A year after the death of racehorse John Henry, fans now have a lasting monument and a dedicated place to remember their champion. A bronze statue by artist Shelley Hunter has taken its place at John's gravesite, just outside the Kentucky Horse Park's Hall of Champions paddock that John called home for 22 of his 32 years.
Favorites Tribesman and Vicarino dueled each other into submission in the $100,000 Bay Meadows Sprint (gr. III), allowing the late-running Bonfante to earn an easy 4 1/2-length win for trainer Ron McAnally March 15 in San Mateo, Calif.
HorseRacing TV's weekly "Across The Board" show will deviate from its customary half-hour format to present a one-hour edition saluting the career of the legendary gelding John Henry.
Irish-bred Charm the Giant rallied from eighth with a furlong to run en route to a 1 1/2-length victory under jockey Michael Baze in the $111,500 Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the grass as Hollywood Park opened its spring/summer meet on Wednesday.
Charm the Giant, winner of the Hillsboro Handicap at Bay Meadows in her last start, heads a field of 10 fillies and mares as Hollywood Park opens its 68th spring/summer meet on Wednesday with the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) at one mile on the Lakeside Turf Course.
Saturday's $103,488 San Simeon Handicap at Santa Anita, pared to four starters from an original field of nine when switched from the hillside turf course to the main track at 6 1/2 furlongs, went to Bonfante, the longest shot in the field who won a stirring stretch battle with Battle Won.
Multiple grade I winner Sweet Return has been established as the 5-2 morning line favorite among seven marathoners set to contest the 68th running of Santa Anita's historic San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT), the $250,000 turf fixture at about 1 3/4 miles that concludes the track's 85-day race meeting on Sunday.
Mea Domina, unbeaten in four starts over Santa Anita's turf course, and Attima, victorious in her only start over the surface, will share high weight of 120 pounds in Monday's President's Day running of Santa Anita's Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) for older fillies and mares at one mile.
Twenty-five years after legendary John Henry became the first two-time winner of the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), Santa Anita will mark the occasion by honoring the great gelding, along with retired Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr., who rode John Henry to his first Big 'Cap victory in 1981.
Always tough to beat when staked to a lead, Janis R. Whitham's homebred Mea Domina made her advantage stand up when she held off the late charge of Three Degrees to win the Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares on the Del Mar turf Saturday.
Trainer Ron McAnally likes his chances to win his second grass stakes of the young Del Mar racing season as he sends out Sweet Return to defend his 2005 championship in Sunday's $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT).
The classy 6-year-old horse Sweet Return, a multiple grade I winner who has earned more than $1.6 million, is one of eight horses entered in Saturday's $400,000 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT) at Golden Gate Fields.
Arnold Zetcher's 5-year-old California-bred mare House of Fortune drew off on the far turn of Saturday's $500,000 Sunshine Millions Ocala Breeders' Sales Distaff at Gulfstream Park and steered clear for a commanding 6 ½-length victory.
Jockey David Cohen put Proud Tower Too on the lead and hung on in the final strides for an upset victory in the $101,000 On Trust Handicap for California-bred sprinters on Sunday at Hollywood Park.
The grade I winner Mea Domina was being aimed at the Hollywood Park Autumn Turf Festival, but that track's problems with its course forced trainer Ron McAnally to call an audible. In one of the last chances for grass racing in Southern California until the end of the year, Mea Domina went gate-to-wire under Tyler Baze Saturday to win the Las Palmas Handicap (gr. IIT) at the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita.
Not many horses pass Sweet Return when he's leading in the stretch and none were up to the task in the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) on the Del Mar turf Sunday.
Saturday proved to be a good day for the past two winners of the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT). The 2004 winner Good Reward won the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) on the Belmont Park turf and 2003 hero Sweet Return returned to Hollywood Park's lawn to capture the $350,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT).
Owner/breeder Janis R. Whitham and Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally doubled their pleasure Monday when their Mea Domina held on to beat entry mate Solar Echo in the $441,500 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park turf.
Good Student, a 5-year-old Argentine import from the barn of Ron McAnally, held off the fast-closing Belle Ange to win by a nose Thursday in Santa Anita's $79,350 Tuzla Handicap, a turf mile contest for fillies and mares.
If Good Student is next in a long line of South American imports to find U.S. success for trainer Ron McAnally, the 4-year-old Argentine-bred filly needs to progress when she runs in the closing day $150,000 Las Palmas Handicap (gr. IIT) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita Park.
The Juddmonte Farms' entry of Etoile Montante and Intercontinental towers over the field for trainer Bobby Frankel in Saturday's $200,000 Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at Del Mar.
Likely favorite Pleasantly Perfect led a large contingent of Pacific Classic (gr. I) contenders Monday getting in their final serious preparations for Sunday's $1 million event at 1 1/4 miles.
Chilean-bred Voz de Colegiala, flying the famous green silks of owner Nelson Bunker Hunt, prevailed in a blanket finish under leading rider Tyler Baze to win the $80,150 Osunitas Handicap for older fillies and mares Wednesday at Del Mar.
California-bred House of Fortune proved a popular winner of the $182,875 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II), shaking loose in the stretch for three-length gate-to-wire triumph over four rivals.
Sweet Return, the winner of three consecutive graded stakes, attempts to extend his streak in the $350,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) Monday at Hollywood Park.
