As of Thursday, March 5, the Thoroughbred Owners of California has assumed administration of the Santa Anita Paymaster funds, according to a memo released by the California Thoroughbred Trainers.
Since a rash of five horse breakdowns in the opening five days of racing at the current Santa Anita meet -- resulting in four fatalities -- there has been just one race-related death since Dec. 31, Dr. Rick Arthur told the California Horse Racing Board.
On March 1, Brother Keith will make his grass debut against seven rivals in the $100,000 Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Santa Anita's downhill turf course. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint is the feature on Santa Anita's nine-race program.
An intriguing field of 10 3-year-olds was entered for the $150,000 San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 16 at Santa Anita, including the top three finishers from the San Pedro Stakes last month, two horses each from the barns of Bob Baffert and Jeff Mullins, and the Candy Ride filly Evita Argentina, who was second in the Santa Ynez (gr. II) last out and will look to make history by winning the 62-year-old event for the first time since 1947.
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.
Monba and Yankee Bravo, both prominent on last year's Triple Crown trail, will make their returns to the racetrack in the $100,000 Thunder Road Handicap (gr. IIIT) Feb. 7 at Santa Anita. However, Irish-bred Ferneley, a near-winner in consecutive graded stakes, could loom the largest in the one-mile turf event.
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."
CashCall Futurity (gr. I) winner Pioneerof the Nile makes his eagerly-awaited 3-year-old debut and attempts to establish himself as one of the West Coast's top Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders, as he faces eight sophomore rivals in the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 7 at Santa Anita Park.
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.
An Omaha, Neb., woman with inoperable cervical cancer fulfilled a lifelong wish with a trip to Santa Anita Park this weekend.
Marty and Pam Wygod's homebred Life Is Sweet returned from a more than seven-month layoff to become a graded stakes winner in her 4-year-old debut, coming from off the pace to take the $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II) by 2 1/2 lengths Jan. 18 on the Santa Anita Pro-Ride surface.
Fab Oak Stable homebred Nownownow scored a big upset in the $150,000 San Fernando Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 17 at Santa Anita, coming from off the pace to win the 1 1/16-mile event for 4-year-olds by 1 1/2 lengths.
The Pamplemousse went from maiden winner to graded stakes winner Jan. 17 at Santa Anita Park, breaking to an early lead and never looking back for an impressive two-length victory in the $100,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds on the Pro-Ride surface.
She may be named Alpha Kitten, but she ran like Alpha Cougar or Alpha Cheetah, taking charge down the lane and winning the Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) for her first stakes win Jan. 17 at Santa Anita.
Roberts Evans' Marsh Side, who became a grade I winner last out when pulling a 29-1 upset in the $2 million Pattison Canadian International (Can-IT) at Woodbine, tops a field of 10 older turf routers in the $150,000 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) Jan. 19 at Santa Anita Park.
Two-time grade I winner Country Star looks to rebound from a disappointing sophomore campaign when she makes her 4-year-old debut in the $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 18 at Santa Anita. A full field of a dozen 4-year-old fillies are entered in the 1 1/16-mile event on Pro-Ride.
A total of 126 horses were pre-entered for the Sunshine Millions, which will be run Jan. 24 at Santa Anita Park and Gulfstream Park, both owned by Magna Entertainment. The eight races feature Florida-breds against California-breds, with purses of $3.6 million.
Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) winner and Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) runner-up Square Eddie makes his highly-anticipated 3-year-old debut Jan. 17 at Santa Anita when he takes on seven rivals in the $100,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita.
At a meeting Jan. 7 at Santa Anita Park, about 40 trainers met to discuss problems with the track's Pro-Ride synthetic surface.
TrackNet Media Group has granted an extension of its racing signals to Nevada casinos following a meeting held Jan. 7.
With five breakdowns, including three fatalities, in the first five days of racing, Santa Anita's synthetic surface has again come under the microscope.
Top jockey Garrett Gomez and a group of Southern California based riders will contribute $16,500 to the Winners Foundation Jan. 3 at Santa Anita Park. The Winners Foundation helps individuals and families in the racing industry with alcohol and substance abuse problems and is based at Santa Anita. The foundation is funded primarily by racing associations throughout California.
Two days after being thrown and a day after cosmetic dental surgery, jockey Garrett Gomez was back aboard horses at Santa Anita Dec. 29, winning two races.
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.
