All it took was a couple starts on dirt for Midnight Storm to go from gutsy turf miler to highweight in the premier handicap race on the West Coast.
Conquest Enforcer's first start in Southern California couldn't have gone much better.
He may not have beaten Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner Arrogate, but Midnight Storm still found a way to impress in the $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes (G2) Jan. 1.
California Chrome had his prep for the Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) Dec. 17 at Los Alamitos Race Course. Now it's Arrogate's turn across town.
Trainers taking on California Chrome in the Winter Challenge Dec. 17 at Los Alamitos Race Course, are doing so for various reasons.
A two-time grade I winner at a mile, Obviously cut back a bit in distance to take the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT) Nov. 5 at Santa Anita Park.
Jeff and Kathleen Hebert fell in love with a Kentucky-bred daughter of Ghostzapper at the 2013 Keeneland yearling sale. She had some veterinary issues, which scared enough bidders away that the couple got her for just $15,000.
Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) entrant Metaboss was pulled up and transported off the Santa Anita Park turf course in an equine ambulance Nov. 2 during a routine gallop in preparation for the Nov. 5 race.
Jockey Tyler Baze got a good feeling Nick Alexander's Enola Gray would take to a new surface for her first grass start Oct. 15, when the Grazen filly warmed up and traveled up the Santa Anita Park hillside turf course.
Herbert Bloodstock, Richard Leggio, and Peter Peluso's Gloryzapper earned her first graded win Oct. 9 with a game effort in the $100,000 L.A. Woman Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita Park.
Pick Six Racing's Vyjack knocked off Wise Dan as the fastest turf miler in Santa Anita's history Oct. 8 with a record-setting performance in the $200,000 City of Hope Mile (gr. IIT).
Obviously will take his fifth shot at the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) after a run in the grade II City of Hope Mile.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more impressive performance in a losing effort than what Metaboss did Aug. 20 in the Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT).
Claiborne Farm's Bendable, off the first loss of her career, handed Enola Gray her first defeat Sept. 11 in the $75,000 Beverly J. Lewis Stakes at Los Alamitos Race Course.
After a minor illness knocked her out of the Torrey Pines (gr. III) at Del Mar Aug. 28, Nick Alexander's undefeated Enola Gray will take another shot at her first start against open company Sept. 11 in the Beverly J. Lewis Stakes.
California Chrome was the unanimous choice as Del Mar's Horse of the Meeting for 2016.
Nick Alexander's homebred Enola Gray will take an undefeated record into the $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes (gr. III) Aug. 28 at Del Mar, but the lightly raced Grazen filly will be up against the toughest field she's ever faced.
A Veneri Racing and Little Red Feather Racing's Midnight Storm put in a repeat performance on the Southern California grass Aug. 21 to win the $200,000 Del Mar Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) in front-running fashion.
Midnight Storm has been rolling of late, with back-to-back scores in the Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) and Eddie Read (gr. IIT), but could face a challenge for his ideal spot at the front of the pack July 21 in the $200,000 Del Mar Mile (gr. IIT).
Multiple graded stakes winners Ashleyluvssugar, Flamboyant, and Finnegans Wake will take the logical step forward on the Del Mar turf schedule for a run in the Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 20.
Nick Alexander's homebred Enola Gray continued her blitz through the Californa-bred ranks July 22 in the $150,000 Fleet Treat Stakes at Del Mar.
A head and a nose apart in their last two outings, Stays in Vegas and Be Mine will once again do battle in the $200,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) July 23 at Del Mar.
There's something about the Del Mar turf course that brings out the best in A Venneri Racing and Little Red Feather Racing's Midnight Storm.
David Bienstock and Chuck Winner's Flamboyant just started to hit his stride early in 2016, when he shipped overseas for the Dubai Turf (UAE-I) in March.
Undefeated Coppa proved up to the test in her first graded stakes try, holding off stretch challengers to her inside and outside to win the $150,000 Victory Ride Stakes (gr. III) July 9 at Belmont Park.
