Calkins Road, sidelined since winning the California Cup Classic at Santa Anita in November, is scheduled to return Saturday in the $400,000 Californian (gr. II) at Hollywood Park.
Chilean-bred Total Impact rolled to his first United States stakes win in convincing style Saturday at Hollywood Park, winning the $150,00 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) at 1 1/16 mile by two lengths.
Chilean-bred Piensa Sonando, winner of the Native Diver Handicap here in December, worked four furlongs in :50 on the Hollywood Park main track Thursday for the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) Saturday.
British Columbia import Shacane worked three furlongs in :37 under Jose Valdivia, Jr. at Hollywood Park Wednesday for his United States debut Saturday in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II).
Western Pride, who had been out of action since May 11, held off Total Impact by a neck Saturday to win the $150,000 San Bernardino Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita.
Jim and Marilyn Helzer and Tom Durant's 6-year-old Wooden Phone, out for 15 months after fracturing a shoulder, returns to action as the 119-pound high weight in Saturday's $150,000 San Bernardino Handicap (gr. II) for older horses at Santa Anita.
Patrick Biancone and Fabien Ouaki's Whywhywhy turned in his final work in preparation for Saturday's $200,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Sunday morning. Promising 3-year-olds Atswhatimtalknbout and Omega Code also worked Sunday.
Wertheimer Farms' Olmodovar and Cee's Stable's Tizbud were both confirmed to run in next Saturday's $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) after working over Santa Anita's main track Sunday morning. Both lightly raced colts will be making their stakes debuts in the 1 1/16-mile main track affair.
A shoulder fracture will force 2001 Strub Stakes (gr. II) winner Wooden Phone to the sidelines, according to trainer Bob Baffert. The conditioner said the injury was detected by a nuclear scan and that the 5-year-old will be out for about three months.
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.
Wooden Phone, who beat two-time Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Tiznow in the Strub Stakes (gr. II) last February, heads a field of eight entered in Saturday's $200,000 San Pasqual Handicap at Santa Anita.
Nelson Bunker Hunt's Seinne will attempt to become the fourth surface switching stakes winner of the young Santa Anita meet when trainer Ron McAnally sends out the Chilean-bred in Saturday's $200,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. III).
Dixie Dot Com raced up close early en route to a 6 1/2-length win over Mr Ross in the $300,000 Texas Mile Stakes (gr. III) Saturday on a fast track at Lone Star Park.
Ogden Phipps' 4-year-old homebred Traditionally earned his first stakes win Saturday, upsetting 6-5 favorite Wooden Phone and Sir Bear in the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park. The win marks the third in four starts on the year for the regally bred Traditionally, a son of leading sire Mr. Prospector and broodmare of the year and champion Personal Ensign.
Wooden Phone, who beat Horse of the Year Tiznow in the Strub Stakes (gr. II) and finished second to the champion in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) is the 9-5 favorite in Saturday's Oaklawn Handicap.
The great ones find a way to get past it all. Enough commotion had swirled around Tiznow and his preparation for the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) that by the time the actual race rolled around, some were wondering why he was even there to begin with. As if his drab effort in last month's Strub Stakes (gr. II) wasn't reminder enough, Tiznow's days leading up to the Big 'Cap were like a roll call of mishaps, evil vibes, and plain bad karma. Lest we forget, this is the same horse who was a no-name last spring and Horse of the Year five months later, and the same animal whose grueling fall campaign left fans and hardboots alike in awe. No, he's not impervious to pain or the elements, but there may just be nothing that can stop him
Breeders' Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year Tiznow drew post position No. 5 Thursday for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap this weekend. The 4-year-old colt is the 8-5 morning line favorite, followed by the Bob Baffert-trained Wooden Phone, who upset Tiznow in the Strub Stakes, at 5-1. Wooden Phone drew the No. 2 hole. Thirteen horses have been entered in the prestigious race, including turf champion Bienamado and grade II winner Guided Tour.
While much ado has been made about Bienamado making his first start on the dirt in Saturday's $1-million Santa Anita Handicap, Neil Drysdale has a Kentucky-bred, Beat All, that will also be making his main track debut. "He works on the dirt over here and seems to handle it well," said Drysdale assistant John O'Donahue about Drysdale's decision to go in the Big 'Cap.
European import Jorrocks cleared quarantine and arrived at trainer Bob Hess Jr.'s barn Wednesday ready to roll in the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap on March 3. "We bought him specifically to run in this race," said Hess. In other Big 'Cap developments, Horse of the Year Tiznow was among those working Thursday in preparation for the grade I test.
So much being horse of the year. Tiznow found out the Eclipse Award he received Tuesday for last year's exploits didn't mean much in Saturday's Strub Stakes at Santa Anita. Wooden Phone led most of the way in upsetting Tiznow by two lengths, giving trainer Bob Baffert a coast-to-coast sweep of the day's $500,000 races.
Making his seasonal debut in the Jan. 13 San Fernando, 2000 Breeders' Cup Classic winnerTiznow beat Walkslikeaduck by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:42.05 as Wooden Phone held on for third. It was not the blowout most expected a potential Horse of the Year to serve up in his 4-year-old debut. For those clutching tickets at 3-10, the final margin was way too close for comfort. But considering the recent interruptions and the chore of sating a high-maintenance competitor, Robbins was satisfied--and thoroughly relieved.
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