Santa Anita

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Santa Anita Race Report: The Master

"You're killing me!" Bob Baffert called out to fellow trainer Bobby Frankel, who was posing for pictures in the winner's circle following Juddmonte Farms homebred Mizzen Mast's romping victory in the Feb. 2 Strub Stakes (gr. II). "I may have to go back to Los Alamitos."

Came Home Impressive in San Vicente Stakes

Came Home drew off through the Santa Anita stretch to win Saturday's $150,000 San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) by four lengths over maiden Jack's Silver. Pacesetter Werblin was nipped at the wire for second-place money, but finished three lengths clear of Popular.

Val Royal, Fleet Renee, Out for Exercise Thursday

Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner Val Royal continued working toward his return to the races Thursday at Santa Anita and Ashland (gr. I) and Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) winner Fleet Renee worked five furlongs on fast dirt at Tapeta Farm. Others working Thursday were Printemps; Bella, Bella, Bella; Crafty C. T.; Griffinite; Sarah Lane's Oates; and Silver Charm's half-sister by Deputy Minister, Elrose.

Santa Anita Race Report: Picture Perfect

Even-money favorite Kalookan Queen alternately set and pressed a fast pace, drew away in upper stretch, and held off a fast-closing Leading Light in deep stretch to win Saturday's $200,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) by a half-length at Santa Anita.

Squirtle Squirt Sprints into Palos Verdes

Breeders' Cup Sprint champion and Eclipse Award finalist Squirtle Squirt begins his 2002 campaign in Sunday's $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap at Santa Anita. Squirtle Squirt delivered to trainer Bobby Frankel his first Breeders' Cup victory last October at Belmont Park, but hasn't scared away the competition, which has come up strong for the six-furlong contest.

Santa Anita Race Report: Beaming With Pride

No, he didn't mix it up with Monarchos and Point Given last spring. Some might say he took the easier road. But it's pretty hard to fault a horse who can lay claim to three Derbys and nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in earnings. Nevertheless, if Western Pride had any lingering naysayers, they got stopped in their tracks on Jan. 12 after the muscle-bound colt ran off with the $214,200 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita.

Magna Plans $5-Million 'Sunshine Millions'

An eight-race, $5 million series of races for California- and Florida-bred horses has been approved by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, the California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association and Magna Entertainment Corp., at whose tracks the races would be run. The plan, however, may face a challenge from the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

Tout Charmant Rebounds in San Gorgonio

Stonerside Stable's Tout Charmant earned her first victory since November of 2000, coming from just off the pace to win the $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) by two lengths over Janet. "That was the Tout Charmant we've come to know and love," said winning rider Chris McCarron.

Popular Earns First Stakes Win in San Miguel

The Thoroughbred Corporation's homebred Popular was headed in the stretch by 13-10 favorite Roman Dancer, then fought back to the lead under jockey Victor Espinoza to win Sunday's $107,900 San Miguel Stakes (gr. III) by a nose at Santa Anita.

Western Pride Top-Weighted San Fernando Entrant

A field of 12 has signed on for the $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II), the second leg of the Strub Series for foals of 1998. Western Pride is the 122-pound highweight for the 1 1/16-mile main track event. Western Pride also garnered the highest weight allocation of the 12 entered here by Globeform's ranking of last year's 3-year-olds.

Bringem Jung on Fence for San Miguel; Roman Dancer Likely

Trainer Howard Zucker is uncertain whether Bringem Jung, a third-place finished in a Santa Anita allowance race Dec. 26 won by Werblin, will make his next start in the San Miguel Stakes on Sunday or wait until Wednesday for an allowance race. One more likely for the San Miguel is Sunny Slope Stakes winner Roman Dancer.

Bella Bella Bella Remains Undefeated After Santa Ysabel Win

Team Valor's Bella Bella Bella raced wide around both turns, then dueled with Tamarack Bay through the stretch to win Sunday's $105,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) by a neck. Later on the card, Mountain Rage closed from ninth-place to win the $75,000 Hill Rise Stakes on a firm turf course.

