It was more than business as usual as the California summer fair racing season commenced its annual run in the northern half of the state on June 18.
Elusive Bluff, who won both of his starts as a 2-year-old but has not raced since Oct. 1, returns to action in the $100,000 Cinema Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park June 21.
Bob Baffert's lightly-raced homebred Misremembered, two-for-two on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track, presents an intriguing possibility in the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) June 20. The 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds includes no heavyweights.
Fool the Experts, one of Arizona's best stallions for a number of years, was euthanized several months ago because of complications from old age.
Cause Ur Mine came up with his first winner from his first starter when his son Our Minesweeper won June 13 at Golden Gate Fields in his initial start.
Trainer Bob Baffert said he wanted to test his champion Indian Blessing over Hollywood Park's Cushion Track before deciding which way to go with her this summer. After her fourth-place finish in the $72,800 Desert Stormer Stakes June 14, a race won in front-running style by Coco Belle, the Hall of Fame conditioner had his answer.
Lightly-regarded Informed, ridden vigorously by Tyler Baze from before the quarter pole, gradually wore down favored Rail Trip in deep stretch to win the $250,000 Californian (gr. II) at odds of 14-1 at Hollywood Park June 13.
Heavily favored Obrigado ended a 15-race losing streak when he overpowered a small field in the 1 3/4-mile Round Table Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park June 13.
Ball Four, who proved too tough for the previously undefeated Rail Trip on the front end in the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) one month ago, is back as the 120-pound co-high weight for the $250,000 Californian (gr. II) at Hollywood Park June 13.
Just five horses, including supplemental entry Plug Me In, are set to go in an uninspiring renewal of the $100,000 Round Table Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf June 13. At 1 3/4 miles, the Round Table is the longest race of the Hollywood Park meet.
Former longtime Washington Thoroughbred industry leader and horseman Edward Heinemann died May 28 in Olympia, Wash.
Dennis Weir's Arizona homebred Carlsbad broke sharply and never looked back, taking seven 3-year-old filly rivals wire-to-wire to win by a half-length in the $150,000 Hollywood Oaks (gr. II) June 7.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California is among the interested bidders in Santa Anita Park, an organization official confirmed.
Favored Midships gained a clear advantage in the home stretch and held off the surprising Globetrotter by a half-length to score his first grade I victory in the $300,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park June 6.
Noble Court, closing furiously from the back of the field after following a ferocious pace, surged past the leaders on the far outside to win the $100,000 Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) in the final strides at Hollywood Park June 6.
Scientific Games Racing has not determined the cause of a system glitch that caused its "stop betting" order on the Los Angeles Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park May 16 to go unheeded at 33 off-track wagering locations, a company representative told the California Horse Racing Board.
In a sign of how the tightening economy has affected tracks in the state, the California Horse Racing Board acquiesced to a request from Hollywood Park to eliminate the final five Wednesdays of the current spring/summer meet, which runs through July 19.
Emerald Downs and its jockey colony will recognize recently injured jockey Rene Douglas and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund June 6, Belmont Stakes (gr. I) day.
Carlsbad, whose unbeaten string was ended at five races when she ran second to Witty in last month's Railbird (gr. III), faces a strong field in the $150,000 Hollywood Oaks (gr. II) June 7.
David J. Lanzman Racing Stable has filed suit against IEAH Stables, claiming breach of contract in connection with IEAH's purchase of half-interest in I Want Revenge, the morning-line favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) who was scratched the day of the classic.
The Inglewood City Council approved a final environmental impact report and a significant land use revision June 3 that would allow the conversion of the 238-acre Hollywood Park racetrack site to a mixed use development.
Midships had things his own way while registering back-to-back grade II victories on the front end at Santa Anita this spring. Chasing his first grade I win in the $300,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap June 6 on the Hollywood Park turf, the Juddmonte Farms homebred is undoubtedly a big threat to do it again.
Sierra Sunset is scheduled to make his first start since winning the 2008 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) when he faces 10 rivals in the $100,000 Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park June 6.
Fantastic Look, a grade I winner/producer, died May 29 after foaling a Salt Lake colt the same day at Betty Mabee's Golden Eagle Farm near Ramona, Calif.
Gary Stevens, the Hall of Fame jockey who hung up his tack in 2005 with over 5,000 wins and earnings exceeding $221 million, opened a California-based training operation June 1.
Well Monied made it look easy in her graded stakes debut, taking over in upper stretch and sprinting home for a 1 1/4-length victory in the $150,000 Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) May 31 on the Hollywood Park turf.
