The California Horse Racing Board announced Oct. 7 that in conjunction with Breeders' Cup, it will be conducting random out-of-competition testing for horses pre-entered in the World Championships.
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.
Trainer Doug O'Neill watched his retired star Lava Man lead the post parade for Oak Tree's $250,000 California Cup Classic, then saw his newest stable standout Mr. Chairman dig in to defeat the favored filly Romance Is Diane by a head Oct. 5 at Santa Anita.
Undefeated Peppers Pride put herself in the record books when she defeated an allowance field at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M., by two lengths for her 17th consecutive victory Oct. 4.
Queen Ofthe Catsle earned her first win in a graded stakes race when she ran down pacesetter La Tee in deep stretch to capture Oak Tree's $111,600 Senator Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. IIIT) over Santa Anita's downhill turf course Oct. 4.
Lava Man, one of the all-time great California breds who was retired in July with earnings of $5,268,706, will lead the parade to the post for the $250,000 California Cup Classic at Oak Tree on Oct. 5.
Amanda McKaughan collected her first Santa Anita Park victory as a trainer when Double Dip, a 13-1 outsider making her first start at Santa Anita, won the optional claiming feature, a $51,082 event for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles Oct. 2.
Four-year-old filly Romance Is Diane, a grade I stakes winner, is the 5-2 favorite among eight entrants in the $250,000 California Cup Classic presented by City National Bank, the centerpiece of Oak Tree's 10-stakes series of races exclusively for state-breds at Santa Anita Oct. 5.
Irish-bred Bahama Mama, a steady speedster still seeking recompense for a flawed graded stakes debut in the United States, and the ultra consistent Victorina, who has never before raced on grass, will be the co-high weights at 118 pounds in Oak Tree's $100,000 Senator Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Oct. 4.
The maiden Street Hero squeezed between horses to challenge for the lead and outfought Believe in Hope and Midshipman in deep stretch to win Oak Tree's $250,000 Norfolk Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Sept. 28, securing a berth in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Jockey Garrett Gomez guided favorite Hyperbaric to victory in the $200,000 Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT) to collect his 3,000th career win in impressive style at Santa Anita Sept. 28.
Dr. Jock Jocoy, veterinarian to several of the greatest horses in Thoroughbred racing history, including champions Swaps, Ack Ack, Cougar II and Buckpasser, died Sept. 27 at his home in Del Mar after a lengthy illness. The native of New London, Conn., was 82.
Tucked between a weekend of Breeders' Cup prep races and the California Cup showcasing the local product, California's fall select yearling sale offers a slimmer but more select catalog than in years past.
Favored Well Armed, under strong urging from jockey Aaron Gryder, responded to open up a clear advantage in the homestretch, then held off the late-closing Tiago to win the $500,000 Goodwood (gr. I) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Sept. 27. Because the race is part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, Well Armed gained a slot in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
Wait a While, undefeated in three starts on the Santa Anita turf course, earned her way back to the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) by winning Oak Tree's $400,000 Yellow Ribbon (gr. IT) by one length Sept. 27.
Stardom Bound put on a dazzling performance in the $250,000 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 27 during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park. The 2-year-old Tapit filly rallied from last, came eight-wide into the stretch, and mowed down her rivals to win going away under Mike Smith.
Cost of Freedom, claimed for $50,000 this summer by trainer John Sadler, repelled a strong bid from odds-on choice Street Boss to win the Ancient Title Stakes (gr. I) during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park Sept. 27. The victory earned Cost of Freedom a berth in the Sentient Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Undefeated Zenyatta unwound her patented stretch drive once again to sweep by Hystericalady in the final furlong to win the $245,000 Lady's Secret (gr. IT)during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park Sept. 27.
Veteran jockey Calvin Borel, making his first-ever appearance in a race at Golden Gate Fields, drove Delightful Kiss past favored Awesome Gem for a one-length victory in the $211,800 All American Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) Sept. 27.
East Coast invader Red Giant nipped Out of Control in a tough stretch duel to win the $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) by a head in world record time during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park.
Jockey Corey Nakatani could miss the remainder of the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita, including the two-day Breeders' Cup festival, with a fractured right clavicle suffered in a spill in the Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the opening day of the meet Sept. 24.
Prominent Thoroughbred Owner Mace Siegel, vice president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, has given $100,000 to support the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group and its efforts to protect live horse racing.
Jack Preston, owner of Prestonwood Racing, and trainer Julio Canani could have another shot at the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) in their future with Hyperbaric, who appears to be the horse to beat in the $200,000 Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf Sept. 28.
Northern California trainer Steven Miyadi has drawn a sixth complaint from the California Horse Racing Board for alleged violations of new rules regarding the use of the synthetic anabolic steroid stanozolol that became official after Aug. 1.
