by 4 3/4 lengths in New Mexico March 16.
Worn down by chasing a fast pace, odds-on choice Tough Tiz's Sis was all out to hold off Nice Inheritance in winning the $112,950 Harry W. Henson Handicap for fillies and mares at New Mexico's Sunland Park March 16.
Liberty Bull, third behind Denis of Cork and Sierra Sunset in the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) last time out, made that race look even better with a sharp two-length victory in the rich $600,000 WinStar Derby at New Mexico's Sunland Park March 16.
John Placzankis, 41, tossed a perfect ringer and won first prize of $1 million in Santa Anita's annual St. Patrick's Day Horseshoe Pitch contest following the seventh race.
Looking for a new favorite for the Derby after the disappointing efforts by 3-year-old stars War Pass and Z Fortune? Why not Georgie Boy? A grade I winner at 2, the favored California-bred son of Tribal Rule used a late burst to pass Gayego in deep stretch and win the $200,000 San Felipe (gr. II) in his first try around two turns March 15 at Santa Anita.
Favorites Tribesman and Vicarino dueled each other into submission in the $100,000 Bay Meadows Sprint (gr. III), allowing the late-running Bonfante to earn an easy 4 1/2-length win for trainer Ron McAnally March 15 in San Mateo, Calif.
Portland Meadows, which concluded its 2007-08 live meet on March 11, reported a 22.3% increase in gross handle from all sources compared to a year ago.
Jockey Rafael Bejarano, the leading rider during Santa Anita's current meet, sustained compressed fractures to the T-5 and T-6 vertebra in a March 13 spill and has been replaced by Michael Baze as the rider for George Schwary's 3-year-old Georgie Boy in the March 15 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II).
Deputy Commander, third on this year's California sires list by progeny earnings, will not cover any more mares this year because of a health issue.
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.
John Harris has been selected to receive the Ed Friendly Industry Service Award from the Thoroughbred Owners of California at a ceremony to be held March 29 at Santa Anita Park.
The 2008 Barretts March select sale of 2-year-olds in training sale saw downturns in key categories, but was topped by an $800,000 daughter of Silver Deputy.
The $300,000 Longacres Mile (gr. III), the Emerald Downs' centerpiece for a 35-race stakes schedule set for the 2008 season, will be run Aug. 17.
The most accomplished entrants in the $200,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) March 15 have done all their work sprinting. So the question is which of them is ready to stretch out in Southern California's last major prep race before the April 5 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
The speedster Tribesman, on a five-race winning streak after upsetting grade I winner Idiot Proof in the Phoenix Gold Cup Handicap last month, collides with top Northern California sprinter Vicarino in the $100,000 Bay Meadows Sprint (gr. III) March 15.
Lava Man, who is gearing up for a 2008 campaign to add to his career earnings of $5,214,706, had his first recorded workout of the year at Hollywood Park Wednesday morning, March 12, for trainer Doug O'Neill.
One year after the sale registered positive results in gross, average, and median price, optimism remains the key word going into the March 12 Barretts March select sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Autism Awareness, 62-1 winner of Bay Meadows' El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) March 8, is off the Triple Crown trail with an injured left foreleg, owner Johnny Taboada said March 11.
On the eve before the March 12 Barretts March select sale of 2-year-olds in training, here are the horses that have people talking.
Lava Man is scheduled to have his first workout of 2008 Wednesday morning at Hollywood Park, according to trainer Doug O'Neill.
Celtic Dreamin, runner-up in this year's $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic, was given the green light to make his turf debut this Sunday in Santa Anita's $100,000 added Crystal Water Handicap against California-breds after a sharp grass workout March 10.
A daughter of Forestry turned in the fastest eighth of a mile work March 10 at Fairplex Park during the second and final under tack show for the Barretts March select sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Warren Williamson was voted owner of the year, and his racemare Nashoba's Key was chosen horse of the year, in the Thoroughbred of California's annual owner awards selection.
For the third consecutive year, HRTV will provide complete, live on-site coverage of the Barretts sale of selected 2-year-olds in training from Fairplex Park in Pomona, Calif., March 12.
Reunited with Garrett Gomez, heavy favorite Nashoba's Key was on her game once again when she demolished a small field in the $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) on Santa Anita's synthetic track March 9.
Autism Awareness, the longest shot in the field, sprang a touching $126 upset in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Bay Meadows March 8. Johnny Taboada, the horse's owner, has an 8-year-old son, Renzo, who has autism.
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