New Zealand-bred Master Belt came from well off the pace to register a 68-1 shocker in the $100,000 Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting Sunday.
When it comes to Santa Anita's unique downhill turf course at about 6 1/2 furlongs, the current "horse for course" is El Cielo, who goes in Sunday's $100,000 Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) on closing day of the 2002 Oak Tree meeting.
David Milch's Disturbingthepeace takes the Pat O'Brien for sixth straight win.
"You're killing me!" Bob Baffert called out to fellow trainer Bobby Frankel, who was posing for pictures in the winner's circle following Juddmonte Farms homebred Mizzen Mast's romping victory in the Feb. 2 Strub Stakes (gr. II). "I may have to go back to Los Alamitos."
D. Wayne Lukas-trained Scorpion blew out three furlongs in :35 over a Santa Anita track rated "good" Wednesday morning in preparation for Saturday's $400,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II).
A field of 12 has signed on for the $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II), the second leg of the Strub Series for foals of 1998. Western Pride is the 122-pound highweight for the 1 1/16-mile main track event. Western Pride also garnered the highest weight allocation of the 12 entered here by Globeform's ranking of last year's 3-year-olds.
Kirk and Judy Robison's I Love Silver rallied from last place to win Friday's $75,300 Skywalker Handicap at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting by two lengths over Bosque Redondo. Millennium Wind, the 17-10 favorite, was never a factor in finishing last in his first outing since the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Millennium Wind, unraced since an 11th-place effort in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), makes his return to the track in today's $74,000 Skywalker Handicap over a flat mile at Santa Anita. The Cryptoclearance colt captured the grade I Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland by a front-running 5 1/4 lengths under Laffit Pincay Jr., who shows up on his back again today.
Two U.S. horses and one European runner being pointed toward Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Racing Championships have defected for different reasons.
Hero's Tribute outlasted E Dubai through a protracted speed duel to earn his first career stakes win in Saturday's $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park. The 3-year-old son of Sea Hero completed the one-turn, 1 1/8-mile race in 1:47.47 on a sloppy track in earning his first win in a race longer than seven furlongs.
Six 3-year-olds will line up to test impressive allowance winner E Dubai in Saturday's grade II Peter Pan at nine furlongs at Belmont Park.
Chris McCarron is back on the Triple Crown trail after being named to ride Balto Star in the Belmont Stakes.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s homebred Point Given tracked pacesetter Crafty C.T. through the early going, went by the leader approaching the second turn, and pulled clear in the stretch to an impressive 5 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). On a track listed as muddy, Point Given completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.77 under jockey Gary Stevens.
Turf Paradise Derby winner Startac, two-time grade II stakes runner-up Palmeiro, and San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) runner-up I Love Silver each worked at Santa Anita Sunday morning. All three are listed by the track as probable for Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
Cherokee Kim, winner of a 1 1/8-mile maiden special weight on turf March 10, is a possible starter in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 7. Probables for the race, with jockeys, are: Point Given, Gary Stevens; Crafty C.T., Eddie Delahoussaye; Palmeiro, Kent Desormeaux; Scorpion, Victor Espinoza; Startac, Alex Solis; I Love Silver, Laffit Pincay Jr., and Cherokee Kim, no rider. Possibles include: Early Flyer, Macabe, and So Urgent.
Ranked in preference order, with horse/ trainer/breeding
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It wasn't supposed to happen quite like this. There was nobody breathing down his neck. There was no target to home in on. All that remained up ahead was a quarter-mile of sun-baked Santa Anita dirt. With a quartet of weary rivals to his inside, Point Given, five wide and coasting, was in control of his own destiny. Atop the massive colt, Gary Stevens could sense an urgency. He felt Point Given waiting, pleading to be let loose. Turning for home in the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) on March 17, Stevens shortened his cross, putting the bit firmly in his colt's mouth. For Point Given, it was a cue to roll. His response was emphatic.
Point Given, one of the early favorites for the May 5 Kentucky Derby, will make his first start of the year on Saturday when he breaks from post eight in the grade II, $250,000 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1-16 miles at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Trainer Bob Baffert will take the wraps off Breeders' Cup runner-up Point Given when he sends out The Thoroughbred Corp.'s colt for his first effort as a 3-year-old in Saturday's grade II San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. Point Given finalized San Felipe preparations by breezing four furlongs in :47.80 Wednesday.
Hill Rise Handicap winner Jamaican Rum worked three furlongs in :36 4/5 Tuesday at Santa Anita in preparation for Saturday's San Felipe Stakes, the final two-turn prep for the Santa Anita Derby on April 7. A late nominee to the San Felipe, Jamaican Rum finished fourth in the Feb.3 San Vicente Stakes.
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