Magical Fantasy had much to do under Alex Solis to win the $250,000 Gamely Stakes (gr. IT), but she proved equal to the task, edging Visit and Diamond Diva in the final couple of jumps in a terrific finish at Hollywood Park May 30.
Odds-on choice Spring House, guided off the rail in the homestretch by Russell Baze, wore down Yacht Spotter in the final sixteenth of a mile to win the $100,000 Golden Gate Fields Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) May 30.
Lemon Chiffon, a lightly-raced 6-year-old mare, hopes to spring an upset in the $250,000 Gamely Stakes (gr. IT) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the Hollywood Park turf May 30.
The 3-year-old filly turf division in Southern California has been difficult to sort out all year, and it remains a puzzle heading into the $150,000 Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park May 31. Six of the nine 3-year-old fillies entered also ran the Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT) held earlier this month, although the winner, Mrs Kipling, isn't among them.
Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation announced May 28 that it is providing $50,000 to fund an innovative research project designed to create a "state-of-the-art" method of assessing racetrack surfaces.
Magical Fantasy, winner of the Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita last month, and Black Mamba, who came up a nose shy in a desperate stretch drive, will battle again in the $250,000 Gamely Stakes (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park turf May 30.
Multiple grade II winner Spring House ventures to Albany, Calif., for the first time in his 40-race career as the likely favorite in the $100,000 Golden Gate Fields Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) May 30.
Zayat Stables' Kentucky shipper Thorn Song nipped Hyperbaric by a head in an exhilarating stretch battle to win the $314,500 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park by a head.
With a long sustained drive, the 30-1 shot Autism Awareness surged past Bold Chieftain at the wire to win the $150,000 Berkeley Stakes (gr. III) by a head on Memorial Day at Golden Gate Fields May 25.
Juddmonte Farms' outstanding mare Ventura, favored against males in the $250,000 Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park May 25, was scratched by trainer Bobby Frankel on the morning of the race due to a "foot problem," according to the track's racing office.
Charlie's Moment shook off Backbackbackgone early and was never headed in winning the $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Memorial (gr. III) for his first graded stakes tally May 24 at Hollywood Park.
Multiple graded stakes winner Monterey Jazz eclipsed a 15-year-old Hollywood Park turf mark when he clocked a mile in 1:32.59 while winning a $58,400 allowance race by 3 3/4 lengths May 24.
Though he's on a 12-race losing streak, Awesome Gem is the 5-2 favorite in the $150,000 Berkeley Stakes (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields on Memorial Day.
Though it was her first start in seven months, undefeated Zenyatta's 10th consecutive win proved to be no more difficult than any of her earlier victories. In disposing of her top-notch stablemate, Life Is Sweet, the 5-year-old daughter of Street Cry rolled to an easy 1 3/4-length win in the $150,000 Milady Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park May 23.
Citing the decision by Hollywood Park to adopt a four-day racing week that eliminated Wednesday racing programs as well as the card scheduled for Thursday, May 28, Golden Gate Fields announced May 22 that it is dropping the racing programs scheduled for Thursday, May 28; Wednesday, June 3; and Wednesday, June 10.
When Rachel Alexandra faced the boys in the Preakness (gr. I), it had not only the racing world but the national media abuzz with excitement. For exceptional mare Ventura, taking on the opposite gender has become just another day at the park, and the daughter of Chester House will do it again on May 25 when she tackles seven males in the $250,000-added Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.
West Point Thoroughbreds is partnering with the Ivey Ranch in Oceanside, Calif. to honor America's injured veterans by sponsoring a six-week session of rehabilitative treatment for those injured in the line of duty.
Ten promising 3-year-olds will vie for their first graded stakes win in the $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park May 24.
The California Horse Racing Board is investigating the cause of a wagering glitch during the running of the Los Angeles Handicap (gr. III) May 16 at Hollywood Park in which betting at 33 simulcast spots did not close until after the race was completed.
Undefeated Zenyatta, last year's champion older female, gets her 2009 campaign off to a slightly belated start when she carries top weight of 126 pounds in Hollywood Park's $150,000 Milady Handicap (gr. II) May 23.
Stem cell injection therapy for injured horses can dramatically cut recovery times and eliminate surgical scar tissue as a complicating factor, doctors at the University of California-Davis believe.
Emeritus sired his first winner when his son Empire of the Sun won May 15 at Golden Gate Fields.
For the second race in a row, Mine That Bird's connections must look for a different rider, as Mike Smith has decided to honor his commitment and ride Jerry and Ann Moss' Madeo in the Charlie Whittingham Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park the same day as the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
The 8-1 outsider Red Arrow controlled the pace with jockey Joe Talamo and refused to give way in the stretch to win his first graded stakes in the $100,000 Los Angeles Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park May 16.
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