The stretch-running Tiago is expected to face 13 rivals in the $1- million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) March 7, but as far as jockey Mike Smith is concerned, the packed field will be better for the 5-year-old son of Pleasant Tap.
- By Tracy Gantz
Because of the owners, trainers and jockeys who frequent The Pamplemousse restaurant near Del Mar in Southern California, co-owner and chef Jeffrey Strauss gets more than his share of tips.
Matto Mondo grabbed the lead from favored pacesetter Monterey Jazz at the head of the stretch and rolled on to register a 3 1/4-length win in the off-the-turf Thunder Road Handicap at Santa Anita Feb. 7.
Stardom Bound, champion 2-year-old filly of 2008, could be headed for the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) after turning in a big effort in winning the $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) for new connections in her 2009 debut Feb. 7 at Santa Anita.
The thrills. The spills. The rivalries, rage, and romances. And yes, the flipping, too. It's all there in a new 12-part documentary television series, "Jockeys."
Pasar Silbano, making her second American start for trainer James Cassidy, took control coming down the hillside turf course and drew off in the homestretch to win the $100,000 La Habra Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Feb. 1.
An Omaha, Neb., woman with inoperable cervical cancer fulfilled a lifelong wish with a trip to Santa Anita Park this weekend.
Twelve episodes of a 30-minute show featuring the lives of seven jockeys during the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet will air on Animal Planet beginning with a pair of shows Feb. 6.
Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Gayego set a Hollywood Park Cushion Track track record for 6 1/2 furlongs when he won an optional claiming allowance race Nov. 30.
Patrons will receive a Zenyatta poster autographed by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith when the unbeaten Horse of the Year candidate is honored at Hollywood Park Sunday, Nov. 30.
Despite being 10 lengths back with a half mile to go, Zenyatta gobbled ground easily to win the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I). She is now undefeated in nine career starts. Cocoa Beach was second with Music Note in third.
Favorite Stardom Bound, with a bold move, quickly took command of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). Dream Empress was second and Sky Diva third. The final time in the 1 1/16-mile race was 1:40.99.
Mike Smith and Zenyatta have been an unbeatable team so far, and they're the heavy favorites to add yet another victory to their sizzling streak in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) Oct. 24 at Santa Anita.
Dearest Trickski's road to the Sentient Flight Group Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint began late last year, when the Kalookan Queen Stakes at Santa Anita failed to fill. That pushed the filly into the grade I La Brea Stakes Dec. 29, and a victory there gave owner Tom Mankiewicz and trainer John Sadler grander ideas.
Favored Tasha's Miracle nipped Gorgeous Goose by a nose in Oak Tree's $106,100 Harold C. Ramser Sr. Handicap (gr. IIIT), snapping a seven-race losing streak in game fashion at Santa Anita turf Park Oct. 11.
Queen Ofthe Catsle earned her first win in a graded stakes race when she ran down pacesetter La Tee in deep stretch to capture Oak Tree's $111,600 Senator Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. IIIT) over Santa Anita's downhill turf course Oct. 4.
Stardom Bound put on a dazzling performance in the $250,000 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 27 during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park. The 2-year-old Tapit filly rallied from last, came eight-wide into the stretch, and mowed down her rivals to win going away under Mike Smith.
Undefeated Zenyatta unwound her patented stretch drive once again to sweep by Hystericalady in the final furlong to win the $245,000 Lady's Secret (gr. IT)during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park Sept. 27.
The aptly named maiden Stardom Bound, far behind the leaders on the final turn, unleashed a monstrous move through the home stretch to turn the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) into a 4 1/4-length stunner Sept. 1.
Madeo, justifying the faith trainer John Shirreffs has shown in him, overtook pacesetter Tangled Tango in deep stretch to post a handy upset in the $350,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) Aug. 31.
The nay-sayers who thought Zenyatta might have been vulnerable after her comparatively plodding win in the Vanity (gr. I) last time out were left with little left to criticize when the statuesque filly blew by her rivals to capture the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch (gr. II) under wraps at Del Mar Aug. 2. Zenyatta, the top-ranked older female in the nation, remains perfect in seven lifetime races.
Warning Zone put an exclamation point on trainer John Sadler's first spring/summer title at Hollywood Park with a rail-skimming victory in the $156,000 Sunset Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) on closing day July 13.
Unbeaten Zenyatta's effort was a cut below her best on a hot day at Hollywood Park, but that was good enough to win the $300,000 Vanity Handicap (gr. I) July 5.
Dearest Trickski handed trainer John Sadler his third stakes win at Hollywood Park June 28 when she led all the way in the $150,000 A Gleam Handicap (gr. II) on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track.
