Trainer David Hofmans, who saddled 36-1 shot Desert Code to win the inaugural Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT), hopes to add to the success of California-based horses in the race with Home Run Kitten.
Victor Espinoza has been a model of consistency aboard California Chrome, but Belmont Park presents unique challenges during the running of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), said NYRA analyst and retired rider Richard Migliore.
Moving Desert, a 2-year-old filly by Desert Code became her sire's first winner July 17, capturing her maiden by three lengths in a five-furlong sprint over Del Mar's Polytrak.
Southern California-based trainer David Hofmans, who boasts classic wins and Breeders' Cup victories, notched career win 1,000 on Oct. 8 when Sultry Season rallied from sixth to win the 10th race at Santa Anita Park.
Z Humor went gate to wire to win the $150,000 Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston Race Park on the night of March 5, turning back a serious challenge in the stretch for an 11-1 upset.
After returning from the sidelines, Mission Impazible hopes to make another big score in New Orleans when he takes on Apart in the $125,000 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) on Feb. 19.
Strike Again and Gran Estreno, separated by less than a length last month, are among the top choices for the $100,000 Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) Jan. 22 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Cost of Freedom, who has looked close to invincible in his two starts this year, heads a solid field of seven sprinters in the $250,000 Bing Crosby Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar Aug. 1.
Desert Code, a millionaire and winner of the 2008 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Oak Tree at Santa Anita, will enter stud at John C. Harris' Harris Farms near Coalinga, Calif.
Susan Osborne's Desert Code, winner of the 2008 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, has been retired from racing for stallion duty.
With most of the major training over for the Nov. 6-7 Breeders' Cup World Championships completed, the work tab at Santa Anita Nov. 3 was pretty light.
What could be more specialized than horses that like to sprint on the turf? Yet all manner of runners make up the 22 pre-entries in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, which drew the largest field of all 14 Breeders' Cup races.
Favored California Flag led nearly all the way to win the $100,000 Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) on opening day of the Oak Tree Racing Association meet at Santa Anita Park Sept. 30, earning a repeat victory in the hillside turf course event over runner-up Get Funky and a berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.
Fittingly featuring 2008 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint champion Desert Code, the Sept. 30 Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) heads Oak Tree's 31-day season at Santa Anita, one that will be highlighted by the two-day, $25.5-million Breeders' Cup World Championships on Nov. 6 and 7.
Zensational, who has vaulted to the top of the national rankings for sprinters, goes for his third consecutive grade I win as the heavy favorite in the $300,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Stakes at Del Mar Sept. 6.
Soul City Slew, a veteran gelding who won his first stakes when he upset the Potrero Grande Handicap (gr. II) last month, returns to Hollywood Park in the $100,000 Los Angeles Handicap (gr. III) May 16.
Grade I winner Siren Lure brings a three-race winning streak into the $300,000 San Francisco Mile (gr. IIT), where he'll be looking to go over the $1 million mark in career earnings April 25 at Golden Gate Fields.
Front-running Mr Gruff won his stakes debut in style, turning back a brief challenge in the lane to win the $100,000 San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita April 18.
Hillside turf course specialist Desert Code makes a quick turnaround for trainer David Hofmans as the 122-pound high weight in the $100,000 San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Santa Anita's penultimate day for the 2008-09 racing season April 18.
Dixie Chatter slid through an opening on the rail mid-stretch and kicked clear to win the $150,000 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park April 4 for his first graded stakes win since capturing the 2007 Norfolk Stakes (gr. I).
Millionaire Desert Code, winner of both last fall's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint and the Daytona Handicap (gr. IIIT) six weeks ago on the hillside turf course, will attempt to stretch out to a mile in the Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita April 4.
If you saw Desert Code's dramatic come-from-behind win in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint last fall, this victory was nothing like that one. Instead, Desert Code took the lead shortly after the start of the $100,000 Daytona Handicap (gr. IIIT) Feb. 15 on the same hillside turf course at Santa Anita and was never threatened.
Desert Code, 35-1 upset winner of the inaugural Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint last fall, makes his 5-year-old debut in the $100,000 Daytona Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Park Feb. 15, regardless of whether the race remains on the hillside turf course.
With the richer Sunshine Millions Sprint the preceding day, Santa Anita's $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) Jan. 25 will have a weak field, giving several of the eight entrants an important graded stakes opportunity.
Gio Ponti, attempting to make amends after a troubled trip as the choice in the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) a month ago, figures to draw considerable attention in a contentious field for the $100,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Santa Anita opening day program Dec. 26.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Big Bad Leroybrown||Donald Warren||
|Dark Islander (IRE)||Neil D. Drysdale||
|Desert Code||David E. Hofmans||
|Guns On the Table||Chris A. Hartman||
|Sky Cape||Kristin Mulhall||
|Z Humor||Steven M. Asmussen||