West Region

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

Surf Cat Retired; To Stand in California

Surf Cat Retired; To Stand in California

Surf Cat, who triumphed six times in grade II events and earned $1,045,420, has been retired from racing, according to a Daily Racing Form report. The 7-year-old horse will begin his stallion career at Old English Rancho near Sanger, Calif., his trainer, Bruce Headley, told the publication Jan. 9.

Jockeys Donate to Winners Foundation

Jockeys Donate to Winners Foundation

Top jockey Garrett Gomez and a group of Southern California based riders will contribute $16,500 to the Winners Foundation Jan. 3 at Santa Anita Park. The Winners Foundation helps individuals and families in the racing industry with alcohol and substance abuse problems and is based at Santa Anita. The foundation is funded primarily by racing associations throughout California.

Narrow Miss for Gomez in Earnings Chase

Narrow Miss for Gomez in Earnings Chase

Garrett Gomez made a valiant effort to break the record for purse earnings in a year when he won with his first three mounts at Santa Anita Dec. 31. But in the one race he had to win, the $76,400 Kalookan Queen Handicap, the 2007 Eclipse Award-winning jockey finished third aboard Baroness Thatcher.

Lethal Heat Tries to Burn Monrovia Foes

Lethal Heat Tries to Burn Monrovia Foes

Lethal Heat, who won six of nine starts in 2008 before going to the sidelines following a third-place finish in the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT), starts a new year for trainer Barry Abrams in the $100,000 Monrovia Handicap (gr. IIIT) over Santa Anita's hillside turf course Jan. 3.

Baze Tops Portland Meadows 'Challenge'

Baze Tops Portland Meadows 'Challenge'

Thoroughbred racing's all-time winning jockey Russell Baze and three of his colleagues will fly up from Northern California to take on four of the top riders at Portland Meadows Jan. 7 in the first Golden Gate versus Portland Meadows Jockey Challenge sponsored by XpressBet.

Surface Switch No Problem for Gio Ponti

Surface Switch No Problem for Gio Ponti

Favored Gio Ponti waited for room under a patient Garrett Gomez and blasted through the pack mid-stretch to win the $100,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes going away in a race taken off the Santa Anita Park turf course and transferred to the Pro-Ride main surface Dec. 26.

Quarter Horse Jockey Thompson Dies

Jockey Sam Thompson, who was injured during a spill at Los Alamitos Dec. 20, died at 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 25. Since the accident, Thompson was on life support in the coronary care unit at Los Alamitos Medical Center. When he began to fail, the decision was made to remove the life support. He was 36.

Shapiro Reflects on CHRB Tenure, Racing

Shapiro Reflects on CHRB Tenure, Racing

As a member of the California Horse Racing Board for four years, Richard Shapiro could hardly be described as a weak bystander in overseeing the sport. But Shapiro said he was "becoming increasingly frustrated by the governmental and bureaucratic limitations imposed by being on the board."

Gio Ponti Part of Sir Beaufort Throng

Gio Ponti Part of Sir Beaufort Throng

Gio Ponti, attempting to make amends after a troubled trip as the choice in the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) a month ago, figures to draw considerable attention in a contentious field for the $100,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Santa Anita opening day program Dec. 26.

Fairplex's Racing Role Could Expand

Fairplex's Racing Role Could Expand

Fairplex Park offers 16 days of competition in the fall as part of California's fair racing circuit. But with signs pointing to the closure and development of Hollywood Park, Fairplex soon could play a more important role in the Golden State's version of the Sport of Kings.

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