Jerry and Ann Moss decided at 3 a.m. on Jan. 16 to keep champion Zenyatta in training for 2010.
Zenyatta gave trainer John Shirreffs and jockey Mike Smith precisely what they asked for Oct. 31 in her final work before the Breeders' Cup. With regular workmate Green Cat providing a target, she worked six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 at Hollywood Park at about 9 a.m.
Lava Man, the former claimer who earned more than $5 million, has returned to training at Doug O'Neill's Hollywood Park barn. The 8-year-old gelding worked three furlongs in :36 flat Sept. 23 at Hollywood, his first official work.
The Inglewood City Council approved a final environmental impact report and a significant land use revision June 3 that would allow the conversion of the 238-acre Hollywood Park racetrack site to a mixed use development.
A Distant View filly zipped a furlong in :09 4/5 for the fastest time of those cataloged for the Barretts March sale.
Two $50,000 fillies of racing age highlighted the Barretts January mixed sale, which saw the average decline slightly from last year and the median improve. With other sales around the country experiencing double-digit decreases, sales officials expressed pleasure at the final figures.
- By Tracy Gantz
England's Triple Crown finale, the Ladbrokes St. Leger (Eng-I), isn't considered a normal route to the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT). But Michael Stoute hasn't ruled England's training ranks for years by playing it safe.
With five breakdowns, including three fatalities, in the first five days of racing, Santa Anita's synthetic surface has again come under the microscope.
Santa Anita Park dodged the rain, which hit Southern California Christmas day but left skies sunny for the traditional Dec. 26 opening day. A crowd of 33,112 attended, an increase of 9.8% over the 30,156 fans at the 2007 opener.
Unbeaten Zenyatta is getting a bit of a break at trainer John Shirreffs' barn before a 2009 campaign, but she may parade at Hollywood Park Nov. 30 as part of a special day in her honor.
With no major dispersals in the mix and working against an ailing economy, the two-day 2008 Barretts October mixed sale began Oct. 27 facing an uphill battle. The first day saw 143 horses sell for $536,600, yielding an average of $3,752 that was 69% last year's event.
Midnight Lute, the defending Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner, worked a half-mile at Santa Anita Oct. 20. The official clockers timed him in :46.80 on the Pro-Ride surface, while trainer Bob Baffert clocked him in :47.07.
When it comes to the Sentient Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, the Oak Tree Racing Association board members can be forgiven a little partisanship. The hosts of the 2008 Breeders' Cup Oct. 24-25 should be impartial, but fellow board member Warren Williamson bred and owns Filly & Mare Sprint contender Tiz Elemental.
Fatal Bullet, the Canadian invader for the Sentient Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 over the Santa Anita Pro-Ride surface Oct. 19. Trainer Reade Baker and his wife, Janis, watched the work from the grandstand, as regular jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva was in the saddle.
Casino Drive, the Japan-based half-brother to two Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winners, cruised to an easy victory in a Santa Anita allowance race Oct. 12 to prepare for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
A day after the stock market dropped more than 700 points, California held its major yearling sale of 2008, making a tough market even more difficult.
Curlin, racing's $10 million horse, arrived at Santa Anita on Sunday, Sept. 28, and settled in at Barn 27. Assistant trainer Scott Blasi said that Curlin would probably make his first visit to the Santa Anita track Wednesday, Oct. 1.
- By Tracy Gantz
Five grade I races at Oak Tree the weekend of Sept. 27-28 gave the Pro-Ride synthetic surface recently installed at Santa Anita a workout.
Del Mar's traditional seven-week summer meet could undergo some changes in the next few years, as Hollywood Park heads for development and the entire Southern California racing calendar adjusts.
Large piles of material dot Santa Anita's backside parking lot, as work continues on the overhaul of the track's synthetic surface. Repairs to the drainage system are expected to be finished soon, with the next step being the placement of the base grit layer, according to Ian Pearse, founder and president of Pro-Ride Racing Australia.
- By Tracy Gantz
Lava Man, a seven-time grade I-winner and earner of $5,268,706, has been retired.
A steroid-free Breeders' Cup took another step forward when the California Horse Racing Board reclassified the four most common anabolic steroids, effectively outlawing the substances for horses in training in the state.
Water, designed to keep Del Mar's Polytrack more consistent from morning to afternoon, also led to three track records opening day, July 16, at the Southern California track. The five races carded over the synthetic surface were run at four different distances, with new marks set at 5 1/2 furlongs, six furlongs and a mile.
The Taste of Arcadia will also be offering a taste of the Breeders' Cup World Championships when more than 1,200 people are expected to attend the Sept. 22 event.
Del Mar fans became used to seeing multi-millionaire Sarafan from 2001 to 2005. This summer they and the rest of the country can see the gelding on television in the new series, "The Cleaner" on the A&E network.
