The third largest crowd in Del Mar history, 40,046, saw Becrux and El Roblar win divisions of the featured Oceanside Stakes Wednesday, opening day of the seaside track's 43-day summer meeting.
Osidy, a Kentucky-bred son of Storm Cat, seeks his second successive graded stakes victory in Hollywood Park's $150,000 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Sunday when facing five other 3-year-olds in the 1 1/8-mile turf event.
Rock Hard Ten, winner of the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), is back galloping and is being pointed for the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita, said trainer Dick Mandella, whose ultimate goal is the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
Osidy, a colt that trainer Richard Mandella has big plans for this year, registered his first victory in the United States with a patient ride by Alex Solis in the $109,100 Will Rogers (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Under steady handling from Alex Solis, Berbatim took control in the stretch and rolled to a 2 1/2-length victory in the $111,600 Providencia Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies on the Santa Anita turf Saturday.
If the build up to Saturday's $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) has revealed one thing, it is that there will be no excuses for any of the four American runners in the Nad al Sheba showpiece.
Mixed vibes surround America's four runners in Saturday's $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) although none of their connections had any concerns about Wednesday's post position draw.
Roses in May has filled trainer Dale Romans with confidence he'll leave Dubai with the world's richest horse racing prize, the $6 million Dubai World Cup (gr. I) on March 26.
Salt Champ, an Argentine champion who won the Jan. 30 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) in her North American debut, has been retired from racing after suffering a slight strain in a tendon.
Trainer Jeff Mullins, center of controversy over comments made in Sunday's Los Angeles Times, expressed regret that his remarks offended anyone and contended that the article's author, columnist T.J. Simers, used his quotes entirely out of context.
Often accused of failing to realize his awesome potential, Rock Hard Ten brought his true knockout punch to Saturday's $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), pulling away for a decisive 1 3/4-length victory over the strongest field he is yet to face.
Odds-on favorite Rock Hard Ten gave everything he had to hold off the determined Imperialism by a nose in an exhilarating finish to the $300,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Saturday.
Potential handicap star Rock Hard Ten remains on course for Saturday's $300,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park, but stablemate Minister Eric will not run, trainer Richard Mandella said Wednesday.
Argentine-bred mare Salt Champ made her United States debut for trainer Richard Mandella with a visually impressive victory in the $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) Sunday at Santa Anita Park.
Unable to recapture the ability that he displayed in winning the 2003 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at odds of 26-1, the enigmatic Action This Day has been retired and will stand at Castleton Lyons outside of Lexington, Ky., trainer Richard Mandella said Sunday.
Looking to recapture the form he displayed while finishing second in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) of 2003, Minister Eric finally put it together for his first stakes win in the $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) Saturday at Santa Anita Park.
Proven in sloppy conditions, Congrats relished the off track Saturday at waterlogged Santa Anita Park, splashing away to an easy victory in the $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II).
Malibu Stakes (gr. I) winner Rock Hard Ten, who breezed three furlongs Sunday in :36 4/5, may not be ready for the second leg of the Strub series for 4-year-olds, the $200,000 San Fernando Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park on Jan. 15.
Made the favorite in his turf debut Sunday at Santa Anita Park, 2003 juvenile champion Action This Day failed to fire while finishing ninth. In other stakes on opening day of the winter meeting, Whilly prevailed in the $112,700 Sir Beaufort Stakes and Uncle Denny took the $138,625 California Breeders' Champion Stakes.
The hole opened up for Rock Hard Ten near the eighth pole and the strapping colt burst through to win the $250,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-olds Sunday in front of 31,874, the largest opening-day crowd since 1999 at Santa Anita Park.
Becky Witzman, assistant trainer for Richard Mandella for the past 6 ½ years, has joined HorseRacingTV as an analyst.
Action This Day, the Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old male of 2003, is expected to make his turf debut in an allowance/optional claiming race on Sunday at Santa Anita Park. It would be his first start since finishing sixth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) May 1.
Minister Eric, who ran third in his only race since an eventful 16th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) May 1, will wear blinkers when he tackles a competitive field in the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) Sunday at Santa Anita Park.
Jay Robbins, who made Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) history when he trained the great California-bred Tiznow to back-to-back victories in 2000-01, says Pleasantly Perfect "has an excellent chance" to match the feat Saturday.
Trainer Richard Mandella said defending $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge champion Pleasantly Perfect has "never been better" after a 1 1/8-mile workout in 1:50 3/5 at Santa Anita on Saturday.
