Del Mar Thoroughbred Club completed 2003 with an all-time record for pari-mutuel handle and the highest on-track attendance since the addition of inter-track wagering in 1988.
Excess Summer and jockey Julie Krone spoiled the return to competition of Gary Stevens Friday, less than three weeks after he was injured in a spectacular spill in the Arlington Million (g. IT), breezing to an easy triumph in the featured $92,825 El Cajon Stakes for 3-year-olds.
Headed by San Diego Handicap (gr. II) winner Taste of Paradise, $1.7-million earner Grey Memo and the consistent sprinter Captain Squire, a field of seven is set in the Labor Day $250,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at a mile on the main track Monday.
Desperado Stables' grade I winner Buddy Gil will not be returning to trainer Jeff Mullins' Del Mar base this week as expected after undergoing another surgery to remove a chip from his knee, the conditioner revealed.
Stan Fulton's Roll Henessy Roll and Hector Garcia's King Robyn ship in from California and are the favorites among 11 3-year-olds entered in the $300,000 Carry Back Stakes (gr. III), part of the Summit of Speed at Calder Race Course at six furlongs Saturday.
Richard Englander's undefeated Just Too Too will be looking for graded stakes company after her easy front-running victory in the $112,300 Flawlessly for 3-year-old fillies on the Hollywood Park turf Sunday, her fifth straight victory.
Unbeaten Just Too Too, a California-bred daughter of In Excess, will seek her first stakes win while attempting to extend her victory streak to five on Sunday in Hollywood Park's $100,000 Flawlessly Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on turf.
Southern California Thoroughbred trainers waking up to workers' compensation insurance increases effective July 1 are planning to meet Tuesday at Hollywood Park to consider a possible boycott of the entry box to get the attention of track management and the state legislature.
- By Jack Shinar
Trainer Jeff Mullins and owner Richard Englander say they are surprised by a California Horse Racing Board review into a victory by their filly Flyindownbaylaurel at Hollywood Park on May 21 and said the action is the result of Mullin's success on the Southern California circuit.
The California Horse Racing Board said May 23 it is reviewing certain races "with significant form reversals," including the second race May 21 at Hollywood Park in which "a filly improved tremendously to win at relatively low odds while stepping up in class."
Buddy Gil, who finished sixth in the May 3 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), is recovering from a May 7 surgery in which two bone chips were removed, one from his right knee, and one from his left ankle.
Trainer Jeff Mullins said Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Buddy Gil will undergo arthroscopic surgery either Wednesday or Thursday to remove a small bone chip in the left front ankle.
Cornejo Racing's 4-5 favorite King Robyn got a perfect stalking trip under jockey Alex Solis and pulled away for a three-length victory in Hollywood Park's opening day feature, the $82,200 Harry Henson Stakes for 3-year-olds on the turf Wednesday.
Santa Anita Derby winner Buddy Gil passed a key test in his quest for the Kentucky Derby when the gelding worked at Churchill Downs on Monday. While the son of Eastern Echo was timed in 1:11 4/5 for six furlongs under jockey Gary Stevens, more important to trainer Jeff Mullins was the five-furlong split of :59 3/5 and the fact he did not bleed during the training regimen.
Jeff Mullins went through the pre-Kentucky Derby media circus last year with Lusty Latin, who finished 15th. This year, the 40-year-old trainer has a solid Derby contender in Santa Anita Derby winner Buddy Gil, but Mullins is avoiding for as long as he can the hordes of inquisitive paparazzi massing at Churchill Downs for any scrap of Derby news.
Santa Anita presents a pair of graded turf events Saturday. In the $250,000 Santa Barbara (gr. IIT), Noches de Rosa goes for a repeat of her sharp Santa Ana score against Megahertz and Garden in the Rain. Juddmonte Farms' Speak in Passing returns after a 15-month absence in the $125,000 San Simeon (gr. IIIT).
Trainer Jeff Mullins sent Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) hero Buddy Gil for a half-mile work in :46 4/6, handily, over the Arcadia oval's muddy training track Monday morning.
