Ridden confidently by Alex Solis, even-money favorite Valbenny rallied to win the $154,750 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies by nearly two lengths over Super Freaky on the Hollywood Park lawn Saturday.
After Market took a giant step forward Saturday when he surged past odds-on choice Lava Man to win the $300,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) going away on the Hollywood Park turf.
Favored Valbenny became a leading contender for the American Oaks (gr. IT) this summer after her impressive late charge to capture the $111,600 Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday over the Hollywood Park grass course.
Jockey Alex Solis, perhaps inspired by a visit from an old friend, rode Leesider to a thrilling win over gritty pacesetter C.T. Zee in Sunday's $250,000 Cal National Snow Chief Stakes at Hollywood Park.
Pam and Martin Wygod's homebred colt After Market returned to his winning ways with a mid-stretch surge to capture the $108,200 Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) by two lengths on the Hollywood Park lawn Saturday.
Magnificience, a long-striding 3-year-old filly trained by Bruce Headley, flashed just a peek of what might be expected from her when she streaked to a five-length win in the $100,597 Santa Paula (gr. III) in stakes-record time at Santa Anita Sunday.
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Brother Derek will miss the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) due to a chip in his left ankle.
Swaps Stakes (gr. II) winner Arson Squad completed his major work for Tuesday's opening day Malibu Stakes (gr. I) Friday morning with a half-mile blow out in a scintillating :45 1/5, the best of 32 works at the distance and nearly two seconds faster than the next best time.
Garrett Gomez is likely to be aboard Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Brother Derek in the $250,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita on opening day Tuesday.
Irish-bred Valbenny, making her first U.S. start, rallied impressively from tenth in the final quarter under jockey Alex Solis to win the Miesque Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Hollywood Park turf by three-quarters of a length over favorite Mystic Soul Saturday.
Even-money choice T.H. Approval reinforced his status as California's leading long distance turf horse when he circled the field on the final turn and surged to victory in the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) at 11 furlongs Sunday.
Sizzling Siren Lure ran down the pacesetting Pure as Gold at the sixteenth pole to win the $298,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) by 2 1/4 lengths at Del Mar Sunday. Declan's Moon, the 3-2 favorite, was eased on the turn of the seven-furlong race.
In spite of an awkward start, the 7-5 favorite Principle Secret kicked away from the rallying Great Hunter in the stretch to win the $150,000 Best Pal (gr. II) for 2-year-olds impressively at Del Mar Sunday.
Favored T.H. Approval and jockey Alex Solis had the opposition in the $159,700 Sunset Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at their mercy Sunday, coming off the pace to register a 1 1/2-length victory as the 2006 Hollywood Park spring/summer meeting ended.
Jockey Alex Solis, who was instrumental in bringing sports agent and rare-coin collector Dwight Manley to the attention of the Jockeys' Guild, said he's committed to turning around the Guild and hopes to bring it back to prominence in the Thoroughbred industry.
Jay Em Ess Stable's Arson Squad waited patiently on the pacesetters A.P. Warrior and Point Determined to spend themselves, then rallied in the stretch under jockey Alex Solis to capture the $354,515 Swaps Breeders' Cup (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Favored Siren Lure, ridden by Alex Solis, came flying off the turn to collar the pacesetters Battle Won and Unfurl the Flag, taking command approaching the sixteenth pole to win the $300,000 Triple Bend invitational Handicap (gr. I) by 1 1/2 lengths.
Saying the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) is in the past, trainer Dan Hendricks is ready to forge ahead in Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course.
Jockey Alex Solis completed a sweep of the three graded stakes races on the Hollywood Park program Saturday when he guided the former claiming horse Siren Lure to an unlikely victory in the $100,000 Los Angeles Handicap (gr. III).
The former Irish Derby (Ire-I) victor Grey Swallow delivered a devastating punch in the stretch to leave his opponents far behind in the $250,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Hollywood Park turf Saturday.
Sent off at odds of 1-5, Surf Cat might have given his supporters reason for concern as he trailed the small field in Hollywood Park's $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) into the far turn. But by the time they reached the stretch, the Bruce Headley-trained 4-year-old colt had overtaken his four rivals and was firmly in control en route to his third successive grade II victory.
Tadahiro Hotehama's homebred T.H. Approval became the first back-to-back winner of the San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) in 38 years as Santa Anita brought down the curtain on the 2006 season.
Santa Anita's jockeys will be available for autographs from 11 a.m. to noon on closing day Sunday in the East Paddock Gardens.
One day after riding Brother Derek to a front-running victory in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), Alex Solis brought another 3-year-old, Arson Squad, from far off the pace to run down odds-on choice Da Stoops in Sunday's $91,180 San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita.
