By Dick Downey -- The final local showdown for the Grade I Santa Anita Derby unfolds Sunday as some of the most well-known names in West Coast racing contest the Grade II San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 mile.
Undefeated 3-year-old Rock Hard Ten, impressive in his two victories thus far, is not definite for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 3, trainer Jason Orman said.
Steve Taub's San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) winner Imperialism is headed for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 3, where he will most likely meet up again with runner-up Lion Heart.
March 8, 1958
Silky Sullivan at Santa Anita
Rock Hard Ten stamped himself as a prime candidate for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 3, rolling to a sharp 1-¾ length victory over Teton Forest in a $53,872 allowance event for 3-year-olds Wednesday at Santa Anita Park.
Mike Mitchell has been training nearly 30 years but has never run a horse in the Kentucky Derby. If the 55-year-old Bakersfield, Calif. native gets to Churchill Downs on May 1, his hopes rest with Quinton's Gold Rush.
Feb. 19, 1955
Swaps in the Santa Anita Derby
Trainer Patrick Biancone said he plans to take the Southern California route to prepare Lion Heart for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Stan Fulton's Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) winner St Averil will continue on down the California trail to the Triple Crown, trainer Rafael Becerra said Sunday morning.
Stan E. Fulton's St Averil inched past Lucky Pulpit in mid-stretch and edged away to a 1 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.
Undefeated Lion Heart, a future book favorite for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), will take the Southern California route to the Run for the Roses on May 1, trainer Patrick Biancone said.
Santa Anita opens its winter-spring meet on Dec. 26. The California track will offer 60 stakes races in the meet's 84 days of racing.
Buddy Gil, who finished sixth in the May 3 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), is recovering from a May 7 surgery in which two bone chips were removed, one from his right knee, and one from his left ankle.
Sometimes, when you dig deep to try to find something, all you wind up with is a big hole. In Saturday's Santa Anita Derby, we kept digging, hoping to find the key to unlock Kentucky Derby 129. But in the end, not even Indiana Jones could locate the treasure most everyone had been looking for.
Although he was running with Lasix, Buddy Gil did "bleed slightly" through the nostrils during his victory Saturday in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), trainer Jeff Mullins said. It was the first time the horse has done so in a race, Mullins said.
Jockey Gary Stevens broke Bill Shoemaker's record with his ninth Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) victory Saturday aboard unheralded Buddy Gil.
Ministers Wild Cat was scratched from the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby Saturday with a bruised right hind foot, trainer Neil Drysdale said.
The key factors surrounding Saturday's Santa Anita Derby will be the pace scenario and the enticing overlays awaiting bettors. If you go by the morning line, Domestic Dispute at 15-1, Ministers Wild Cat at 10-1, and even Kafwain as third choice at 4-1 look awfully appealing.
A 10-horse field, including three 3-year-olds trained by Bob Baffert, were entered for Saturday's $750,000, grade I Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles.
Jockey Gary Stevens is excited about the progression of Buddy Gil and is anxious for his 3-year-olds actions to speak louder than words in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
It was Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) preview day at the California oval Monday as four of the eight or nine expected runners were put through their final drills for Saturday‚s $750,000 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep.
Having to cope with a slow week like this right before the final push to Louisville is like being a little kid staring out the window on a rainy, summer day, trying to figure out what to do. So, what better time to indulge in a potpourri of minutia.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Kafwain was disqualified from his second-place finish in the March 9 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds because he raced with an excessive amount of the bronchodilator clenbuterol. Trainer Bob Baffert did not appeal so Kafwain could make his next racing engagement, but he has called for uniformity in medication rules.
The Aventura Stakes, Illinois Derby, and Santa Anita Derby will make up a national pick three April 5.
Man Among Men, in need of more time following his disappointing seventh in the San Felipe, probably will pass the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on april 5 and point to the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (Gr. II) at 1 1/8 miles at Oaklawn Park a week later.
Phil and Sheva Chess' Indian Express, a fast-closing fourth in the San Pedro Stakes last time out, will make his next start in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 5, trainer Bob Baffert said.
A trio of Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) hopefuls stretched their legs in morning workouts at Santa Anita Park on Tuesday in preparation for the track's final Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep event. The 1 1/8-mile stakes, worth $750,000, is set to be contested on Saturday, Apr. 5.
