Jockey Mike Smith got a great big 38th birthday present from Azeri, the horse he says put him in the Racing Hall of Fame, Sunday in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Del Mar.
Champion sprinter Kona Gold, who was retired after a fifth-place finish in the July 26 Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar, will not be sent to the Kentucky Horse Park to join the Hall of Champions there, trainer Bruce Headley said.
Champion sprinter Kona Gold has been retired, co-owner and trainer Bruce Headley said Sunday, one day after the 9-year-old gelding finished fifth in the Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar.
Michael Bello's Megahertz, overlooked in the wagering at a generous 8-1, rallied from last place under Alex Solis to win the featured $400,000 John C. Mabee Handicap (gr. IT) Sunday, taking a four-horse blanket finish that resulted in a triple dead-heat for second place.
Alex Solis slipped favored Eye Of The Tiger through an opening at the rail at the head of the stretch and went on to a convincing triumph in the $103,096 Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park.
Luis Taunay's favored Redattore caught pacesetting Special Ring a furlong from home and recorded his third straight victory in the $415,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) on Monday at Hollywood Park.
Cornejo Racing's 4-5 favorite King Robyn got a perfect stalking trip under jockey Alex Solis and pulled away for a three-length victory in Hollywood Park's opening day feature, the $82,200 Harry Henson Stakes for 3-year-olds on the turf Wednesday.
Bobby Frankel conditioned the first and second-place finishers, Megahertz and Trekking, in Saturday's $250,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) for older fillies and mares at Santa Anita.
A field of nine was entered for Sunday's San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap at Santa Anita. At about 1 3/4-mile on turf, it is the longest grade I race in North America.
Corey Nakatani takes over the reigns on 9-year-old Kona Gold in Saturday's $200,000 Portrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at 6 1 /2 furlongs at Santa Anita.
Man Among Men, in need of more time following his disappointing seventh in the San Felipe, probably will pass the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on april 5 and point to the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (Gr. II) at 1 1/8 miles at Oaklawn Park a week later.
Front-running King Robyn and jockey Alex Solis held on desperately in the stretch to defeat Truckle Feature and Eye of the Tiger by a half-length in Saturday's $80,700 San Pedro Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.
Jeff Mullins, who trains Captain Squire and Lusty Latin, both already are in Dubai for the March 29 World Cup card, plans to leave for Dubai on Sunday, he said from Santa Anita on Thursday.
Alex Solis, who won the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) aboard Affluent but opted to get off of her to ride Got Koko in the Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I), will be back aboard the daughter of Affirmed when she meets Horse of the Year Azeri in the April 5 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park.
From coast to coast, trainer Bobby Frankel continues to dominate the world of Thoroughbred racing.
Ten-year-old Men's Exclusive overtook heavy betting favorite Hombre Rapido entering the stretch and held off Golden Hare for a half-length victory Wednesday in the $79,040 classified allowance feature at Santa Anita Park.
Irish-bred Champion Lodge took advantage of Santa Anita's yielding turf course Saturday, coming from off the pace to deliver a sharp six-length upset in the $250,000 San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT).
Sightseek is the lone speed in Sunday's $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I), which drew a small but stellar cast of six older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita.
Alex Solis made the most of his opportunity to ride Redattore for the injured Laffit Pincay Jr. in the $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) Saturday at Santa Anita. He took the 8-year-old Brazilian-bred son of Roi Normand to the front and kept him there, scoring a one-length victory over the hard-closing favorite, Good Journey.
Affluent and Got Koko, prepping for the March 9 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles, worked on Santa Anita's fast main track Friday.
Buddy Gil and jockey Gary Stevens took advantage of a red-hot pace to win Sunday's $114,550 Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the Santa Anita downhill turf course.
Trainer Bruce Headley recently made his case for assigning less weight to his champion sprinter Kona Gold, who finished sixth and last in the Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) in his last start Jan. 26.
Golden Eagle Farm's Long Term Wish and jockey Alex Solis hit the wire just in time to register a 14-1 upset in the $112,500 Boo La Boo Stakes for California-bred 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Santa Anita.
Benefiting from blinkers and the scratch of speedster Hombre Rapido, Argentine-bred Avanzado led from start to finish to win the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park by more than four lengths on Sunday, covering six furlongs on a fast track in 1:07.85.
Affluent and jockey Alex Solis found room on the inside behind a wall of horses in the stretch and went on to defeat heavily-favored Sightseek in the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares Saturday at Santa Anita.