Undefeated Zenyatta overcame a bump at the start to record her fifth consecutive victory, winning the $183,300 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) the way a 3-10 shot should May 31 at Hollywood Park.
Team Valor International's Fairbanks has not won in more than a year, but is still the horse to beat April 19 when he takes on four geldings in the inaugural $200,000 Bill Hartack Memorial Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course.
Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Gayego is to be flown to Louisville, Ky., on April 14, to prepare for the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). He will be joined on the flight by second and third-place finishers, Z Fortune and Tres Borrachos.
After doing all of his running on Southern California's synthetic tracks, favored Gayego proved he has no problem with a conventional dirt surface, either. The Paulo Lobo-trained invader repelled Z Fortune in the stretch run for a three-quarter-length victory in the $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.
Inside Information features Mike Smith, Bruce Headley and Reckless.
Tiago nipped favored Heatseeker by a head after a stirring stretch battle in the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), capping a $1 million stakes day at the Arkansas track for owners Jerry and Ann Moss, trainer John Shirreffs and jockey Mike Smith.
Zenyatta extended her unbeaten streak to four races and defeated a champion in doing so when she took the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park April 5.
Former claiming filly Dearest Trickski, hustled to the front by jockey Mike Smith, never looked back in rolling to an easy win in the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita Jan. 26, her fifth consecutive victory.
Gayego figured to need a suicidal pace in order to catch the speedy Sea of Pleasure in the $79,700 San Pedro Stakes, and that's exactly what the Gilded Time colt received in setting a track record at Santa Anita Jan. 20.
A $32,000 claim at Del Mar this summer, Dearest Trickski became a grade I winner when she ran away from the field in the $250,000 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Park Dec. 29.
Front-running Daytona wasn't supposed to be able to take the field all the way in the 1 1/4-mile Hollywood Derby, but nobody told jockey Mike Smith. They controlled the pace to win the $500,000 turf test for 3-year-olds, defeating Medici Code by a half-length at Hollywood Park Nov. 25.
Favored Sea Chanter fought her way between horses to get the lead in the final strides, capturing the $113,200 Miesque Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 2-year-old fillies at one mile on the Hollywood Park turf on Nov. 24.
Odds-on favorite Foxy Danseur shook loose of pace rival Champagne Eyes mid-stretch and drew off to a 2 3/4-length win in the $107,100 Sharp Cat for 2-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park Nov. 17.
The improving Daytona put it all together for trainer Dan Hendricks on the Santa Anita turf course Oct. 13, kicking clear of the field in upper stretch to register an easy 4 1/4-length win in the $150,000 Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT).
Bruce Lunsford's Tessa Blue blew off the final turn more than four lengths in front and kept rolling to the easiest of victories for her first graded stakes win in the $406,500 Indiana Breeders Cup Oaks (gr. III) the night of Oct. 5 at Hoosier Park.
Tiago loves Santa Anita, no matter the surface. In his first start at the Arcadia, Calif., track since winning the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on the old dirt track April 7, the 3-year-old colt delivered a desperate nose victory over the unlucky Awesome Gem in the $520,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup (gr. I) on the new Cushion Track Sept. 29.
Favored Cry and Catch Me gave trainer Bob Baffert his seventh win in the $244,000 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) in the past 11 years with a game nose victory over Izarra at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meet Sept. 29.
Showing an ability to rate, Passified angled off the fence mid-stretch and ran down pacesetting Fleet Caroline close to home to win the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on the Del Mar turf course Saturday.
Jerry and Ann Moss' Tiago, guided through a narrow opening at the rail mid-stretch by jockey Mike Smith, went to victory as the even-money choice in the $368,250 Swaps Breeders' Cup (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contenders Hard Spun, Imawildandcrazyguy, and Tiago, as well as Todd Pletcher-trained candidates Rags to Riches and Circular Quay, all hit the Belmont main track for work-outs Sunday morning.
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Tiago and Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) victor Stormello gave their connections encouragement for an anticipated date in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 5 with strong works at Hollywood Park Sunday.
Making his first start in more than a year, Chinese Dragon rallied along the inside for jockey Mike Smith to nose the outsider Vega's Lord while capturing the $300,000 San Francisco Mile (gr. IIT) on the Golden Gate Fields turf course Saturday.
Phipps Stable's Boca Grande kept her cool and pulled away for a 1 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 Comely (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct Saturday.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith plans to ride on the Southern California circuit beginning with the final week of the current Santa Anita racing season, agent Brad Pegram confirmed Friday.
It was all in the genes for Tiago, the half-brother to 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo who registered a timely come-from-behind victory in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) Saturday.
A field of seven 3-year-old fillies is set for the seven-furlong Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II) March 10 at Gulfstream Park. Heading the group is Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) winner Boca Grande.
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