The heavily backed Brother Derek heads for next month's Run for the Roses as the likely favorite after he ran as expected in an easy gate-to-wire victory Saturday in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) before 54,189.
The prohibitive favorite Surf Cat, ridden patiently by Alex Solis, rolled over his four rivals with an impressive burst in the stretch to take the $128,000 Potrero Grande Breeder's Cup Handicap (gr. II) by more than two lengths at Santa Anita Sunday.
Brother Derek, current favorite in the Kentucky Derby Future Book, breezed six furlongs Sunday morning under regular rider Alex Solis in a bullet 1:11 in preparation for the 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 8.
It's hardly a leap of faith to make Brother Derek the early favorite for this year's Run for the Roses after his impressive win in the $200,000 Santa Catalina (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Saturday.
Six horses, three jockeys, and three trainers have been selected as the 2006 finalists for nomination to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame. The 12 finalists were announced Wednesday by Stella F. Thayer, president of the Hall.
Brother Derek will take another step toward the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) Saturday when trainer Dan Henricks sends him out in the Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita.
Brother Derek, California's leading contender for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) on May 6, worked six furlongs Thursday at Santa Anita in a bullet 1:12 1/5 under regular rider Alex Solis.
Grade I winner Proud Tower Too once again displayed his tenacity by successfully repelling favored Thor's Echo in Sunday's $138,750 Sensational Star Handicap at Santa Anita Park, emerging with a one-length victory in what evolved as a two-horse race.
Favored Surf Cat unleashed a huge move on the turn for jockey Alex Solis and swept past the field to romp to victory in the $150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Saturday.
Jockey Alex Solis is among seven athletes to be honored at the 15th annual Sports Legends Awards, presented by the Paralysis Project of America at a ceremony to be held Feb. 25 at the Omni Hotel in Los Angeles.
In spite of his grade I victory in the Hollywood Futurity last month, Brother Derek has been ignored on the national scene, his trainer, Dan Hendricks feels. But after Saturday's impressive win over Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) champ Stevie Wonderboy under steady handling by Alex Solis in the $150,000 San Rafael (gr. II) at Santa Anita, that shouldn't be the case any longer.
Cecil N. Peacock's Brother Derek, coming off a fourth-place finish in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), showed he's the best West Coast-based 2-year-old not named Stevie Wonderboy with a comfortable win over favored Your Tent Or Mine in the $407,250 Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) Saturday.
Captain Squire, who won the Ancient Title (gr. I) two starts back, heads a small field entered for Saturday's Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park.
Jockey Alex Solis, sidelined since suffering a knee injury in a spill at Santa Anita last Friday, is scheduled to return to action at Hollywood Park on Nov. 16, agent Scotty McClellan reported Wednesday.
Golden Rahy swung off the rail while striding out powerfully through the lane to collar the favorite Wild Buddy in the final strides and win the marathon $100,000 Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Santa Anita turf course Sunday during the Oak Tree meeting.
The 6-year-old gelding Captain Squire capped his surprising comeback from knee surgery Saturday when he collected his first grade I win in the $236,000 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup (gr. I) at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.
California-bred Brother Derek broke sharply for jockey Alex Solis and never looked back in winning the $200,000 Norfolk (gr. II) for 2-year-olds Sunday by three-quarters of a length over favored A.P. Warrior at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.
Prohibitive choice Megahertz, who has made a career of winning grass stakes at Santa Anita Park, said good-bye to her Southern California fans Saturday with a trademark victory in the $500,000 Yellow Ribbon (gr. IT) at Oak Tree.
Wild Fit, a maiden winner in her debut 13 days ago, quickly became a grade I victor Saturday by overcoming a wide trip under Alex Solis to win the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante.
Tucked Away, a mare with many more nibbles than bites, surprised the field in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar Sunday when she nipped a surging Hollywood Story by a nose at the wire.
Not many horses pass Sweet Return when he's leading in the stretch and none were up to the task in the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) on the Del Mar turf Sunday.
Heavily favored Megahertz added the Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT) to her stellar Southern California resume with her usual late rush Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Saturday proved to be a good day for the past two winners of the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT). The 2004 winner Good Reward won the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) on the Belmont Park turf and 2003 hero Sweet Return returned to Hollywood Park's lawn to capture the $350,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT).
Osidy, a colt that trainer Richard Mandella has big plans for this year, registered his first victory in the United States with a patient ride by Alex Solis in the $109,100 Will Rogers (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Fifty-nine-year-old German Vasquez Sr., riding competitively for the first time in more than 10 years, finished seventh aboard 45-1 shot Simple Man in the 10th race at Churchill Downs Friday.
As far as West Coast 3-year-old sprinters are concerned, undefeated Lost in the Fog has been in a class by himself this season. But he could have some company at the top in Storm Wolf, an impressive winner of the $150,000 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. II) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
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