After Captain Squire scored a 5 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $250,000 FedEx Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita in a blistering time of 1:08.15, trainer Jeff Mullins left little doubt on what's on his mind later this year.
Kona Gold had his final breeze over the Santa Anita main track Friday morning for Sunday's $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) for older horses at six furlongs.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s rapidly blossoming Johar unleashed an explosive stretch run to prevail in the final jump by a head over The Tin Man and Grammarian in Monday's exciting $150,000 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) on the grass for older horses at Santa Anita.
Got Koko, upset winner of the La Brea (gr. I) in her last start, proved she's no fluke in Sunday's $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II), delivering a 1 1/2-length triumph over favored Bella Bellucci at Santa Anita.
Texas-bred Got Koko heads a field of nine 4-year-old fillies set to match strides Sunday in the $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
Jockey Alex Solis likes what he sees in Rushin' To Altar, a $485,000 Kentucky-bred son of Pulpit he'll be riding in Saturday's $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) for 4-year-olds at 1 1/16 mile at Santa Anita.
Champion sprinter Kona Gold celebrated turning 9 Wednesday by winning the $100,000 El Conejo Handicap (gr. III) by a neck over Radiata at Santa Anita Wednesday.
Jockey Alex Solis, still sore following a spill in Saturday's ninth race at Santa Anita, took off Tuesday's scheduled mounts but hoped to ride on Wednesday, agent Scott McClellan said.
Kona Gold will try to become the fifth 9-year-old to win a stakes race at Santa Anita when he takes on eight other sprinters in the $100,000 El Conejo Handicap (gr. III), Wednesday's New Year's Day feature.
Alex Solis was scheduled to be released from Arcadia Methodist Hospital Sunday morning after an overnight stay following a spill in Saturday's ninth race.
Got Koko mounted a furious late rally and cruised to victory in the $200,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Santa Anita Park.
Hollywood Park made gains following a disappointing opening weekend due to rain, but was unable to erase the deficit. Attendance and handle figures were down from 2001 following Sunday's conclusion of the 35-day Autumn Meet.
Multiple stakes-winning Tout Charmant closed from out of the clouds to dead heat with a tenacious Surya in the $150,000 Dahlia Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Tout Charmant, winner of the 2000 Matriarch (gr. IT) on the turf at Hollywood Park, worked seven furlongs in 1:28.40 at Santa Anita Friday for the $150,000 Dahlia Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares on grass Dec. 21.
Laffit Pincay, Jr., entered the final nine days of the Hollywood Park Autumn Meet atop the jockey standings with 28 winners, but he will have a tough time staying there.
The Thoroughbred Corporation's Johar and jockey Alex Solis circled the field from last place on the final turn to win the $500,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) at 1 1/8 mile on the turf.
Even-money favorite Roll Hennessy Roll wrested the lead from Jimmy O at the quarter pole and cruised to an easy win in Saturday's $125,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-olds.
Laffit Pincay Jr., the world's winningest rider at 55, recorded his second straight riding triple at Hollywood Park on Thursday when guiding favored Adalgisa to victory in the featured $49,882 allowance/claiming event for fillies and mares at one-mile on turf.
Roll Hennessy Roll, a three-time winner in New Mexico and third-place finisher in the Sunny Slope Stakes at Santa Anita, is expected to be a top contender in Saturday's $125,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III) at seven furlongs.
British-bred Megahertz, who reeled off her fifth straight United States triumph in Hollywood Park's inaugural running of the $500,000 American Oaks in July, returns on Saturday as the 124-pound high weight among ten entrants in the $125,000 Matiara Stakes.
Man Among Men wore down Peace Rules in the final stride for a head victory Wednesday in the $52,300 Pinjara Stakes for 2-year-olds at Oak Tree.
The Thoroughbred Corporation's homebred Johar, a horse better known for losing close calls, eked out a nose victory in Sunday's Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT) over an unlucky Rock Opera.
With 36 victories going into the weekend's action, Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella won't list 2002 among his greatest years. But as it winds down, he'll have Sunday at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting to make it better.
Trainer Bruce Headley left his big gun, Kona Gold, in the barn for Saturday's $200,000 Ancient Title Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita, but it didn't keep him out of the winner's circle.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club ended its 63rd summer season of Thoroughbred racing Sept. 11 by maintaining its position as the national leader in daily average attendance for the twelfth consecutive year, while achieving a new track record for total pari-mutuel handle.
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