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.
The Dan Hendricks-trained Daytona lost his last start by just one length -- snapping a four-race winning streak in graded stakes races -- so it was especially gratifying for Hendricks to watch the Indian Ridge gelding come back in fine form in the $150,000 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita April 5.
The top three finishers from Santa Anita's March 1 China Doll Stakes will meet again in the $150,000 Providencia Stakes (gr. IIT) April 5, each still seeking a graded stakes victory.
Jockey Rafael Bejarano was back in the saddle April 2, just 21 days after sustaining compressed fractures to his T-5 and T-6 vertebrae in a Santa Anita spill.
Perfect Drift had his second three-furlong work at Santa Anita March 31 for trainer Richard Mandella. The 9-year-old earner of $4,680,691 clocked :37 flat on Santa Anita's synthetic surface and appears eager to get back to the races.
Santa Anita stewards have disqualified a horse trained by Doug O'Neill from a first-place finish and ordered redistribution of the purse as a result of a test sample that showed the horse had raced with an excess of total carbon dioxide.
The Barretts Classic I, a select sale of horses of racing age, is set for Oct. 26.
Perfect Drift has been galloping at Santa Anita and is nearing his first breeze, trainer Richard Mandella said March 23.
A Pick Six pool of more than $3 million at Santa Anita Park March 20 produced three winning tickets worth $702,754 apiece.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman - It leaves a bad taste in the collective mouths of the betting public when it believes it has been misled.
John Placzankis, 41, tossed a perfect ringer and won first prize of $1 million in Santa Anita's annual St. Patrick's Day Horseshoe Pitch contest following the seventh race.
Jockey Rafael Bejarano, the leading rider during Santa Anita's current meet, sustained compressed fractures to the T-5 and T-6 vertebra in a March 13 spill and has been replaced by Michael Baze as the rider for George Schwary's 3-year-old Georgie Boy in the March 15 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II).
Rafael Bejarano, currently Santa Anita's leading rider with 60 wins, was injured in a spill during the eighth race March 13 at Santa Anita.
By Evan Hammonds - The casino bill's chances in Kentucky aren't necessarily a longshot, but aren't exactly 2-5, either.
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.
- By Dan Liebman
You can bet there are those pushing for a return to a dirt surface at Santa Anita
Veteran jockey Richard Migliore has won the 2008 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in a vote of his peers nationwide, it was announced Feb. 23 at Santa Anita.
Top three finishers earn an automatic berth in the championship in Las Vegas next year.
Experts from all avenues of the racing industry presented statistics and opinions on synthetic surfaces and Santa Anita track president Ron Charles said the track will replace its Cushion Track as a six-hour special meeting called by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) concluded Feb. 20.
Triple Crown hopeful Crown of Thorns, winner of the Feb. 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita, is off the Derby trail after suffering a shin injury on his left front leg, trainer Dick Mandella said Tuesday.
One winning ticket in Santa Anita's Feb. 18 Pick Six produced an all-time record track payoff of $3,120,256.
Trainer Bruce Levine has conditioned Roddy Valente's homebred Bustin Stones through four victories -- including three black type wins -- and a successful comeback from surgery on both knees. But the 4-year-old son of City Zip will have to step it up a notch to remain undefeated when he tackles graded company for the first time in the Feb. 18 General George Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel Park.
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 an afternoon of inconsistencies in Santa Anita's reconstituted racing surface, the main track appeared to be back in shape the morning of Feb. 14. Trainers went from scratching horses late in the card Feb. 13 because of their concern to commenting that the track was the best it has been so far the next morning.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman - The Breeders' Cup should be a win-win for the organization and the host track.
Horses owned by Zayat Stables that were stabled in southern California have been relocated.
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.
Churchill Downs Inc. says it is sincerely interested in hosting the Breeders' Cup World Championships, so much so that it offered what it considered an "innovative" multi-year plan for regularly staging the annual event at its signature namesake track starting in 2009.
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.
Santa Anita, which is scheduled to conduct this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships Oct. 24-25, could be selected as the site of the event again in 2009 when the Breeders' Cup board meets today, Thursday, Feb. 7.
Seven 3-year-old fillies, including a pair of Breeders' Cup starters, will contest the Feb. 9 event at Santa Anita.
Millennium Farms' Student Council, back-to-back winner of the Pacific Classic (gr. I) and the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) in 2007, looks to rebound from an eighth-place finish in the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) when he heads a field of nine in the $250,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 9.
The Feb. 3 card included the San Antonio Handicap (gr. II), featuring the likes of Student Council, Awesome Gem, and Zappa. Racing secretary Rick Hammerle said that the San Antonio has been rescheduled for Feb. 9.
Passion, under a determined ride from Rafael Bejarano, outlasted favored Ariege in a fierce stretch duel, taking the $100,000 La Habra Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a nose Feb. 2 on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita.
Ian Pearse of Pro-Ride Racing Australia stands ready to begin fixing Santa Anita's beleaguered Cushion Track surface as soon as the final race is completed Feb. 3.
A field of 10 3-year-old fillies is set for the $100,000 La Habra Stakes Feb. 2 at Santa Anita.
By Morton Cathro - Santa Anita's wet-weather woes flooding its synthetic track remind a dwindling number of oldtimers of the rain-soaked, not-so-grand opening a half-century ago of Golden Gate Fields and its clay-like racing surface that doomed the track to temporary oblivion.
Rain that hit Southern California before Santa Anita had a chance to apply new materials to its Cushion Track synthetic surface forced several more days of cancellations. Santa Anita lost Jan. 24, 25, 27, and 28 due to weather, but a 24-hour break allowed the track to host its half of the Sunshine Millions program Jan. 26.
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.
Quite a Bride turned in quite a performance and had 3-5 favorite Nashoba's Key playing the bridesmaid when she rolled to a solid win in the $500,000 San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Stakes at Santa Anita Jan. 26.
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.
Unraced since her fourth-place finish in the Emirates Airlines Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT), Eclipse Award finalist Nashoba's Key will make her 5-year-old debut in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Stakes at Santa Anita Jan. 26.
Although the Sunshine Millions races feature horses bred in Florida and California, the likely favorite for the Sunshine Millions Oaks will be shipping in from Louisiana's Fair Grounds with jockey Shaun Bridgmohan along to ride for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Inside Information features the gate crew, rider Milo Valenzuela and vet Jeff Blea
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.
The eight horses entered in the Jan. 19 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita are not lacking talent, but which runner will show the best turn of foot in the 1 1/4-mile turf event remains to be seen.
- By Claire Novak
The eight horses entered in the Jan. 19 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Jan. are not lacking talent, but which runner will show the best turn of foot in the 1 Â¼-mile turf event remains to be seen.
After finishing second for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer in the Dec. 29 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) over the Cushion Track at Santa Anita, 4-year-old Unspoken Word returns to turf and drops down in company to make her seasonal debut in the $100,000 Tuzla Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Jan. 19.
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