Belleski successfully dueled with Intercontinental to remain unbeaten on the Santa Anita Park sod in the $100,000 Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. IIIT), winning by half a length before 10,665 on-track fans on opening day of the Oak Tree meeting.
A half-sister to multiple California champion Cover Gal posted the fastest one furlong time of 10.1 seconds during Monday's training preview in preparation for the March 5 sale of selected 2-year-olds in training conducted by Barretts Equine Ltd.
In what came as no surprise, North America's Horse of the Year also is California's Horse of the Year.
A couple of hours after Santa Anita honored trainer Noble Threewitt on the occasion of his 90th birthday, 79-year-young Warren Stute provided the icing on the cake when he captured the Las Flores Handicap (gr. III) Feb. 24 as Go Go punched by the favored La Feminn.
Spain made a case for herself for 3-year-old filly Eclipse Award honors with an upset win in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) only to be trumped three weeks later when Surfside convincingly defeated males in the Clark Handicap (gr. II). Spain put in some last-minute campaigning Saturday, defeating reigning 2-year-old champion Chilukki in the $200,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita.
Stephen G. Herold's Abby Girl lost her graded stakes-winning black type and trainer Craig Dollase has been suspended 15 days and fined $2,500 as a result of a positive test for the Class III drug Albuterol.
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