Trainer Mike Mitchell still gets emotional when he speaks of Leprechaun Kid, who runs in Sunday's Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) at 1 ¼ miles. The gray gelding reminds Mitchell of his best claim, Star Over The Bay, a horse that became a multiple stakes winner after being claimed for $80,000. Unfortunately, Star Over The Bay was euthanized after being injured racing in Singapore.
Leprechaun Kid, claimed for $80,000 a month ago, turned out to be a good luck charm for trainer Mike Mitchell and struggling jockey Tyler Baze in Sunday's $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT).
Laura's Lucky Boy and Sarafan, the first two finishers in the Escondido Handicap earlier this month, renew their rivalry in the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 3/8 miles on the turf Sunday.
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel has three chances Saturday to enhance his record six victories in the Jim Murray Memorial Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park, accounting for one-third of the entrants in 1 1/2-mile grass marathon event worth $350,000.
If Meteor Storm is to successfully defend his title in Sunday's $200,000 San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 ½ miles on turf, he will have to catch front-runner Star Over The Bay.
Given his head by jockey Patrick Valenzuela, Brazilian-bred License To Run spurted away from the field on the final turn and romped to a five-length victory Saturday in the $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap Handicap (gr. II).
Sharon Fitzpatrick's millionaire Continental Red faces seven other turf marathoners as the 9-year-old gelding seeks to regain his winning form in Saturday's San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/2 miles over Santa Anita's grass.
The front-running Star Over the Bay enhanced his reputation for being tough to beat in the stretch, holding off a determined A to the Z in a grueling stretch duel to win the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita Park Saturday.
Flying Continental, the sire of 19 stakes winners, died in his paddock today at John Harris' Harris Farms near Coalinga, Calif. He was 18.
Even the Score, a 6-year-old roan gelding who has soared to national prominence during Hollywood Park's spring/summer meet, is the 6-5 favorite in Saturday's 65th running of the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I).
Funny Cide, winner of the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (both gr. I), and Even The Score, winner of the 2004 Meryvn LeRoy Handicap and Californian (both gr. II), head a list of 12 nominations to the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) on July 10.
The filly Musical Chimes will attempt to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Dahlia when she takes on males in Saturday's $350,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.
Favored Rhythm Mad won a grueling stretch duel with the old-timer Continental Red in Saturday's $350,000 Jim Murray Handicap on the Hollywood Park turf course.
Bobby Frankel has won six of the previous 14 runnings of the 1 1/2-mile Jim Murray Memorial Handicap, and Saturday he'll send out Gassan Royal for hits year's edition of the race.
Trainer Dan Hendricks hopes a better trip, more pace and the addition of blinkers will make a major difference for Runaway Dancer, one of 11 entered for the $200,000 San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) at 12 furlongs on turf at Santa Anita Saturday.
Jockey Victor Espinoza completed a sweep of the President's Day stakes doubleheader at Santa Anita when he guided Puerto Banus through heavy traffic in the stretch for a neck victory in the grade II, $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap. Less than one length separated the top five finishers in the turf marathon.
Jerry Frankel's Joey Franco, who won the Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) and the Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) in 2003, was named the California-bred Horse of the Year.
California will announce its 2003 Horse of the Year Monday; the three finalists are Continental Red, Excessivepleasure, and Joey Franco The annual awards dinner will be held at the Sacramento Sheraton Grande Hotel.
The entry of Peace Rules and Midas Eyes was installed the 9-5 morning line favorite by odds maker Jeff Tufts for Saturday's $1 million Barretts/CTBA Classic, marquee event on Sunshine Millions Day at Santa Anita Park.
Southern Image, winner of the grade I Malibu Stakes on opening day of the Santa Anita meet, is likely to make his next start in the $1 million Barretts/CTBA Classic on the Jan. 26 Sunshine Millions card.
A decision on whether to finally retire the classy 8-year-old Redattore certainly became easier for owner Luis Alfredo Tuanay after the Brazilian-bred horse stormed to a two-length victory in the $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf Sunday.
One of the nation's premier turf horses returns to action Sunday when Brazilian-bred Redattore carries high weight of 122 pounds in the $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park.
A total of 103 horses are entered for Saturday's California Cup XIV, the 10-race, $1.325 million showcase for California breds at Oak Tree at Santa Anita.
RL Stables' Runaway Dancer closed from far back to score a 38-1 stunner by a neck over European invader Labirinto in Friday's $139,250 Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 1 1/2 mile on the Santa Anita turf course.