Richard Mandella plans at least two more workouts at Santa Anita for Pleasantly Perfect before the defending Breeders' Cup Classic champion moves to Lone Star Park for defense of his crown on Oct. 30.
Multiple graded stakes winner Olmodavor, who had been nominated to the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) later this month, has been retired, trainer Richard Mandella said on Wednesday.
Pleasantly Perfect, rebounding strongly from defeat three weeks ago in the San Diego Handicap (gr. II), convincingly took the centerpiece of the Del Mar meeting, the Pacific Classic (gr. I), with a scintillating turn of foot the last quarter mile.
Roy C. Wood Jr. will retire from his position as executive director of the California Horse Racing Board effective at the end of 2004.
Roy C. Wood Jr. is expected to resign his position as executive director of the California Horse Racing Board at the CHRB's monthly meeting Thursday at Del Mar.
Pleasantly Perfect had trainer Richard Mandella smiling after seeing the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner work a sharp five furlongs in one minute flat Tuesday. Pleasantly Perfect, second in the San Diego Handicap (gr. II), is preparing for Del Mar's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Aug. 22.
Even the Score, bothered by foot problems, was dropped from consideration for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Aug. 22 by trainer Vladimir Cerin Sunday. Another prospect for the race, Olmodavor is extremely questionable, according to trainer Richard Mandella.
Pleasantly Perfect always fires when he's fresh and the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner, out of action since winning the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in March, is training as though he'll be ready for Sunday's $250,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) At Del Mar Sunday.
Trainer Dan Hendricks suffered spinal injuries in a motorcycle accident in Riverside County, Calif., on Wednesday.
Chilean-bred Noches De Rosa, who toppled standout mare Megahertz in the Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) on May 31, will take aim at a rare double in Hollywood Park's $200,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles on turf Sunday.
Jockey Mike Smith, bumped from Azeri for Monday's Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I), notched a grade I win on Memorial Day anyway. He guided Noches De Rosa to an upset victory over a furiously closing Megahertz in the $324,250 Gamely Handicap (gr. IT) for fillies and mares at Hollywood Park.
Del Mar Futurity champion Siphonizer, a breathing problem corrected by surgery, continues his comeback Saturday in Hollywood Park's $150,000 Lazaro S. Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.
Siphonizer can breathe normally again, which is bad news for his rivals in the $150,000 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park on Saturday.
Spring Star, winner of the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) in her last start at Hollwood Park on April 25, has been retired, trainer Richard Mandella said Wednesday from his Santa Anita headquarters. Mandella also confirmed that grade I winner Redattore is retired to and will be sent to stud.
Want to stay young? Exercise horses, says Hollywood Park exercise rider Manuel Chirino, who turns 75 on May 20.
Olmodavor, who won the Native Diver Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park in December, returns to that racetrack Saturday for Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II).
Halfbridled, the 2-year-old filly champion of 2003, was scratched from the April 30 Kentucky Oaks (gr. 1) the morning of the race after having tied up. She was scratched from the April 3 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland for the same reason.
There were plenty of quips and comments from trainers and connections with Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopefuls Tuesday night at the annual Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders trainers' dinner in Louisville.
Spring Star, a lightly-raced 5-year-old mare, won her 2004 debut over a field that included seven other graded stakes winners, turning in a sharp performance in the $110,900 Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Hollywood Park turf Sunday.
Minister Eric prepped for a possible run in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) with a 4 1/2-length victory in an allowance race Wednesday at Keeneland.
With the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) only three weeks away, NBC Sports kicks off coverage of horseracing's 3-year-old picture on Saturday, with the 90-minute telecast of "NTRA Road to the Kentucky Derby."
Champion Halfbridled will lead a field of eight in Thursday's $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland. Halfbridled was entered but scratched from the April 3 Ashland Stakes (gr.I) after tying up after a morning gallop.
Though knocked of the Ashland (gr. I) Saturday by a minor ailment, Wertheimer Farm's Halfbridled did little to shake the confidence of racing fans that made the reigning 2-year-old filly champion the 4-1 favorite in the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.
Juvenile champion Action This Day will make his longest excursion when he ships April 5 to Keeneland for the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) on April 10, but Richard Mandella does not anticipate any problems with his 3-year-old.
As happy as trainer Dick Mandella was after winning the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), that's how crushed he was moments after the race when he was told on the phone by his son, Gary, in California, that his longtime friend and mentor, V.J. "Lefty" Nickerson, had died in his sleep just hours earlier.
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