Santa Anita Race Report: Can't Knock Wood

The Southern California handicap division looks ripe for the taking, and following the $200,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) on Jan. 5, expect nothing but knock-down, drag-out brawls during the coming weeks. The current king of the unorganized heap is Wooden Phone, best known as the obscurely-bred gelding who shook Tiznow out of his socks a year ago in the Strub Stakes (gr. II). If you still can't picture him, don't worry. You'll be hearing plenty from him in 2002.

Bella Bella Bella to be Challenged by Three in Santa Ysabel

Team Valor's Bella Bella Bella has bent sent off favored in both her career starts and that trend will likely continue in Sunday's $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III). Golden Ballet Stakes winner Bella Bella Bella will face just three rivals -- one per Bella -- in the 1 1/16-mile Santa Ysabel, two maiden winners and the maiden Gaslamp Girl.

Irish Prize Repeats in San Gabriel

Sheik Maktoum al Maktoum's Irish Prize earned his fifth graded stakes win of the year Sunday, when he narrowly held off Sligo Bay to win the $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) for the second time this calendar year. The Neil Drysdale-trained son of Irish River also won the event on New Year's Day.

Affluent Earns Grade I Win on Second Surface in La Brea

At the top of the Santa Anita stretch Saturday's $200,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) looked like it would be decided by one of three 3-year-old fillies dueling for the lead. Then in mid-stretch, Affluent burst from the trailing pack to rush by the top three en route to winning the seven-furlong main track test by 1 1/2 lengths under Eddie Delahoussaye.

Santa Anita Race Report: Monster Mast

Amidst calendar-picture weather, a crowd of 27,713 marched forward on Dec. 26 to take in Santa Anita's seasonal opener, and there, standing front and center yet again, was Bobby Frankel, placing perhaps the final bow on his gift-wrapped year following Mizzen Mast's clear-cut triumph in the $200,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) in 1:22.13.

Eleven 3-Year-Olds Pointing Toward Malibu

The largest field in nearly a decade is expected for the 50th running of the Grade I Malibu Stakes, opening day feature of Santa Anita's prestigious 85-day winter/spring meet on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

PVal Rides Again

The on-again, off-again career of jockey Patrick Valenzuela is on again. Valenzuela, 39, received a conditional license to resume riding from the California Horse Racing Board on Friday and will begin working horses Saturday, according to his attorney, Don Calabria.

Santa Anita Prepares for New Season

The $1-million Santa Anita Handicap, to be run March 2, will be the richest of the 61 stakes races offered during the 2001-02 Santa Anita Winter/Spring Meeting that begins Wednesday, Dec. 26. The 85-day meeting, which concludes April 21, features 43 graded races and total stakes purses of over $11-million.

'Apples' Golden in Las Palmas

Gary A. Tanaka's Golden Apples earned her second win in three North American starts as she accelerated through the lane to earn a three-quarter length victory over Dancingonice on the $250,000 Las Palmas Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Sunday.

Oak Tree Race Report: Withflyingcolors

With a statewide industry fully galvanized by the latest exploits of Tiznow, Oak Tree trotted out California Cup XII on Nov. 3, a $1.275-million stakes feast for the Golden State's finest, and the dream year of trainer John Dolan kept right on rolling when Irisheyesareflying turned in the race of his career in the day's key event, the $250,000 Wells Fargo Bank California Cup Classic Handicap.

Patrick Valenzuela Begins Long Ride Back

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who turns 39 Wednesday, had an informal meeting Sunday with three stewards at Santa Anita Park to begin the process of obtaining a license to exercise horses. Valenzuela, winner of the 1989 Kentucky Derby aboard Sunday Silence, has not ridden since February, 2000, when he was suspended for the latest in a series of drug violations. The rider applied to be relicensed one year later, but that request was rejected.

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