Bob Baffert will take four shots at champion Shared Belief in the $300,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I), the featured event as Santa Anita Park kicks off its 2014-15 winter/spring meet the day after Christmas.
A two-time graded stakes winner earlier this year at Santa Anita Park, Awesome Baby will put her speed to the test when she returns to action in the $300,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) on opening day Dec. 26 at the Arcadia track.
Odds-on choice Dortmund remained unbeaten by a slim margin as he nipped Firing Line and Mr. Z in a nail-biting finish to the first-ever $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) Dec. 20.
The California Horse Racing Board is considering a rule change that would result in the scratch of a horse that has been gelded since his last race if that information is not disclosed well in advance of the race.
California racing officials have identified a connection in the sudden death of six horses with trace amounts of anticoagulant rodenticide in their systems, the state horse racing board was told Dec. 18.
All out in the drive, Bayerd reached the wire a head in front of Shotgun Kowboy in a terrific renewal of the $255,000 Remington Springboard Mile in the mud Dec. 14 on closing night of the 2014 Remington Park meet.
Acceptance remained unbeaten in three starts with a three-length victory as the 3-10 favorite in the $200,000 King Glorious Stakes for California-bred 2-year-olds at Los Alamitos Race Course Dec. 14.
Trainer Eric Kruljac won his 1,000th Thoroughbred race the night of Dec. 13 when even-money favorite Small Claims Court captured the sixth race at Los Alamitos Race Course.
Favored Take Charge Brandi registered her second grade I win of the year and third graded victory in a row when she narrowly captured the $350,000 Starlet Stakes for 2-year-old fillies Dec. 13 at Los Alamitos Race Course.
After splitting two previous juvenile stakes earlier in the meet, Bayerd and Shotgun Kowboy square off in the rubber match, the $250,000 Remington Springboard Mile on closing night Dec. 14 at Remington Park.
She's in the driver's seat already, but a win in the $350,000 Starlet Stakes (gr. I) Dec. 13 would mean the checkered flag in the juvenile filly Eclipse Award race for Take Charge Brandi.
Favored Turkish gave longtime owner Lawrence Cordes an early Christmas gift when he held on to win the marathon-distance Valedictory Stakes (Can-III) on closing day of the 2014 meet at Woodbine.
Odds-on choice My Fiona registered the third stakes win of her juvenile campaign when she outfought a game Heat the Rocks in a see-saw stretch run to prevail in the $200,000 Soviet Problem Stakes Dec. 7 at Los Alamitos.
Odds-on Tiz Midnight proved a popular winner of the $200,000 Bayakoa Stakes (gr. II) at Los Alamitos for former Quarter Horse trainer Bob Baffert, when she battled back along the rail by a head over Warren's Veneda Dec. 6.
Northern California stalwarts Jerry Hollendorfer and Russell Baze teamed up once again in the Gold Rush Stakes for 2-year-olds at Golden Gate Fields Dec. 6, when Stand and Salute held off Kentucky invader Broughton Kitten.
- By Jack Shinar
- Thoroughbred Racing, Handicapping, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, Mid-Atlantic Region
It appears doubtful that an impasse between the company that controls the simulcast rights for Gulfstream Park and a cooperative representing 23 tracks in the Mid-Atlantic region will be resolved in time for the Dec. 6 start.
Pender Harbour will attempt to go farther than he ever has before when he lines up against an expected eight opponents in the $150,000 Valedictory Stakes (Can-III) on closing day of the 2014 Woodbine meet Dec. 7.
Wagering on United States races for the month of November declined by more than $50 million in 2014 when compared to the previous year, due in great measure to the first day of the Breeders' Cup falling on Oct. 31.
Front-running La Tia, shipping in from Chicago, led all the way to earn her first grade I victory in the $300,000 Matriarch Stakes on the concluding day of the Del Mar fall meet Nov. 30.
Odds-on favorite London Tower ran away with the $131,385 Ontario Lassie Stakes for 2-year-old fillies by 6 1/2 lengths Nov. 30 at Woodbine with Emma-Jayne Wilson aboard.
Top racetrack veterinarian Dr. Jack Robbins, a longtime breeder of Thoroughbreds in California and patriarch of an influential racing family, died the afternoon of Nov. 29 at his home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. He was 93.
Dual classic winner California Chrome successfully debuted over turf in the $300,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) Nov. 29 at Del Mar when he defeated Queen's Plate winner Lexie Lou by two lengths in a sterling performance.
Favored Big Cazanova won for the third time in as many tries over the Del Mar Polytrack with a front-running 3 1/4-length score in the $200,000 Native Diver Stakes (gr. III) Nov. 29.
Shippers Discreet Marq and La Tia have their eyes on the grade I prize as the likely favorites in the $300,000 Matriarch Stakes, the featured event on closing day of the Del Mar fall meet Nov. 30.