Arnold Zetcher's House of Fortune ran away to a 17-length victory over three outclassed rivals in the $77,025 California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.
Fun House, who has made a habit of collecting minor chunks during a consistent 22-race career, put it all together Saturday for her first graded stakes win in the $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park.
Undefeated Candy Ride had his first official workout Wednesday since winning the Pacific Classic (gr. I) last August, breezing three furlongs under exercise rider Patrick Dalton in :36 at Santa Anita.
Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) winner Fairly Ransom, unplaced as the favorite in the San Marcos Handicap (gr. IIT) in his last start, will get a chance to redeem himself in the Feb. 16 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita, Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally said.
Seven weeks after stealing the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT), Red Oak Stable's Sweet Return employed similar front-running tactics in Monday's $150,000 San Marcos (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita with the same result: a gate-to-wire victory.
A classy field of 11 three-year-old fillies and nine turf marathoners head two highly competitive stakes races at Santa Anita Park on a special day of racing Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Owner Arnold Zetcher hopes to close out a memorable year with House of Fortune Sunday in the $355,500 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I), a 1 1/16-mile test for 2-year-old fillies.
Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone has been assigned to ride the undefeated Argentine-bred Candy Ride in Sunday's $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
Turf distaffers will get the opportunity to fight for $500,000 on Friday in Keeneland's WinStar Galaxy Stakes (gr. IIT).
David and Jill Heerensperger's Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) winner Millennium Wind worked five furlongs at Wednesday in 1:01 1/5 at Hollywood Park. The 4-year-old son of Cryptoclearance is about a month away from a race, according to trainer David Hofmans.
When jockey Chris McCarron booted home Seinne a half-length winner in the $150,000 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT), he became the first rider in Santa Anita Park history to ride three graded stakes winner on the same card. Previously on the day, McCarron was in the irons for graded stakes wins in the San Bernardino Handicap (gr. II) and Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
Astra returns at Santa Anita Saturday from a seven-month layoff, but the Santa Ana Handicap (gr. I) is no easy spot as the starting gate will also be populated by grade I winners Janet, Tout Charmant, Golden Apples, and Starine.
Printemps is trainer Ron McAnally's entry in the $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares on Sunday at Santa Anita. Chilean-bred Printemps may not be favored in the race, but McAnally's history of success in the race is undeniable: he trained two-time winners Paseana and Bayakoa, Queens Court (1995), and longshot Toda Una Dama (1998).
Two-time Chilean champion Printemps will make her first start of 2002 in Sunday's $200,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita. Printemps will receive a three-pound concession from 119-pound highweight Spain in the 1 1/16-mile race.
Stonerside Stable's Tout Charmant earned her first victory since November of 2000, coming from just off the pace to win the $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) by two lengths over Janet. "That was the Tout Charmant we've come to know and love," said winning rider Chris McCarron.
Nelson Bunker Hunt's Seinne will attempt to become the fourth surface switching stakes winner of the young Santa Anita meet when trainer Ron McAnally sends out the Chilean-bred in Saturday's $200,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. III).
At the top of the Santa Anita stretch Saturday's $200,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) looked like it would be decided by one of three 3-year-old fillies dueling for the lead. Then in mid-stretch, Affluent burst from the trailing pack to rush by the top three en route to winning the seven-furlong main track test by 1 1/2 lengths under Eddie Delahoussaye.
Some of the horses who have made history on Breeders' Cup Championship Day were born and bred in the U.S., but now live elsewhere. Some were foaled in one country, raced in another, and now live somewhere completely different. Here are some of their stories.
For the fifth time in the last 13 renewals, a South American-bred won the Overbrook Spinster Stakes (gr. I) when Miss Linda kicked clear in the stretch to win the $562,000 feature at Keeneland Sunday.
Veteran rider Eddie Delahoussaye booted home Affluent 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Collect Call to win Saturday's $150,000 Hollywood Oaks Stakes (gr. II) and earn his second stakes win on the Hollywood Park card.
After winning a duel with Lesters Boy early on, Smile Again was headed in the stretch by 13-10 favorite Freedom Crest before fighting back to post a neck-length win in Saturday's $100,000 Bel Air Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park. Earlier on the card, 2-year-old filly Georgia's Storm led from wire-to-wire in winning the $108,400 Landaluce Stakes (gr. III) under Chris McCarron.
Jockey Chris McCarron earned a belated stakes win at Hollywood Park Sunday, winning aboard Innit in the $217,000 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) four races after his mount was disqualified from victory in the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I).
Squirtle Squirt set scorching early fractions but was overtaken by Early Flyer in deep stretch in Monday's $108,600 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park. Under Chris McCarron, Ron McAnally-trained Early Flyer completed the seven furlongs in 1:20.42 on a fast track to earn his first win since February's San Vicente Stakes (gr. II).
Staying at home has its advantages. Short commute. Close to the family. Favorite restaurant around the corner. For jockey Chris McCarron, it was sweeping a pair of $150,000 stakes races at Hollywood Park on the weekend of May 5-6.
Janis R. Whitham's homebred Beautiful Noise earned her first stakes victory Sunday at Santa Anita, winning the $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. II) by a head over High Walden. Under jockey Chris McCarron, the 14-5 favorite completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.27 on a firm turf course.
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