Two of Southern California's standout horses of 2015 took early steps toward their season debuts May 10 at Santa Anita Park, and both figure to return to racing sometime over the summer at Del Mar.
Some of the West Coast's brightest equine stars from last year are getting back into the swing of things at Santa Anita Park.
Arnold Zetcher's Smart Transition Aug. 23 put in his final breeze for the Travers Stakes (gr. I), firing a bullet for five furlongs on the main track at Saratoga Race Course.
Arnold Zetcher's homebred Smart Transition picked up his first black type victory July 31 at Saratoga Race Course, kicking into gear off the turn and drawing away to win the $100,000 Curlin Stakes.
Arnold Zetcher's Firing Line, who gave American Pharoah his toughest test of the Triple Crown with a runner-up effort in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will likely miss the rest of his 3-year-old season.
Arnold Zetcher's Firing Line will sit out the $350,000 Los Alamitos Derby (gr. II) July 4 because of recent foot issues, which forced him to miss a scheduled workout at Santa Anita Park June 6.
If Firing Line is ready for a return in the Los Alamitos Derby (gr. II) July 4, he may run into a familiar rival in Kaleem Shah's Dortmund.
Arnold Zetcher's Firing Line was out on the track May 23 at Santa Anita Park for his first gallop since a troubled run in the Xpressbet.com Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Mr. Z is the troubled one of the bunch. He's the kid who is found throwing baseballs through windows instead of pitching toward home plate, whose focus often seems to wander, the wild-card player.
Heading into the Xpressbet.com Preakness Stakes (gr. I) this weekend, trainer Simon Callaghan said there are several factors that could enable his charge Firing Line to pull off a victory over American Pharoah.
During 15 years of owning Thoroughbreds, Arnold Zetcher has enjoyed considerable success in major stakes with horses trained by Bob Baffert.
Trainer Simon Callaghan isn't particularly keen on any horse running a race on two-week's rest, but feels second-place Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) finisher Firing Line should be as well-suited as any.
No horse entered in this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) owns a more decisive victory than Firing Line, who won the Sunland Derby (gr. III) by 14 1/4 lengths.
Firing Line recorded his penultimate workout for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) the morning of April 18 at Santa Anita Park.
Sunland Derby winner Firing Line continued his workout schedule in preparation for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with a five furlong breeze in :59 1/5 the morning of April 11 at Santa Anita Park.
Runaway Sunland Derby (gr. III) winner Firing Line put in his first recorded workout since his 14 1/4-length victory, covering four furlongs in an easy :48 the morning of April 3 at Santa Anita Park.
Arnold Zetcher's Firing Line threw his hat emphatically into the ring of Triple Crown contenders with a dominating victory in the $800,000 Sunland Derby (gr. III) March 22 at Sunland Park.
Arnold Zetcher's Firing Line had his final local breeze the morning of March 15 at Santa Anita Park in preparation for the $800,000 Sunland Derby (gr. III).
An argument could be made that California's second-best Triple Crown hopeful at this point in the year might only have a maiden special weight win.
In the early morning hours at Santa Anita Park when most Thoroughbred owners are still in their beds, Arnold Zetcher can often be found observing the progress of his horses in training at the Southern California oval.
Fashion Plate, staked to an early lead by jockey Gary Stevens, repulsed a bid from 6-5 favorite Ria Antonia to record her second grade I victory in a row in the $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) April 5.
After getting a quick jump out of the gate, Fashion Plate went wire-to-wire and held off tenacious even-money favorite Streaming for a game victory in the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) Feb. 1 at Santa Anita Park.
Richard's Kid, two-time winner of the Pacific Classic (gr. I) and of six total graded stakes through a 47-start career, has been retired due to a slight tendon tear.
Liaison disposed of favored Blueskiesnrainbows coming off the far turn and lengthened stride impressively through the stretch to take the Mervyn Leroy Handicap (gr. II) handily May 4 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Idle since he was well beaten in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 25, Liaison came back running in the $71,500 Santana Mile March 31, defeating favored Midnight Transfer by a half-length at Santa Anita Park.