WinStar Farms' Colonel John, a multiple grade I winner in 2008, tops the seven-horse field entered for the grade I, $250,000 Malibu Stakes, the traditional opening day feature on the Dec. 26 card at Santa Anita.
A total of 75 stakes, beginning with the $250,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) on opening day Dec. 26, will be featured during the 84-day 2008-09 season at Santa Anita Park.
Santa Anita Park on Nov. 19 released a list of five finalists for the 60th annual Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, with the winner to be announced in January.
America once ruled the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). But "quoth the raven, 'Nevermore.' " With a synthetic surface introduced for the first time this year, leveling the playing field for the Europeans, Raven's Pass, like Edgar Allen Poe's mysterious bird, came tapping at our chamber door...then busted it down.
European challengers Raven's Pass and Henrythenavigator plus U.S. contender Tiago defeat fourth-placed Curlin. Despite a big move by Curlin at the top of the stretch that put him on the lead, Raven's Pass roared past him on the outside. Meanwhile, Henrythenavigator came along the rail to take second.
Conduit won the Emirates Airlines Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) in stakes record time. The Irish-bred son of Dalakhani ran the 1 1/2-mile race in 2:23.42. Eagle Mountain was second, and long-shot Dancing Forever was third.
Riding his fourth Breeders' Cup winner of the weekend, Garrett Gomez guided Midnight Lute to his second win in the Sentient Flight Group Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) Oct. 25 at Santa Anita Park. The son of Real Quiet won the Sprint last year. The final time for six furlongs was 1:07.08.
In an thrilling stretch duel, English-bred invader Donativum bested Irish rival Westphalia by a half length to capture the $1-million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita Park Oct. 25.
Midshipman moved quickly to the lead going into the first turn of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). The son of Unbridled's Song stayed in front for the rest of the 1 1/16-mile race to win by over a length. Favorite Square Eddie finished second, and Street Hero finished third.
European challenger Goldikova, undefeated in her previous three starts in French group races, won the Breeders' Cup Mile with a thrilling burst of speed in mid-stretch. Trainer Freddie Head becomes the first person to win a Breeders' Cup World Championship race as a jockey(Miesque, 1987-88) and now as a trainer.
Albertus Maximus powered past longshots Two Step Salsa and My Pal Charlie inside the final furlong to win the $1-million TVG Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile by 1 1/4 lengths over the late-closing Rebellion.
It took hillside course specialist Desert Code, the longest shot on the board at odds of 36-1, to crack the inaugural $1-million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Oct. 25.
Richard Pegum's Muhannak got a dream trip under jockey Patrick Smullen to win the inaugural Breeders' Cup Marathon in track-record time at Santa Anita Park Oct. 25, second day of the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
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.
George Strawbridge Jr.'s Forever Together came with a furious rally in the center of the course and got up in the final strides to take the $2-million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) by three-quarters of a length Oct. 24 at Santa Anita Park.
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.
Undefeated Maram got up to win the inaugural Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf by a nose in the final strides over Heart Shaped. The $1 million contest was the second Breeders' Cup race on the Oct. 24 Ladies Day card of the two-day World Championships card at Santa Anita.
Juddmonte Farms' homebred Ventura overtook favored Indian Blessing in the stretch Oct. 24 and drew off to win the $1-million Sentient Flight Group Filly & Mare Sprint, the first Breeders' Cup race on the two-day World Championships card at Santa Anita.
This is part 1 of our annual Breeders' Cup longshot column, and you can bet there will be lots of bargains available this year, in what is without a doubt the most perplexing Breeders' Cup in history.
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.
A triumph by the powerhouse Mr. Nightlinger in the $1-million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint Oct. 25 would be tantamount to a Hollywood ending for a couple fond of naming their horses after movie characters.
Trainer Jonathan Sheppard and owner George Strawbridge Jr. have been together, well, forever. Forty-two years strong, they will try to win their first Breeders' Cup race as a team with the aptly named Forever Together in the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Oct. 24.
There are two British-trained challengers in the Breeders' Cup Marathon, a new race this year over 1 1/2 miles on the main track at Santa Anita Oct. 25.
Breeders' Cup, in a bold move to make the event even more international, has been actively seeking a sponsor to underwrite all shipping costs for overseas-trained horses, and maybe also pay for their trainers, owners, jockeys and grooms to fly to America, as well.
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.
Bob Baffert will send out a pair of Breeders' Cup champions this weekend in Midnight Lute and Indian Blessing, hoping to repeat his strong 2007 World Championships.
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