Repole Stable homebred Lost Raven will look to win her third straight stakes July 9 in the $150,000 Victory Ride Stakes (gr. III), but the Uncle Mo filly will have to take on an intriguing invader from the West in the 6 1/2-furlong test.
Vyjack, previously trained on the East Coast by Bill Mott, logged a half-mile drill in :47 2/5 June 23 at Santa Anita Park, the fastest of 68 works at the distance in his first move for D'Amato.
Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino's Obviously (IRE) returned from a four-month break between races and led gate to wire to win the $300,000 Poker Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the turf at Belmont Park.
Stays in Vegas and Be Mine, only a head apart last time out in the Senorita (gr. IIIT) May 7, will be back for another graded grass stakes at Santa Anita Park June 19 in the $200,000 Honeymoon (gr. IIT).
A low-grade fever may have knocked Fox Hill Farms' undefeated champion Songbird out of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), but her 3-year-old campaign will restart June 18 in the $200,000 Summertime Oaks (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
Midnight Storm lost the $400,000 Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) last year by a half-length, but this time he would not be denied.
Koji Maeda's UAE Derby (UAE-II) winner Lani turned in a characteristically lengthy breeze early the morning of June 1 at Belmont Park, his penultimate work for the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 11.
Stepping up into stakes competition off a standout debut score, Nick Alexander's homebred Enola Gray didn't disappoint in the $200,000 Melair Stakes May 28 at Santa Anita Park.
Adventist and Unified may find a tough contender in Federico Tesio runner-up Governor Malibu in the May 14 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
A wide-open field of 14 will contest the May 5 $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park.
Santa Anita Park saw a significant increase in on-track attendance and a slight decrease in all-sources handle when its 2015-2016 winter meet came to a close April 10.
Michael House's Big John B has only raced on dirt twice in his last 36 starts, but he seems to take to the surface just fine.
Michael House's Big John B has only raced on dirt once in his past 35 starts, but that lone start -- a score in last year's Cougar II Handicap (gr. III) at Del Mar -- was one of his best.
Seemingly doing all they can to get as far away from undefeated Songbird as possible, Southern California residents Land Over Sea and Street Fancy will head to New Orleans for the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 26.
Michael House's three-time graded stakes winner Big John B will look to regain his impressive form from the recent past in the $200,000 San Luis Rey Stakes (gr. IIT) March 13 at Santa Anita Park.
Om, Prospect Park, and Bolo are scheduled to make their 4-year-old debuts in the Arcadia Stakes, but they'll all be encountering older horses for the first time.
Fox Hill Farms' undefeated Songbird will make her 2016 debut in the $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 6 and will again be a commanding favorite when the gates open at Santa Anita Park.
Two grade I winners will go toe-to-toe in the $200,000 San Gabriel Stakes (gr. IIT) Jan. 2 at Santa Anita Park, but they couldn't differ more in style and experience.
Queen Bee Racing's Toowindytohaulrox provided an opening-day shocker Dec. 26 at Santa Anita Park, unleashing a furious closing drive in the stretch to win the $100,000 Daytona Stakes (gr. IIIT) at odds of 21-1.
Agave Racing Stable's Street Fancy went from maiden winner to grade I winner Dec. 12, taking the $300,000 Starlet Stakes (gr. I) at Los Alamitos Race Course with a strong late burst of speed.
At the conclusion of its second fall season since the closure of Hollywood Park, Del Mar saw a decrease in daily average handle for the five-week stand when compared with last fall's four-week slate.
After less-than-ideal runs in his last three graded stakes tries, Midnight Storm returned to form in standout fashion Nov. 27 at Del Mar, but he also showed a slightly different dimension.
A full field of juvenile fillies will seek their first graded score in the $100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes (gr. IIIT) Nov. 28 at Del Mar.
With two of just four turf workers Oct. 25 at Santa Anita Park, trainer Phil D'Amato was intentionally easy on his expected Breeders' Cup runners.
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.
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