Phoenix owner Todd Finch bought the sale topper at the Barretts summer sale June 24 as his first venture into Southern California racing. Trainer Anthony Saavedra successfully bid $40,000 on behalf of Finch's Val-U-Chem for Leesider, a 4-year-old son of champion Bertrando.
Millionaire and multiple stakes winner Nashoba's Key suffered a freak stall accident at Hollywood Park and had to be euthanized May 28.
Replacement of the asphalt base is likely the next step in the ongoing efforts to improve Santa Anita Park's synthetic surface.
Hollywood Park may be celebrating its 70th anniversary season, but the question remains, will the Southern California track be around in 2009 for its 71st? "I just don't know -- nobody knows," said F. Jack Liebau, Hollywood Park president, on opening day, April 23.
Now that the Santa Anita winter meeting has ended, work can begin in earnest on the choice of main-track surface. Following a comprehensive series of tests on the current main track, a decision is probable sometime in May, Santa Anita president Ron Charles said April 22.
The Southern California racetrack community gathered for a rare chance to hear Mace Siegel make a speech when the Gregson Foundation honored him and his daughter, Samantha, at a dinner in Pasadena April 15.
Leading Santa Anita jockey Rafael Bejarano was thrown heavily to the ground in the stretch of the final race March 13 when his mount, Parisian Art, had an apparent heart attack and died. The jockey was put into an ambulance on a stretcher and taken to nearby Arcadia Methodist Hospital.
Experts from all avenues of the racing industry presented statistics and opinions on synthetic surfaces and Santa Anita track president Ron Charles said the track will replace its Cushion Track as a six-hour special meeting called by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) concluded Feb. 20.
Ian Pearse of Melbourne, Australia, who is receiving plenty of attention these days as the man expected to fix Santa Anita's troubled Cushion Track synthetic surface, answers questions about synthetic surfaces.
Rain that hit Southern California before Santa Anita had a chance to apply new materials to its Cushion Track synthetic surface forced several more days of cancellations. Santa Anita lost Jan. 24, 25, 27, and 28 due to weather, but a 24-hour break allowed the track to host its half of the Sunshine Millions program Jan. 26.
After getting a break in the weather enabling the Sunshine Millions program to go forward Jan. 26, Santa Anita announced it has canceled its live racing programs for the next two days after more rain hit the track overnight.
With sunny skies overhead and another rainstorm not expected until the evening, Santa Anita is going to proceed with its half of the Jan. 26 Sunshine Millions.
The drainage problems of Santa Anita's Cushion Track coupled with two inches of hail that fell at 5 a.m. Jan. 24 has put the West Coast half of Sunshine Millions in serious doubt, according to track president Ron Charles. Santa Anita had to cancel its Jan. 24 card.
- By Tracy Gantz
With nearly every category a foregone conclusion, the 37th Eclipse Awards night appeared to hold few, if any, surprises -- until Jess Jackson in accepting Horse of the Year for Curlin announced the champion would continue racing in 2008.
Synthetic material that includes a liquid binder will be added to Santa Anita Park's main surface in an effort to improve drainage, the Southern California racetrack announced Jan. 15.
Santa Anita officials, considering re-installing a dirt racing surface, have delayed a decision regarding whether to replace its synthetic track, which is plagued by continual drainage problems.
For the second straight day, Santa Anita Park officials canceled racing Jan. 6 due to concerns about the condition of the synthetic racing surface after recent heavy rainfall.
- By Tracy Gantz
Santa Anita's main track opened for training Dec. 22 after 3 1/2 weeks of drainage renovation work kept the track closed.
- By Tracy Gantz
Horses are expected to return to training on the main Santa Anita Park racing surface Dec. 22 following a renovation of the Cushion Track to fix a drainage problem.
- By Tracy Gantz
Rain has further delayed renovation of the Cushion Track at Santa Anita Park.
Santa Anita Park's renovation of its Cushion Track to improve drainage encountered further delays as rain threatened the Southern California area, but track president Ron Charles said Dec. 16 horses could be back training by Dec. 19.
The multiple grade I-winning The Tin Man has been retired after fracturing his right knee while coming out of ankle surgery Oct. 25.
Stan Fulton's complete dispersal of horses of racing age dominated the first day of the Barretts' fall mixed sale Oct. 29. Five of Fulton's horses brought six figures, four of those surpassing the previous Barretts record of $125,000 for a horse of racing age.
Foxysox, winner of four stakes in 2006, is back in training, and trainer Carla Gaines believes the filly may be ready in time to defend her Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) title Dec. 1 at Hollywood Park.
Safety was the watchword as Santa Anita became the third and final major Southern California racetrack to unveil its synthetic surface on the opening day of the Oak Tree Racing Association meeting.