The 2011 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Midnight Interlude has been sold privately to Nanoli Stud in India, owner Arnold Zetcher confirmed Feb. 15.
With a 36.4% increase in average and 84.6% jump in median, the Barretts yearling sale fired on all cylinders Oct. 9 at Fairplex Park in Pomona, Calif.
A $7,500 yearling at the 2011 Ocala Breeders' Sales winter mixed event, Rolling Fog is now a grade I winner with earnings of $222,000.
Rolling Fog held sway over 8-5 favorite Know More in the Del Mar Futurity Sept. 5, giving trainer Bob Baffert a record 11th win in the closing-day feature and jockey Rafael Bejarano a record 13th stakes score at the meet.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey were named National Owner of the Year and National Breeder of the Year Sept. 7 during the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association national awards dinner held at Keeneland in Lexington.
Grade I winner Liaison figures to be Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's lone representative in the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 25.
My Best Brother and Midnight Crooner tallied victories in divisions of the Oceanside Stakes for 3-year-olds before a record opening-day crowd of 47,339 at Del Mar July 18.
Arnold Zetcher's Liaison, winner of the 2011 CashCall Futurity (gr. I), breezed five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 under jockey Martin Garcia at Churchill Downs April 30 in preparation for the May 5 Kentucky Derby.
Liaison, whose sire Indian Charlie was euthanized two days earlier, outlasted his rivals in a calvary charge to win the $750,000 CashCall Futurity (gr. I) at Hollywood Park Dec. 17.
Favored So Brilliant fought hard to get the early lead and never gave it up, taking a field of juveniles all the way in the $100,000 Hollywood Prevue (gr. III) on Thanksgiving in Southern California.
The busy Labor Day weekend of stakes action winds down at Del Mar with the Palomar Handicap (gr. IIT). The 1 1/16-mile race for older fillies and mares is a hard one to handicap.
Switching to the turf and taking off blinkers proved the right moves for Midnight Interlude when he edged Surrey Star by a neck to win the $72,050 Tsunami Slew Stakes on the night of June 17 at Hollywood Park.
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Midnight Interlude posted his third consecutive bullet workout when he covered six furlongs in 1:13 3/5 on the Churchill Downs main track the morning of April 26.
Trainer Bob Baffert went to his bench in the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and he came away a winner for the sixth time in the prestigious race when Midnight Interlude rallied for a head victory April 9.
Zardana, who beat Rachel Alexandra in the New Orleans Ladies Stakes at Fair Grounds in March 2010, has been retired from racing because of an ankle issue.
Arnold Zetcher's Always a Princess, who cracked both sesamoids during the running of the Santa Margarita Invitational, is resting comfortably following surgery March 13 at the Equine Medical Center in Cypress.
Dr. Mark Dedomenico has been added to the board of directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California to fill a vacancy created by the recent resignation of Arnold Zetcher.
Jack B. Owens was unanimously elected interim chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California by the organization's board of directors during its meeting Feb. 16.
Always a Princess reprised her front-running victory over champion Blind Luck last month when she kicked away at the head of the stretch and scored a convincing 3 1/4-length win in the $147,000 La Canada Stakes Feb. 13.
Arnold Zetcher, chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, will resign from the board Feb. 16. He has served as chairman for about six months.
As California racetracks struggled into their second month of the 2010-11 season, the president of a horseplayers' group that is leading a boycott of the tracks said racing officials in the state are getting the point.
Always a Princess sprinted away in the lane over Santa Anita's speed-favoring main track and easily captured the $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II) to spoil the 2011 debut of odds-on choice Blind Luck Jan. 16.
Unable to convince the Thoroughbred Owners of California to consider unifying with its organization, trainers in the state are pursuing plans to form a new representative group.
Barretts' California Cup Yearling Sale showed strength in a two-day format Oct. 12-13. Led by a $105,000 topper at the first session, the auction averaged $14,128, an increase of 13.8% over 2009.
Bloodlines from leading California breeders Martin and Pam Wygod dominated the Barretts California Cup yearling sale at Fairplex Oct. 12.
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