Special Matter returns to defend his 2002 Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT) victory against nine rivals at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meet Friday, facing a field that includes multiple graded stakes winner Senor Swinger.
George Strawbridge's Rochester will seek to defend his Kentucky Cup Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) title Saturday at Kentucky Downs. The 7-year-old Green Dancer gelding will take on six rivals in the 1 1/2-miles turf event, the $300,000 centerpiece of the Kentucky Cup Turf program.
Kentucky bred Irish Warrior, fighting for his first graded stakes in all-out deep stretch battle with Continental Red, prevailed by a head with jockey Alex Solis in $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 3/8 mile on the turf.
Led by millionaire Ballingarry and near-millionaire Continental Red, a field of 10 grass specialists is set for Sunday's $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 3/8 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Puerto Banus came from well off the pace to catch Cagney in the final furlong and tally a half-length victory in Sunday's closing day $150,000 Sunset Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park.
Trainer Ian Jory hopes that Continental Red has better luck in Hollywood Park's $150,000 Sunset Handicap (gr. IIT), the 1 1/2-mile closing day turf feature, than he did last year.
Tifonica, a 5-year-old Argentine-bred mare, will run against males in the $150,000 Sunset Handicap, closing-day feature at Hollywood Park next Sunday, trainer and co-owner Bill Currin confirmed.
Continental Red worked six furlongs in 1:13 on the main track at Hollywood Park Friday in preparation for the $400,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf May 10.
Ralph and Aury Todd's homebred The Tin Man carved up the field in Saturday's $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT), romping to an easy front-running victory on a yielding Santa Anita turf course.
The Tin Man, second by a nose to stablemate Johar in his most recent start, will carry top weight of 121 pounds as the expected favorite in Saturday's $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 ½ mile on turf at Santa Anita Park.
Continental Red is considered the best of the California-bred handicap horses and he will try to extend that supremacy to the East Coast in Saturday's $1 million Ocala Breeders Sales Classic at Gulfstream Park on Sunshine Millions Day.
A total of 96 California and Florida breds were entered for Saturday's $3.6 million Sunshine Millions eight-race series at Gulfstream and Santa Anita.
Wertheimer Farms' Olmodovar and Cee's Stable's Tizbud were both confirmed to run in next Saturday's $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) after working over Santa Anita's main track Sunday morning. Both lightly raced colts will be making their stakes debuts in the 1 1/16-mile main track affair.
Great State Challenge Juvenile winner Crackup worked six furlongs at Santa Anita Wednesday morning on his first day as a 3-year-old in 1:14.40.
Ian Jory, trainer of Continental Red, welcomed the California-bred winner of the $275,000 Great State Challenge Classic Saturday at Sam Houston Park in Texas back to his Hollywood Park barn Sunday.
It came down to the last race of the Great State Challenge, with Kentucky edging out Florida for bragging rights of the inaugural event held today at Sam Houston Race Park.
Continental Red, winner of the San Luis Rey Stakes (gr. II) on turf at Santa Anita earlier this year, returns to the main track after a 16-race, 19-month absence from competition on dirt.
Veteran grass star Cetewayo is the 118-pound high weight in a tough field of 12 entered for the $300,000 Kentucky Cup Turf Handicap (gr. III) at Kentucky Downs, a 1 1/2-mile test that headlines a series of four turf races at the Franklin track Saturday.
Australian-bred Delta Form, a 20-1 longshot trained by Jenine Sahadi, ran down The Tin Man in the closing strides to win the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) by a neck Sunday.
A full field of 10 will go postward in the 63rd edition of the Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) Sunday for the 1 3/8-mile race over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
A full gate of 10 horses, including trainer Bobby Frankel's Blue Stellar and Dance Dreamer, appears certain for Sunday's running of the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 3/8 miles over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
The Hollywood Park meet comes to a close with several Hollywood-type finishes.
Continental Red hopes to run back to his winning ways in Sunday's Sunset Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park, but to do so he will have to defeat a pair of Bobby Frankel runners, never an easy task. The 12-furlong Sunset will be the final stakes at the Hollywood meet that closes Sunday.
Ringaskiddy, a 6-year-old gelding trainer Juan Garcia co-owns with Leonard Scofield, cut the final corner and ran away with the $400,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IT).
Medaglia d'Oro wins the San Felipe Stakes, shaking up the West Coast 3-year-old scene.
Denon, who will try to deliver yet another graded stakes win to conditioner Bobby Frankel, will carry highweight of 118 into Saturday's running of the $250,000 San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita.
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