Midshipman, unbeaten in two starts for trainer Bob Baffert after his gritty victory in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I), heads a field of 10 in the $250,000 Norfolk Breeders Cup Stakes (gr. I) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Sept. 28.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, closing in on 4,000 victories in a star-crossed career, is apparently finished competing in California.
The Goodwood Stakes (gr. I), as usual, serves as the main prep race in Southern California for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) this season. But for the 11 entered in this year's $500,000 renewal Sept. 24, it's also the first test of Santa Anita's new Pro-Ride synthetic racing surface and will go a long way toward determining which contenders move on.
Hobeau Farm's Delightful Kiss has already earned a berth into the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon next month at Santa Anita. Now, the 4-year-old gelding will make his final prep for that race when he faces six rivals in the $200,000 All American Stakes (gr. III) the richest race of Golden Gate Fields' fall meet.
Front-running California Flag drew away in stunning fashion to register a 22-1 surprise in track record time while winning the $112,500 Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) over Santa Anita's hillside turf course on opening day of the 40th Oak Tree Racing Association meet.
A refreshed Wait a While returns to one of her favorite turf courses as the horse to beat in the $400,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. IT) on the turf at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meet Sept. 27.
Two-time grade I winner Street Boss puts his five-race winning streak on the line when he takes on seven tough sprinters in the $250,000 Ancient Title Breeders Cup Stakes (gr. I) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Sept. 27.
Multiple grade II winners Out of Control, Red Giant, and Spring House head a field of seven entered for the $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Sept. 27.
The first three finishers of the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) have passed the entry box for the Sept. 27 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I). The two-turn, $250,000 race for 2-year-old fillies at the Oak Tree meeting figures to be a key prep for next month's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
Unbeaten Zenyatta will be looking for career win No. 8 when she takes the gate for the Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 27 at Oak Tree at Santa Anita. The California-based runner will face four rivals, including grade I winner Hystericalady, in the 1 1/16-mile race.
Gold Mark Farm's Proud Jefe hasn't started yet around two turns, but his two wins around one make him the one to beat in the Sept. 27 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes (gr. III), worth $100,000, at 1 1/16 miles. The Proud Citizen colt is the only one in the field of eight with as many as two wins.
Longacres Mile (gr. III) winner Wasserman has been turned out at Coal Creek Farm in Enumclaw, Wash., and won't race in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, (IEAH Stables), owners of 2008 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Big Brown, will donate a percentage of winnings of all IEAH starters in next month's Breeders' Cup World Championships to Breeders' Cup Charities.
Defending champion Get Funky, seeking an assured Breeders' Cup berth, heads 12 entrants in the $100,000 Morvich Handicap as the Oak Tree Racing Association launches its 40th season at Santa Anita Sept. 24.
Four complaints have been filed against trainer John Sadler by the California Horse Racing Board, alleging that horses in his care ran with excessive amounts of the synthetic anabolic steroid stanozolol in their systems during the month of August at Del Mar, where Sadler was the leading trainer.
Georgie Boy, a three-time graded stakes winner and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender before suffering an injury in late March, has resumed training and is being pointed towards a return to the racetrack in October, his owner-breeder George Schwary said Sept. 19.
With horsemen and Hollywood Park unable to come to agreement on revenue splits from account wagering sources for the upcoming autumn meet at the Inglewood track, the California Horse Racing Board agreed to conduct a special hearing to settle the impasse.
Jockey Frank Alvarado, known as a strong finisher, displayed his skill while recording his 2,000th career victory Sept. 18 at Golden Gate Fields.
The Oak Tree Racing Association will card a record total of six grade I Breeders' Cup prep stakes on Sept. 27. The Goodwood, Yellow Ribbon, Oak Leaf, Clement Hirsch Turf Championship, Lady's Secret and the Ancient Title will offer horsemen nearly $2 million in purses on what is believed to be the biggest Breeders' Cup prep day in racing history.
A memorial tribute to long-time racing executive and publicist Bob Benoit has been set for Thursday, Oct. 16, at Santa Anita Park.
A California rule that gives owners the option of protecting a horse that has been out of action for at least 180 days from being claimed away goes into effect on Sept. 20.
Golden Gate Fields, the only major racing facility in Northern California at the present time with the closure of Bay Meadows, opens its 2008 fall/winter meeting Sept. 17.
Barretts has cataloged 514 horses for its October mixed sale, which will be held Oct. 27 and 28 at the Hinds Pavilion at Fairplex Park in Southern California.
Trainer Mike Mitchell has an Oct. 11 hearing with stewards at Santa Anita Park on a complaint filed against him by the California Horse Racing Board charging medication violations for the use of procaine on one of his horses.
WinStar Farm's Colonel John, winner of the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) by a nose at Saratoga, worked four furlongs Sept. 14 on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface in :48 4/5 for trainer Eoin Harty. The colt is headed for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Oct. 25 at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet.
Trainer John Sadler says he unlikely to return to his role as board president of the California Thoroughbred Trainers and could be part of a push to form a new organization.
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