Sun Should Shine on California Entries Saturday

If Breeders' Cup history repeats itself at this year's World Thoroughbred Championships, bet on sunny weather and horses who have raced previously at Santa Anita.

On Saturday, Santa Anita will host the Breeders' Cup day of racing for the third time since the event began in 1984. On Nov. 1, 1986, the weather was sunny and the temperature was 73 degrees in Arcadia. On Nov. 6, 1993, the sun shone again, and the mercury reached 73 degrees. It could get hotter for the 2003 running--temperatures have topped 90 degrees this week in the Los Angeles area. In addition, the weather was sunny all three times Hollywood Park hosted the Breeders' Cup in the past, so if their horses don't come in, hopefully on-track patrons will be able to enjoy the day anyway.

In 1993, horses that made their last start at Santa Anita dominated the winner's circle. That day five of the seven winners had raced in and won their last start at the track. They were (in order of races:

- Sprint winner Cardmania
- Juvenile Fillies winner Phone Chatter
- Distaff winner Hollywood Wildcat
- Juvenile winner Brocco
- Turf winner Kotashaan.

Three of the above, Hollywood Wildcat, Brocco, and Kotashaan, were also the betting favorites. That year the Santa Anita backers made good choices--every winner that day, except for 133-1 longshot Arcangues in the Classic, was picked in the top three and went off at less than 6-1.

Kotashaan and Phone Chatter had something else in common--trainer Richard Mandella. He could do it again this year. Mandella has the morning line favorite in the Juvenile Fillies, Halfbridled, and two entries for the Turf, Johar (8-1 ML), and The Tin Man.

There doesn't appear to be a strong trend of California-based horses winning one particular race on the card, except for the Juvenile. In four of the five times the Juvenile took place in California, it was won by a colt who made his last start in the Golden State. The only exception was Favorite Trick, who was the exception to every rule in 1997. He went undefeated that year and was named Horse of the Year after taking the Juvenile by 5 1/2 lengths over Dawsons Legacy.