Prominent Southern California conditioner Mike Mitchell, who underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor in June 2012, has died at the age of 66.
He is known as "Little Bill," a nickname given to him by older riders in recognition of a riding style matching that of Hall of Famer Bill Shoemaker.
Jockey Chantal Sutherland surprisingly announced her retirement in a statement released Oct. 21, saying she is ready "to begin a new chapter in my life."
- By Pete Denk
Pete says give an extra look to out-of-state transfers. read blog
Santa Anita has has launched an alternate website, www.santaanitalive.com, in an effort to reach a broader, younger audience by offering a wide array of content, much of which is not horse racing-specific.
Barretts officials have canceled the Classic I sale of horses of racing age because of an insufficient number of entries. The auction had been scheduled for Oct. 26 in Southern California following the Breeders' Cup World Championships (Oct. 24 and 25) at Santa Anita Park.
Hollywood Park may be celebrating its 70th anniversary season, but the question remains, will the Southern California track be around in 2009 for its 71st? "I just don't know -- nobody knows," said F. Jack Liebau, Hollywood Park president, on opening day, April 23.
Barretts has cataloged 190 horses for its March select sale of 2-year-olds in training.
The United States Equestrian Foundation's Equine Disaster Relief Fund is soliciting contributions to assist with care and placement of horses impacted by the wildifres in Southern California.
The absence of turf racing didn't impact the Hollywood Park fall meet as much as expected--at least in terms of averages--according to meet-end figures released by the Southern California racetrack.
Jockey Martin Pedroza wrapped up the first major riding title of his 23-year career when he piloted California-bred Young Luck to win the fourth race at Hollywood Park closing day Dec. 19. The 40-year-old Pedroza, who finished the 27-day meet with 31 wins, became the oldest first-time title winner in the track's 67-year history.
Barretts has catalogued 634 horses for its October mixed auction. The sale is scheduled for Oct. 25 and 26 at Fairplex Park in Southern California.
Oak Tree Racing Association, which will hold its meet beginning Sept. 29 at Santa Anita Park, will offer a $1 pick five wager. It is believed to be a first, the racing association said.
Del Mar set a record for total handle during its meet that ended Sept. 8, while on-track business at the Southern California track held its own.
Despite the nine massive wildfires that have charred nearly 500,000 acres and continue to burn in Southern California, only one Thoroughbred farm was reported to have suffered any damage, and it was considered minor, according to Dawn Gerber of the California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association.
The queen and king of racing Muledom are set for another match race May 23 at Los Alamitos Race Course in Southern California.
Count Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas among those who are finding California an increasingly difficult place to be successful.
Magna Entertainment Corp. hopes to build a Thoroughbred training facility for up to 2,000 horses on 326 acres in California's Ventura County, in the heart of perhaps the leading strawberry-producing region of the country.
As the Fairplex Park meet winds down, questions still linger as to the future of live racing at Southern California's only fair meet.
As wildfires raged in nearby canyons, Fairplex Park in Pomona, Calif., became an emergency evacuation center for 90 horses forced from their homes.
In a move that removes a potential restriction on the future relocation of the Los Angeles County Fair's racing dates, the fair association announced it has purchased controlling interest of Barretts Equine Ltd., which conducts the top 2-year-olds in-training auction in the state each March.
After a second meeting of trainers and track officials, Hollywood Park on June 30 averted a threatened boycott of entries by trainers unhappy with soaring workers' compensation insurance costs.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has formally opposed the proposed transfer of this year's Fairplex Park meet to Santa Anita Park. The Del Mar board of directors met during a special session May 29 and voted unanimously to oppose the plan.
Fairplex Park and the Los Angeles Turf Club have reached an agreement to move the county fair's annual 17-day end-of-summer meet to Santa Anita Park beginning this September, and have requested a change of venue from the California Horse Racing Board to be heard at its June 6 meeting.
Fairplex Park has had discussions about moving its 17-day Los Angeles County Fair meet to another track in metropolitan Southern California. But Wendy Talarico, communications manager for the fair, said there are no plans to do anything commercially with the racetrack grounds. And, contrary to a published report that the Pomona, Calif., track has an agreement in principle with Hollywood Park, Talarico said no deal has been done.
Numbers in most categories were up during the Oak Tree Racing Association meet that concluded Nov. 5 at Santa Anita Park. Total, in-state, and out-of-state handle were up from the corresponding meet in 2000.
The California Horse Racing Board on Aug. 24 approved next year's calendar for Southern California, and for the first three months of 2002 for Northern California. Among the changes is an elimination of six-day racing weeks except for Del Mar.
The renovation, which included the planting of an acre of new sod in the homestretch, marked the first extensive repair of the course since the turns were banked in 1986. The course is named the Jimmy Durante Turf
Course in honor of the entertainer who was a regular at the track for many years.
The renovation, which included the planting of an acre of new sod in the homestretch, marked the first extensive repair of the course since the turns were banked in 1986. The course is named the Jimmy Durante Turf Course in honor of the entertainer who was a regular at the track for many years.
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