John Van de Kamp, the former California attorney general who served as president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, died March 14.
In view of the recent announcement that the Oak Tree Racing's lease to conduct a fall meet at Santa Anita Park had not been renewed, MI Developments issued a statement May 18 reaffirming its support for California racing.
Ron Charles, who has served as president of Santa Anita's Los Angeles Turf Club since 2004, has resigned. His last day will be May 19.
Overall daily average handle for the 78-day Santa Anita meeting declined 11% as its 75th winter-spring stand came to an end on April 18, the Arcadia track reported.
Struggling as it never has before, the California horse racing industry went to the State Capitol in Sacramento March 4 looking for some answers. And surprisingly, racing seemed to get a warm reception.
With bright sunshine in abundance for the first time since Jan. 17, Santa Anita's main track has been declared fit and ready for live racing the afternoon of Saturday, Jan. 23 by jockeys and horsemen alike.
Live racing for Jan. 22 at Santa Anita has been cancelled due to continued wet conditions, but officials are optimistic that with a dry forecast in store for the weekend, racing will resume on Jan. 23.
With six to eight inches of rain expected in the next 24 hours, Santa Anita officials announced that live racing for Jan. 21 would be cancelled. "
Santa Anita Park officials have indicated the California track's main racing surface will be replaced, but it remains to be seen if the new surface will be synthetic or dirt.
The Santa Anita jockeys' colony and Santa Anita Park have joined forces to send aid to earthquake victims via the American Red Cross.
Santa Anita Park, which opened on Dec. 25, 1934, will celebrate its 75th anniversary season beginning with opening day, Saturday, Dec. 26, with a special early first post time of 11:30 a.m. PDT.
A life-sized bronze statue of the legendary John Henry will be unveiled by his Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally at Santa Anita Park's picturesque paddock gardens Dec. 26, opening day of the track's 75th anniversary meet.
Undefeated superstar mare Zenyatta, who was retired following her brilliant last-to-first victory against males in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita on Nov. 7, will make her final race-day appearance at Santa Anita on opening day, Dec. 26, prior to shipping to Kentucky to begin her new career as a broodmare.
Backtracking on a rule amendment that one observer said "would fundamentally change the claiming game," the California Horse Racing Board tabled a proposal that would have voided a claim if the horse that was bought, due to injury or distress, was unable to return to the designated unsaddling area after the finish of the race.
The popular Sunshine Millions, which was designed to match the best California-bred horses versus the best bred Thoroughbreds from Florida, will return to both Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park on Jan. 30 with $1.8 million in purses at stake.
Claiming a horse would no longer be a blanket "buyer beware" scenario under a rule amendment approved for a 45-day public comment period by the California Horse Racing Board Oct. 15.
Santa Anita president Ron Charles announced that HRTV anchor/analyst Jon White has been named as Santa Anita's new morning line maker, replacing the recently retired Jeff Tufts, who served in that position from 1974 through this past April.
Santa Anita Park concluded its 84-day winter/spring meeting in robust fashion on April 19, posting the first gain in on-track attendance at any major California racetrack since the summer of 2007 at Del Mar.
The City of Arcadia has proclaimed Sunday, April 19, as "Eddie Logan Day" in honor of Santa Anita's iconic shoeshine attendant who passed away on Jan. 31 at the age of 98.
CARMA invited representatives from several California rescue organizations to a roundtable April 8 at Santa Anita to discuss ways the groups could work together to save Thoroughbreds and rehabilitate them for second careers.
A settlement has apparently been reached over a federal lawsuit involving a controversial California claiming rule, but racetracks in the state are scrambling to deal with the fall-out left from the suspension of the regulation.
The 42nd annual Holy Angels/Santa Anita Jockeys Charity Basketball game will take place Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at La Salle High School in Pasadena, Ca. Proceeds will benefit the Holy Angels athletic department and legendary Hall of Fame jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye and Laffit Pincay Jr. will serve as honorary captains.
Santa Anita Park lost an important link to its past glory when 98-year-old Eddie Logan, Santa Anita's iconic shoeshine attendant since opening day, Dec. 25, 1934, died early on the morning of Jan. 31 at his home in Monrovia, Calif.
Santa Anita Park dodged the rain, which hit Southern California Christmas day but left skies sunny for the traditional Dec. 26 opening day. A crowd of 33,112 attended, an increase of 9.8% over the 30,156 fans at the 2007 opener.
Though champion Curlin may not have handled the synthetic racing surface as well as some of his European rivals did in the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), Santa Anita Park's Pro-Ride racing surface performed safely during the two-day World Championships Oct. 24-25.
