Two days ahead of Santa Anita Park's second official Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) prep, another 3-year-old colt made waves with what could end up being his first step on the Triple Crown trail Feb. 4.
With a determined rally near the center of the track, Birdatthewire caught Hot City Girl in deep stretch to earn the first grade I victory of her career in the $300,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) Dec. 26 at Santa Anita Park.
Songbird delivered a beautiful performance Oct. 31 in the $2 million 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), controlling the pace throughout and winning by 5 3/4 lengths over Rachel's Valentina.
Trainer Ron Ellis could only shake his head with a slight grin after watching Masochistic's final Santa Anita Park workout Oct. 25 before shipping to Keeneland for a run in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Unbeaten Songbird, the likely favorite in upcoming Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Keeneland, worked six furlongs in 1:13 3/5 on Santa Anita Park's fast main track Oct. 18 under regular rider Mike Smith.
After removing its synthetic surface, it was almost cosmically ironic when a downpour, equipped with constant lightning strikes, pounded the seaside racetrack July 18, causing all kinds of havoc at the summer hotspot.
Heading back to Del Mar proved a winning move for Sam Britt and Michael House's Gabriel Charles, who closed to win the $400,500 Eddie Read Stakes (gr. IT) by 3 3/4 lengths July 18 at the seaside racetrack.
Trying two turns for the first time proved perilous for Fox Hill Farms' Kentuckian, as Gimme Da Lute stalked and held off oncoming Prospect Park by a nose to win the $350,000 Los Alamitos Derby July 4.
Hronis Racing's Stellar Wind received a stiff challenge from Tara's Tango, but kept her unblemished record at Santa Anita Park intact with a nose victory over the challenger in the $200,000 Summertime Oaks(gr. II).
Pamela Ziebarth's homebred grade I winner My Sweet Addiction makes her Kentucky debut against five exiting the La Troienne Stakes (gr. I) in the June 13 Fleur de Lis Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Even without two-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder, the May 9 Vanity Stakes (gr. I) provided some drama with My Sweet Addiction delivering an upset to beat 1-9 favorite Warren's Veneda in the $300,000 event.
It goes without saying that no one forgets attending their first Kentucky Derby (gr. I). However, every once in a while along comes a Derby story that is not only memorable but also unlikely to ever be surpassed.
Uzziel won't have to face off against standout recent opponents Beholder or Warren's Veneda in the $100,000 Wilshire Stakes (gr. IIIT) April 26 at Santa Anita Park, but the she will have to take on another familiar rival.
Mike Smith likely saved multiple grade I winner Shared Belief from additional injury by pulling him up in the April 18 Charles Town Classic (gr. II), as diagnostic work revealed a non-displaced fracture of his right hip.
Multiple grade I winner Shared Belief failed to finish April 18 in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic (gr. II), eased by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith as Southern Stables' Moreno took the 1 1/8-mile test at Charles Town.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Luck of the Kitten, runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) last fall, heads a field of seven 3-year-olds entered for the $100,000 Transylvania (gr. IIIT) April 15 at Keeneland.
The top three finishers from the April 11 Arkansas Derby (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park, including runaway winner American Pharoah, emerged from the 1 1/8-mile race in good order, their connections said April 12.
Three Chimneys Farm's Rainha Da Bateria will enter the Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) as the only 3-year-old graded stakes winner in the field of nine, but will lose Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith for the 1 1/16-mile test.
With a sharp move to the rail by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, Far Right claimed the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park Feb. 22. He had previously won the Smarty Jones Stakes at the Arkansas track.
The showdown everyone wanted to see produced a clear verdict for Shared Belief over reigning Horse of the Year California Chrome in the $500,000 San Antonio Invitational Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 7 at Santa Anita Park.