Trainer Craig Dollase said he is "strongly considering" the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) for Logician, the $520,000 son of Tabasco Cat that prompted the pace and held well to finish a surprising fourth in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II).
Trainer Neil Drysdale said that Victor Espinoza, just removed as the rider of Kafwain, would ride Ministers Wild Cat in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 5.
After earlier saying he was not considering a change in jockey for Kafwain, his prime 3-year-old Kentucky Derby candidate, trainer Bob Baffert said he has offered the mount to Patrick Valenzuela, who was aboard the colt for a five-furlong work on Wednesday.
Atswhatimtalknbout lost the battle but could win the war. "Hopefully, that's the way it is," trainer Ron Ellis said Wednesday morning of the likely Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) favorite.
Trainer Bob Hess Jr. said Kent Desormeaux will ride undefeated El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) winner Ocean Terrace in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 5.
Trainer Bob Baffert Wednesday said published reports saying he would replace jockey Victor Espinoza on Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contender Kafwain are incorrect.
Perhaps influenced by his patient father, Richard, Gary Mandella is not caught up in Derby fever with a promising 3-year-old colt named Man Among Men, who went from turf to dirt in upsetting 2-5 favorite Empire Maker in Santa Anita's Sham Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 7.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) on Thursday unveiled an expanded, nine-show "CITGO Racing to the Kentucky Derby" series for 2003, airing on the ESPN networks and providing comprehensive coverage of key VISA Triple Crown prep races.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has unveiled an expanded, nine-show "CITGO Racing to the Kentucky Derby" series for 2003.
Came Home's first-year stud fee will be $40,000. The son of Gone West, a multiple grade I winner and millionaire, will stand his first season at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky.
Tomorrow's NAPA Auto Parts Breeders' Cup Sprint will be trainer Howard Zucker's first Breeders' Cup contest, but it certainly isn't the first time he has been closely involved with world-class athletes.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s grade I winner Officer, gearing up for a start in Saturday's Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland, worked a half-mile in an impressive :47 4/5, breezing, over a fast track at Santa Anita Monday.
Gary Stevens discusses his nightmare trip aboard Easy Grades in the Santa Anita Derby, in which a faulty bridle caused him to have little control of the horse.
Her voice was starting to break. Her eyes were beginning to well up. And the admiration was undeniable. Trudy McCaffery, suffused with the glow of Came Home's brave victory in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), stood in the track's posh Director's Room on April 6, extolling the countless virtues of the man who made it all happen.
Trainer Paco Gonzalez hopes to set the stage for his own daily double Saturday at Santa Anita Park. He'll start by winning the $200,000 San Bernardino Handicap (gr. II) with Bosque Redondo, then two races later cap off his day by taking the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) with probable favorite Came Home.
A contentious field of eight sophomores will line up and face the starter in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), for which Came Home was installed as the 6-5 morning-line favorite.
We are well aware that the term 3-year-old analysis this year is an oxymoron. Maybe 3-year-old guesses would be more suitable a title. But the trouper that we are, we will attempt to link the word analysis with 3-year-old and try to make some kind of sense of this weekend's stakes, which actually look crystal clear compared to what is in store for us the following weekend.
"Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," the NTRA-produced series on the ESPN networks, will air a live doubleheader Saturday consisting of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and the Illinois Derby (gr. II). The show will air Saturday from 5-6 p.m. (EST) on ESPN.
Michael Tabor's Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Mayakovsky, set to start in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), worked a half-mile in :48 1/5, breezing, over a fast Santa Anita main track Tuesday morning immediately after the renovation break.
San Rafael Stakes winner Came Home, scheduled to compete April 6 in the grade I Santa Anita Derby, worked a half-mile in :48.20 the morning of April 2 in preparation for the race, co-owner John Toffan said. Meanwhile, Louisiana Derby winner Repent is galloping up to the grade II Illinois Derby to be held the same afternoon.
Santa Anita will offer a special "Derby Double" wager Saturday, with the two legs of the wager comprised of the Illinois and Santa Anita Derbys.
Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Maykovsky is definite for the April 6 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), trainer Patrick Biancone said Saturday, but Royal Gem has been declared from the race due to a quarter crack.
The fields for the major Kentucky Derby preps continue to take shape, leaving the connections of several horses searching for new jockeys for their charges.
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