Industry stakeholders received a tongue-lashing from Richard Shapiro, chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, as the agency took its first swipe at a race dates calendar for 2009.
Longtime Southern California broadcaster Gil Stratton has died at the age of 86, his Web site reported Oct. 12.
Magna Entertainment Corp. has formally adopted a company-wide policy promoting the humane treatment of racehorses, the company announced Oct. 10.
With the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita less than 10 weeks away, track president Ron Charles told the California Horse Racing Board that its new synthetic racing surface is nearly ready for the acid test.
California's advance deposit wagering truce may be coming to an end.
Santa Anita Park announced June 23 that its main track will undergo a complete overhaul beginning July 14, and will be reconstituted with a mixture of Pro-Ride synthetic material.
Unable to travel to Saratoga Springs for the national Hall of Fame induction ceremony Aug. 4, retired jockey Ismael "Milo" Valenzuela will receive his commemorative jacket and plaque on Sunday in a special induction ceremony at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Replacement of the asphalt base is likely the next step in the ongoing efforts to improve Santa Anita Park's synthetic surface.
A two-day flooding of Santa Anita Park's synthetic surface is one of the final tests management plans before making a decision on the future of the main-track surface. Track president Ron Charles said the surface will be flooded following training hours May 28.
Hurt by its early-season cancellation of 11 racing days, Santa Anita concluded its winter/spring meet April 20 with decreases in overall handle and attendance. But officials were breathing a sigh of relief that it wasn't worse.
Now that the Santa Anita winter meeting has ended, work can begin in earnest on the choice of main-track surface. Following a comprehensive series of tests on the current main track, a decision is probable sometime in May, Santa Anita president Ron Charles said April 22.
- By Ryan Conley
With one analyst tagging the proceedings "Groundhog Day," Magna Entertainment Corp. announced Feb. 29 more losses during a short, testy conference call that discussed year-end financials for 2007.
Santa Anita will honor Gil Stratton, a former Los Angeles sportscaster and actor who hosted a popular weekly television racing show on the CBS affiliates for 34 western markets from 1955 to the early 1970s, on Feb. 17.
Following a test of several horses galloping over the backstretch, Santa Anita management has given the go-ahead to return to racing Saturday, Feb. 9. The track has been closed since Sunday, Feb. 3, for a renovation of its Cushion Track surface to fix the drainage problem that has plagued the track.
Santa Anita Park announced Feb. 7 that live racing will be canceled Feb. 8 due to a one-day delay in the last phase of its main track renovation. Racing is scheduled to resume Feb. 9.
After getting a break in the weather enabling the Sunshine Millions program to go forward Jan. 26, Santa Anita announced it has canceled its live racing programs for the next two days after more rain hit the track overnight.
With sunny skies overhead and another rainstorm not expected until the evening, Santa Anita is going to proceed with its half of the Jan. 26 Sunshine Millions.
Santa Anita cancelled its Jan. 25 card because rain again made the Cushion Track too wet to use. However, officials remain hopeful that the track can conduct its Jan. 26 Sunshine Millions card as scheduled.
The drainage problems of Santa Anita's Cushion Track coupled with two inches of hail that fell at 5 a.m. Jan. 24 has put the West Coast half of Sunshine Millions in serious doubt, according to track president Ron Charles. Santa Anita had to cancel its Jan. 24 card.
A liquid binder officials believe will save Santa Anita Park's Cushion Track should take about 10 days to acquire and another four to mix with the synthetic racing surface, the California Horse Racing Board was told Jan. 16.
- By Tracy Gantz
Santa Anita officials hope that adding more synthetic material with a new binder that traps fine sediment in the Cushion Track will restore the track's ability to drain. The track may lose a couple days while installing the new material, which is being manufactured. Santa Anita officials promise the material will be added at the first opportunity.
Synthetic material that includes a liquid binder will be added to Santa Anita Park's main surface in an effort to improve drainage, the Southern California racetrack announced Jan. 15.
Santa Anita officials, considering re-installing a dirt racing surface, have delayed a decision regarding whether to replace its synthetic track, which is plagued by continual drainage problems.
- By Jack Shinar
The California Horse Racing Board, meeting in a brief emergency session by teleconference Jan. 8 following Santa Anita's canceled weekend Jan. 5-7, cleared the way for the Los Angeles Turf Club to move some or all of the 2008 winter/spring racing dates to Hollywood Park.
Santa Anita Park president and chief executive officer Ron Charles has taken on additional duties with the parent company of the racetrack after accepting an appointment as chief operating officer of Magna Entertainment Corp., it was announced Jan. 7.
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