Fog City Stables' Ocean Terrace, who finished last of nine in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 5 after setting a quick early pace, was back on the work tab Sunday morning. He logged a five-furlong move in 1:00 2/5 while breezing over the Southern California oval under regular exercise rider David Rodriguez.
While trainer Jeff Mullins concentrates on preparing Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Buddy Gil for his next start on the first Saturday in May, two of his other standouts, Captain Squire and Lusty Latin, will get a brief freshening.
Although he was running with Lasix, Buddy Gil did "bleed slightly" through the nostrils during his victory Saturday in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), trainer Jeff Mullins said. It was the first time the horse has done so in a race, Mullins said.
Jockey Gary Stevens broke Bill Shoemaker's record with his ninth Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) victory Saturday aboard unheralded Buddy Gil.
San Anita Derby morning line favorite Atswhatimtalknbout galloped about a nine furlongs early Thursday morning.
Jockey Gary Stevens is excited about the progression of Buddy Gil and is anxious for his 3-year-olds actions to speak louder than words in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
The heat is on in Dubai. It can be felt not just from the baking sun that beats through the hazy skyline, but among the trainers who have produced the strongest ever numerical raiding party for Saturday's $15.2 million World Cup meeting.
Buddy Gil, upstart winner of the Baldwin Stakes on turf and the San Felipe Stakes on the main track, worked five furlongs in :59 seconds on Santa Anita's fast maintrack under Gary Stevens in preparation for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 5.
Front-running King Robyn and jockey Alex Solis held on desperately in the stretch to defeat Truckle Feature and Eye of the Tiger by a half-length in Saturday's $80,700 San Pedro Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.
Jeff Mullins, who trains Captain Squire and Lusty Latin, both already are in Dubai for the March 29 World Cup card, plans to leave for Dubai on Sunday, he said from Santa Anita on Thursday.
From coast to coast, trainer Bobby Frankel continues to dominate the world of Thoroughbred racing.
San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) winner Buddy Gil was in "great shape" Monday morning, trainer Jeff Mullins reported, and will begin preparing for his next start in the Apr. 5 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) after a couple of days off.
Unheralded Buddy Gil and jockey Gary Stevens came out of nowhere to hold off a flying Atswhatimtalknbout by a nostril in Sunday's $250,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.
There may be rain in the forecast, but Man Among Men will run in Sunday's $250,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita, weather or not.
California-based trainer Jeff Mullins says he will not alter plans to participate in the March 29 Dubai World Cup card at Nad al Sheba racecourse in the United Arab Emirates despite a travel warning issued by the State Department to U.S. citizens currently in or traveling to that country.
Disturbingthepeace, Captain Squire and Avanzado turned in quick works in southern California Friday as they prepare for a possible journey to Dubai later this month for the Golden Shaheen Sprint.
Buddy Gil and jockey Gary Stevens took advantage of a red-hot pace to win Sunday's $114,550 Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the Santa Anita downhill turf course.
New Zealand-bred Final Destination won the $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) for older fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park on Monday, her second victory in two U.S. starts for owner Edmund Gann and trainer Bobby Frankel.
Captain Squire, winner of the FedEx Sprint in the Sunshine Millions last month, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita's "muddy" main track Friday in 1:00.20 under Amy Mullins, wife of trainer Jeff Mullins.
According to trainer Jeff Mullins, Captain Squire is still being pointed to run on the March 29 Dubai World Cup despite the threat of war in the Middle East.
Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr., with more than 9,500 career wins, as well as Siberland, who has aspirations for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), are among the featured attractions at Turf Paradise Saturday.
After Captain Squire scored a 5 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $250,000 FedEx Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita in a blistering time of 1:08.15, trainer Jeff Mullins left little doubt on what's on his mind later this year.
Jeff Mullins was a mainstay in Arizona for years, but the 39-year-old trainer recently moved his base of operations to Southern California, where he has been a frequent visitor to the winner's circle.
Lusty Latin earned a trip to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) with his third-place finish in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) last week. Saturday his stablemate, Captain Squire, will attempt to join him on the Derby trail when he competes in the $150,000 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields.
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