Blueskiesnrainbows can score a repeat win in the $200,000 Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 29, but instead of Hollywood Park, he'll be trying to accomplish it at Del Mar.
All eyes will be on California Chrome as the popular dual classic winner makes his initial start on grass Nov. 29 at Del Mar in the $300,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. I).
Bouncing back from a ninth-place finish in last month's Raven Run Stakes (gr. II), eastern invader Cassatt led at every call while drawing off in the final furlong for an emphatic win in the $309,000 Zia Park Oaks Nov. 26.
Rebounding from a troubled effort in the Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), favored Big Macher outfought a determined Rousing Sermon to score a game neck victory in the $100,000 Cary Grant Stakes Nov. 23 at Del Mar.
Tom's Tribute, whose past two starts at Del Mar produced victories in the Eddie Read Stakes (gr. IT) and Del Mar Mile Handicap (gr. IIT), heads a staunch field of 10 expected for the grade II Seabiscuit Handicap Nov. 28.
Favored Calgary Cat made a strong case for a Sovereign Award as Canada's top sprinter Nov. 23 with a dazzling finish in the $184,471 Kennedy Road Stakes (Can-II) at Woodbine.
Sycamore Stakes (gr. IIIT) winner Holiday Star, in the best form of his career, ships in from Maryland for trainer Graham Motion to test the firm turf at Del Mar in the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IIT) Thanksgiving Day.
California Chrome had his first breeze over the turf at Del Mar, after which trainer Art Sherman told reporters he would enter the dual classic winner in the $300,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) Nov. 29.
Undefeated Ocho Ocho Ocho, one of several Southern California shippers in the field, outfought Mr. Z through the drive to capture the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III) by a nose at Delta Downs Racetrack Nov. 22.
Making her first start for Neil Drysdale, Three Hearts took the lead in the stretch at odds of 29-1 and proved too tough while holding off Lady of Gold in the $100,000 Red Carpet Handicap (gr. IIIT) Nov. 22 at Del Mar.
Honor Code returned a winner following a layoff of more than eight months Nov. 22 at Aqueduct Racetrack, rallying from sixth at mid-stretch to score impressively while in hand for jockey Javier Castellano.
Bear No Joke will attempt to end a streak of three successive runner-up finishes as he defends his title in the $200,000 Kennedy Road Stakes (Can-II) Nov. 23 at Woodbine.
Appealing Cat makes her first appearance in Southern California for trainer Graham Motion in search of a graded stakes victory in the renamed Red Carpet Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Del Mar turf Nov. 22.
To prevent overuse of the whip, jockeys in California will no longer be allowed to strike a horse more than three consecutive times without giving the animal a chance to respond.
Following the controversial non-call in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), the California Horse Racing Board appears ready to change the rule that led to the decision. But it may take awhile.
Santa Anita Park is returning the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) to $1 million in 2015, and also hiked the purse for its other leading main track event for older horses, the San Antonio Stakes (gr. II), to a record $500,000.
Favored Hillaby, produced by 2007 Canadian Horse of the Year Sealy Hill, registered her first graded stakes win with a powerful stretch-running score in the $205,481 Bessarabian Stakes (Can-II) Nov. 16 at snowy Woodbine.
Stalking No Problem grabbed the lead in deep stretch and held even-money favorite Alright Alright at bay in the final strides to win the $100,000 Bob Hope (gr. III) in his stakes debut at Nov. 15 at Del Mar.
Queen's Plate winner Lexie Lou and recent Twilight Derby (gr. IIT) winner Long On Value head a list of 22 sophomores nominated along with California Chrome for the $300,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) Nov. 29 at Del Mar.
Winner of the Ontario Fashion Stakes (Can-III) following a year's layoff, recently sold Native Bombshell will try to avoid a bounce as she returns to action in the $200,000 Bessarabian Stakes (Can-II) Nov. 16 at Woodbine.
Nine 2-year-olds are entered in the $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes (gr. III) Nov. 15 at Del Mar, a race previously contested as the Hollywood Prevue (gr. III) at Hollywood Park and won last year by champion Shared Belief.
Favored Lukes Alley posted his third consecutive win and fourth in five starts when rallying from last to capture the $198,407 Autumn Stakes (Can-II) by a neck Nov. 9 at Woodbine.
Improving East Hall turned the tables on nemesis Wildcat Red when he came from off the pace to score in the $100,000 Millions Classic Preview Nov. 8 at Gulfstream Park West, the featured event on a seven-stakes card.
Well positioned just behind the leaders early, Villandry swung out for the drive and drew off to victory in the $114,000 River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) over a very firm Churchill Downs turf course Nov. 8.
Racing returned to Del Mar Nov. 7 for the first fall racing season in almost 50 years as the track's new "Bing Crosby Season" got off to a sparkling start.
California Chrome will not race in Japan in December and appears to be done with racing for the 2014 season, according to co-owner and co-breeder Perry Martin.
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