Trudy McCaffery, who in partnership raced such popular California stars as Bien Bien, Bienamado, Came Home, Free House, and Pacific Squall, died Feb. 12 at her home near Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Smokester, sire of California champion Free House, died Feb. 21 while breeding at the Sahadi family's Cardiff Stud Farms near Atascadero, Calif.
Free House, one of the best Cal-breds of all time and a two-time Horse of the Year in the Golden State for Trudy McCaffery and John Toffan, died Monday.
Chris McCarron, whose mounts have earned more money than any jockey in history, seems destined to expand that figure on Sunday when he takes his last ride on Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) champion Came Home in Hollywood Park's $100,000 Affirmed Handicap (gr. III).
When jockey Chris McCarron booted home Seinne a half-length winner in the $150,000 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT), he became the first rider in Santa Anita Park history to ride three graded stakes winner on the same card. Previously on the day, McCarron was in the irons for graded stakes wins in the San Bernardino Handicap (gr. II) and Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
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.
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.
San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) winner Bienamado has been retired because of a suspensory injury.
Trainer Juan "Paco" Gonzalez shipped Came Home to Saratoga to avoid running against Officer and the gambit proved successful Saturday when Came Home drew off to a two-length victory in the $200,000 Hopeful Stakes. The winning time of 1:21.94 marks the fastest running of the Hopeful at its present distance of seven furlongs.
Came Home set brisk fractions under Chris McCarron and drew away to a four-length win in Sunday's $107,400 Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park.
One week before Father's Day, Bienamado earned a 1 1/2-length victory in Hollywood Park's $350,000 Charles Whittingham Handicap (gr. IT), a race his sire Bien Bien won in course-record time in 1993.
Bienamado leaned against the stall webbing, craning his neck down the shedrow. The sinews beneath his glowing coat were alluring, and there was no mistaking the urgent look cast by his white-rimmed eyes. As the stalwart colt strained for something to chow down on, nowhere were there signs that just an hour earlier he had been stretched to the limits of class and stamina. There was no trace of fatigue, no wrung-out guise you might expect from an animal who had not only pulled down the $400,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) at about 1 3/4 miles, but did it fast. Faster than Cougar II or Exceller. Faster than John Henry, Kotashaan, or even his very own sire, Bien Bien. The small crowd gathered near his stall was simply awed.
Bienamado drew away from pacesetter Vergennes in the stretch to win the $400,000 Hollywood Turf Cup Stakes (gr. IT) by three lengths on Dec. 2. With the win, Bienamado repeats the feat of Bien Bien, his sire, who won the 1992 Turf Cup.
John Toffan and Trudy McCaffery's homebred grade II winner Kumari Continent has been retired and will be bred to Gone West.
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