Trainer John Sadler's Zappa, a 6 1/4-length winner of the 2008 Cougar II Handicap, is back to defend his title against Mike Mitchell's top-weighted duo of Big Booster and Church Service in the $150,000 renewal of the 1 1/2-mile event Aug. 5.
- Bay Gelding
- Born 2001
|Trainer||Mike R. Mitchell|
|Owner||Anastasi, Anastasi or Ukegawa|
|Big Booster View Five-Cross Pedigree||Accelerator||A.P. Indy|
|Sale / Hip||Type||Buyer||Consignor||Price|
|Yearling||Garry W. Simms Sr.||Lakland, agent||$52,000|
|Two-year-old||Chester Broman||Solitary Oak, agent||$210,000|
Prices in parentheses indicate a horse did not sell because it did not meet its reserve price.
Trainer Doug O'Neill, perfect in four previous tries in the TVG/Betfair Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), shoots for his fifth win since 2002 when he saddles Informed for the $700,000 Cushion Track event July 11.
Everything went right for front-running Midships in the $196,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) as he held sway over the up-against-it Spring House on a warm closing day afternoon April 19 at Santa Anita Park.
Big Booster returns to the turf to defend his title in the $200,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) on closing day of the 2008-09 season at Santa Anita April 19.
His recent form had been poor but Stream Cat turned things around when given extra ground in the $100,000 Tokyo City Cup Handicap (gr. III) at 12 furlongs, spoiling the return to action of favorite Big Booster at Santa Anita March 28.
Trainer Mike Mitchell will be looking for the trifecta March 28 when he sends out distance specialist Big Booster and two two others in the $100,000 Tokyo City Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita Park.
European invader Sixties Icon, who has won three consecutive group III events in England, was installed as the 2-1 morning-line choice for the inaugural $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon Oct. 25 at Santa Anita Park.
Thoroughbreds in this country don't get much of an opportunity to race that far, and most of them aren't bred to cover such a long route of ground.
Controlling the tempo from the outset, Zappa galloped to an easy victory in the $150,000 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar July 30 and earned a starting slot in the inaugural Breeders' Cup Dirt Marathon at Santa Anita this fall.
Tyler Baze was supposed to be aboard three-time Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Lava Man for this year's 69th running. But when the veteran stakes hero was withdrawn prior to entries being taken, the jockey wound up on lightly regarded Mast Track. The move couldn't have worked out better for Baze when his 10-1 outsider employed front-running tactics to win in a Cushion Track record time June 28.
While the focus of the 2008 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) is rightfully on the powerhouse grade I victors Heatseeker and Tiago, there are seven graded winners in the field of 10 for the 1 1/4-mile classic.
Lava Man, who tied Native Diver's record of three straight Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) victories last year, won't be going for a fourth one on June 28.
Odds-on choice Big Booster moved closer to a potential run at the inaugural Breeders' Cup Dirt Marathon this fall, lumbering to victory over three outmatched rivals in the first Gallant Man Handicap over 1 5/8 miles on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track.
Trainer Mike Mitchell says he's not worried about the unusual 1 5/8-mile distance of the first $100,000 Gallant Man Handicap June 1, and with good reason. After all, his horse, Big Booster, recently proved a convincing winner of the the even longer San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT).
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Two years ago, Big Booster was a $35,000-$39,000 claimer running at Belmont Park. Today, he has the honor of being a grade II winner, having just taken the San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap at Santa Anita Park. The move west and several goes over the synthetic turf reinvigorated Big Booster's racing career.
Trainer Mike Mitchell and jockey Rafael Bejarano punctuated their 2007-08 Santa Anita meet titles when they teamed to win the marathon $250,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) with Big Booster on closing day of the stand April 20.
Shamdinan, reunited with trainer Doug O'Neill since the colt's runner-up finish in the 2007 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), makes his Southern California debut in Santa Anita's $250,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT).
Long disappointing on the turf, Niagara Causeway has found a home on synthetic racing surfaces after tallying a game score over Church Service by a nose for his first graded stakes win in the $108,200 Tokyo City Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita March 29.
Zappa, off the board in two starts since winning the San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) in January, tries softer company for trainer John Sadler in the $100,000 Tokyo City Cup (gr. III) at 1 1/2 miles on Santa Anita's synthetic racing surface March 29.
Fourteen horses, potentially matching the largest field in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in a quarter century, are headed for the $1 million event March 1 in a race that redefines "wide open."
WinStar Farms' homebred Well Armed, thanks to a well-crafted ride from Aaron Gryder on the front end, had just enough to hold off the surging Heatseeker by a head in winning the $250,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 9.
Synthetic surface standouts Student Council and Awesome Gem, the first two finishers in last summer's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I), are expected to make their 2008 bow in the $250,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) over Santa Anita's Cushion Track on Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 3.
Tiago loves Santa Anita, no matter the surface. In his first start at the Arcadia, Calif., track since winning the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on the old dirt track April 7, the 3-year-old colt delivered a desperate nose victory over the unlucky Awesome Gem in the $520,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup (gr. I) on the new Cushion Track Sept. 29.
Well beaten in the Pacific Classic last time out, California star Lava Man has an opportunity to prove he's as good as ever when he takes on nine rivals in the $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup (gr. I) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meeting Sept. 29.
Defending champion Lava Man drew the rail as the 5-2 morning line favorite for the $1-million Pacific Classic Sunday.
|Will Take Charge|
|Mucho Macho Man|
|Game On Dude|